Water scarcity is an issue that is only going to spread. The World Health Organization has painted a bleak picture. They say that by 2025 more than half of the world’s population will be living in water-stressed areas. Finding new ways to provide the water that is needed to ensure our survival is crucially important. Dutch startup Sponsh did just that: they discovered a way to extract water from air! We spoke to Lourens Boot, the co-founder of this innovative company.
Sponsh: How does extracting water from air work?
Sponsh was founded in 2018 by Lourens Boot and Catarina Esteves. The company is working on a textile that has a smart coating, which looks like tiny arms that suck up water from the air when it’s cold. The fibres in the fabric swell up to 4 times their normal size. When the textile is warm, the water gets expelled and the fibres shrink. “It can be used for drinking water, irrigation, or reducing humidity levels in a greenhouse. At the moment we’re focusing on self-watering tree protectors. It works a bit like the silica gel packets that you find in packaging, but the major difference is that the textile releases the water when it is warm,” says Lourens.