Environment

This Futuristic Water Bottle Makes Its Own Water

Austrian industrial designer Kristof Retezár is the creator of Fontus, a water bottle that creates water from humidity in the air.

The futuristic product, which comes in the form of a water bottle, absorbs moisture and humidity from the air to create drinkable water. The self-filling bottle aims to save people extra weight while hiking, biking, or camping and enables them to hydrate even if they run out of water during an outdoor adventure.

Retezár was inspired to make something portable that could reach the some 1.2 billion people around the world who have limited access to water, Tech Insider reports.
The solar-powered water bottles can also be attached to bicycles that allow cyclists to produce water during long-distance rides.

The foundation of Fontus is condensation, which, as noted by Live Science writer Denise Chow, "can be easily demonstrated by taking something out of a refrigerator (for instance, a can of soda) and leaving it on the kitchen counter for a bit." After a few seconds outside of the refrigerator, moisture will appear on the sides of the soda can.

"This is simply condensation of the humidity that is contained in the air," Retezár told Live Science. "You always have a certain percentage of humidity in the air, it doesn't matter where you are — even in the desert. That means you would always potentially be able to extract that humidity from the air."

Fontus products' hydrophobic surfaces "immediately repel the condensed water that they created, so you get a drop flow [into the water bottle]," Retezár continued. "Basically, you're taking air in a vapor state and converting it into a liquid state."

Fontus water

Fontus

The water bottle can create 0.5 quarts of water per hour, which works best between 86 degrees and 104 degrees Fahrenheit and between 80 and 90 percent humidity, according to Retezár. While it's certainly a useful invention, Retezár said the prototype isn't ideal yet. It can filter bugs and dust out of the water, but cannot screen out potentially harmful contaminants, such as sediment, at this time. In the future, Retezár would like to install a carbon filter to make his product more useful in areas where water is scarce and people are also concerned about air quality.

"The water you get is clean, unless the air is really contaminated," Retezár told Live Science. "[O]riginally, this water bottle was thought to be used in nature, and places where you wouldn't have contaminated air."

Retezár, whose initial Fontus design was on the shortlist for the 2014 James Dyson Award, has acquired funding from the Austrian government that will help finance the product's technical development. He also wants to start a crowdfunding campaign this year to pay for mass production of Fontus products. The hope is to keep them under $100 and sell them on the market by the end of 2016.

For more on the product, check out Tech Insider's video on Fontus:

 

 

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