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Clean Water Breakthrough: Ford Cars Now a Source of Potable Water

Sep 16, 2016 04:53 AM EDT
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Ford cars are now agents of water conservation. In the recent "Further With Ford" conference in Detroit, Michigan, Ford unveiled the new built-in water dispenser called "On-the-Go H2O." The new technology recycles the condensation produced by car air conditioning and turns it into drinkable water.

"All that water going to waste should be recovered to serve a purpose," Doug Martin, Ford Powertrain Controls Engineer, said in a statement. "The real vision is that this idea could eventually help people who don't have easy access to water, in remote locations such as the Australian Outback, for example."

Martin was inspired by a billboard in Lima, Peru showing humidity being turned into drinking water for the local population. Condensation from vehicle air conditioners usually just falls to the pavement below. With the help of his colleague John Rollinger, Martin created a system that would collect these droplets of water, filter them and store them in a tank inside the car. The water will then be pumped from a faucet attached between the driver and passenger seats.

With the prototype, Martin discovered that a car could produce over 64 ounces of water per hour, which is equivalent to about four bottles of water. This means that car owners would no longer need to stop by a convenience store to get water; the system could provide drinkable water on the go.

Moreover, the technology could potentially solve water crisis by helping provide water in remote locations, as well as reduce plastic wastes produced by bottled water. Martin is hoping that one day, people might find good use with his invention.

On-the-Go H2O is still in its prototype stage and it is still uncertain when the technology will be made available in Ford cars.

Ford has been working to come up with new ideas to solve environmental issues. In May, the company started creating new car foams and plastic components using carbon dioxide captured during its operations.

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