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Desert Beetle Influences Nanotech Company to Create Self-Filling Water Bottle

Nov 26, 2012 05:21 AM EST
Namib Desert beetle
Namib Desert beetle
(Photo : Wikimedia Common/Hans Hillewaert / CC-BY-SA-3.0)

Namib Desert beetles are known to survive in arid conditions by pulling water from the atmosphere and storing it.

On similar lines, a U.S. startup company, NBD Nano, has developed a concept to create self-filling water bottles that collect water continually and store it.

Desert beetles are capable of living in dry regions which get less than an inch of rainfall every year. The beetles' shell is the reason for their survival. These beetles have shells covered in bumps which gather moisture from the air. They get the humidity to condense on the shell and store the water, reported BBC.

NBD Nano, started by four university graduates, will be using nanotechnology to imitate a similar technique that will allow storing three liters of water every hour in a self-filling water bottle.

"We think our initial prototype will collect anywhere from half a liter of water to three liters per hour, depending on local environments," Miguel Galvez, a co-founder, told the BBC.

Galvez and his colleagues are planning to make use of a nano-scale surface that will help in improving water condensation. They want to cover the surface with hydrophilic (water-attracting) and hydrophobic (water-repellent) materials.

The researchers will be using a fan to allow the surrounding air pass over the bottle's surface, condense it and store it in the device. The method is considered to be energy-efficient and a cost-effective solution, the BBC report said.

"We realize that water is such a large issue in the world today, and we want to try to alleviate those problems with a cost-efficient solution," said Deckard Sorensen, another company co-founder, according to

The company is planning to release the self-filling water bottles in the markets by 2014. They hope to use the bottles in greenhouses in the near future, but will also look to use them later in different applications like providing potable water for military operations and in agriculture.

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