Egyptian engineering student turns air into water

Mahmoud Elkoumy designs robot to absorb moisture on Mars and turn it into drinkable water

A mechatronics engineer from Egypt has designed a robot that took humidity from the air and turn it into water using artificial intelligence.

Inspired by Nasa's missions to Mars, Mahmoud Elkoumy, 28, built his robot called ELU to function in weather similar to the red planet – high levels of humidity but dry. Thanks to the robot's settings, he proposes that ELU can absorb moisture on Mars and turn it into drinkable water.

The new, low-cost technology, supported by artificial intelligence, can generate large amounts of water using polymers, Mr Elkoumy said.

“I can launch plants that can generate more than 5,000 litres per day or even 50,000 litres, I can scale it up without any problems. The cost of generating water from air is relatively lower than other available technologies."

Other technology used to generate water from air, including mechanical heat exchangers, is more expensive and energy consuming, he said.

It took him nine months to complete work on ELU's final design and he says it costs about $250. The cost of generating one litre of water via ELU is 1.5 to 2 cents, in comparison to 20 cents using other technology, Mr Elkoumy said.

He hopes that his self-financed project can be used on a larger scale not only on Mars, but in other arid areas with little or no access to water.

Updated: September 7th 2021, 1:29 PM
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