Briefs: Morning dew: a source of drinking water

Researchers at Grenoble CEA, in France, have designed, thanks to a new material, a collector that can collect and condense dew, providing a precious additional source of water, and furthermore, of drinking water. The device is based on the principle that air humidity will condense on any kind of object as soon this object's temperature is a few degrees lower than that of the surrounding air. They thus conceived a material made up of microbeads with high infrared radiation and that can be incorporated in plastic films or paint coatings. The result is a radiating condenser that can collect up to 0.6 l.water per square metre. It has been shown to be very efficient as dew point is reached as soon as the sun sets instead of occurring at the end of the night. However, air humidity over 70%, strong winds or a cloudy sky may limit its efficiency. The CEA researchers would like to make people who lack water aware of this poorly known and cheap source of water (0.04-1 € per m²).