Water is a vital ingredient that support life. It is a resource that is often insufficient in many areas of the world. Although the would is covers in water, most of it is salt water. To solve this water problem, a team of engineers at the University of Texas have develop a life saving technology, water collection, using solar power and super sponge materials. The super sponge in this case is a hydrogel that is the combination of an absorbent hygroscopic polypyrrole chloride hydrogel and a hydrogel that reacts to heat called isopropylacrylamide. This new hydrogel will be able to function in both humid and dry weather and will be able to pull water out of the atmosphere.
What make this new hydrogel fascinating is that it is a completely passive system. People can leave this hydrogel material outside to collect water and expose it to sunlight to retrieve water when needed. With the threat of drought across the globe, the large amount of water scattered in the atmosphere is an attractive target to get our water. With further advances to this technology, we might be able to replace solar powered water purification system entirely as this is more efficient.