New study finds water produced from Tel Aviv’s atmosphere safe to drink

Researchers found that water produced from the air in Tel Aviv met drinking water standards set by the State of Israel and the World Health Organization (WHO) in a unique study of its kind.

The results of the study were published in Total environmental science Reviewed and conducted by a team of experts from the Porter School of Environment and Earth Sciences at Tel Aviv University, led by graduate student Offir Inbar and supervised by Professor Dror Avisar. Watergen’s research and development team, Professor Alexandra Chudnovsky, and German researchers also participated in the study.

Israeli company Watergen joined in the study, providing a dedicated testing facility. According to Inbar, no filtration or treatment system was installed in the device used in the study. A wide range of tests have been carried out on the water, including during different seasons and at different times of the day. They concluded that, despite heavy urbanization, the water extracted from the air in Tel Aviv was drinkable.

Inbar explained: “The study showed that the direction of the wind greatly affects the quality of the water. For example, when the wind comes from the desert, we find more calcium and sulfur, that is, residues of desert dust aerosols, in the water. However, when the wind comes from the direction of the sea, higher concentrations of chlorine and sodium are found, which are found in the sea … the water produced from the air coming from the area of the Sahara differs in composition from the water produced from the air coming from Europe. “

A big advantage of using atmospheric water is that there is no need to build water transport infrastructure which is necessary for processes like seawater desalination, which Israel uses. to produce a large amount of its own water.

“To desalinate seawater, you need a sea, and there is no access to the sea from anywhere in the world,” explains Inbar.

“After desalination, a complete infrastructure has to be built that will transport the desalinated water from the waterfront to the different cities, and large parts of the world do not have the technical and economic means to build and maintain such an infrastructure. Air water, however, can be produced anywhere, without the need for expensive transport infrastructure and regardless of the amount of precipitation. From an economic point of view, the higher the temperature and humidity, the more profitable it is to produce water from air.

Many countries already have the technology to produce water from air, including purification and treatment.

“The concern was that the water produced from the air in the heart of an urban area would not be drinkable – and we have proven that this is not the case,” concluded Inbar. “We are currently expanding our research to other parts of Israel, including the Bay of Haifa and agricultural areas, to study in depth the impact of various pollutants on the quality of water extracted from the air. “

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