Nowadays, atmospheric water harvesting (AWH) became very essential to provide fresh potable water. This technique is in practice since 1900 (US661944A) by Edger S. Belden. Atmospheric water is a source of freshwater with 13000 trillion liters availability of water at any time and can be utilized in overcoming water shortage, especially in arid and rural areas. It holds up the water molecules in the form of vapors and accounts for adding 10% of all freshwater present on the earth. Mainly, the two most common methods have been used for the extraction of atmospheric water. First, the ambient air is cooled below the dew point temperature, and second in which the moisture in atmospheric air is adsorbed/absorbed using desiccant materials. Conventional vapor compression, thermoelectric cooling, dew, and fog water harvesting based systems/technologies possess some limits in terms of energy requirements, less efficiency, and high cost. However, the adsorption based AWH technology is relatively cheaper, environment friendly, and can be operated by a low-grade thermal energy source. The limited availability of commercial instruments to harvest atmospheric water using adsorbents indicates a lack of fundamental studies. The fundamental research on water adsorption, adsorption kinetics, regeneration conditions, and water collecting surface designs has not gained as much interest as required in the field of atmospheric water harvesting. In this regard, this book chapter discusses and presents the progress in the field of adsorbent materials and system designs along with the future directions to accelerate the commercialization of this technology.
Part of the book: Technology in Agriculture