New tech in Abu Dhabi will extract commercial quantities of water from air
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New tech in Abu Dhabi will extract commercial quantities of water from air

New tech in Abu Dhabi will extract commercial quantities of water from air

The project will be run by Aquovum, in partnership with Masdar and Khalifa University of Science and Technology

Masdar City Abu Dhabi

Abu Dhabi is set to launch an innovative project, the first of its kind in the world, where commercial volumes of an uninterrupted supply of water will be produced from a sustainable source.

The project will see technology used to convert air into water and will be undertaken in Masdar City. It will be run by US-based water technology company, Aquovum, in partnership with Masdar and Khalifa University of Science and Technology.

The project, which will begin this month, will evaluate the performance of Aquovum’s large format Atmospheric Water Generation (AWG) technology in combination with a renewable energy source, and its ability to be included in current and/or future sustainable water projects, according to a statement issued by Masdar.

The AWG technology extracts water from the atmosphere using a renewable energy source.

The carbon-free technology will create access to clean water, contributing to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal (UNSDG) of ensuring the availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all.

Robert Wood, CTO of Aquovum, said, “To support and progress the global green transition and to ensure water security, we recognised that we must power our systems on 100 per cent renewable energy to provide a truly sustainable water supply. Our bleeding-edge technologies work with nature and are the way forward to deliver lasting, sustainable solutions.”

Abdulla Balalaa, executive director, sustainable real estate at Masdar City, pointed out that Masdar City is already home to over 900 companies, dedicated to developing innovative technologies across the sectors of renewables, energy storage, water, artificial intelligence, health, space, and mobility. He pointed out that this latest project with Aquovum will contribute to regional and global water security in line with the UAE Water Security Strategy 2036.

“Developing technologies that both protect and guarantee a constant and secure source of water, is therefore of utmost importance. The Aquovum pilot will be installed at Khalifa University’s Masdar Institute Solar Platform in Masdar City and will operate from 100 per cent renewable power, a process that is completely carbon neutral,” added Balalaa.

Meanwhile, Dr. Nicolas Calvet, assistant professor in the Mechanical Engineering Department at Khalifa University, founder and chair of the Masdar Institute Solar Platform , and Principal Investigator of the project, said, “Previously, we have focused on concentrated solar power and thermal energy storage, and we are diversifying our R&D activity at the Masdar Institute Solar Platform with clean production of fresh water. This project will run for 12 months and provide valuable performance data for a full year’s weather cycle.”

The green power needed for this supply will be provided by the Azelio AB (Sweden) demonstrator of 24/7 electrical thermal energy storage/Stirling pilot also located at the Masdar Institute Solar Platform.

The AWG technology will also contribute to a market that is expected to grow by a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of more than 25 per cent worldwide, and over 30 per cent CAGR in the Middle East and Africa alone, according to Global Market Insights.

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