"Self-Filling" Biking Bottle Pulls Water Out of Thin Air

This story is part of Treehugger's news archive. Learn more about our news archiving process or read our latest news.
©. Kristof Retezár/Fontus via PRNewswire

Biking cross-country through rough terrain may mean that access to fresh, drinkable water may be limited. But what if there was a device that could "pull" moisture from the air and transform it into drinking water? That's the idea behind Austrian designer Kristof Retezár's Fontus, a "self-filling" water bottle that can make water out of thin air.

The solar-powered bike accessory uses a Peltier Element to generate water. It's essentially a cooler with two chambers that facilitates condensation, and takes in air as the bike moves, which is then slowed and cooled down by barriers that allows it to condense and form water, which is channelled and collected in the bottle.

According to The Huffington Post, the gadget can produce 0.5 liters of water in an hour, and works best when temperatures are around 20 degrees Celsius (68 degrees Fahrenheit) and humidity is around 50 percent. Of course, the Fontus wouldn't be suitable in urban areas where there might be polluting particulates in the air. Though there is a filter to keep bugs out of the condensed water, there isn't one for contaminants, yet.

But Retezár has bigger visions for such a design, and believes that it can be used in water-scarce regions, especially as climate change begins to change global precipitation patterns:

Fontus can be applied in two different areas. Firstly, it may be interpreted as a sporty bicycle accessory. Useful on long bike tours, the constant search for freshwater sources such as rivers and gas stations can cease to be an issue since the bottle automatically fills itself up. Secondly, it might be a clever way of acquiring freshwater in regions of the world where groundwater is scarce but humidity is high. Experiments suggest that the bottle could harvest around 0.5 L water in one hour's time in regions with high temperature and humidity values.

Retezár estimates that the Fontus, which was shortlisted for a Dyson Award, would cost about $25 to $40. For more info, visit The Huffington Post.