MOF water harvesters


The advancement of additional methods for freshwater generation is imperative to effectively address the global water shortage crisis. In this regard, extraction of the ubiquitous atmospheric moisture is a powerful strategy allowing for decentralized access to potable water. The energy requirements as well as the temporal and spatial restrictions of this approach can be substantially reduced if an appropriate sorbent is integrated in the atmospheric water generator. Recently, metal–organic frameworks (MOFs) have been successfully employed as sorbents to harvest water from air, making atmospheric water generation viable even in desert environments. Herein, the latest progress in the development of MOFs capable of extracting water from air and the design of atmospheric water harvesters deploying such MOFs are reviewed. Furthermore, future directions for this emerging field, encompassing both material and device improvements, are outlined.

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Fig. 1: World map displaying the spatial and temporal feasibility of atmospheric water generation through direct cooling.
Fig. 2: Reticular design of MOFs for atmospheric water harvesting.
Fig. 3: Juxtaposition of two classes of practical MOF water harvesters.
Fig. 4: Assessment of the current state of the art and future directions of atmospheric water harvesting with MOFs.


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Financial support for this research is provided by the King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology as part of a joint KACST-UC Berkeley collaboration (Center of Excellence for Nanomaterials and Clean Energy Applications). N.H. thanks the Studienstiftung des deutschen Volkes and acknowledges the receipt of the Kavli ENSI Philomathia Graduate Fellowship. M.S.P. is grateful to the Swiss National Science Foundation for funding through the Early Postdoc Mobility fellowship program (award P2ELP2_175067). We thank C. Gropp for useful discussions. Analyses and visualizations used in this Review Article were produced with the Giovanni online data system, developed and maintained by the NASA GES DISC. We also acknowledge the AIRS mission scientists and associated NASA personnel for the production of the data used for the MHI calculations in this publication.

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Correspondence to Omar M. Yaghi.

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O.M.Y. is co-founder of Water Harvesting Inc., aiming at commercializing related technologies.

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Hanikel, N., Prévot, M.S. & Yaghi, O.M. MOF water harvesters. Nat. Nanotechnol. 15, 348–355 (2020).

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