When the Namib Desert beetle (Stenocara gracilipes) “fog basks,” water droplets hit its abdomen and roll down its body. "Everybody is excited about bioinspired materials research," said Joanna Aizenberg, the Amy Smith Berylson Professor of Materials Science at SEAS and core faculty member of the Wyss Institute. Researchers have spent decades trying to … As … Author information: (1)Department of Biology. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader: Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks: Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Compared with the conventional fog collector with a plane structure, the fabric has shown a higher water-harvesting rate at 1432.7 mg/h/cm2, owing to the biomimetic three-dimensional structure, its enhanced condensation performance enabled by the copper coating and the rational distribution of wetting units. Every day, the beetle climbs to the top of a sand dune and puts its back to the wind and is able to collect 12% of its body weight in water from the moisture in the air. Some species of Darkling Beetles live in the dry Namib desert and have evolved modification that help them collect water from the fog that condenses on their elytra. Warka Water is covered in a mesh fabric with a special coating that allows water collection. Original written by Leah Burrows. "Without one of those parameters, the whole system would not work synergistically to promote both the growth and accelerated directional transport of even small, fast condensing droplets," said Park. Some of these construct sand trenches or ridges to catch the fog, while Onymacris unguicularis and O. bicolor instead utilise their own body surface as a fog water collector [7-9]. University of Lund. By continuing you agree to the use of cookies. "Pulling water from thin air: Inspired by a desert beetle, cactus and pitcher plant, researchers design a new material to collect water droplets." When droplets form on … Content on this website is for information only. (2016, February 24). Fog-basking behaviour and water collection efficiency in Namib Desert Darkling beetles. Every morning when the fog is relatively dense, the fog droplets are condensed on the hydrophilic area of the desert beetle back and then roll along the waxy hydrophobic crevices until falling down to beetle’s mouth [ 24 ]. "We experimentally found that the geometry of bumps alone could facilitate condensation," said Kyoo-Chul Park, a postdoctoral researcher and the first author of the paper. The beetle, endemic to Africa's Namib desert—where there is just 1.3cm of rainfall a year—has inspired a fair few proof-of-concepts in the academic community, but this is … It is not intended to provide medical or other professional advice. Book your tickets online for Namib Desert, Sossusvlei: See 329 reviews, articles, and 517 photos of Namib Desert, ranked No.1 on Tripadvisor among 11 attractions in Sossusvlei. Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences. The Namib Desert Beetle was the inspiration for starting the company. Efficient collection of water from fog provides a potential solution to solve the global freshwater shortage problem, particularly in the desert or arid regions. Namib desert beetles live in an area with little ground water, so how is it that they have no trouble finding H2O? Pulling water from thin air: Inspired by a desert beetle, cactus and pitcher plant, researchers design a new material to collect water droplets. "This research is an exciting first step towards developing a passive system that can efficiently collect water and guide it to a reservoir," said Kim. The material harnesses the power of these natural systems, plus Slippery Liquid-Infused Porous Surfaces technology (SLIPS) developed in Aizenberg's lab, to collect and direct the flow of condensed water droplets. Occasional fog is a critical water source utilised by plants and animals in the Namib Desert. While the beetles position themselves optimally for fog water collection on dune ridges, the grass occurs predominantly at the … . - Appreciate silence, and desolation, and stark beauty; there's no place quite like the Namib Desert. (A) Water collection ability of Namib desert beetles, which relies on hydrophilic bumps and hydrophobic substrates on their backs. The Namib Desert beetle photographed by University of Oxford researcher Andrew Parker, whose team first worked out in 2001 how the beetle captures water from the air. A Namib Desert beetle is often cited as bioinspiration for further advancement, in a narrative which focuses on patterned wettability of its bumpy elytra as a means of transporting accumulated water from its back to its mouth.
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