A US-based firm is turning Arabian Desert air into bottled water. Puzzled? It's true. The company called Zero Mass Water has come up with a novel idea of sourcing water from air's moisture. A first of its kind, this air-to-water process is being implemented by the company in Dubai where it has set up its office. The technology is at an incipient stage and far more costly than conventional methods of producing the same output of water.
Nevertheless, it could well serve as an exemplar for parched desert nations that can use the technology as a model in the future for producing drinking water through renewable source and in a sustainable way.
"The bottling plant is run on solar, the bottles we use are recyclable and the caps are sustainable," Samiullah Khan, general manager at IBV, told Bloomberg. He added that the bottle caps will be made from bamboo.
Emirati firm IBV, owned by Butti Bin Maktoum Bin Juma Al Maktoum, a member of Dubai's royal family will buy the water from the company and package it in glass bottles.
IBV is planning to sell the bottled water to top-end hotel chains or bulk buyers. The water bottles will be priced at around 10 dirhams ($2.72) a litre as compared to local drinking bottles that cost between 1 to 1 dirhams. The price of packaged drinking water will be in the same range as imported brands such as Evian and Fiji, Khan told the news agency.
Zero Mass Water's plant is currently under construction in the village of Lehbab, about 50 km south of Dubai. The manufacturing facility will begin with the installation of 1,250 hydro panels, each of which costs $2,500. The plan is to ultimately increase the number of hydro panels to 10,000 units.
These boards absorb water vapour and extract it through solar energy. Meanwhile, the company did not specify the overall project cost.
The technology can be used anywhere under the sun but is said to be more appropriate under hot and humid climate, which makes the emirate a prime location.
The US-based company is not going to start the facility with bulk production but will be able to produce up to 2.3 million litres annually, which is only about the size of a typical Olympic swimming pool.