Zero Mass is a company looking to provide drinking water by taking it from the air. Using a device called a Source Hydropanel, water is extracted as vapour and cooled to a liquid.
Zero Mass’ founder, Cody Friesen, started the company with the aim of providing clean drinking water easily in places where it is typically scarce. The standard Source setup contains two hydropanels and can extract as much as five litres from the air every day. The panels are made of different layers, which together heat air and absorb moisture from it. The water is then essentially cooled and precipitates, returning to a liquid form. Then, in a reservoir behind the panel, the water is filtered and made drinkable.
Naturally, when extracting water from the air, the local climate would be expected to play a role.However, The Verge recently conducted an interview in Arizona, where the process was clearly demonstrated despite the state’s fierce dry heat. In fact, Friesen is confident that Source could be an asset in many different countries, and provide vital drinking water even in places that already have it. The goal is to provide a new approach to drinking water, whether that means allowing people to find it without having to walk for miles, prevent the environmental damage caused by overuse of plastic water bottles, or just help people save a little money in the long run.
That long run would probably amount to about five years. At around $4,500 for the whole system (two hydropanels plus installation), the average water drinker wouldn’t break even any earlier. The company feels that they produce high-quality drinking water, superior to what comes out of anyone’s taps and Source is certainly built to last. It’s important to stress that the focus of source is on drinking water only, and it certainly wouldn’t be any kind of a replacement for a house’s water supply. It’s certainly interesting to think that all our drinking water might one day be coming from the air we breathe.
Source systems are currently available for sale in the United States.