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While in the midst of a refreshing trek or almost close to the last lap of your bicycle racing, your most important companion is your water bottle. Even in our day to day lives, we need some amount of water throughout the day to stay hydrated as 50% to 75% of our body is made of water. An empty water bottle at such times is both a huge disappointment and inconvenience. What if we tell you that your water bottle can provide you fresh water every hour without the need to be refilled?
An Austrian industrial designer Kristof Retezár has successfully achieved an innovative feat by designing a self-filling water bottle. The Fontus water bottles are specially designed considering the requirements of adventurers and travelers. The Fontus bottle can produce drinkable water in an hour by absorbing surrounding moisture and condensing it into water droplets.
The mechanism behind the functioning of these bottles is very simple. If you remove a chilled bottle from refrigerator and keep it at room temperature for few minutes, water droplets start forming around its surface. Or consider a covered tank with water, you will find water droplets on its lid. The Fontus bottle works with the exact same principle. Fontus consists of a small cooler called Peltier Element that is connected to a series of hydrophobic surfaces that repel water. As the gadget takes in air, these series of hydrophobic surfaces get cold, and the process of condensation starts in the bottle. Because the surfaces are hydrophobic, they immediately repel the water droplets, so a drop flows inside the bottle. This process continues till within an hour around half liter of water is stored in the bottle. (Also read about Warka Water Towers which produce 25 gallons of water every day)
The Fontus bottles would be available in the market in two impressive models Airo and Ryde; the latter being specifically for cyclists with specially designed detachable straps. In the areas with more than 30 degree Celsius temperature and more than 90 percent humidity, the bottle fills at the rate of 0.5 liters per hour. The price range of the bottle is estimated to be around $100.
The water produced from the process of condensation of water vapor is the purest form of water, however, the quality of the water may get impacted if the air around the self filling water bottle is polluted. This is the major setback for Fontus self filling water bottles as the bottle does not have the ability to make the water fit for human consumption. It can filter out some large contaminants, like bugs and dust, but the filter isn’t designed to keep out small contaminants like sediment. However, the Company is working on installation of carbon filters in the future models thus making it more efficient and productive in water scarce and polluted regions.
It is a small start towards a big vision. With the plans to increase application specific products and scale up the technology to larger platform, Fontus aims to focus on larger problems of the planet. With proper vision and attitude the Fontus initiative would offer solution to various rudimentary challenges like water scarcity, pollution etc especially in water thirsty countries like India.