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January 12, 2016 AT 5:00 pm

Fog Catchers Inspired By Trees #Biomimicry

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Trees capture fog, so why can’t trees? Fog catchers collect the water from fog which is very helpful in droughts. via baynature

Fog is most frequent during the height of the summer dry season in California, adding much needed moisture to coastal ecosystems. In such environments, wind can drive an upwelling of cold water on the ocean surface, creating a temperature gradient that cools the moist air above. Water vapor then condenses into droplets in the air, and this is where the fog collectors do their part. Each one is about one-square meter in surface area and includes a fine mesh net made of plastic fiber. The net intercepts the fog as it passes through and captures its suspended water droplets, which slowly dribble into a steel trough below, collecting the water for future use.

In a way, the mesh is an example of biomimicry: its fibers coalesce and channel the water similar to the way the surface and ridges of a leaf naturally collects dew along its stem. The fog collectors have also been compared to the dew collectors in the drought-afflicted world conceived in Frank Herbert’s 50-year-old novel, Dune.

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