DynaCellCollect targets the manufacture and characterization of new hygromorphic cellulose-based meshes to efficiently collect water from air. The novel meshes are formed by micro/nano helical filaments that respond to environmental humidity. The ability to collect water results from high surface area to volume ratio and high porosity of the membrane. After water collection, the micro/nano filaments change shape promoting the water to flow easily by gravitation and to be stored. The water flow allows the filaments to re-shape and once again be available for collection of more water.

Inspiration comes from humidity-responsive skeletons, spiderwebs and Namib Desert beetles ability to respond and capture water from air. Plants produce a large variety and amount of cellulose, forming meso and microstructures with unique characteristics and complex shapes. 

DynaCellCollect aims (1) to produce unique and complex responsive soft structures without the use of complicated lithography or precision machinery; (2) to give mechanical flexibility and stability to the system without the use of intricate deposition techniques and (3) to activate the system with no need of microelectronics or batteries.

DynaCellCollect meshes are suitable to be used in countries susceptible to the occurrence of regular drought episodes that own ocean or water courses from which water is constantly lost due to evaporation. These membranes can also be used inside of closed greenhouses where most of water resulting from the evapotranspiration of plants may be recovered without the consumption of energy.

REF: 2022.01619.PTDC
Sart date: 01/03/2023
End date: 28/02/2026