WaterDrop puts water savings in the bag

Recently, showers like the Nebia and the Hamwell’s e-Shower have launched to help us save water when showering. The WaterDrop foldable watering can, however, takes a much simpler approach. It is designed to collect the average 3.5 l (0.8 gal) of water we waste waiting for the shower to warm up.

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The WaterDrop takes the form of a tote bag that allows for the easy collection, storage and transportation of water.

Designed by Spanish startup Esferic, saving water is only part of the WaterDrop’s aim. It is also hoped that it will help to “promote a societal shift in water consumption habits” by increasing people’s awareness about the need to be frugal with water.

Nonetheless, Esferic says daily use of the Waterdrop will save users more than 1,000 l (220 gal) of water a year. It is made of recyclable thermoplastic polyurethane and takes the form of a tote bag with a reinforced handle so as to allow for the easy collection, storage and transportation of water. Read more

The Sea Breacher – under, over, and on the water two seater recreational craft

Innespace Productions, co-founded by New Zealander, Rob Innes and Californian Dan Piazza, has just unveiled its latest submersible watercraft, the SeaBreacher. The two seat Dolphin (this along with the Bionic Dolphin constitute a new type of recreational watercraft modelled on a dolphin) was recently selected as one of Time magazine’s 2006 Best Inventions.

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Angel in action.

The second model Innespace has designed and built, the new SeaBreacher is fifty percent larger than the original vessel in order to accommodate two full size occupants and larger engine packages. The current prototype is powered by a 130kW Atkins Marine rotary engine. The supercharged race version will produce over 180kW and an international race series is planned. The 12mm thick canopy on the SeaBreacher is taken from the new F-22 Raptor jet-fighter. Read more

New material is super water-resistant, cheap and safe

Scientists at Rice University, the University of Swansea, the University of Bristol and the University of Nice – Sophia Antipolis have developed a new class of hydrocarbon-based material that they say could be “greener” substitute for fluorocarbon-based materials currently used to repel water.

The superhydrophobic coating, seen through a scanning electron microscope

The superhydrophobic coating, seen through a scanning electron microscope

Rice chemist Andrew Barron led the research. He says the team took inspiration from the lotus leaf – one of the most hydrophobic (water-repelling) surfaces known – which is actually made up of a hierarchy of double structures on the microscopic and nano scales. Read more

American Biologist Intends to Scan All Types of Fish

Adam Summers, a specialist at Washington University (USA) have started to implement a large-scale project, which will help to understand the structure of all known fish species and features of their biomechanics. To do this, the scientist will receive up to 33 000 images with the help of a computer tomography.

fish_scanSummers first time applied the scanner to find out what was inside the cartilaginous skeleton of eagle ray. At the moment, already 540 species of fish are digitized, the biologist puts all the images on the Web, where they can be downloaded for free. Read more

Graphene-based sheets make dirty water drinkable simply and cheaply

Engineers at the Washington University in St. Louis (WUSTL) have developed graphene-based biofoam sheets that can be laid on dirty or salty dams and ponds to produce clean drinking water, using the power of the sun. This new technique could be a cheap and simple way to help provide fresh water in countries where large areas of water are contaminated with suspended particles of dirt and other floating matter.

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A new system of bi-layered biofoam may provide the means to purify vast bodies of water simply by overlaying them with sheets of this new material

The biofilm is created as a two-layered structure consisting of two nanocellulose layers produced by bacteria. The lower layer contains pristine cellulose, while the top layer also contains graphene oxide, which absorbs sunlight and produces heat. The system works by drawing up water from underneath like a sponge where it then evaporates in the topmost layer, leaving behind any suspended particulates or salts. Fresh water then condenses on the top, where it can be drawn off and used. Read more