IIT-Guwahati Develops New Technology To Harvest Water From Air

Researchers from the Indian Institute of Technology, Guwahati have claimed that they have developed a new technology to harvest water from the air. This technology uses the concept of hydrophobicity.


  • The research team was led by Uttam Manna along with his research scholars Kousik Maji, Avijit Das and Manideepa Dhar.
  • The team published the results of the “path-breaking” work in the journal of Royal Society of Chemistry.
  • Such water-harvesting techniques uses the concept of hydrophobicity or water-repelling nature of some materials.
  • The research team from IIT-Guwahati has also used the concept of chemically patterned SLIPS for the first time. The technology also effectively harvest water from moist air.

Patterned Hydrophilic SLIP

  • The patterned hydrophilic SLIP was produced by spraying sponge-like porous polymeric material on the top of simple A4 printer paper.
  • The chemically modulated hydrophilic spots were associated on the coating before it was lubricated with two different types of oils.
  • This surface can harvest water from fog or water vapour laden air. It does not need any cooling arrangement.

What was the need?

The water scarcity is increasing throughout the world. So, this water harvesting technique has been developed with an attempt to collect and conserve the water through non-traditional means. The scientists of the IIT-Guwahati got inspired from the nature to design ways of water harvesting.


It is the physical property of a molecule. In this, the molecule (Hydrophobes) is repelled from a mass of water. However, no repulsive force is involved in the process. Hydrophobic molecules are nonpolar in nature. Thus, they prefer other neutral molecules and nonpolar solvents. Hydrophobes do not dissolve well in water. These molecules in water often cluster together and forms micelles. Examples- alkanes, fats, oils, and other greasy substances in general.