'Drinkable' air to aid dry season
Published: Saturday, December 1, 2012
Updated: Sunday, December 2, 2012 19:12
In the hours before sunrise, the Chameleon 60 is working hard to produce 77 gallons of water from air vapors at the Southern University Agricultural Research and Extension Center.
The nearly 500-pound “drinkable air” machine is powered by a 208-230 Volt electric power supply.
Yemane Ghebreiyessus, plant and soil sciences professor at the Agricultural Center, said, the machine functions like an air conditioner.
“It gets condensation but instead of it being released, the water is kept in the machine,” Ghebreiyessus said.
Ghebreiyessus said that the water is collected, treated, processed and purified as drinking water.
The Chameleon 60 uses a Patented EnviroGuard Ozone Purification System.
He said sometimes in Louisiana, rain is adequate but the state still have dry spells that last two to three weeks to over a month.
“We are looking to use this water as supplementary water when we don’t have rain,” Ghebreiyussus said. “This is very critical for plants out in the field. They need water.”
He said if this machine is present, it could run as an irrigation system during the dry period.
“It has potential in drier areas,” Ghebreiyussus said.
According to Ghebreiyussus, the Chameleon 60 could produce up to 77 gallons of water during the hours of 4-5 AM.
“During around 12 PM, the temperature is higher and the generation of water is the lowest,” Ghebreiyessus said. “As the temperature decreases, the production of water is higher.”
He said preparations are being made for the machine to be run by a generator or solar power in the future.
Despite Ghebreiyessus’ knowledge, students never knew drinkable air was possible.
Sam Thompson, a senior sociology major from New Orleans, said he has never heard a drinkable air machine.
When Thompson was informed about the machine’s existence, he had many concerns about the machine’s processes.
“I would like to know the possible side effects and also I would like to know why isn’t it main stream of the university student population for us to have some input on it,” Thompson said.
Thompson said that he did not know that air was drinkable.
“I thought we breathe air,” Thompson said.
Christian Walker, a freshman, business management major from Jena, La., was another student who was in disbelief about the drinkable air machine.
“I don’t believe that I can drink air,” Walker said.
She agreed that scientist has taken technology too far.
“I’ve never heard of anything like that before,” Walker said.
Ugo Nwosu, a senior, mechanical engineering major from Nigeria said he didn’t know that he was able to drink air but he didn’t think it was impossible.
He said that the machine being on SU’s campus is a great idea.
“This shows that the university has moved forward and that others recognize our science programs,” Nwosu said.
He said that in the engineering program, he knows some LSU students who come to SU for the science programs.
“That says a lot about our school,” Nwosu said.
According to the website for drinkable air published by Drinkable Air, Inc., the water is pure, safe and clean as well as great tasting.
The water that is produced starts out cleaner as it is the vapor/humidity in the air that’s inhaled. The filtration system is extremely effective and efficient and utilizes multiple safeguards as well as ultraviolet light to eradicate any bacteria.
Drinkable Air, Inc. said that drinkable air’s patented water producing machines help reduce greenhouse gases and global warming. It also eliminates the need to buy expensive bottled water taking billions of plastic bottles out of landfills.
During the summer of 2011, the SUAREC conducted studies on the drinkable air machine, which extracts moisture from air and transforms it into drinking water.
The studies for the research were to observe the production of water, the amount of electricity the machine consumes and the peak hours the most water is generated.
An evaluation of the drinkable air machine received a third party performance evaluation from the SU Research Center.