Summary #1354

Self-Watering Soil Could Transform Farming

news.utexas.edu
  • A gram of this soil can extract ~3.5 grams of water from air, and 0.1 to 1 kilogram (depending on the crops) can provide enough water for 1 square meter of land.
  • The soil is infused with a super-moisture-absorbent gel, which releases water when heated.
  • During a 4-week experiment, the soil retained ~40% of the water it started with, compared to only 20% left after 1 week in normal sandy soil.
  • The creators have been working for over 2 years on “super sponge” gel-polymer hybrid materials that extract water from air and release it when heated by the sun.
  • This is just the first use of this technology, and it could potentially enable farmers to grow crops in areas where there’s no water.

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