Sunday, September 5, 2021

Moving Water With Leaky Pipes

Environmental & Science Education, STEM, Biodiversity

Ed Hessler

Naturebriefing (August 13, 2021) notes that inspired "by trees’ ability to transport water from their roots and exhale it from their leaves, researchers have developed a system for moving water that depends on capillary action and surface tension. A structure built from tiny 3D-printed open-faced cells  can draw liquid from a reservoir. The open sides of the cells maximize the surface area of liquid that can absorb and desorb gas molecules — a process that mimics transpiration in real trees. The ability to transport liquid and gas at will could be useful for everything from cooling systems to carbon dioxide capture."

Here is a Nature video (3m 50s) about the research. An accompanying News and Views article by Tammi L. van Neel & Ashleigh B. Theberge may be more detailed than you want but you may find various sections useful, e.g., on what microfludics is, an illustration of the architecture of the unit cells, a tree-like structure built from them, and how the unit cells were constructed.

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