A United States-based startup called NBD Nano is currently in what they call a “a pure R&D and chemical optimization phase” for a project that could lead to a self-refilling water bottle.
Inspired by the Namib Desert Beetle, the company is looking into using a “nano-scale surface” that could be employed to collect water in some of the driest parts of the world. Though there is not even a prototype of the concept available yet the group believes that they will be able to harvest water by “employing…alternating chemical surface features in varied micro-patterns/arrays”, using both superhydrophobic and superhydrophilic surfaces.
The Namib Desert Beetle collects and stores water in a similar manner, by allowing water to condense on its back before collecting and storing it. The implementation of the concept by NBD Nano, a process known as biomimicry, may allow water to be condensed and stored in even the most arid environments.
One of the co-founders of the startup, Miguel Galvez, said “We think our initial prototype will collect anywhere from half a litre of water to three litres per hour, depending on local environments.” NBD Nano expects to enter the market some time before the end of 2015.