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MM Blog: Conserving Water With A Desert Plant

A look at a desert plant that could help conserve water in manufacturing plants.

Manufacturers of all sizes are constantly seeking to improve their water management, from smaller operations looking to save money to larger companies that want to enhance their sustainability. Researchers from Utah State University and Brigham Young University recently issued findings about an unlikely potential ally in those efforts -- a desert moss called syntrichia caninervis. 

The moss, which is native to dry areas of North America and Eurasia, utilizes its leaves, rather than its roots, to collect moisture. The leaves feature tiny, grooved hair-like structures that can gather miniscule fog particles while also preventing rare desert raindrops from splashing away. The leader of Utah State's Splash Lab, a mechanical engineer by trade, said that humans could potentially replicate the plant's leaf points to help extract water from humid manufacturing facilities. In the near-term, however, the team hopes to utilize the moss' anti-splashing properties to help prevent splashing in bathrooms, which could result in significant hygiene and maintenance cost savings.


How else could water collection systems be used in manufacturing processes? Could other products be tweaked to include the moss' helpful properties?

Email us or leave your comments below. 

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