Nanotechnology eyed to further extract rainwater through cloud seeding
A professor who won an award for discovering a
breakthrough in extracting rains through cloud seeding special
techniques is looking at further enhancing the system through the
application of engineered nanotechnology in the process.
This project, which involves coating a pure salt crystal with a thin coating
of titanium dioxide in order to enhance the condensation process, will
have a profound impact in the Middle East, Africa and other parts of the
world where water is scarce.
Dr. Linda Zou, Professor of Chemical and Environmental Engineering at
the Masdar Institute of Science and Technology and one of the three
awardees of the first cycle of the UAE Research Program for Rain
Enhancement Science, is investigating the possibility of increasing
rainfall through engineering unique nano-structured properties of cloud
seeding materials using state-of-the-art electron microscopy.
She has since filed a provisional patent with the US Patent and Trademark
Office, USPTO, for her scientific project.
Dr. Zou works closely with Dr. Mustapha Jouiad, Principal Research
Scientist and Microscopy Facility Manager, Masdar Institute and Dr.
Mladjen Curic, Professor at the Institute of Metrology at the University of
Together, they are investigating the possibility of increasing rainfall
through engineering unique nano-structured properties of cloud seeding
materials. The ground-breaking project has already led to innovative
sub-micron hygroscopic cloud seeding materials already being designed
and fabricated, according to the Emirates News Agency WAM.
“Nanotechnology opens up the possibility of engineering unique cloud
seeding particles to make the process of water condensation and rain
precipitation more efficient over arid regions and beyond. I am grateful
for the support given by the UAE Research Program for Rain Enhancement
Science, which is helping to advance new research in the field and
facilitating new and highly productive international scientific networks,”
said Dr. Zou.
The UAE Research Program for Rain Enhancement Science offers a grant
of US$5 million over a three-year period,
to be shared by up to five winning
research proposals, selected by a twostage
merit review decision process.
Launched by the Ministry of Presidential
Affairs of the UAE and overseen by the
National Centre of Meteorology and
Seismology, the program is an ambitious
initiative of global scope designed to
stimulate rain enhancement research and
a c c e l e r a t e w a t e r s e c u r i t y v i a
international cooperation in scientific
research and development.
The program has entered its third cycle
this year, receiving 201 pre-proposals
from 68 countries on five continents,
d r a w i n g t h e p a r t i c i p a t i o n o f 7 1 0
researchers, affiliated to 316 institutions.