New Nano Technology May Soon Bring More Rainfall To UAE

by Saniya
New Nano Technology May Soon Bring More Rainfall To UAE

We may be closer to getting more rainfall than before in UAE. The National Centre of Meteorology in UAE is testing a new method of cloud seeding. Successful use of this technology can translate to more rainfall in the sparsely wet region.

Cloud seeding has been the UAE’s go-to for the past two decades to generate rainfall. With over 200 flights taking place in 2017, this robust method has immensely helped the warm climate as well as the agriculture in UAE. Moreover, the technologies have evolved over time, and practices have become more efficient and effective. The technology offers an additional water source in the country. This is essential as the UAE often receives less than 120 millimeters of rainfall every year.

What’s The Technology?

The process injects specially-crafted nanomaterials into clouds to test if they are more effective than the existing form of technology.

The NCM has deployed a custom-designed Learjet from Al Ain Airport. These lear jets target cloud formations over the Northern Emirates and east regions. They intend to boost cloud condensation with the help of pre-designed shell composites of nanoparticles. The flares release these nanoparticles into the convective clouds. The release of these nanoparticles is expected to make the clouds denser. So this will make them more likely to form into rain due to a sped-up condensation process.

The research initiative was led by Professor Linda Zou, a Professor at Khalifa University. She says, “Nanotechnology opens up the possibility of engineering unique cloud seeding particles to make the process of water condensation and rain precipitation more efficient. I am very grateful for the support given by the NCM and the UAE Research Programme for Rain Enhancement Science and the immensely important contribution they have made to accelerating new research in this field and unlocking the exciting potential of nanomaterials for cloud seeding.”

Cloud seeding UAE
(Credit: UAEREP)

This research-based campaign is an integral part of the implementation and testing plan of the NCM. The process of initiating additional rainfall consists of a titanium dioxide nanoparticle layer coated on the salt crystals. Moreover, this innovative and never-seen-before project has already led to designs and creations of hydrophilic and hygroscopic cloud seeding materials.

The trial results suggest that this material has a much higher ability to initiate the condensation of water vapor and droplet growth in the clouds than the previously used salt crystals in the UAE.