Molecule Wins 2020 Innovation of the Year

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Congratulations to Design 1st client Molecule on winning ‘Innovation of the Year’ at the 2020 Irish Laboratory Awards. The award recognizes the unique properties of Molecule’s sponge-like nanomaterial in creating water from thin air.

Molecule chose Design 1st to help transform the material into a physical prototype for commercial testing. The video below describes the process:

Video Case Study: Moving from powder desiccant to commercial prototype

The unique properties of the desiccant material were discovered by Molecule at The Bernal Institute at the University of Limerick: a world-class nanomaterial research laboratory.

The key feature of the new desiccant replacement material is that it absorbs water just like the inorganic desiccants used today, but releases water at 120°F instead of 400°F. This provides existing commercial HVAC systems, the type found on top of buildings, to produce thousands of litres of water per hour.

A recent Fast Company article, highlights the potential of Molecule:

The material can help HVAC systems save energy from pumping water around. Buildings consume around 40% of the yearly energy used in the U.S., and in-building HVAC systems are responsible for about half of the energy buildings consume.

For comparison, energy consumed by US transportation accounts for 28% of total energy consumed each year. Therefore, Molecule’s potential energy savings for buildings is equivalent to taking all US gasoline cars off the road.

Molecule is now working with Design 1st to help accelerate the commercialization of the material. A large mall in Southern California may be the first pilot for the system.

Visit to learn more about this world-changing innovation.


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