Comparing plastic foils for dew collection: Preparatory laboratory-scale method and field experiment in Kenya

Juuso Tuure (Corresponding Author), Antti Korpela, Mikko Hautala, Hille Rautkoski, Mikko Hakojärvi, Hannu Mikkola, Jonathan Duplissy, Petri Pellikka, Tuukka Petäjä, Markku Kulmala, Laura Alakukku

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Passive dew collection could be a viable option as a source of irrigation water in arid areas. The plastic foil acting as a condensing surface plays a key role in the passive dew collection regime. A laboratory method for comparing various plastic foils for dew collection was prepared and tested. The focus was on creating a method for measuring the attributes affecting dew condensation and the flow of dew droplets on the measured surface. A low-density polyethylene foil designed for dew collection, white polyethylene plastic, black polyethylene plastic, and white polyvinyl chloride plastic were used as the test plastics. The laboratory dew yields were compared with model calculations. In addition, field trials were conducted in arid conditions in Maktau, Kenya, to compare with the laboratory measurement. Results from the hardware model tests were not reflected in the results obtained from the field conditions. The laboratory tests showed that the dew-harvesting quality of plastic foils is difficult to evaluate using the laboratory test rig. A more comprehensive evaluation regime requires tests performed in field conditions or further development of the test rig used here.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)145-158
JournalBiosystems Engineering
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2020
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


Funding from the Academy Finland is gratefully acknowledged for SMARTLAND (Environmental sensing of ecosystem services for developing a climate-smart landscape framework to improve food security in East Africa, decision no. 318645) and DF-TRAP (Development of cost-effective fog and dew collectors for water management in semiarid and arid regions of developing countries), decision no. 257382, and as well as MVTT foundation (Maa-ja vesitekniikan tuki ry) and Finnish Culture Foundation. CHIESA project funded by Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland is acknowledged for the weather station. Mwadime Mjomba and Jenipher Nyambura are gratefully acknowledged for maintaining the experimental field. Research permit P/18/97336/26355 from National Council for Science and Technology of Kenya is greatly acknowledged, as well as logistical support from Taita Research Station of the University of Helsinki.


  • Dew harvesting
  • Drought
  • Plastic foil


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