Botijos Against Climate Change, Cooling Water With An Invention From 3,500 Years Ago

Chilled water in summer consumes large amounts of electrical energy in our refrigerators. But, filling up with fresh water in summer has been solved for millennia with  the jug or pitcher. The evaporation of water through a porous material allows us to build ecological, simple and efficient refrigeration containers.

The jug is part of the Mediterranean history and culture. Made of fired clay but with a mixture that preserves the porosity of this material. Thanks to this porosity, the jug behaves like human skin that lets sweat out to refresh us. In this way, the exudate from the jug is converted into cooling energy for the liquid it contains. It is the so-called evaporative cooling that allows that for each gram of water that evaporates, 500 calories are removed from the water in the jug. The more heat in the environment, the fresher and healthier the water is preserved. It also makes a sensible cooling that offers us water that is not very cold and therefore very healthy because it does not harm the throat.

On the other hand, the cooling of the electric refrigerator, in addition to consuming energy, leaves the water at a temperature that by contrast with respect to body temperature can cause various ailments, such as a sore throat, etc.

We understand that tackling climate change with a jug may seem like a simple gesture. In this case, energy savings come to us by putting a jug in our home, in our office, in the workplace. It is a small but powerful change. We also contribute to preserving this sensible traditional culture that today in the age of nanotechnology we think is no longer useful to us.

Botijos against climate change

Operation of the jug.

The jug is a pre-industrial technical instrument that borders on perfection. Physics, thermodynamics, the response of the transformed mineral materials, climatic and environmental conditions, energy efficiency, healthy virtues of service, eco-effectiveness and other aspects intervene or are directly related to the operation of the jug.

The cooling by evaporation is due to the porosity of the ceramic, which exudes water, which, when evaporating, takes up the latent heat of vaporization of the water inside, making it cool. The lowest temperature at which the water evaporation air can reach in its bosom, or wet bulb temperature, will determine the theoretical minimum temperature that the water can reach by evaporation, in this way, for a jug to be efficient, requires perspiring water and being in a dry environment.

Benefits of drinking water from a jug.

  • Drinking water from a jug has a direct effect on saving electricity.
  • Water cooled in a jug by the physics of evaporative cooling is a healthy product for you and for the climate (-CO2).
  • The jug saves more energy throughout its life cycle than it consumes during its manufacturing process.
  • The jug is a quasi-perfect technical instrument, environmental action has a small and good tool for activist commitment against climate change.
  • Hang a botijo the earth !

How to do it.

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History of the jug.

Its history dates back to ancient Mesopotamian cultures, where the first remains of containers with shapes similar to the current ones were found. The periods of its maximum splendor were the Bronze Age in the Mediterranean and Hellenistic Greece where it was used as an ornamental item. And some 3,500 years ago, in Celtiberian lands it was used to conserve fresh water, as suggested by a specimen found in the  Puntarrón Chico site, in Murcia.

Pot-in-pot. How to refrigerate food without consuming electricity

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