Tags: drinkable | book | filter | water | safer

Drinkable Book Filter to Make Water Safer All Around World

Image: Drinkable Book Filter to Make Water Safer All Around World
A woman in a developing country reads instructions on one of the filters. (Waterislife.com/YouTube)

By    |   Tuesday, 18 Aug 2015 09:40 AM

Each page of a new "drinkable book" recently developed by scientists acts as a filter for people who don't have access to clean water.

According to Time magazine, Dr. Teri Dankovich of Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh presented the new invention on Monday at the American Chemical Society’s 250th national meeting in Boston to much fanfare.

Dankovich reported that after subjecting the filters to testing trials at 25 contaminated water sources in South Africa, Ghana, and Bangladesh, she found the paper removed more than 99 percent of bacteria.

"It's directed towards communities in developing countries," Dankovich told the BBC, noting that 663 million people around the world do not have access to clean drinking water.

"All you need to do is tear out a paper, put it in a simple filter holder and pour water into it from rivers, streams, wells, etcetera, and out comes clean water – and dead bacteria as well."

"There was one site where there was literally raw sewage being dumped into the stream, which had very high levels of bacteria," she continued. "But we were really impressed with the performance of the paper; it was able to kill the bacteria almost completely in those samples. And they were pretty gross to start with, so we thought – if it can do this, it can probably do a lot."

Dankovich explained that the paper filters are coated with silver or copper ions, which are absorbed by the microbes.

She said that each sheet of paper could clean up to 100 liters of water, meaning that one book could filter water for one person for four years. She's not sure that the paper can protect against viruses and protozoa, however the printed instructions on each page make it very easy to use to kill bacteria.

"Overall, out of all the technologies that are available — ceramic filters, UV sterilization and so on — this is a promising one, because it's cheap, and it's a catchy idea that people can get hold of and understand," commented Dr. Kyle Doudrick, who studies sustainable water treatment at the University of Notre Dame.

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Each page of a new "drinkable book" recently developed by scientists acts as a filter for people who don't have access to clean water.
drinkable, book, filter, water, safer
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2015-40-18
Tuesday, 18 Aug 2015 09:40 AM
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