A US researcher has developed a book with copper and silver-lined pages, which can be torn out and used as a filtration mechanism for dirty water.
The Drinkable Book’s pages are impregnated with bacteria-killing nanoparticles of the two metals, which help to eradicate bacteria by suffocating them and preventing them from forming chemical bonds. Copper has previously been shown to reduce the spread of bacteria such as MRSA and clostridium difficile when used in hospital door handles and taps by as much as 95%.
The water filtration mechanism can achieve 99% purity, bringing polluted water to a par with the cleanliness of tap water in US households. The pages contain printed information on usage in both English and a selection of local languages, and can be removed from the book and slid into a special holding device through which the water is then filtered.
The cost-effective, simple and easily transportable innovation – the idea of Dr Teri Dankovich, a postdoctoral researcher at Pittsburgh’s Carnegie Mellon University – has successful undergone trials at 25 contaiminated water sites in South Africa, Ghana and Bangladesh.
A page can clean up to 100 litres of drinking water and the entire book can filter one person’s water supply for four years.
Dankovich said: “In Africa, we wanted to see if the filters would work on ‘real water’, not water purposely contaminated in the lab.
“One day, while we were filtering lightly contaminated water from an irrigation canal, nearby workers directed us to a ditch next to an elementary school, where raw sewage had been dumped. We found millions of bacteria; it was a challenging sample.
“But even with highly contaminated water sources like that one, we can achieve 99.9% purity with our silver and copper nanoparticle paper, bringing bacteria levels comparable to those of US drinking water.”
© FoodBev Media Ltd 2021
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