The machine was developed by engineer Andreas Hammar, known locally for his appearances on TV tech show Mekatronik, and uses a technology known as HVR Water Purification AB, which was developed in Sweden with The Royal Institute of Technology.
Hammar said that the water produced is cleaner than regular Swedish water. It spins and heats perspiration-laden clothes to remove the sweat and passes the vapour through a special membrane designed to let water molecules get through.
Deportivo and Unicef showed off the technology at the Gotha Cup youth soccer tournament, where an exercise bike was hooked up to the machine to encourage more sweat/water generation. 500 people gave the machine a try. The water produced is perfectly potable, though one person is reported to have said that the filtered water tasted ‘a bit perfume-y’.
“It uses a technique called membrane distillation,” said Hammar. “We use a substance that’s a bit like Goretex that only lets steam through but keeps bacteria, salts, clothing fibres and other substances out. They have something similar on the International Space Station to treat astronauts’ urine, but our machine was cheaper to build.
“The amount of water it produces depends on how sweaty the person is, but one person’s T-shirt typically produces 10ml, roughly a mouthful. People haven’t produced as much sweat as we hoped. Right now, the weather in Gothenburg is lousy, so we’ve installed exercise bikes alongside the machine and volunteers are cycling like crazy. Even so, the demand for sweat is greater than the supply. The Sweat Machine will never be mass-produced. For that, there are better solutions, such as water purification tablets.”
Source: Deportivo/Unicef Sweden
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