A research team designed a ‘drinkable book’ with killing bacteria properties that can restore water’s purity by up to 99.9 percent. The unusual device employs nanotechnology and was designed by researchers at McGill University, Canada, and University of Virginia, in the U.S.
Although the nanoparticles in its pages were obtained from silver, the book is not expensive. That’s why researchers hope that it may be employed in developing countries where water scarcity is a real problem.
Every page of the book can be pulled out and placed in a special device where water can be poured. A single page can filter about 100 liters of contaminated water, researchers said, so a single book can last for several years before running out of pages. The book is also of practical use because it contains useful pieces of advice on water safety.
Theresa Dankovich was the one who came up with the idea when she was studying metal properties in cleaning water during her doctoral studies. She found that nano-technology can be used to embed micro particles of silver in filter paper that can later be used to recycle waste water.
The method is both inexpensive and easy to use. Additionally, the owner of the book can carry it around and use the filter whenever necessary. Ms. Dankovich dubbed the book the “Drinkable book.” It is the first time someone thought of mixing filter paper with silver particles to obtain a water filter.
People have known for ages that silver can purify water. Some grandmas even now use a silver coin in a jar of water to purify it. But Ms. Dankovich learned that the same metal can be used to filter water in a more unconventional way. Silver particles proved highly effective in eliminating bacteria and harmful viruses from drinking water in various locations.
She continued the research at University of Virginia where she perfected the method of purifying water by adding another metal – copper. Next, Ms. Dankovich traveled to several Haiti and African states including Ghana, Kenya and South Africa to test the method.
She explained that in Africa her team has the possibility of collecting real contaminated water and use it to test the filter. In the U.S. and Canada they only had intentionally contaminated water in a laboratory for testing purposes.
Researchers recall that they took samples of dirty water from a ditch nearby an elementary school. That ditch collected raw waste water from the nearby facilities. Ms. Dankovich said they had tested the water and found millions of bacteria. But the sample was perfect for their purposes.
“But even with highly contaminated water sources like that one, we can achieve 99.9% purity with our silver- and copper-nanoparticle paper,”
the researcher added. She also stated that after using the filter the water had a purity comparable to the U.S. drinking water.
Image Source: Superego Clothiers