With many countries not having direct access to clean and safe drinking water, something obviously has to be done about this. The “drinkable book” is, from the outside, a typical book. It houses a secret though. The pages in the book, which contain nanoparticles of silver or copper to kill bacteria, can be used to filter dirty drinking water.
Having been trialled at around 25 contaminated water sources in South Africa, Ghana and Bangladesh, the paper pages from the book successfully removed more than 99% of the bacteria in the water.
In comparison, this puts the filtered water at the same levels of contamination as US tap water. The silver and copper nanoparticles that are used in the filtering process are still present in the filtered water, but the amounts are so small that they are well below safety limits.
The actual filtering process if remarkably simple. The only tools you need are a page from the “drinkable book” and a simple filter holder. All that is required then is to pour the water through the filter; this will result in clean, drinkable water.
According to tests done by Dr Teri Dankovich, who both developed and tested the filter paper over a number of years, one page can clean up to 100 litres of water. And even more impressive is the fact that the whole book would be able to filter one person’s water supply for four years!
The pages of the book feature instructions on how and why you use the book, printed in both English and the local language.
The book is still very much in the development stages so it’s unlikely we’ll see this changing the world by the end of the week, but it’s a very impressive technique to provide people with clean drinking water.