Edifying or entertaining, inspiring or revolutionary, books have always had the power to shape inquisitive minds and change destinies for the better. And now, thanks to the efforts of Dr. Teri Dankovich, a postdoctoral researcher at Carnegie Mellon University, they can also save lives!
Over the course of several years, Dr. Dankovich has developed and tested the technology for what was recently unveiled as the Drinkable Book, whose pages, enriched with nanoparticles of copper and silver, combine water filtering abilities with printed information on the process.
Trials conducted both in the lab and at 25 contaminated water sites in Bangladesh, Ghana and South Africa, showed that the paper successfully removed more than 99% of bacteria, making it an effective and cheap alternative to other filtering technologies.
Noting that 663 million people around the world do not have access to clean drinking water, Dr. Teri Dankovich said that the Drinkable Book is “directed towards communities in developing countries”. Each of its pages can purify close to 100 liters of water and the whole book can address a person’s drinking water needs for as long as four years.
The instructions are simple: “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 etc and out comes clean water – and dead bacteria as well”.
But the work on the Drinkable Book is far from over. Currently, Dr. Dankovich and her colleagues make the paper by hand, so they are looking for ways to step up the manufacturing process and to get the books “into people’s hands” for further testing. And then there’s also the matter of untapped potential: while the paper, as it is, could undoubtedly become a useful tool for local communities in need of clean water, both Dr. Daniele Lantagne and Dr. Kyle Doudrick agree that the Drinking Book would be especially effective if it could eliminate a larger spectrum of disease-causing agents, such as viruses and protozoa.
Article via BBC News
Images courtesy of pAge Drinking Paper.
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