‘Magic’ book can purify water

The paper filters in the Drinkable Book © Brian Gartside

A book whose pages are made with bacteria killing metal nanoparticles could provide safe drinking water to millions it was revealed during the 250th National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society (ACS) in Boston.
The pages are lined with silver and copper nanoparticles which are slid into a special holding device in which water is poured through and filtered. A page can clean up to 100 litres of drinking water and a book can filter one person’s water needs for four years.
While studying the material properties of paper as a graduate student, Theresa Dankovich, developed the drinkable book as an affordable and easily transportable method to purify drinking water. Dankovich then began field investigations of water purification applications.
In Africa, Dankovich wanted to see if the filters would work on ‘real water,’ and while the team was filtering lightly contaminated water from an irrigation canal, nearby workers directed them to a ditch where raw sewage had been dumped.
“Even with highly contaminated water sources like that one, we can achieve 99.9 percent purity with our silver- and copper-nanoparticle paper, bringing bacteria levels comparable to those of US drinking water,” Dankovich told The Source.
The papers have so far been tested in over 25 different water sources in five countries including humid Bangladesh and drier Northern Ghana ‘Magic’ book can purify water and South Africa, where climate did not seem to affect the results. The price of each sheet is estimated to be US$0.10.
“I would assume the paper could work anywhere, and we will continue to rigorously test it in other conditions to verify this,” added Dankovich. “We envision this to be used as either an emergency usage filter or a household point-of-use filter.
The next stage is to scale up, going from a lab bench experiment to a manufactured product. “We have to go from ‘cool chemistry’ to something everyone can understand and use,” said Dankovich.