Is it your first time to hear about The Drinkable Book? That’s right, because it’s a new invention to help bring clean waters to millions of people. The pages of the “book” are treated with silver or copper and can filter 99 percent of bacteria.
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Though the idea is not exactly new because for centuries, silver and other metals have been used to sanitize water, no one has ever considered of integrating them into paper before.
Dr. Theresa Dankovich, a post doctoral researcher at Carnegie Mellon University, came up with the idea when she discovered that sheets of filter paper embedded with nanoparticles could kill different microorganisms. Dr. Dankovich then stretched the new technology to include another element, copper, which is much cheaper than silver.
Dr. Dankovich has spent the past years developing the technology at McGill University and the University of Virginia. It also has already been tested in labs and at 25 water resources throughout South Africa, Ghana, and Bangladesh.
The book’s pages not only contain information about clean drinking water, the pages can actually be torn off and served as filters that can kill bacteria.
Based on the assessments done in the lab, each page could clean up to 100 liters of water. So a whole book could supply an individual about four years of clean water. Given the number of people who don’t have access to clean drinking water, this new technology is really a great help.
The success of The Drinkable Book means clean drinking water is now within reach of people from the developing countries who have limited access to it.
The team is planning to conduct even more tests to see if the pages can also filter out viruses and protozoa aside from bacteria. But for now, they want to have more copies of the book for the communities that need it the most.
“We need to get it into people’s hands to see more of what the effects are going to be. There’s only so much you can do when you’re a scientist on your own,” she said.