Gleaner Tech #4: A “Drinkable Book” That Turns Raw Sewage Into Drinking Water
Acton Institute Powerblog

Gleaner Tech #4: A “Drinkable Book” That Turns Raw Sewage Into Drinking Water

drinkable-book[Note: See this introduction post for an explanation of gleaner technology.]

Lack of clean drinking water is one of the greatest public health problems on the planet. Around the world there are 750 million people—approximately one in nine—who lack access to safe water, and millions will die each year from a water related disease.

But a new “drinkable book” may soon provide an inexpensive way for the poor to get potable water. While getting her PhD in chemistry, Theresa Dankovich invented both a bactericidal silver nanoparticle paper, pAge, and an environmental-friendly method to produce the silver nanoparticles, using cheap and benign chemicals and processing.

The pages contain silver nanoparticles, which are lethal for bacteria. Only very small quantities of silver are required due to the use of nanoparticles, which have a highly toxic effect specific towards microorganisms at low concentrations. At the low levels of silver used in the papers, a very small amount of silver is released into the drinking water, which meets the EPA and WHO recommendations.

Dankovich has used the pAge for paper in The Drinkable Book™, a collaboration with WATERisLIFE. Printed on the pages are instructions for using the paper and for preventing water from becoming contaminated.

“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,” Dankovich told BBC news.

According to her tests, one page can clean up to 25 gallons of water. A book could filter one person’s water supply for four years.

Other articles in this series:

How the ‘Shoe That Grows’ is Helping Kids in Extreme Poverty

Solar Bottle Lights in the Philippines

The Global Village Construction Set

Discarded Laptop Batteries Keep Lights On for Poor

 

Joe Carter

Joe Carter is a Senior Editor at the Acton Institute. Joe also serves as an editor at the The Gospel Coalition, a communications specialist for the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, and as an adjunct professor of journalism at Patrick Henry College. He is the editor of the NIV Lifehacks Bible and co-author of How to Argue like Jesus: Learning Persuasion from History's Greatest Communicator (Crossway).