News Feature | May 21, 2014

'Drinkable Book' Invention Cleans Water For The Developing World

Sara Jerome

By Sara Jerome


The so-called "drinkable book" is a new water treatment tool for people in the developing world, who often struggle to obtain clean water.

The process is this: Consumers tear out a page from the book and place it in a shoe-box sized container. The consumer then pours water into the container and it strains through the book page. After it is strained, the water is 99.9 percent pure, Slate reported, citing the inventors.

Each page of the book can clean up to 100 liters of water, Wired reported. The pages also serve a traditional function, relaying tips for obtaining clean water. "The water in your village may contain deadly diseases," one page says. The book costs "just pennies to produce," the Huffington Post reported

How does it work? The pages are coated in silver nanoparticles. "Even though it can be compared to a filter…it’s more like poison for the poisons found in water," the Daily Meal reported

Chemist Theresa Dankovich, the project’s lead scientist, explained that this approach has a precursor in other products: “Some socks use silver nanoparticles to prevent fungus from growing on athletes’ feet,” she said.

Click here to watch how the invention works.

"About "3.4 million people die every year from waterborne diseases," Slate reported. “To put it in perspective: That’s roughly equivalent to Los Angeles’ entire population," Wired reported. 

In developing countries, "accessing clean water often means waiting in line for a truck to haul it to you, boiling it (an energy-hungry option), or running it through a ceramic filter (expensive). But the truth is, more often than not people don’t clean it at all," Wired said. 

WaterIsLife, a humanitarian group, is helping bring the books where they are needed.

Check out Water Online's Contaminant Removal Solution Center

Image credit: "Books," Moyan_Brenn (back soon, sorry for not commenting) © 2011, used under an Attribution 2.0 Generic license:

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