The ‘Drinkable Book’ That Makes Clean Water

Roger McLassus via Wikimedia Commons // CC BY-SA 3.0
Roger McLassus via Wikimedia Commons // CC BY-SA 3.0 / Roger McLassus via Wikimedia Commons // CC BY-SA 3.0

Dr. Teri Dankovich has come up with a whole different reason to pick up a good book. In an effort to bring clean water to developing countries, Dankovich has created a book filled with information on how and why water should be filtered—and in addition to being a useful read, the same pages that give instructions on how to filter water are designed to be used as filters themselves.

The Drinkable Book was presented on Monday at the 250th national meeting of the American Chemical Society in Boston. Its pages are treated with nanoparticles of copper and silver and remove 99 percent of the bacteria that passes through them.

The filtering process is as simple as tearing out a page, placing it in a filter holder, and pouring water into it from streams, wells, or other sources. One page makes 100 liters of clean water, and a whole book can provide a person with enough clean drinking water for four years.

Dankovich, a postdoctoral researcher at Carnegie Mellon University, has spent the past several years developing and testing the book at McGill University and the University of Virginia. It’s undergone trials in the lab and at 25 water sources across South Africa, Ghana, and Bangladesh.

Six hundred and sixty-three million people around the world don’t have access to clean water. Dankovich looks forward to a day when commercial production can expose her Drinkable Book to the people who need it most in the developing world. She also hopes to conduct more tests to see if her books can filter out viruses and protozoa in addition to bacteria. There's something your Kindle could never do. 

[h/t: TIME]