Nanoscavengers could be the next-gen water purifiers

According to a joint World Health Organization/UNICEF report issued this week, an estimated 768 million people relied on unimproved drinking-water sources in 2011, with 185 million of these relying on surface water to meet their daily drinking-water needs. WHO and UNICEF have set a 2030 target for everyone to have access to a safe drinking-water supply and new water-purifying “nanoscavengers” developed by researchers at Stanford University could help achieve this goal.

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New water-purifying synthetic nanoscavengers can be removed from water magnetically

There are various nanoparticles that boast different water-purifying properties. Silver nanoparticles act as an antibiotic, titanium dioxide nanoparticles trap heavy metals and pollutants, while others capture salt. Engineers call these kinds of particles nanoscavengers and in recent years they have been seeking ways to make use of them to disinfect, depollute, and desalinate contaminated water. Read more

LifeStraw Family to produce clean water and reduce carbon emissions

Given that approximately one sixth of the world’s population lacks access to safe drinking water, it would obviously be a very good idea to create something that allows those people to easily and cheaply filter their local tainted water. That was the thinking behind the LifeStraw.

lifestrawfamilyDeveloped by European disease control firm Vestergaard Frandsen, the simple device allows individual users to drink directly out of unclean water bodies, without ingesting pathogens or other pollutants. Now, the larger-scale LifeStraw Family is being introduced in Kenya, where it could potentially save millions of lives, reduce air pollution, and pay for itself in the process. Read more

Aqua Elliptica looks to get the crowd walking on water

A Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign is raising money for a new type of watersport. The Aqua Elliptica works like a cross trainer that is used on water. Users pump away on the footplates to turn a propeller and move the machine forward.

aqua-ellipticaThe Aqua Elliptica slots into the stand-up paddleboarding category of watersports. It’s made up of a number of parts that can be put together in different ways, to provide a variety of uses. The primary construction is a catamaran arrangement with two feet supporting a platform on the surface of the water. Read more

Bobble bottles offer instant filtered water, on the go

Bottled water might seem like a very innocuous, ecologically-friendly beverage, but it does have its dark side – it has been estimated that 1.5 million barrels of oil are used annually for the production of one-use water bottles. About 38 million of those get tossed out each year.

bobbleTrue, many of them go to recycling facilities, but those facilities aren’t exactly carbon footprint-free themselves. Then of course, there’s also the whole matter of wondering if you’re a sucker for paying to drink what is likely just filtered tap water. That’s where the bobble water bottle comes in. You just fill it from the faucet, and it filters the water as you drink. Read more

Vapur introduces foldable water bottle with built-in filter

Vapur has added a helpful feature to its line of soft, collapsible “Anti Bottles.” Not one to get too fancy with names, Vapur calls it the MicroFilter and sells it in a package with its 1-L Eclipse Anti-Bottle. The system provides a light, convenient way of purifying, carrying and drinking water in the wild.

vapurmicrofilterWith the MicroFilter, Vapur builds upon its strongest attribute: portability. Its Anti-Bottles are versatile for transport thanks to their soft, collapsible build. When empty, they can compact down and stow easily. When full, they still offer more pliability than other bottle options for stuffing into tight spaces. Read more