The Drinkable Book - Its Water Filtering Pages Could Save Billions

The Drinkable Book - Its Water Filtering Pages Could Save Billions

A new invention nicknamed the "drinkable book" may be a cheap way to bring clean drinking water to the people who need it the most.

Lack of access to clean drinking water is arguably the biggest problem facing the world's poorest people today, and the number suffering from it is only bound to increase over the next few decades. Sometimes water seems easier to find on other planets than right here at home. Luckily, scientists and inventors are working tirelessly on different ways to solve the problem, and the newest of these is the Drinkable Book.

How does it work? "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." That's inventor Dr. Teri Dankovich, a postdoctoral researcher at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, who has been working on the book and its revolutionary pages for years now.

Where does water on Earth come from?

Each page contains written material providing instructions. The paper is treated and threaded with silver and copper nanoparticles, which kill bacteria that passes through the page. The results are on par with United States drinking water. One page can filter 100 liters of water; a single book can supply a person for four years.

"It's directed towards communities in developing countries," she says, adding that nearly 700 million people do not have access to clean drinking water, and that number increases annually.

The book has already seen field tests in Bangladesh, Ghana, and South Africa, as well as numerous lab trials. Dankovich is presenting the book at the annual meeting of the American Chemical Society in Boston this week.

The idea of printing stories on the book's pages has also been floated. What books would fit best? A novelization of Waterworld, perhaps?

Source: BBC, PageDrinker

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This sounds like a wonderful idea- but it isn't a drinkable book, it's a readable water filter.

Finally they invented something to save California from the years and years of drought!

Well, I mean aside from Cali's government being a bunch of shitheads and not building Desalinization plants along the mass of coastline there is so that one of the USA's richest states is now running out of drinking water.

EDIT: In terms of being useful around the world I love this idea. It would also be a great thing for campers and explorers to have so that they could filter water when in the wilds. Now we just have to see if it's cost effective enough to catch on.

I'm Guessing James Clavells Shogun or War And Peace would probably solve the water woes for an entire village like forever. Unless bacteria sudden;ly evolve a tolerance to those nano particles.

Am down with this. They have a fb group too, which is a nice official update feed. Nano-particles are quite brilliant. If only I could stroke them lovingly.

A good thing to have in an emergency kit too. I'd love to get a hold of one.

Question, is it biodegradable? Didn't hear it being mentioned and I think it's pretty important to bring up since the place where its needed most is already overrun with garbage.

PatrickJS:

How does it work? "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." That's inventor Dr. Teri Dankovich, a postdoctoral researcher at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, who has been working on the book and its revolutionary pages for years now.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but does that mean it could be used for inoculation, as well?

This is completely amazing. This is the type of thing people should be working on. Glad to see someone is doing something for the water problem in developing countries.

Im going to second Recusant here. This is not a drinkable book. its just a new filter that has text on it.

Good old CMU. They do some damn fine work. Always jealous of them, really, but with admiration. The drinking book...

Uhhh...one thought crosses my mind: A book full of spirits that can tell you when you're too drunk by not being able to read anymore.

Keoul:
Question, is it biodegradable? Didn't hear it being mentioned and I think it's pretty important to bring up since the place where its needed most is already overrun with garbage.

well a single page lasts for 100 litres and a book for an entire year for a person so that alone will cut down on garbage

JohnZ117:

PatrickJS:

How does it work? "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." That's inventor Dr. Teri Dankovich, a postdoctoral researcher at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, who has been working on the book and its revolutionary pages for years now.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but does that mean it could be used for inoculation, as well?

Well, no, but an excellent question. Dead bacteria on its own is not sufficient for that (which is good because otherwise our immune system would be working at a breakneck speed). Inoculation is dependent on inflammation which doesn't occur when eating dead bacteria and not all bacteria contain the substance that causes inflammation. Also, luckily the gastrointestinal immune system depends on neutralization more than inflammation, otherwise we would have inflamed bowls all the time from small scratches and bruises.

I may have misunderstood you, so please correct me if I did. I am also not sure if I have explained this properly, I don't know what your background is so I may have dumbed this down too much or written it too advanced.

pookie101:

Keoul:
Question, is it biodegradable? Didn't hear it being mentioned and I think it's pretty important to bring up since the place where its needed most is already overrun with garbage.

well a single page lasts for 100 litres and a book for an entire year for a person so that alone will cut down on garbage

Not really, you're just adding garbage slowly.
It cuts down on disease, not garbage.

So, it's just a regular filter that has text on it and it's packed to look like a book?
Woah, such revolution.

Also it's not a drinkable book. You can't drink the book. It's a readable filter.

Well more like it's part of a filter. In the article it clearly indicates that you'll still need a small strainer to affix it to.

Is this more effective than a jar of iodine tablets? A hundred liters isn't really all that much. It seems sort of like a "one step forward, one step back" idea.

What a novel idea!

I hope other research organizations take a page from these guy's books and start writing up some ways to improve the plight of people in the third world. So many impoverished nations have just been written off as lost causes, but you can't judge a book by it's cover.

Oh look at us faffing around and making water filters into books... how about you cut the bull and get people the fucking water filters if that was the intent at any point. So much money and time wasted on making shit pretty and hyped up when people depending on it just need it to bloody work.

Smooth Operator:
Oh look at us faffing around and making water filters into books... how about you cut the bull and get people the fucking water filters if that was the intent at any point. So much money and time wasted on making shit pretty and hyped up when people depending on it just need it to bloody work.

Actually, having it in book form is a really convenient way to produce it and pack it and convenient to carry around. I'm pretty sure it being in book form has very very little to do with style, if at all.

Smooth Operator:
Oh look at us faffing around and making water filters into books... how about you cut the bull and get people the fucking water filters if that was the intent at any point. So much money and time wasted on making shit pretty and hyped up when people depending on it just need it to bloody work.

The filter is its own instruction booklet. Faffing about? Nonsense. Innovating to make life easier.

FuzzyRaccoon:
Well more like it's part of a filter. In the article it clearly indicates that you'll still need a small strainer to affix it to.

I may be wrong, but the video has me under the impression that the box the book is packed in is the strainer.

Xeros:

FuzzyRaccoon:
Well more like it's part of a filter. In the article it clearly indicates that you'll still need a small strainer to affix it to.

I may be wrong, but the video has me under the impression that the box the book is packed in is the strainer.

Oh, if that's true, that'd actually be awesome.

 

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