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This 'Drinkable Book' Filters Water Through Its Pages

One filter—half a page from the book—can handle up to 100 liters of water, which means that the whole book can provide someone four years of purified drinking water.

Thumbnail image via pAge Drinking Paper's website

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Some genius scientists have created a book for people in developing countries to learn about potable drinking water—and then filter their own clean water using its pages. The Drinkable Book was presented by Dr. Teri Dankovich, a Carnegie Mellon researcher, at this week's 250th American Chemical Society National Meeting in Boston, according to the BBC.

Along with information about how and why water should be filtered, the pages are seeded with bacteria-killing silver and copper nanoparticles, which turn the pages into something like a "scientific coffee filter." Dr. Dankovich has put the filter pages through a series of trial runs, filtering contaminated water in Ghana, Bangladesh, and South Africa, and has found that the Drinkable Book removes over 99 percent of the water's bacteria.

The book is the result of several years of research and development by Dr. Dankovich, working at Canada's McGill University and the University of Virginia as well as with NGOs like Water Is Life.

"It's directed towards communities in developing countries," Dr. Dankovich told the BBC. "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, [and] wells ... Out comes clean water—and dead bacteria as well."

One filter—half a page from the book—can process water for up to 30 days, which means that the whole book can provide someone four years of purified drinking water.

"Overall, out of all the technologies that are available—ceramic filters, UV sterilization, and so on—this is a promising one," said Dr. Kyle Doudrick, an Assistant Professor at University of Notre Dame who specializes in sustainable water treatment, told the BBC. "It's cheap and it's a catchy idea that people can get hold of and understand."