Nanotechnology – tea bag like water filter

21 March, 2011, Danstan Kaunda

Water and Urbanisation

As this years’ World Water Day celebration opens in South Africa’s tourist capital Cape Town with a theme focusing on the attention of the importance of freshwater and advocating for the sustainable management of freshwater resources “Water and Urbanisation”.

South African scientists have used nanotechnology to produce a disposable water filter that looks like a tea-bag.[frax09alpha]

Stellenbosch University researchers developed a device that fits into the neck of a water bottle and cleans even highly polluted water as it passes through the filter.

“The water is clear right then and there when you drink from the bottle,” Prof Eugene Cloete a led researcher on the project told the SPORE magazine for agriculture and rural development.

The device is aimed at communities living near polluted streams, or people whose water supply is not treated to a high standard.

Today, one in two people around the world live in a city. Urbanisation is continuing unabated; while investment in infrastructure has struggled to keep up with rate of urban migration and new challenges continue to emerge.

The sachet resemble a tea bag and is made of the same biodegradable material. Its inside is coated with a thin film of biocides encapsulated within minute nanofibres, which kill all disease-causing microbes.

The bag is filled with active carbon granules that remove all harmful chemicals. Each filter can clean 1l of water and tests have shown that the results is close to 100 percent safe to water.

Once used, the bag is thrown away, and a new one is inserted into the bottle neck.

“The water is clear right then and there when you drink from the bottle,”

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