LifeStraw® – Turning Necessity Into Innovation
More than one billion people – one sixth of the world’s population – are without access to safe water supply. The appropriately-named LifeStraw is an invention that could become one of the greatest life-savers in history. LifeStraw is a portable water purification filter that cleanses surface water and makes it safe for human consumption.
LifeStraw filters up to 700 liters of water, approximately one year of water consumption for one person, and kills disease-causing microorganisms that spread dysentery, typhoid, and Cholera. LifeStraw is a plastic pipe, 25cm by 29mm, that can be hung around the neck. The device costs just a few dollars. LifeStraw was designed with special emphasis on avoiding any moving parts. The device is a sealed unit with no replaceable spare parts, and does not require the use of electricity, which does not exist in many areas in the 3rd world.
But force is required to implement the filtering. Therefore, the device requires the natural source of sucking, which even babies are able to perform. When water is drawn into the device, it meets a PE filter textile with a mesh opening of 100 micron, shortly followed by a second textile filter in polyester with a mesh opening of 15 micron. All big particles are filtered out, even clusters of bacteria are removed.
Then the water is led into a chamber of iodine impregnated beads, where bacteria, viruses and parasites are killed. The second chamber is a void space, where the iodine being washed off the beads can maintain their killing effect. The last chamber consists of granulated active carbon that removes the smell of iodine. In many cases, this device cleans water better than tap water in many developed countries.
Designed by the Swiss company Vestergaard Frandsen, LifeStraw can also create safe drinking water for victims of hurricanes, earthquakes or other disasters.
Source (story): Mike Hanlon, GizMag
Photo courtesy of Vestergaard Frandsen