One way to avoid getting sick while traveling is to eat only fruit that you peel yourself, as plants can kill bacteria. Good and Why not apply this principle directly to water filtration?
A team of scientists did just that, testing the effectiveness of pine wood at filtering water using the xylem, a lignified, conductive plant tissue that carries fluids from one part of vascular plants to another. The results, published last week in PLoS ONE magazine, were very promising. “Filtration using three different xylem filters showed almost complete filtration of bacteria”, capturing at least 99.9% of themwrite the authors.
The xylem filters used in the study appeared capture almost any particle larger than 100 nanometers in diameter, which means that they would exclude protozoa (such as Giardia) too. Other smaller viruses can pass through the filter, but research suggests that other types of wood with smaller pores could potentially be used to filter these smaller pathogens.
According to the study, fresh wood seems to filter much better than dead wood.
To make a homemade water filter, just peel the bark from a pine branch and glue it to a tube, sealing the holes between the twig and the tube with epoxy, a glue. Each twig filters 4 liters of water per day, enough for one person.
“The simple construction of xylem filters, combined with their manufacture from cheap and biodegradable materials, could potentially lead to widespread use and dramatically reduce the incidence of water-borne infectious diseases around the world.The authors concluded.
This kind of simple technology is especially important in places which, for various reasons, do not have access to the most modern technologies. Having methods to purify water simply and efficiently can be of great help in many communities.
How to make a homemade water filter.
With each branch you use, you can filter 4 liters of water per day.
- We remove the bark from the fresh pine branch.
- We insert the pine branch into a plastic pipe.
- We adjust, so that there are no losses, with a metal clamp.
More information: journals.plos.org