Water Filters from Wood Offers Portable, Eco-friendly Purification in Emergencies


Water is so important to our lives. And by considering health factor, we want it in clean, pure and safe manner. That’s why we spend so much money in water purification sources such as water purifiers. Generally, water filters purify water and activated carbon contained water filters are most common among all. The filter consists of charcoal that is great for removing many common impurities.

This time, scientists came up with an extremely amazing creation. They have developed a water filter made from wood. Isn’t it fascinating?

Scientists from the KTH Royal Institute of Technology have developed a water filter from wood. The aim was to use it in places where there is no infrastructure or clean water supply.

Water filter from wood offers portable, eco-friendly purification in emergencies
Purified water is compared with the source water. Credit: KTH The Royal Institute of Technology

Anna Ottenhall, a Ph.D. student at KTH’s School of Chemical Science and Engineering said, “Our aim is that we can provide the filter for a portable system that doesn’t need electricity – just gravity – to run raw water through it. The great idea is that we are trapping the bacteria and removing them from the water by our positively-charged filter. The bacteria trapping material does not leach any toxic chemicals into the water, as many other on-site purification methods do.”

Scientists used a material that combines wood cellulose with a positively-charged polymer. It can trap bacteria by attracting and binding the bacteria to the material surface. Thus, as scientists reported, the material holds the potential for being used as bandages, plasters, and packaging that kill bacteria without releasing toxins into the environment.

Anna’s supervisor, Josefin Illergård said, “We had this fantastic material that is antibacterial and can be used in different ways, and we wanted to see how to use it in a way that truly makes a difference – a way that addresses a big problem in the world.”

Water filter from wood offers portable, eco-friendly purification in emergencies
Water runs through a wood-based antibacterial filter that releases no toxins into the environment. Credit: KTH The Royal Institute of Technology

When scientists dipped the fiber in a positively charged polymer solution, it creates a positively charged surface. And because the bacteria and viruses are negatively charged, they were not able to stick to the surface. From there, they cannot free themselves and reproduce, and hence they die. Thus, bacteria could not create any resistance.

The technology is one of the several innovative ways wood-based materials.

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