Hi-tech water purifier in a teabag

Posted by: Saving Water SA (Cape Town, South Africa) – partnered with Water Rhapsody conservation systems – 23 July 2010

A South African professor has invented a hi-tech “teabag” that can purify polluted water instantly – at a cost of just three cents a litre.

The filtration system is so small it fits into the lid of a water bottle, and has already been hailed as a breakthrough in the battle against waterborne disease in poor areas.

It was developed using tiny nano-fibres – each about one hundredth the width of a human hair and packed together into a teabag-like sac that filters out microscopic bacteria. Instead of tea the nanotech bag contains activated carbon which then kills the harmful bacteria.

“Not only do we filter the bacteria out but we also kill them,” said inventor Professor Eugene Cloete, a microbiologist at the University of Stellenbosch.

He said the new technique was a major step towards helping South Africa fulfil its millennium goal of eradicating poverty.

“One of the major problems of meeting the millennium goals is that there is not sufficient infrastructure to pipe water to everybody in the world – so this really is something which addresses the need right now,” Cloete said.

The bag had already prompted several inquiries from foundations providing relief to those without running water.

“People are not dying of thirst but because they don’t have access to safe water. This is inexpensive. It would cost about three cents a litre to produce water that is the quality of bottled water,” Cloete said.

The breakthrough coincides with the launch this week of a major Stellenbosch University initiative called the Hope Project, which hopes to combine the scientific expertise of several departments to address the country’s most pressing needs.

The university’s rector, Professor Russel Botman, said: “Whether it is renewable energy supply for the region, food security, conflict resolution and leadership or rural healthcare and development, we are looking to throw our weight behind the country and the continent’s most pressing needs.”

Source: Times Live

5 thoughts on “Hi-tech water purifier in a teabag

  1. Please,please let us know when this tea bag will be available for sale from whom.

    To contact Dean’s of faculties and other things ordinary mortals dont have time …just tell us where to get it when they are available.
    Hope this really takes off.

  2. Hi Janine, my understanding is that the “tea bag” filter is currently being tested by the South African Bureau of Standards.
    Professor Eugene Cloete is Dean of the Faculty of Science at Stellenbosch University so you could perhaps try to contact him there. You could also try the HOPE project. The Stellenbosch University Water Institute and its “tea bag” water filter form part of its HOPE Project.
    Hope that helps.

  3. Please advise where I can buy the tea bags. Climbing Killamanjaro next month and wish to take with me.

  4. Excellent idea … where can these water cleansing teabags be purchased or are you looking for distributors …

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