Need a water filter? Peel a tree branch

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If you’ve run out of drinking water during a lakeside camping trip, there’s a simple solution: Break off a branch from the nearest pine tree, peel away the bark, and slowly pour lake water through the stick. The improvised filter should trap any bacteria, producing fresh, uncontaminated water.

In fact, an MIT team has discovered that this low-tech filtration system can produce up to four liters of drinking water a day — enough to quench the thirst of a typical person.

In a paper published this week in the journal PLoS ONE, the researchers demonstrate that a small piece of sapwood can filter out more than 99 percent of the bacteria E. coli from water. They say the size of the pores in sapwood — which contains xylem tissue evolved to transport sap up the length of a tree — also allows water through while blocking most types of bacteria.

Co-author Rohit Karnik, an associate professor of mechanical engineering at MIT, says sapwood is a promising, low-cost, and efficient material for water filtration, particularly for rural communities where more advanced filtration systems are not readily accessible.

“Today’s filtration membranes have nanoscale pores that are not something you can manufacture in a garage very easily,” Karnik says. “The idea here is that we don’t need to fabricate a membrane, because it’s easily available. You can just take a piece of wood and make a filter out of it.”

The paper’s co-authors include Michael Boutilier and Jongho Lee from MIT, Valerie Chambers from Fletcher-Maynard Academy in Cambridge, Mass., and Varsha Venkatesh from Jericho High School in Jericho, N.Y.

Tapping the flow of sap

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There are a number of water-purification technologies on the market today, although many come with drawbacks: Systems that rely on chlorine treatment work well at large scales, but are expensive. Boiling water to remove contaminants requires a great deal of fuel to heat the water. Membrane-based filters, while able to remove microbes, are expensive, require a pump, and can become easily clogged.

Sapwood may offer a low-cost, small-scale alternative. The wood is comprised of xylem, porous tissue that conducts sap from a tree’s roots to its crown through a system of vessels and pores. Each vessel wall is pockmarked with tiny pores called pit membranes, through which sap can essentially hopscotch, flowing from one vessel to another as it feeds structures along a tree’s length. The pores also limit cavitation, a process by which air bubbles can grow and spread in xylem, eventually killing a tree. The xylem’s tiny pores can trap bubbles, preventing them from spreading in the wood.

“Plants have had to figure out how to filter out bubbles but allow easy flow of sap,” Karnik observes. “It’s the same problem with water filtration where we want to filter out microbes but maintain a high flow rate. So it’s a nice coincidence that the problems are similar.”

Seeing red

To study sapwood’s water-filtering potential, the researchers collected branches of white pine and stripped off the outer bark. They cut small sections of sapwood measuring about an inch long and half an inch wide, and mounted each in plastic tubing, sealed with epoxy and secured with clamps.

Before experimenting with contaminated water, the group used water mixed with red ink particles ranging from 70 to 500 nanometers in size. After all the liquid passed through, the researchers sliced the sapwood in half lengthwise, and observed that much of the red dye was contained within the very top layers of the wood, while the filtrate, or filtered water, was clear. This experiment showed that sapwood is naturally able to filter out particles bigger than about 70 nanometers.

However, in another experiment, the team found that sapwood was unable to separate out 20-nanometer particles from water, suggesting that there is a limit to the size of particles coniferous sapwood can filter.

Picking the right plant

Finally, the team flowed inactivated, E. coli-contaminated water through the wood filter. When they examined the xylem under a fluorescent microscope, they saw that bacteria had accumulated around pit membranes in the first few millimeters of the wood. Counting the bacterial cells in the filtered water, the researchers found that the sapwood was able to filter out more than 99 percent of E. coli from water.

Karnik says sapwood likely can filter most types of bacteria, the smallest of which measure about 200 nanometers. However, the filter probably cannot trap most viruses, which are much smaller in size.

Karnik says his group now plans to evaluate the filtering potential of other types of sapwood. In general, flowering trees have smaller pores than coniferous trees, suggesting that they may be able to filter out even smaller particles. However, vessels in flowering trees tend to be much longer, which may be less practical for designing a compact water filter.

Designers interested in using sapwood as a filtering material will also have to find ways to keep the wood damp, or to dry it while retaining the xylem function. In other experiments with dried sapwood, Karnik found that water either did not flow through well, or flowed through cracks, but did not filter out contaminants.

“There’s huge variation between plants,” Karnik says. “There could be much better plants out there that are suitable for this process. Ideally, a filter would be a thin slice of wood you could use for a few days, then throw it away and replace at almost no cost. It’s orders of magnitude cheaper than the high-end membranes on the market today.”

While the pores in sapwood are too big to filter out salts, Saurya Prakash, an assistant professor of mechanical engineering at Ohio State University, says the design could be useful in parts of the world where people collect surface water, which can be polluted with fine dust and particles of decaying plant and animal matter. Most of this detritus, Prakash says, could easily be filtered out by the group’s design.

“The xylem tissue acts as a natural filter, similar to a manmade membrane,” says Prakash, who was not involved in the research. “The study by the Karnik group shows that use of abundant, naturally occurring materials could pave the way for a new generation of water filters that are potentially low-cost enough to be disposable.”

This research was supported by the James H. Ferry Jr. Fund for Innovation in Research Education.

 

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Credits:

MIT For the article

Graphics/Images: MIT & Plos

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How much should you spend on a water filter?

A few days ago the customer had a great insight for me while discussing different filter prices

Our body is made out of about 70% water !

So how much do you spend 70% of your body?

If you were me would probably be as shocked to how little you spend of your monthly budget on 70% of your body!

A simple calculation shows that even our most expensive filter The Ultimate Pure ‘N Clear with extras, cost you just about $0.57 a day

That is probably much less than what you spend on being connected to the Internet what’s with all fairness is not a true necessity.
To summarize I believe it’s worth it to spend a few bucks on 70% of your body just in case ….

Yours

Yehuda

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The Best RO filters in the world

Here’s a snapshot of the best reverse osmosis filters in the word just off the production line

Best reverse osmosis filters

snapshot of the best reverse osmosis filters in the word just off the production line

Which one is your’s ?

Cell new to buy the best filter in the word 732-942-9430

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A technicians view

Hay all
Over the next few weeks I’ll be sharing with you An Inside Look of Aqua Filter Plus

as well as customer stories, tips on how to replace and maintain your filter and efficiently

If you would like to hear about a specific topic Drop a comment below

Yours

Yehuda

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Water Filtering History: The Clean Water Act

The invention of the microscope, the discovery of the relationship between cholera and drinking water, and the introduction of chlorine all moved the world of water filtering forward. These are considered some of the landmark events in the history of water filtering systems. Increased technological abilities allowed for implementation on a grand scale, with municipalities the nation and world over adopting one filtering method or another. A general sense had emerged that clean water was a right, and we had the power to make it happen.

Ironically, that same power was at the root of a slowly declining quality of water, nearly everywhere. Why? Industry, the root of innovations and new successes in water filtering, was simultaneously dumping numerous chemicals and waste into natural water sources. Regulation at the time did not prohibit this.

A major move forward for water filtering systems then was the introduction and passage of the Clean Water Act in 1972. This made it a law that every town have some kind of water filtering system, guaranteeing clean water to all. It also moved industry toward cleaner natural waterways, a long range plan that has paid off by diverting a disastrous course of action.

So today, because of legislation, water filtering systems are not only good ideas, they are required.

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Filtered Water: As Much for What’s in It as for What’s Not

A major selling point of bottled water is that it is purportedly free of many of the contaminants that you might see in regular tap water. There is certainly nothing wrong with trying to drink water that is free of contaminants! You want to be in control of what goes into your body, and that is a healthy way of living. However, bottled water is not necessarily contaminant free, and in fact can be basically just the same as tap water!

A water filtering system is better at guaranteeing the removal of contaminants from what you drink. How do you know? Unlike tap water, this is expressly what water filtering systems are for. They list the contaminants that they remove and then remove them, whereas bottled water just offers water that is better than some tap, generally, without specifying much more than that. So, if you are looking to remove contaminants, and every tap is different, then getting a water filtering system is a good idea.

What really sets a water filtering system apart, though, is the ability not only to remove contaminants but to add minerals that are healthy. Europeans started drinking bottled water long before it became popular in the states, not because these bottles were pure water, but because they were filled with extra healthy minerals. Many water filtering systems allow you to control what minerals are added into what you drink, giving you even more control of what goes into your body.

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Bottled Water vs. A Water Filtering System

It is no surprise to most of us that global warming is real and pollution is one of the causes. There are many things that pollute the environment such as carbon dioxide emissions from cars, factories, and businesses; however, many of us do not realize that our behavior is part of the problem. Millions of people choose to purchase water bottles instead of a water filtering system for their home. There may not be much of a difference in taste, but there is a huge difference in price and most importantly the impact that both have on the environment. The production of water bottles requires millions of barrels of oil per year and its transportation from the source to stores creates thousands of tons of carbon dioxide.

Most companies that sell water bottles claim that the bottles are one hundred percent recyclable, but it is impossible to recycle one hundred percent of the bottles that are created; therefore, they end up being put in landfills and burned. While a water filtering system may seem to cost more, buying water bottles are the higher financial burden in the long run. It is important to keep in mind the costs and higher quality in order to find the best water filter for a home. Owning a water filter will help the environment by reducing demand for water bottles. We can all make a difference.

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ROWPU: Military Water Filtering System

ROWPU (Reverse Osmosis Water Purification Unit) is a mobile device contrived by military to filter water via reverse osmosis.

Reverse osmosis captures water using particles like calcium carbonate, then utilizes activated carbon to eliminate contaminants harmful to reverse osmosis membranes, then uses pressure to push water from one side of the membrane to the other, subsequently removing contaminants in the process, and then finishes it all off with ultraviolet light that sterilizes outliers. This water filtering system filters anything surpassing 5 micrometers ( two ten-thousandths of an inch!).

The ROWPU water filtering system processes upwards of 150,000 gallons of water at a time, or up to 3,000 gallons per hour. It removes salts, chemical agents as well as nuclear, radiological and biological agents.  One ROWPU can provide the hydration needs for 6,000 service men and women.

In the Marines, ROWPU is being by the Lightweight Water Purification and the Tactical Water Purification System. The former can be moved using a single vehicle, and the latter  can travel on a single large truck. Both process significantly less water than the ROWPU (125 and 1,500 gallons per hour, respectively), but they make up for this reduction with their increased mobility. Different military scenarios will require different water filtering systems at different times.

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Early Water Filtering Systems: The Give and Take of Chlorine

In order to curb the outbreak of cholera stemming from a contaminated water pump, John Snow used the chemical chlorine to disinfect the water. This caused a dramatic decrease in cholera related deaths. The success was so profound that this method soon spread to the states.

The first state to adopt the chlorination method was New Jersey. It was introduced into the municipal water supply. Again, because of its effectiveness, the chemical then made its way over the past 100 years into 98% of all municipal water treatment facilities. In combination with sand filters, chlorination has all but eliminated cholera, typhoid, and dysentery from water supplies.

Chlorination is regarded as one of the most important health advancements of the past 1000 years.

In the United States alone, hundreds of millions of people receive chlorinated water through their taps.

That said, recent studies have made links between chlorine and asthma, among other ailments. Chlorine is poisonous to the human body, and though its effects are notably less than the contaminants which it eliminates, it also has adverse effects on health.

Additional home water filtering systems can help offset the chemicals included in tap water. Though vast health improvements have been made, there is always room for more improvements. A home water filtering system does the trick.

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Drinking Water Filter and Student Success

Clearly, every parent wants their child to have a healthy and productive life, and every parent wants to see their child do well at school. School days can be long and both mentally and physically taxing, requiring alertness and critical thinking skills throughout numerous subject areas. That all of this can have an effect on future decisions about colleges and careers may not be on the mind of students, but it’s all too clear to parents. Yet not every parent considers the important role that drinking water plays in student achievement.

Water is not only vital to sustaining the most basic elements of life. Dehydration can greatly reduce mental and physical stamina and performance. This can lead to decreased ability to concentrate in classes, a lowered amount of often pivotal participation, and even lower test scores. Upwards of 65% of children between 11 and 14 in the US do not drink enough water as is recommended by experts, roughly 3 liters a day. It follows that just as many students risk not performing at their best in the classroom. As parents concerned about education, helping children stay hydrated should be paramount.

And why settle for just any water? A water filtering system helps remove impurities from drinking water, so that children only get the hydration they need. The best water filter reduces chlorine, lead, pesticides and more, all while increasing the quality of taste. A water filtering system can be a key component in a healthy choices for academic success.

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