Crowdsourcing: ETH Zurich’s DrinkPure Filter for Clean Water Around the World
An innovative filter makes it possible to purify water more quickly, simply and economically than ever before. The developers, students from ETH Zurich, hope the device will soon play a big role in development aid, and they are looking for investors to help them achieve this goal.
Roughly 780 million people around the world have no access to clean drinking water. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), 3.4 million people die from water-related diseases every year. ETH student Jeremy Nussbaumer set himself the goal of making a contribution to solving this problem. Working with researchers from a group led by Prof. Dr. Wendelin Stark, head of the Functional Materials Laboratory of ETH Zurich, the 23-year-old spent a year researching a membrane filter and developing a prototype.
“What makes our DrinkPure filter unique is that you can screw it on to virtually any plastic bottle. It doesn’t require a pump or a reservoir, so it’s very easy to use,” explains the Mr. Nussbaumer. “You simply screw the filter onto a bottle containing polluted water, then you can put it straight in your mouth and take a drink.” Weighing less than 100 grams, DrinkPure is considerably lighter than most other filters, and the flow pressure is so high that you can purify as much as a litre of water in a minute just by squeezing the bottle with your hand. Another benefit is that the unit is less expensive and easier to manufacture than most conventional filters, making them ideal for development aid projects.
In order that the research team can manufacture enough filters to use in developing countries, they are looking for financial support (see Crowdfunding below). They will use the proceeds to purchase the tools they need to manufacture the filters. “As for what is left over, we will use 80% to produce the filter and transport it to Africa and 20% to further develop the concept,” says Nussbaumer. They expect to have the first filters completed in January 2015; they will be sent to project supporters and to Africa for use in a test phase.
Perfect for travellers and walkers
It is still not certain whether DrinkPure will be available in future in retail stores. Alongside its suitability for development aid, the device is also perfect for travellers and walkers. “Quickly screw it on a bottle and you can take a drink from any pond or river without a second thought,” explains Nussbaumer. “I’m actually not a serious walker myself, but if I were to go I would be sure to take the filter along.”
The project is presented by the young research team on the Indiegogo platform. Investors can support the project with an amount ranging from 5 to 5,000 US dollars. Depending on the contribution, a donor can expect various perks, such as a thank-you video from the project leader. With a contribution of 89 dollars, a backer receives a filter and for 500 dollars, 10 units will be sent to Africa.
Anyone can support the project until 20 August 2014 via the following link:
> adapted from ETH Zurich News