Lifesaver bottle: using nanotechnology to make filthy water potable

First heard about this revolutionary invention that lets people drink filthy floodwater from my dad.  Was super excited to read about an initiative by The Clean Water Project to bring the Lifesaver bottle to the Philippines:

The Clean Water Project aims to transform the deadly floodwaters of Typhoon Ondoy (international name Ketsana) into life giving, pure drinking water.  It is a collaboration among old friends who are committed to doing whatever we can do, and work for as long as there is work to be done.

Inventor Michael Pritchard explains how this works:

LIFESAVER bottle removes all micro-biological contamination from water.

LIFESAVER bottle has been thoroughly tested by London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine showing that even the smallest of viruses were removed. Download the LSHTM laboratory test results HERE.

The smallest bacteria measures 200NM (nanometres) whilst the smallest virus measures about 25 nanometres. The ultra filtration membranes in the LIFESAVER Ultra-Filtration cartridge have pore sizes of only 15 nanometres, this means that no contamination can pass through into the drinking water.

The pump creates pressure within the bottle which forces water through the membranes leaving the dirt and contamination on the other side of the membranes.

Here’s a 10-minute video with Michael Pritchard from (filmed during the most recent TED Global last July 2009):

Shorter demo video from the BBC here:

More info on the Lifesaver website, where donations for Typhoon Ondoy (Ketsana) victims are also accepted.

Behind The Clean Water Project are two Pinays: Tish Vallés, a strategic planner, advocate and social entrepreneur based in New York, and Denise Celdran, an artist, environmentalist and advocate.  They say that the British manufacturer has “kindly offered a 35% discount on the bottles for relief efforts. For the $100.00 each Lifesaver bottle costs, we will help provide from 4,000 – 6,000 liters of safe drinking water. That is from $0.016 – $0.25 per liter!”

Although help is welcome from all aspects,

We are also very collaborative, and welcome like-minded action-oriented groups and individuals to participate in this project. Please email to start a discussion.

the urgent need is funding, which can be done through paypal, cash or cheque donations. Visit the donation page or email for arrangements.

Found through Panjee Tapales (thanks!), who says that the Lifesaver jerrycans, which can “process up to 20,000 litres of clean sterile drinking water without the aid of chemicals,” are also coming in December!

Let’s spread the word and help getting this initiative going!


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