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Researchers Develop "Tea Bag" Water Filter 119

Posted by samzenpus
from the steep-and-clean dept.
cybernanga writes "A group of researchers in South Africa has developed a filter that can purify water straight from the bottle. The filter sits inside a tube fitted on top of a bottle and purifies water as it is poured on a cup. From the article: 'The designer behind the filter, Dr Eugene Cloete, from the Stellenbosch University in South Africa, says the filter is only as big as an ordinary tea bag. He says the product is cost-effective and easy to use. "We are coming in here at the fraction of the cost of anything else that is currently on the market," says Dr Cloete on BBC World Service.'"
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Researchers Develop "Tea Bag" Water Filter

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  • Small filter (Score:2, Insightful)

    by AnonymousClown (1788472) on Sunday September 05, 2010 @10:59AM (#33481406)

    "We cover the tea bag material with nano-structured fibres, and instead of tea inside the tea bag, we incorporate activated carbon.

    "The function of the activated carbon is to remove most of the dangerous chemicals that you would find in water."

    1. It would have to be one shot - I don't see that little bag filtering more than one bottle.Wouldn't that little bit of carbon be exhausted after 500ml?

    2. The pour rate would have to be really slow so that the water stays in contact with the carbon long enough to absorb the toxic stuff. Five minutes+ for a cup of water??

    3. It doesn't say anything about metals.

  • by blackraven14250 (902843) on Sunday September 05, 2010 @10:59AM (#33481408)

    and does not make inappropriate sexual comments about Tea Partygoers.

    I thought Teabaggers were all for restoring the rights given by the constitution, regardless as to whether what's being said doesn't agree with their worldview?

    Oh, sorry, I got caught up in theory and rhetoric.

  • by Freddybear (1805256) on Sunday September 05, 2010 @11:07AM (#33481440)

    The charcoal filter would be good to use *after* you sanitized the water with chlorine bleach. Kill off the biologicals and then get rid of the chlorine taste.

  • Re:Small filter (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Joce640k (829181) on Sunday September 05, 2010 @11:09AM (#33481450) Homepage

    1. Yes, that's the point (might be a bit more than 500ml).

    2. Not everybody is as impatient as you seem to be.

    3. It's good old activated carbon again. There's plenty of info out there...

  • Re:Say it with me. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by TheLink (130905) on Sunday September 05, 2010 @11:23AM (#33481516) Journal
    And waaaay more expensive?

    I think their target market is "cheap", not "best".

    The "lifesaver" water bottle may save lives, but a few very rich lives :).

    This "tea bag" thing may not produce water as pure or safe, but might save many more lives if it really is cheaper, easy to use and practical.

    FWIW the 100% way to prevent many trillions of human deaths is to kill all humans now, so be careful if you ever ask a super smart AI to minimize the long term total number of human deaths per year ;).
  • by noidentity (188756) on Sunday September 05, 2010 @12:21PM (#33481794)
    Calling it a "tea bag" filter even though you don't use it like one (that is, place it in cup and let it sit for a while) is misleading. Should we call it a "USB thumb drive" water filter just because it's a similar size?
  • by frovingslosh (582462) on Sunday September 05, 2010 @12:38PM (#33481886)
    Not only is there the dubious claim that this will make water safe, and the implication that it is somehow different from other activated charcoal filters already made, but they stress how cheap or affordable it is, without ever giving any indication of a price. When someone tells you that something is inexpensive but doesn't want to tell you how much it will cost in any quantity, it will not be inexpensive.
  • Re:Say it with me. (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday September 05, 2010 @01:28PM (#33482088)
    You forgot the "build infrastructure" part. That's important for parts c and e to succeed.

    And part d is likely inhumane.

    (Do you really think it's that easy? Take democracy, add water, poof! It's like a libertarian's wet dream)
  • Re:Small filter (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Culture20 (968837) on Sunday September 05, 2010 @02:31PM (#33482340)

    2. The pour rate would have to be really slow so that the water stays in contact with the carbon long enough to absorb the toxic stuff. Five minutes+ for a cup of water??

    5 minutes for water versus running to the toilet every 5 minutes. Good trade.

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