Getting access to clean and safe drinking water is a big problem for millions of people around the world, as well as for adventurers who like to get off the beaten track.
Apart from boiling the water for a long time, the most popular way of killing the bacteria in water is to leave it out under the sun for hours. However, a new gadget that is half the size of a stamp promises to make it quicker and easier than ever before to get clean water.
The cool little device has been created by Stanford University and SLAC National Laboratory and they say that is kills off 99.9% of nasty germs and bacteria. Even better news comes with the fact that it only takes 20 minutes to make water safe to drink.
Use the Power of the Sun
It looks kind of like a small piece of black glass and all that you need to do is drop into the water that you want to use. You then leave the water outside so that the power of the sun gets to work on it with the help of the device.
So how does it work? Well, the trick is that is uses far more of the energy from the sun than the water alone can use. Indeed, it uses 50% of the energy available, instead of the 4% that water sitting in a bottle would use.
It does this because it is coated with molybdenum disulphide, which reacts when sunlight reaches it and produces the powerful disinfectant hydrogen peroxide.
How do you clean water from an unreliable source when you need to make sure that it is safe to drink?