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06. Safe fragrances
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12. Ultrasound in water
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01. Tea bag size personal water filter

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12 Bacteria in agriculture and industry
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Vol. 6, No. 1. January 31, 2011
ISSN 1932-3018

Tea bag size personal water filter
Positioning this technology in the
Functionality Grid
Reformatted from: Van Wyk, Rias J: Technology - A Unifying Code, 2004, SMG, Cape Town, p.34. Based on: Ropohl, Gunter: Eine Systemtheorie der Technik, 1979, Carl Hanser Verlag, Munich and Vienna, p.178.
This Newsbrief deals with a new personal filter to purify polluted water for drinking— a tea bag size device that fits into the neck of a bottle. In terms of the Atlas of Technological Megatrends. it is concerned with the functionality of matter processing.
In 2010 the University of Stellenbosch in South Africa announced a further step forward in providing clean drinking water to needy communities.‘tea-bag’-filter-for-cleaner-water/
Water purification involves a number of possible approaches. These include:
  • Filtration - pollutants are physically removed
  • Osmosis - pure water migrates from a contaminated environment
  • Bio-remediation - living organisms break down or absorb pollutants
Filtration usually requires large-scale plants, advanced equipment, and much energy. By reducing the filter to an extremely convenient format, the size of a tea bag, filtration technology becomes simple, personal and accessible. The filter in question consists of a tiny porous bag, filled with active carbon granules that remove harmful chemicals. The bag is made of a standard material used in off-the-shelf rooibos tea bags. The inside is coated with a thin film of biocides encapsulated within minute nanofibres, which kills all disease-causing microbes. The bag is biodegradable. The device can filter one liter of contaminated water and is then disposed of.
The invention is a unique combination of nano-technology needed for the nanofibres, a new size, and conventionally available components. In terms of NASA’s nine level scale of technology readiness, the device is at TRL 5.

© Rias J. van Wyk, 2013. Editor.