When I first saw this new filter I thought why not make them on a larger scale to clean up bodies of water? Just in my suburban area alone I can think of over one dozen places that could use this type of filter. And this is actually possible, according to its co-founder Rodney Priestley. “To me, the most exciting thing about this work is it can operate completely off-grid, at both large and small scales,” Priestley said. “It could also work in the developed world at sites where low-cost, non-powered water purification is needed.”(phys.org) So, what is this new solar powered filter?
This new filter looks like a sponge with gel on it. This gel uses the sunlight to start the filtration process of the water and in turn takes out oil, lead, and other contaminants. Biomimicry actually comes into play for this filter as it was designed after a pufferfish. After the gel absorbs water that is contaminated it only takes a couple of hours for the water to be filtered and safe to drink, according to Xiaohui Xu — a co-founder of the filter.
Hopefully, this technology can be provided at a low cost in the near future. I can see it playing a large role with off-grid communities, those that enjoy camping and hiking, and in cleaning up bodies of water. It also reminded me of the other filter, LifeStraw. Now let’s just hope it doesn’t end up being just as expensive.