UV light stick purifies water

February 25, 2010 by Lisa Zyga weblog
STER UV: a new concept for UV water purification. Image credit: Olivia Blechschmidt.

(PhysOrg.com) -- Today, about one billion people on Earth don't have access to clean drinking water, and that number is expected to increase even more in the coming years. To solve this problem, inventors have been trying to come up with water purification methods that are easy, inexpensive, and energy-efficient. A new concept called the STER UV, which is a UV light stir stick, seems to meet each of these requirements.

The stick, designed by industrial designer Olivia Blechschmidt, works simply by being stirred in a glass or pitcher of . Like other UV water disinfection techniques, the UV light inactivates by destroying its DNA. The lightweight UV light stick comes with an induction charger, both of which are made of clean, smooth ABS plastic housing.

Since its 23A battery is designed to run for several years, the charger doesn’t require battery replacement. Also, since the device doesn’t produce heat and has no moving parts, it can operate in a way that is more energy-efficient and environmentally friendly compared with other UV water purification systems.

By testing the device in different 1.5-liter containers, Blechschmidt found that the most suitable length of the stirring stick is about 20 cm. In addition, she notes that the conical shape of the stick provides “effective visual clues, great grip comfort and semantics.”

Explore further: Duke develops new UV measurement tool

More information: via: Tuvie.com

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13 comments

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digitaltrails
not rated yet Feb 25, 2010
There is an existing (expensive) product marketed for outdoor activities called the Steripen ( http://www.steripen.com )- it's been around for quite a while. The Steripen can have problems with cloudy water and you still need to prefilter for non-viral non-bacterial things such as worm-eggs, but otherwise its reported to be quick and simple.

I think reliance on a power outlet is not necessarily a good thing for the third world. Steripen have a model that includes a solar charger, plus models that can use easily obtainable AA's including re-chargeables.
jselin
not rated yet Feb 25, 2010
The wavelength range for sterilization, UVC, is really not suited for direct exposure to the user
digitaltrails
4 / 5 (1) Feb 25, 2010
The wavelength range for sterilization, UVC, is really not suited for direct exposure to the user


The Steripen products will only operate when immersed in water. Apparently most water containers will block the UV. So perhaps it would be possible for STER UV to also incorporate these kinds of safeguards.
stealthc
1.2 / 5 (5) Feb 25, 2010
This is inadequate for drinking water; it isn't any better than boiling. Seems like a waste of money. I would rather have something that filters out all the crap and pollutants found in water nowadays, and I wouldn't dare drink a cup of their water.

In fact I wouldn't dare drink tapwater with their chemical lobotomy fluoride additives; which recently made a bunch of kangaroos down under weak, submissive, lazy, and retarded. Just what water fluoridation is designed to do.

We need a real solution towards cleaning our water, this is not it.
Switch
not rated yet Feb 25, 2010
This is inadequate for drinking water; it isn't any better than boiling. Seems like a waste of money. I would rather have something that filters out all the crap and pollutants found in water nowadays, and I wouldn't dare drink a cup of their water.

In fact I wouldn't dare drink tapwater with their chemical lobotomy fluoride additives; which recently made a bunch of kangaroos down under weak, submissive, lazy, and retarded. Just what water fluoridation is designed to do.

We need a real solution towards cleaning our water, this is not it.


This is a great idea.
One only has to compare the difference in Joules required to neutralize the microbes in a litre of water as opposed to boiling it. This would be great in undeveloped nations where they haven't got around to putting fluorine in the water supply. Maybe you should hang out here more and listen to a little less Alex Jones and friends.
Caliban
3 / 5 (2) Feb 25, 2010
Stealthhc and digitaltrails are right, though- this is essentially an antibiotic only- and will have little or no effect on viruses, and probably larger parasites/eggs.

Additionally, it will be totally useless in regards to chemical and metallic pollutants. It is a step in the right direction, but without filtration as well, is only partially effective.
poof
not rated yet Feb 26, 2010
There was a flying saucer looking container that was created for the 3rd world that used solar convection to distill polluted water. I recall the creator got a nobel for it. This seems more like a neat camping gadget than a survival tool.
digitaltrails
not rated yet Feb 26, 2010
Stealthhc and digitaltrails are right, though- this is essentially an antibiotic only- and will have little or no effect on viruses, and probably larger parasites/eggs.
...


I did't mean to imply it was ineffective against viruses -Steripen cites independent tests for "inactivation of all bacterial and viral contaminants." Eggs and crawlies are a definite problem - so Steripen sell a 40 micron prefilter. Some hikers report that coffee filters are sufficiently fine to use as prefilters (15-20 micron).

david_42
not rated yet Feb 26, 2010
And people get the power to recharge the battery where?
digitaltrails
not rated yet Feb 27, 2010
And people get the power to recharge the battery where?


Solar charged AA NiMH would be a good candidate.
Parsec
not rated yet Feb 27, 2010
Most parts of the 3rd world have power for at least part of a day. But while solar charging is great, its also expensive.
techieatwork
not rated yet Mar 04, 2010
Hi.
Where did you read about this? I am interested.
I personally use reverse osmosis filter at home, which some say, it's 98% effective in removing that poison.
Thanks
Carlos
techieatwork@gmail.com

In fact I wouldn't dare drink tapwater with their chemical lobotomy fluoride additives; which recently made a bunch of kangaroos down under weak, submissive, lazy, and retarded. Just what water fluoridation is designed to do.

stealthc
not rated yet Mar 28, 2010
I sent you via pm, the link to the australian news article since you asked for it.

Reverse osmosis is the way to go, I would feel safe drinking that water -- certainly not the stuff that comes out of the tap, not bottled water either, and not stuff cleaned with this pen. Bad idea, this might give people a false sense of security with the water they are drinking and cause more death than good.
Hi.
Where did you read about this? I am interested.
I personally use reverse osmosis filter at home, which some say, it's 98% effective in removing that poison.
Thanks
Carlos
techieatwork@gmail.com

In fact I wouldn't dare drink tapwater with their chemical lobotomy fluoride additives; which recently made a bunch of kangaroos down under weak, submissive, lazy, and retarded. Just what water fluoridation is designed to do.


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