Paper Water Test: Quick, Cheap, Green

Biosensor ID's Water Quality - Point of Use, Quick and Easy
Source:  University of Bath UK Photo

Breakthrough Water Test
University of Bath UK scientists have developed a simple, paper-based test to determine if water is contaminated.  It's potentially a simple, low cost way for developing countries to limit the spread of water-born disease.

Simple as a Litmus Test
It's paper based like a litmus test to measure acid in water.  But the new device is breakthrough.  It consists of a microbial fuel cell (MFC).  It's made by screen-printing biodegradable carbon electrodes onto a single piece of paper.  MFC uses natural biology processes of electric bacteria- attached to the carbon electrodes - to generate an electric signal.

Don't Drink the Water
When the bacteria are exposed to polluted water, there's a change in the electric signals.  That's the red alert not to drink.  You're warned that the water is contaminated.

Lots of Potential
This is a revolutionary way to test water.  It's point of use, cheap as $1, easy, rapid and green as the components are biodegradable.  It could have a significant positive impact on developing countries.  The scientists are working on linking the biosensor test to mobile devices like a cell phone through a wireless transmitter to make it very quick and user-friendly.