Paper Water Test: Quick, Cheap, Green
|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.