The demand for water filtering devices has been on the increase with many people giving up their bottled water habit after finding it’s really no healthier than tap water in addition to producing up to 1.5 million tons of plastic waste per year.
Of course, water filtering equipment is pricey, and what happens if an emergency situation arises and you don’t have access to water? You probably don’t have cases of bottled water sitting around the house, and even if you have some, what happens if you use it before you can get access to more? Fortunately, there are other options.
According to a report by Wired.com, researchers with the National University of Singapore have recently discovered a cheap and easy do-it-yourself method for filtering water using nothing more than fruit peels and rubbing alcohol.
A research associate by the name of Ramakrishna Mallampati, combined rubbing alcohol with some tomato and apple peels to come up with a successful way to purify water. All you do is soak small segments of the peel in a solution of rubbing alcohol, dry them out, and put them in dirty groundwater for a couple of hours and they are able to absorb heavy metal ions, dyes, pesticides, and nanoparticles like gold and silver. Just remove the peels and the water is safe to drink.
This technique doesn’t remove pathogens, only a wide range of pollutants, so it shouldn’t be used as an all-encompassing water purifier, but it can definitely help make your water much cleaner.
There are actually a number of different methods that can be used.
Tomato and apple peels
Mallampati’s method used tomato and apple peels. To do this yourself, all you need to do is peel some apples and tomatoes and place them into a rubbing alcohol solution; allow them to soak for two hours.
Then, remove the peels and let them dry out. When they have thoroughly dried, place the peels into a container of water and let them sit for a few hours. Then just remove the peels and your water is ready to drink.
According to a report published in the American Chemical Society’s journal, Industrial & Engineering Chemistry Research, minced banana peel performs better than an array of other purification materials. The study found that minced banana peels could be used repeatedly (up to 11 times) to purify water that had been contaminated by industrial plants and farms.
This technique is not recommended for home water purification just yet, as study author Gustavo Castro from the Biosciences Institute at Botucatu, Brazil says it is more likely to be useful in an industrial setting.
Sunlight and limes. A 2012 study from the John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and the John Hopkins School of Medicine found that using sunlight and lime juice is very effective at reducing dangerous E. coli levels. Adding limes to water that is being disinfected by the sun helps to speed up the process.
The preliminary results of the study found that this technique could be effective at reducing E. coli levels in just a half an hour, which is on par with boiling and other common household water treatment methods. It’s important to keep in mind that while it is quite effective at killing E. coli, it won’t have an effect on diarrhea-causing viruses like the norovirus.
-The Alternative Daily