Innovative study explaining that paper filter from local algae could save lives in Bangladesh; as the problem of access to safe drinking water in most parts of Bangladesh is a persistent challenge. As Bangladesh, shows that a locally growing and previously unexploiting green macroalgae species could be used to extract cellulose nanofibers; which can then be forming into paper sheets with tailoring pore size; that are utilized for point-of-use water treatment.
The paper filter has demonstrating excellent virus and bacteria removal capacity; both in the lab and in real-life tests. The scientists believe that with further development, the paper filter producing from Pithophora algae; could be an affordable and efficient remedy to prevent numerous potentially deadly water-borne infections.
As pithophora algae have been largely overlooking in the past as a valuable raw material. It is with great satisfaction that we can now document excellent pathogen removal clearance for both water-borne bacteria and viruses with efficiency above 99.999%. It can purify even the smallest virus particles of 27-28 nanometers.
Paper filter from local algae
Bangladesh is a country with a population of over 168 million people; which is larger than that of Russia (144.5 million). By 2050, the projected growth rates suggest that the population of Bangladesh may reach the mark of 200-225 million people. Hyper-high density of population, poor hygiene, and lack of clean water increase the risk of spreading water-borne infections.
The cities of Dhaka and Chittagong are the only cities with extensive piping water and sewage system; but even there the water is available at most a few hours per day and may still be contaminating with infectious pathogens due to leakage in pipelines. To prevent the spread of water-borne infections, affordable point of use water treatment strategies that can be effective against all kinds of water-borne pathogens are needed.
Point of use water treatment
Boiling, sunlight pasteurization, or chemical disinfection are some of the methods that are currently using for point of use water treatment. An excellent way of treating water to physically remove all kinds of pathogens is filtration. Thus, new types of affordable point of use filters that can remove all kinds of pathogenic bacteria, spores, and viruses are highly in demand.
Access to clean water will contribute strongly to improved health thus reducing poverty. We are optimistic; that through future development of devices the filter paper produced from the locally growing algae will be useful to prevent potentially deadly water-borne diseases and improve the quality of life for millions of people.