It looks like a coffee table book — and you can read it like a coffee table book.
But the newly-released Drinkable Book is making headlines for another reason: it doubles as a water filtration system.
The book, created by nonprofit organization Water Is Life along with scientists from Carnegie Mellon and the University of Virginia, costs pennies to produce and can filter as much as 100 liters of water (a 30-day supply) with a single page, according to The Daily Meal. One book can provide a four-year supply of clean water for an individual.
Water Is Life developed the book with the hopes that it would be used in underdeveloped nations across Africa and Asia that don’t have adequate access to clean water, The Daily Meal reported. According to the World Health Organization, approximately 3.4 million people die each year from illnesses related to unclean water.
Scientists developed a special paper for the book’s pages. The paper is coated with silver nanoparticles, which kill off bacteria as the water passes through the page, according to a wired.com article. As the dirty water seeps through the page (like water drips through a coffee filter), bacteria absorbs the silver ions, which ultimately causes the bacteria to die. The silver nanoparticle content of the paper gives the pages their rusty orange color.
Water Is Life say they hope to field-test the Drinkable Book sometime later this year and have a commercially-viable version of the book out by as early as next year, according to wired.com.
“It should be something that’s widely used,” head researcher Theresa Dankovitch said. “It doesn’t require power and it’s very intuitive.”