With cutting-edge nanotech, Michael Pritchard's Lifesaver water-purification bottle could revolutionize water-delivery systems in disaster-stricken areas around the globe.

Why you should listen

During the twin tragedies of the Asian tsunami and Hurricane Katrina, Ipswich water-treatment expert Michael Pritchard winced helplessly at televised coverage of throngs of refugees waiting for days for a simple drink of clean water. Stricken by the chronic failure of aid agencies to surmount this basic challenge, Pritchard decided to do something about it.

Using a non-chemical nano-filtration hollow fiber membrane with 15 nanometer pores (it is designed to block viruses), the Lifesaver bottle can make the most revolting swamp water drinkable in seconds. Better still, a single long-lasting filter can clean 6,000 liters of water. Given the astronomical cost of shipping water to disaster areas, Pritchard's Lifesaver bottle could turn traditional aid models on their heads.

What others say

“On the outside, it looks like an ordinary sports bottle. On the inside, there's a miracle: an extremely advanced filtration system that makes murky water filled with deadly viruses and bacteria completely clean in just seconds.” — Allison Barrie, FoxNews.com

Michael Pritchard’s TED talk

More news and ideas from Michael Pritchard


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