Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Inventions That Make a Difference: Clay Water Filters

I found a great book at the library called Design Revolution: 1001 Products That Empower People by Emily Pilloton. It's full of a lot of awesome designs that are try to or are solving a lot of common problems experienced here in the United States as well as globally.

When trying to solve problems experienced in the developing world (Majority South) it's hard for those in developed countries (Minority North) to remember to keep it simple. However, I think that Tony Flynn has done a pretty good job with his Clay Water Filter.

He's developed a three-ingredient water filter made from locally available materials. A pot is made from crushed terra-cotta (think tile roofs and flower pots), organic material (leaves, coffee grounds, rice hulls...), and water that is combined to form a clay substance. It's then sun dried and then fired in dry cow dung and leaves for 45 minutes. In the firing process, the organic material is burned away leaving a porous (think leaky) pot through which water can pass, but not the bad stuff (big word: pathogens).

Check out pictures here.
Get instructions here.

No comments:

Post a Comment