In a new study, researchers are claiming to have come up with the cheapest method to clean water. Published in a research journal PLOS One, recently, the paper claims that plant xylem from the sapwood of coniferous trees widely available, can remove bacteria almost entirely. Simple method of pressure induced filtration using three cubic centimeters of the sapwood can filter water at the rate of several liters per day, sufficient to meet the clean drinking water needs of one person. The results demonstrate the potential of plant xylem to address the need for pathogen-free drinking water in developing countries and resource-limited settings, as described in the research paper.
Among the water pollutants, pathogenic bacteria, viruses, protozoa, or parasites are the most common and cause serious problems like malnutrition, diarrhea, dysentery, cholera etc. Compared to other more popular methods of water cleaning like chlorination, filtration, UV-disinfection, pasteurization or boiling, and ozone treatment… all have different problems associated with. Hence membrane materials that are inexpensive, readily available, disposable, and effective at pathogen removal could greatly impact chances of providing safe drinking water to the global population.
Coniferous Xylem tissues with nanoscale pores can ideally filter out pathogens. Results have shown that 99% of pathogens have been removed. If the system is checked at various locations and different conditions, this can become a boon to poor people particularly living in remote areas.