Let’s say you are out in the wilderness and your name isn’t Bear Grylls or….

survivormanLes Stroud (still one of my favorite shows)

You’re going to get thirsty and that means you need water. But as we all know, drinking water can be troublesome as it could lead to serious illness and unlike those Naked an Afraid participants, no means to get rapid medical attention.

What can you do? Well, some plants have been thought to make the water safe to drink. One of the most popular in this category happens to be….

moss2Moss (makes for a great wall covering too!)

But alas, this is merely a myth. For the most part, moss doesn’t have the ability to make water safe enough for anyone.

Granted, there is a genetically modified form that came out of Germany back in 2013. You can read more about it here:
http://www.wzw.tum.de/index.php?id=185&L=1&tx_ttnews%5Btt_news%5D=573

But as you might expect…

mossIt’s more of a lab thing.

Recently, however, a new concept in “MoSS” water disinfection has been unveiled and may soon be taking the world by a clean water storm. It takes little effort to perform, requires nothing more than sunshine, and can be used almost anywhere.

So what’s the catch you ask?

Simple. Don’t expect this MoSS to look all green and furry. Instead, get ready for…

Chicklets Anyone?

The “MoSS” in this case is the name of a plant but a chemical formula for a molecule known as Molybdenum disulfide. It’s more commonly written as MoS2 (and to those chemistry purists out there…yes I know MoSS is technically incorrect usage but give me a break here!)

Anyhoo….

The chemical is an industrial lubricant but it has one particular property when it is aligned in a vertical manner such as in the picture above. It can interact with light. When the chemical does, the surrounding water changes in appearance. Some of it will form into what are known as reactive oxygen species, or ROS. The process can be best described in this image…

water_disinfection_v01Pretty cool, eh?

If you’re wondering whether the water will be safe to drink with all those ROS molecules, just remember, they are found everywhere including inside of each of us. Our bodies use these same molecules to kill infections. So, when it comes to this water…

 

allgoodNeed I say more?

While the device is still in development, you can still learn more about it by heading to the latest story on this fascinating means to make water safe:
https://www6.slac.stanford.edu/news/2016-08-15-slac-stanford-gadget-grabs-more-solar-energy-disinfect-water-faster.aspx

If you happen to have access to journal articles, you can read the scientific paper here:
http://www.nature.com/nnano/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/nnano.2016.138.html


Do you have a cool way to purify water you’d like to share? Let me know in the comments section below.

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