Saturday, August 20, 2016

Water purification part one and two

Cross posted from my main blog

Graphene based sheets for water filtration take two

See previous post on water purification

I can't find any of the graphene foam sheets for sale, but NewAtlas has an article on what they are and how they work.

The biofilm is created as a two-layered structure consisting of two nanocellulose layers produced by bacteria. The lower layer contains pristine cellulose, while the top layer also contains graphene oxide, which absorbs sunlight and produces heat. The system works by drawing up water from underneath like a sponge where it then evaporates in the topmost layer, leaving behind any suspended particulates or salts. Fresh water then condenses on the top, where it can be drawn off and used.
it doesn't require pipes, and it uses solar power.
more HERE.
full article for later reading HERE 

The advantage over old fashioned water filters is explained in the StrategyPage Article:

Together, this material when placed on the surface of polluted water uses sunlight and a sponge-like process to purify the water that can then be directed (by gravity) to containers. Field tests have shown that it works and the next step is to mass produce the graphene-based biofoam sheets and distribute them widely so regional variations in water and climate can be tested and tweaks made to the composition of the sheets for different conditions. 

alas, it doesn't look like it is commercially available, although graphene is being used in water filters and in all sorts of other things.

Guess I'll have to read up on it.

although for those of us in the third world, unless it is cheap and easy to find (i.e. the Chinese sell it cheaply) we will have to stick with old fashioned ceramic pot water filters.

also for later reading: Low cost water purifiers for the developing world.

Water Purification

In my essay below, I pointed out the importance of water purification, and that providing clean water and properly placing latrines was a basic military practice for 2000 years.. or maybe3000 years, if you read Leviticus...

So today StrategyPage has an article on water purification, and discusses a new method developed for the military.

This is done with sheets of thin, multi-layer foam material that consists mostly of cellulose (what trees are made of 0f) and a layer of graphene (a form of carbon that is extremely thin, strong and cheap) with specific bacteria. Together, this material when placed on the surface of polluted water uses sunlight and a sponge-like process to purify the water that can then be directed (by gravity) to containers.
Field tests have shown that it works and the next step is to mass produce the graphene-based biofoam sheets and distribute them widely so regional variations in water and climate can be tested and tweaks made to the composition of the sheets for different conditions.

they also discuss waterGenSpring, which extracts water from humidity, and  the Lifesaver portable water bottle, and other methods that are now available to the military and civilians.

watergen for troops includes a back pack type using a battery.

More on WaterGenSpring products here.... yup. Essentially the same as a dehumidifiier, and they sell product for dehumidifying/drying too...

 ah but would my civilian dehumidifier work for disaster situations? Discussion here.
both of these are follow ups from this essay on cholera and water

It's the water supply, stupid

AustinBay's column summarizes the media bias that has gotten so bad that he notes Howard Kurtz has even notice it.

Which is why I hesitate to comment on politics: the bias, at least in the BBC and European press in 1980 when Reagan ran (and I lived in Africa and mainly had access to European news). Reagan was a cowboy who would destroy the world. He was an incompetent actor (never mind he was head of his union and later governor of a state with an economy larger than many nations).

And when he stopped Carter's mushy approach to defense, hundreds of thousands of western Europeans marched against Reagan the warmonger.

Fast forward a couple years: Uh, the Berlin wall fell down somehow disappeared was taken down by ordinary people.

The fall was not spontaneous: It was sort of pushed by JP2, Reagan and Thatcher, but the press hated all three so now we hear it was rock and roll or economics or something else: Anything but a policy of freedom lovers.

The leftist debacle in Venezuela gets visits from actors and other leftists hailing the policy that is destroying that country, while the millions (yes, millions) of Colombianos marching against their leftist drug pushing FARC gets ignored, as does the fact that FARC essentially has lost the war and Colombia is a poster child for capitalistic economic recovery.

as a whole, problems going on outside of the media bubble chamber tend to be ignored. Zika hysteria, but no one worried about the yellow fever epidemic in Angola and the Congo (and a couple of cases in China?)

How about the silence of the media about Haiti. The Clintons for while were the big heroes here...Whoops: link about their work on the water supply has vanished.
even the WAPost admits their high profile work and billions of money donated didn't quite get things fixed, and goes into details if you read the whole thing. Building a fancy hotel is nice, but what was needed was basic pipes and wells and water systems in the slums, and that is a big job.

In other words, the failure of the UN and the Clinton foundation help to Haiti is below the fold. Instapundit links to a NYTimes article where the UN finally takes responsibility for the cholera epidemic there that killed 10 thousand people.

Uh, cholera was brought there by UN Peacekeepers from Nepal, because the germ was the strain seen in that country. And yes, some people do become cholera carriers, but such cases are rare.

Cholera it is spread by the 3F route: Fingers, feces, and flies. And that "feces" part means latrines that leak into the water supply that people drink. Defecate in latrines, wash your hands, keep the dishes clean, clean up the water supply, vaccinate everyone in sight,  and voila, end of epidemic.

This long article gives the background:

In this case, it seems that one of the UN Peacekeepers was one such carrier, and that he spread it via the usual means. The bacteria got into the river that was downstream from the camp of the UN peacekeepers  (poorly placed latrines? Defecating outside the latrine?) and then people used river water.

So we have a poorly nourished population, low vaccination rates, a collapse of the infrastructure, and lack of clean water. Epidemics are the usual result.

Read the whole article: although it is mainly about how Brazil stopped the epidemic from being brought into that country by illegal Haitian immigrants. The article notes that Brazil's last cholera epidemic was when a weaker cholera strain spread in several SAmerican countries in the 1990's.

It is nice to know that the UN now says that it's peacekeepers will be checked for the carrier state and treated with antibiotics in the future.

Uh, basic latrine building knowledge seems to be lacking. Call in the Marines... actually, just call in your local National Guard for advice. Basic latrine building is part of the training.

One of hte vital jobs of the US National Guard is supplying clean water to disaster areas. The unit I belonged to in PA supplied water to Johnstown during the 1977 flood.

But when the disaster happens in a country that is already a disaster, and then you get an earthquake/ typhoon etc. the problems are a bit overwhelming.

At least when we had our typhoon and flood here in the Philippines, and the city water supply was contaminated, we just turned on Lolo's deep well pump and supplied our neighborhood. Ah, but if it was an earthquake, would the pump still work if the buildings collapsed? And we used generators for electricity.. What if there had been no more gas or diesel in the local gas station? Yes, in the long term alcohol or biodiesel could be made, but that would take time.

And we are on an earthquake fault, as is much of Manila. They hold periodic earthquake drills. Presumably if the big one hit there, people would return to their villages, and we are close enough to be a place for refugees.

I helped with a vaccination team that gave out routine MMR and DPT shots to rural areas after the Nicaraguan earthquake in the 1970's... We worked in rural areas, where populations had increased due to such refugees.

But it doesn't take a natural disaster to spread disease: The cholera epidemic in Zimbabwe was due to the gov't not taking care of the infrastructure left by those bad white people who once ran the country.
No, it wasn't ignorance: lots of locals actually were able to do the work. But it was corruption: why spend money doing the job when you could siphon it to your family and get rich? True, the cholera was there when I worked there: But it was in local rural areas (not where I worked) and quickly isolated.

so preppers, remember: it's not just that you need two weeks of water when the big one comes, but you need to know how to clean up the water.

When I first visited here we still used the ceramic/clay pot to filter our water, and for hot water we boiled a bunch in the morning and put it in a thermos to use. But Lolo had a deep well dug for water before we moved here. A couple years later, the local water was clean to use, so we started using the city water which was easier, but we left the pump intact.

But for preppers in the US, it just points to the problem you might face if "the big one" comes.

in Oklahoma, my "emergency" bag included a small hand pump water filter, but luckily we never got a direct tornado hit.

But prepper sites do have DIY ways to filter water if you are interested.

I always laugh at preppers discussing what gun would be best for a disaster scenerio: Uh, fellahs, you'll probably be dead of diarrhea first.

And ladies, check out NFP articles, unless you want to have a baby every year. Your main risk is death in childbirth...

No comments:

Post a Comment