Solar Water Purification Bottles With Dye Indicator for Developing Countries

University of Massachusetts, Lowell, $17,500

Almost one billion people worldwide do not have access to safe drinking water, most of them in the developing world. To combat the problem, this E-Team is developing a water purification process in which contaminated water is put into a recycled plastic bottle coated with titanium dioxide and placed in the sun for several hours. This kills not only bacteria but other harmful substances such as arsenic and herbicides.

The team received a 2006 NCIIA grant to test this method and to develop a dye that turns clear when the water is fully disinfected and ready to use. They are now looking to bring the product to market by setting up microenterprises in villages in the Peruvian Andes and by partnering with a large bottled water company for manufacturing the bottles for sale.