In this "Epic Water Filter Test," Widener's passed contaminated water...
As survivalists, many of us tend to favor traditional tools over high-tech cutting-edge gadgetry. After all, if it ain't broke, don't fix it, right? Well, not necessarily. Many of the technologies we use today are centuries old, and have considerable room for improvement. Sometimes, embracing new technology can dramatically improve our way of life.
One example of this is carbon water filtration. Civilizations have been using this technique to remove contaminants from water for hundreds, or even thousands of years. There's even some evidence that it may have been used in ancient Egypt. It works well at removing chlorine, sediment, volatile organic compounds, and even bad taste from water. For a beginner's guide to carbon water filtration, check out this helpful article from All About Water Filters.
However, scientists may have recently discovered something that has the potential to be even better than carbon filtration. It's known as β-cyclodextrin (β-CD or Beta-CD), and it's a “porous, cross-linked complex” constructed of loops of sugar molecules.
This polymer removes BPA (a potentially harmful component of plastics) just like carbon filters can, but it does so in as little as 10 seconds. That's up to 200 times faster than common activated carbon filters on the market today. Not only that, but the new β-cyclodextrin purifier was found to effectively remove “model aromatic compounds, pesticides, plastic components, and pharmaceuticals” from water, significantly outperforming many carbon filters.
Best of all, it's reusable (although it requires rinsing the filter in alcohol), and initial reports indicate it might even cost less than conventional carbon filters. Obviously, more testing still needs to be done, but this new purifier is looking promising so far.
For more information on the new β-cyclodextrin purifier, check out this article on Ars Technica.