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Water

Koseq's Victory Oil Sweeper is one of ten technologies competing in the Wendy Schmidt Oil ...

If there was one thing that last year's Gulf of Mexico oil spill showed us, it was that there were no particularly good systems in place for containing and removing such spills while the oil is still out at sea. One year later, although many companies and individuals have come forward with their concepts for such systems, little has actually been developed to the point of being ready for deployment. In order to generate some incentive, and provide financial support to the cream of the crop, the X PRIZE Foundation is now in the midst of its US$1.4 million Wendy Schmidt Oil Cleanup X CHALLENGE. Although the competition has been under way since January, the ten finalist teams were announced just last week.  Read More

The LifeStraw Family water filter is being introduced in Kenya, where it should provide cl...

Given that approximately one sixth of the world's population lacks access to safe drinking water, it would obviously be a very good idea to create something that allows those people to easily and cheaply filter their local tainted water. That was the thinking behind the LifeStraw. Developed by European disease control firm Vestergaard Frandsen, the simple device allows individual users to drink directly out of unclean water bodies, without ingesting pathogens or other pollutants. Now, the larger-scale LifeStraw Family is being introduced in Kenya, where it could potentially save millions of lives, reduce air pollution, and pay for itself in the process.  Read More

Hydromax is a wearable hydration system designed for use in football

When you think of the hazards involved in playing American-style football, things like being slammed to the ground and buried under a stack of bulky opponents probably come to mind. One of the big dangers, however, is dehydration – this is particularly true for children, or athletes in southern states. While water is usually available at the sidelines, players may risk developing heat stroke before they have a chance to get to it. The Hydromax system is designed to keep that from happening, by supplying each player with their own wearable, armor-protected water supply.  Read More

Mesh being tested for use on fog-harvesting devices by Shreerang Chhatre and colleagues at...

For years, people living in high-altitude or coastal arid countries have been collecting drinking water by harvesting fog. More specifically, they've mounted pieces of fine netting over top of containers, left the setup overnight, then collected the fog droplets that got caught in the net and rolled down its fibers into the container. While it might sound like a rather insubstantial way of acquiring water, under the right conditions it can yield a surprisingly large amount of liquid. Now, inspired by the Namib Beetle, a chemical engineering graduate student from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) is looking to improve on the technique.  Read More

The VelEau is a cyclist's hydration system, that mounts on the bike instead of the rider

As things currently stand, cyclists have two options for carrying drinking water on rides: bottles in frame-mounted cages, and hydration backpacks with sipping tubes. Bottles aren’t always that readily-accessible, however – not a big deal if you stop to drink, but more bothersome if you’re trying to drink on the fly, as happens in a race. Hydration backpacks, while much handier, can be uncomfortable. Showers Pass’ VelEau 42 is claimed to address both of these problems, by mounting a backpack-style hydration system on the bike instead of the rider.  Read More

Prof. Somenath Mitra has developed a membrane incorporating carbon nanotubes, that could l...

When it comes to desalinating salt water, two of the main options are thermal distillation and reverse osmosis. Thermal distillation involves boiling the water and collecting the resulting freshwater condensation, while reverse osmosis involves pressurizing the salt water and forcing it through a semipermeable membrane, which will allow water molecules to pass through, but not salt. Both of these methods, however, require a considerable amount of energy – not as environmentally sound as they could be, nor entirely practical for use in developing nations, where electricity isn’t readily available. Now, however, a newly-developed membrane that incorporates carbon nanotubes could make desalination much quicker, easier and energy-efficient.  Read More

A team of adventurers rowing from Australia to Mauritius will have experimental new miniat...

This Sunday (April 17th, 2011), a team of four army officers from Swanton Morley, UK, will set off on a 3,100-mile (4,999-km) rowing expedition from Australia to the island of Mauritius, located east of Madagascar. They hope to raise GBP 100,000 (US$163,236) for charity as they row in two-hour shifts, 24 hours a day, for – hopefully – somewhere under 68 days. Accompanying them on their trip, however, will be some newly-developed miniaturized sensors, which will be gathering oceanographic data along the way.  Read More

A study has shown that more bacteria are present in water dispensed from hands-free electr...

Just three years ago, a study conducted by the University of Westminster, London, determined that the “hygenic” warm air hand dryers commonly found in public washrooms actually left users with more bacteria on their hands than if they’d simply used paper towels. Now, it seems that the good name of hands-free electronic-eye faucets is being similarly besmirched – researchers at The Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore have discovered that water coming from such faucets contains more Legionella bacteria than that dispensed by conventional fixtures. Their theory is that the high-tech faucets’ complex inner workings are to blame.  Read More

The Solarball is a student-designed device that creates clean drinking water through evapo...

When he set out on a trip to Cambodia in 2008, Industrial Design student Jonathan Liow had no idea it was going to be a life-changing experience. Upon seeing the poverty and poor living conditions in that country, however, he decided that he wanted to build things that could help people. After hearing about the need for cheap and effective water purification in Africa, he proceeded to create the Solarball for his graduate project at Australia's Monash University. The ball is reportedly capable of producing 3 liters (about 3 quarts) of drinkable water per day, using nothing but polluted water and sunlight.  Read More

The H2O Power radio generates its own operating power via the force of the running water f...

For all the people out there who like listening to the radio while they’re in the shower, various companies offer waterproof battery-operated “shower radios.” There’s nothing particularly wrong with these radios, but ... why change or recharge the batteries if you don’t have to? No, we’re not suggesting running a power cord into the shower. Instead, you might be interested in getting an H2O Power water-powered radio.  Read More

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