With a sheet of paper, Swedish scientists aim to help solve the problem of accessing safe drinking water, which affects more than 748 million people globally.
While deceptively simple, this sheet is made from cellulose nanofibers and has a layered internal architecture designed to remove viruses from water, according to a news release from Uppsala University on May 18.
The paper filter improves upon other methods such as chemical disinfectants, which can produce toxic by-products. “Our goal is to develop a filter paper that can remove even the toughest viruses from water as easily as brewing coffee,” said Albert Mihranyan, who heads the study at Uppsala University. In 2014, the team had described a paper filter that removes larger viruses, and now researchers have their eye on refining the filter to remove smaller viruses.