IMPACT
07/02/2015 05:46 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

This Device Purifies Water With Salt And A Car Battery

This is a water solution we can drink to.

An estimated 748 million people across the globe still lack access to clean drinking water, an injustice that can lead to cholera, typhoid and diarrheal disease –- the fourth leading cause of child death.

To help underserved communities purify their water in an affordable way, Mountain Safety Research, together with nonprofit PATH, developed the SE200, a device that just relies on salt and electricity from any 12-volt battery, which is typically a motorcycle or car battery.

The device produces chlorine, which is effective in killing off bacteria to reduce the risk of waterborne diseases, according to Global Biodefense. But rural villages and slums often don’t have access to the chlorine and since it breaks down easily, it’s challenging to store, according to PATH.

The SE200, a small plastic canister, attaches to a battery and the user adds the indicated amount of salt and water. After pushing a button, the mixture undergoes a process called “electrolysis,” according to NPR’s Goats and Soda.

In a matter of five minutes, the electricity causes the salt to break apart into sodium and chlorine and eventually produces sodium hypochlorite, which is used to purify the contaminated water.

Each batch of chlorine can purify 200 liters of water, according to the product’s website.

The device has been tested in a number of underserved countries including Kenya, Mali and Zimbabwe. And while there are a number of other similar products on the market, the SE200 is easier to use and less expensive, according to NPR.

The SE200 costs $239 and was developed in conjunction with a number of Seattle-based nonprofits, including World Vision and the Washington Global Health Alliance, according to Global Biodefense.

Together with the Life Science Discovery Fund, World Vision will introduce 150 of the purifiers to communities in East and West Africa.

To take action on pressing water issues, check out the Global Citizen's widget below.

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