A bottle that uses ultraviolet light to sterilise drinking water has netted the James Dyson Award for a design and technology graduate from Britain.
Timothy Whitehead, from Loughborough University, came up with the Pure bottle idea while travelling in Zambia, and his invention will now go forward to the awards' global final in October.
AdvertisementThe bottle eliminates the need for chlorine and iodine tablets which take 30 minutes to work and can leave an unpleasant taste.
"I thought that there must be a way of using new technology to clean drinking water," the BBC quoted Whitehead as saying.
"I began experimenting with using ultraviolet light to sterilise water quickly, without any distortion to taste," he said.
The water bottle contains two chambers. Dirty water is put in an outer chamber and the inner chamber is plunged through it, filtering water particles as small as four microns.
Once filtered, the water is sterilised by a wind-up ultraviolet bulb in a process lasting 90 seconds.
A prototype was effective in killing 99.9 percent of bacteria and viruses.
"Pure provides a practical solution to a real problem - how to get clean drinking water in the most hostile of conditions," Professor Matthew Harrison, who is one of the judges and also director of education programmes at the Royal Academy of Engineering, commented.
"It has the potential to make a real difference to people's lives," he said.
The James Dyson award was set up to recognise those who provide answers for everyday problems. The international winner receives 10,000 pounds for themselves and 10,000 pounds for their university department.