From the Experts
Hann Wang - Micro Systems Laboratories, UCLA
The recently launched PurifiCup which is capable of killing 99% of the pathogen by the nanosilver technology.The nanosilver technology has two major advantages over traditional water purification systems, including sustainability of the silver-based anti-infective technology, and reduced release of silver ion.
Silver has been used as an anti-infective agent throughout the history of mankind. Silver and silver compound shows a toxic effect on some bacteria, viruses, algae and fungi, typical for heavy metals like lead or mercury, but without the high toxicity to humans normally associated with these other metals. Ancient Chinese emperor often used silver chopsticks for dinning to test if the food contains toxins, which will turn the silver chopsticks black. In ancient time, the impure toxins usually contains sulfur compound, which react strongly with silver to form silver sulfide. Similar phenomenon can be observed in tarnished silverware, which is coated with a dense black silver sulfide layer. This high reactivity of silver to sulfur compound contribute largely to its anti-infective property. When the cellular membrane of the pathogen is in contact with silver, the membrane protein, which is vital for the pathogen, will react and be disintegrated by the interaction. Due to the fundamental difference in the mechanism of silver and antibiotics, silver has the added benefit that it does not promote drug resistance in pathogens. Thus, the silver-based technology is an effective and sustainable way to purify water and fight pathogens.
Furthermore, nanosilver technology is more stable than the traditional silver ion based technology. Recently, silver loaded ion-exchange resins become a popular choice for the water purification industry, and have demonstrated a strong role in removing microbes. For the kind of technology based on silver loaded ion-exchange resins, the microbes are not actually “removed”; the microbes are killed by the release of ionic silver. Although as mentioned earlier, silver is relatively nontoxic compare to other heavy metals, it still accumulates in human body and creates problems such as argyria, a permanent skin color change. For most commercial silver ion based water purification systems, the amount of silver leaching is designed to barely meet the standard enforced by the local government. Upon prolonged intake of water purified from the ion based systems, the consumers are exposed to risk of accumulation of silver. However, the nanosilver technology works under a different mechanism. The inlet and outlet of the PurifiCup filter is enclosed by a membrane with micron size holes and pre-coated with a nanoscopic layer of metallic silver. The nanosilver coating kills the pathogen upon contact with its cellular membrane while the pathogens flow through the pores. The problem for the release of ionic silver is automatically solved since the metallic silver does not release into the purified water as the ion exchange raisin does. In comparison to silver ion based technology, nanosilver is a more robust choice for the consumer.
Paul A. Lake - Board of Directors - National Association of Search and Rescue Council (NASAR)
“I have evaluated the PurifiCup for use by our search and rescue team and found it to be both easy to use and very portable. Highly recommend it for anyone who regularly ventures away from a reliable water source.”
Founder / Executive Director - Reviewshub
Paul Falavolito - Board Member - Pennsylvania SAR Council, Search & Rescue Team Commander, Board Member - NASAR, Chief of EMS
"PurifiCup is a must have for any outdoor enthusiast. It's lightweight, easy to carry design and self containment make this a no brainer for any backpack, glove compartment, or emergency response kit. I have put this product to the test with our Search & Rescue Team and local Emergency Disaster Response Team and found that clean, reliable water has never been easier to obtain with PurifiCup."
Andrew McNeill - Water Treatment Expert
When camping or hiking or even during an emergency drinking water becomes very important (water is important everyday really). You can store water easily if you don’t have to travel or evacuate, but carrying enough water if you are on foot is very difficult and very heavy. There is a need for a portable, simple, effective way to make safe drinking water.
I had the opportunity to test one and I put it up against some laboratory tests and my own personal judgments. It is very simple to use and is compact enough to fit into any bag and most cup holders.This filter fits perfectly over wide mouth Nalgene bottles and screws directly onto standard water bottles. This product is very versatile and that makes it useful in a wide variety of situations.
What I wanted to know was, in a real world setting does it work? Does the product come close to meeting the claims? I tested the PurifiCup’s ability to remove tubidity, chlorine, color and its ability to kill bacteria.
There was a chlorine residual of 2.03 mg/L to start with. After filtering with the PurifiCup chlorine was reduced to 0.16 mg/L. To put it simpler, there was a 97% reduction of chlorine in the tap water. That level or chlorine reduction is amazing.
Now for the parameter I was most curious about on a professional and personal level. Bacteria; does the PurifiCup actually disinfect water? I had to send this to an external environmental laboratory as I don’t have access to a biological lab. This limited the number and types of bacteria
First, bacteria tests are measured in colony forming units (cfu). A cfu is a group of bacteria that group into a visible blob (colony) of bacteria. The raw water from the river had a cfu count of 800 and the treated water had a cfu count of 500. 500 may seem like a lot, but it is a misleading number. Remember the disinfection doesn’t mean the killing of all bacteria, that’s sterilization. Disinfection is the removal or inactivation of pathogenic bacteria. Inactivation stops the ability of bacteria to reproduce and cause disease. Like I said before 500 cfu may seem like a lot. But these 500 cfu were inactivated. Remember the 1micron filter? A lot of bacteria go through the filter, but unlike the raw sample the
I highly recommend this product as part of a water purification system. The portability and low cost of the PurifiCup makes this product a simple addition to your emergency preparations or for an avid outdoors-man’s kit.
Jeff Clark - Expert Day Hiker
If you’re a passionate day-hiker like me, you are always looking to lighten your pack and heighten your emergency preparedness. I’ve had my eyes peeled for a portable, packable water filter that is very lightweight with a small footprint. Pump water filters work great but are somewhat bulky, taking quite a bit of valuable pack space. Enter the PurifiCup® Portable Water Purifier — just slightly larger than a soda can and weighing less than 11 ounces (305 grams) — an ideal addition to any hiker’s tool belt.
Before taking the PurifiCup® on a hike with me, I first tried it at home to learn how to use it. I’m glad I did this because I did have a couple false starts. I am a Meanderthal, after all. I used it on the water straight out of my tap and noticed leaking around the core filter housing. I thought to myself that can’t be right, and sure enough, eventually discovered I simply didn’t have the housing screwed on tightly enough. The instructions warned against applying the lids too tight, so being anal, I also didn’t get the filter housing tight enough. Once solved, the water was filtered completely leak free.
The design is really quite simple. It is basically a cup within a cup with the filter in between. Because there are no pumps involved in the filtration process
— it works via gravity and vacuum
— the actual filtering of the water seemed time consuming, at first. I just placed the unfiltered water container on top of the filter and it drained the 10 oz. contents in about two minutes. I tried it again and this time it took almost three minutes. After consulting with the company representative, I learned a few tricks. First, I shook the filter to make sure all air was out of it, and second, I pressed the unfiltered water container securely on the core filter housing thereby creating a vacuum. I was then able to filter 10 oz. in less than a minute (about 50 seconds). That’s more like what I had hoped for. Certainly more than acceptable.
The filtered water itself tasted remarkably fresh and pure. There was no tell-tale taste of chlorine and metals like we have become accustomed to with domestic tap water. Now that I knew how to use it, and satisfied the filtration was working properly, I was ready for a hike.
I’ve been fortunate over the years to never contract giardia or any of the other nasty bacterium found in mountain water. Of course, I just don’t drink right out of the creek. I learned that lesson from the story my brother tells of battling giardia for more than a month many years ago. It’s nasty, nasty stuff. So there’s obviously a certain amount of trust you have to put in a filter when trying it on a real, live mountain stream.
The first test of the PurifiCup® was in Matthews Creek in the Mountain Bridge Wilderness of South Carolina. I purposely picked a pool in the stream where there was algae and moss to put the filter through its paces. As with tap water at home, the PurifiCup® filtered 10 ounces in just under a minute. The filtered water was perfectly clear. There was no green tint as there had been in the unfiltered container. Best of all, there isn’t much that is more refreshing than cold, winter mountain water… crisp and invigorating. The taste was fresh and pleasant.
Next I wanted to try lake water at valley level. The usual problem with drinking lake water is pesticides that have drained from agriculture, and herbicide runoff. My experience with the filtration was similar in time and effort, and again the water was crystal clear and clean and pleasant to the taste.
We scheduled another hike in Mountain Bridge Wilderness, this time to Falls Creek Falls. Another danger with mountain water is heavy metals, in particular mercury. When we reached the falls, I put the container cup under the cascade then attached it to the core filter housing. The water flowed clear and clean through the filter. The hike up to the falls had been very steep and tiring, so the cold water from the PurifiCup® hit the spot. It was delightful. Later on that day when we reached another waterfall my companions asked if I would filter some water for them. They too wanted to savor some of that cold mountain freshness. I think I have a couple more fans.
I have been quite pleased with my PurifiCup®. I would, and have, recommended it to friends. It is lightweight and compact, a nice fit in my pack. I feel more secure now that I will have the ability to create an emergency water supply should I run out or get lost or injured on the trail. If need be, the core filter housing is designed to filter water directly into generic plastic water bottles for storage. The most important thing is that I have not gotten sick from any of the tap, stream, lake or waterfall water that I have filtered through the PurifiCup®. This is a great product that I think will become very popular with the hiking community.
Tim Shettlesworth - The Survival Specialist
I have survived several major disasters including Mt. Saint Helens and two Category 3 hurricanes. This has given us a unique prospective in designing our disaster survival kits.
We have also been avid campers and back country explorers most of our lives, practicing our skills every chance we get. It is with this knowledge and experience that we design our wilderness survival kits. We started this venture to bring to the public properly designed, well thought out, and thoroughly tested survival gear. designed to help you survive.
I recently ran across this new water treatment system using nano-silver technology for the first time in a portable system I had to check it out. I ordered one and started doing my research like I always do. The more I read and the more I dug the more excited I got. This new water purification system goes far beyond your normal portable systems.