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Designing a water bottle that purifies tap water with UV light, need your help!

Designing a water bottle that purifies tap water with UV light, need your help!

Old May 5, 19, 10:32 pm
  #1  
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Question Designing a water bottle that purifies tap water with UV light, need your help!

"This thread is being posted after consultation with Moderator Wharvey".

Hello everyone!

I'm currently in the process of developing a water bottle that purifies tap water for travelers. I would like your opinion on whether this is something you guys would find useful. This isn't designed to get rid of chemical contaminants like filters. This isn't the first of its kind to come to the market.
  • This bottle uses ultraviolet light (Located under the bottle's cap) to purify water, killing 99.99% of bacteria and viruses within 1 minute
  • Can be used by hikers and travelers looking to purify streams and tap water.
  • There is a rechargeable battery that can last 1 month.
  • It is 20 oz and made of stainless steel with a removable plastic handle on the lid
Is this something you would find useful during your travels? Something you would trust? Why or why not? Feedback or suggestions is welcome, both positive and negative.

Really appreciate your help!
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joshliu22 is offline  
Old May 6, 19, 7:23 am
  #2  
 
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An opaque bottle makes it difficult to confirm that the UV light is running if the light's built into a cap.

I can't speak for everyone, but I find current products like the SteriPen more useful because they're container-independent. A bottle with a built-in sterilizer means that I have to carry that bottle, even if I'd rather bring a different size or material. And if the bottle doesn't share threads with a common design (e.g. Nalgene 1L, Sigg...), destroying the bottle potentially leaves the expensive cap useless if, for example, I'm traveling in a country where your company has no distributors.

A cap for Nalgene bottles with a built-in sterilizer might save enough space over a separate sterilizer to be worth the downside of not being able to use it in a glass or someone else's bottle.
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der_saeufer is offline  
Old May 6, 19, 8:16 pm
  #3  
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Originally Posted by der_saeufer View Post
An opaque bottle makes it difficult to confirm that the UV light is running if the light's built into a cap.

I can't speak for everyone, but I find current products like the SteriPen more useful because they're container-independent. A bottle with a built-in sterilizer means that I have to carry that bottle, even if I'd rather bring a different size or material. And if the bottle doesn't share threads with a common design (e.g. Nalgene 1L, Sigg...), destroying the bottle potentially leaves the expensive cap useless if, for example, I'm traveling in a country where your company has no distributors.

A cap for Nalgene bottles with a built-in sterilizer might save enough space over a separate sterilizer to be worth the downside of not being able to use it in a glass or someone else's bottle.
Thanks for the feedback. I didn't think about these things before. The problem with UV design is it must be used in a stainless steel bottle for it to work properly, which is one of the downsides, so it wouldn't be possible to design it for a Nalgene bottle. I'd have to design the most acceptable size to fit the market.
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Old May 7, 19, 3:17 am
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Originally Posted by joshliu22 View Post
The problem with UV design is it must be used in a stainless steel bottle for it to work properly, which is one of the downsides, so it wouldn't be possible to design it for a Nalgene bottle.
The UV water treatment devices currently on the market claim to work in glass or plastic, and Steripen's pre-filter/attachment is actually threaded for a 1L Nalgene bottle (though it's not particularly convenient to use).
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der_saeufer is offline  
Old May 12, 19, 11:30 pm
  #5  
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As der_saeufer says, I wouldn't tie it to a bottle.

Instead, make a few different versions--same electronics pack, but threaded for common bottle sizes; or else one electronics pack that screws into adapters for common bottle sizes. Plenty of people make good bottles, don't reinvent the wheel.

Put a window in it so the user can confirm that it's actually working.

Allow it to be powered by USB.

These days I would have little use for it but that's subject to change--long ago I certainly would have bought a UV sterilizer had they existed then and it's certainly possible our travels will once again take us into areas where I would like to have one. While I do hike I live in a desert--I do not own anything for gathering/filtering/sterilizing water because I do nothing where I can count on finding water other than during snowmelt and even then I have yet to encounter collectable water more than 90 minutes from the trailhead.
Loren Pechtel is offline  
Old May 14, 19, 6:52 am
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Have you seen LARQ? Uses UV light under the bottle cap with a rechargeable battery (micro-USB). I bought two for Xmas gifts (one for myself . I've used it twice.
https://www.livelarq.com
neilah is offline  
Old May 15, 19, 9:24 am
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Keep in mind this will not purify the water. It will disinfect it. Also only partially at that.

If there is small particulate in the water, bacteria/viruses will be shielded from the UV rays within the particulate. Without some form of pre-filter, this will be useless for streams. If the local water supply is bad enough it will also be useless for tap water.

You will need to dope the light source to prevent the production of ozone; no less than 254 nm. Ozone is toxic to humans. Also, if the water contains bromine (it likely will), ozone will react with bromine to form bromate which is a suspected carcinogen.

UV light is more useful for already treated water. I certainly wouldn't trust it in a stream or in general alone. Transmittance is a huge issue you will face for proper disinfection if the light source is on the cap only. If something is present in the water which absorbs UV light, it will result in bacteria/viruses surviving. Even if you coated the entire inside of the bottle with UV lights this would still be the case if there was solid particulate was bacteria can thrive inside of it.

This will likely do nothing to help with endospores. While bacteria are far less likely to sporulate in water, they can and will.

Also, UV light is ineffective at removing chemicals. If the water is contaminated with chemical of microbial origin or otherwise, it will do nothing. It may even facilitate the evolution of chemicals found in the water into more toxic species such as my bromate example.
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Old May 17, 19, 4:58 pm
  #8  
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I currently use a Steripen (when needed) with a variety of bottles. I like that it can be adapted to fit different bottles that can be found where I travel. I really wouldn't want it to be tied to a specific bottle. What I would like to see is if that technology could be made smaller and more portable while remaining just as effective. I would also like it to have a user-replaceable rechargeable battery.
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