A live water filter made of kombucha turned out to be more effective than commercial analogues
Scientists from the Montana Technological University have developed a material for water filtration based on a symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast. It has long been used in cooking for the fermentation of beverages, the result of which is, for example, the well-known kombucha. American scientists experimented with bacterial species and settled on Acetobacter, which is adapted to life in an acetic environment.
Actually, Acetobacter itself produces acetic acid to fight other bacteria, including those that create a special type of pollution – biofilm. This slimy substance from bacterial colonies first covers the surface of the filters, and then completely disables them, much earlier than the planned service life. But everything changes if bacteria are deprived of the ability to survive on the filter surface due to acetic acid.
The final composition of the “live filter” includes black tea, sugar, distilled white vinegar and water, plus yeast and the bacterium Acetobacter. With this solution, scientists impregnated thin plates of cellulose and put them together in the form of a multi-row membrane. Experiments have shown that the degree of water purification is no higher than existing polymer analogues, but the biofilm is almost not formed on it, and the filter lasts many times longer. And the combination of bacteria and yeast has the property of regeneration, grows and fills the gaps in its defense itself.
An additional plus is that all components of such a filter are cheap and completely decompose in the natural environment.