Mesopaper™ from Mesofilter Inc. is a paper filter that rapidly immobilizes harmful pollutants such as arsenic, lead, and other heavy metals, bacteria, viruses, and radioactive elements in water and air. With more than an 80% cost savings, its effectiveness and ease of use are superior to reverse osmosis, chemical treatment, and UV exposure—the common processes used for filtering air and water today.
Unlike other filtration processes, Mesopaper does not require pressure, chemicals, electrical potential, plastic, or any additional equipment. Users can filter water from nearly any source, regaining access to drinkable water in minutes. Or, an industrial manager can add Mesopaper to an existing system to quickly and cost effectively remove contaminants.
By 2025, it is estimated that more than one-third of the world’s population will not have access to clean drinking water. Arsenic poisoning alone affects 200 million people worldwide, and in the United States 170 million people drink water containing cancer-causing, radioactive elements. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), arsenic, lead, and mercury are the three most hazardous threats to human health, and the consumption of these materials often comes from contaminated water.
Mesopaper can be molded into various shapes such as pour-through filters, straw filters, and industrial filtration cartridges. It is biodegradable and can be disposed like any piece of trash since all contaminants become immobile and inert. One square foot of the Mesopaper filter can purify 10 gallons of water with absolutely no wastewater or hazardous byproducts. It reduces the number of filtration steps down to one, compared to the three to five steps common in reverse osmosis treatment, and only needs 0.15 seconds to achieve 99% arsenic and 99.9999% virus removal.
“Everyone deserves access to clean, safe water, but current methods of filtration are expensive, often produce toxic sludge and wastewater, and/or require large amounts of electricity—making it impossible to provide clean water to a large portion of the world’s population,” said Liangjie Dong, Mesofilter’s co-founder, CEO and chief scientist. “Our goal with Mesopaper is to bring clean air and water to anyone, anywhere.”
Mesopaper uses Mesofilter’s patented MesoNose™ technology, which mimics the human nose. MesoNose is composed of ceramic granules made from natural clay containing millions of tiny, 40 to 50 nanometer (nm) size “noses” with billions of nano zero-valent iron needles. The needles function like hooks to capture bacteria, inactivate viruses, and adsorb heavy metals and radioactive elements. The paper is made of three layers of bamboo fibers with MesoNose granules sandwiched in between.
Mesopaper can be used to increase efficiency and reduce costs for large-scale industries:
- Disaster Relief: Organizations like FEMA can distribute filters to disaster victims, who would regain access to safe water in minutes.
- Industrial: Industries that produce large amounts of wastewater, such as mining, can filter to a cleanliness level that safely allows water to be reintroduced to local waterways or the water table.
- Nuclear: Nuclear plants can stop radioactive water from entering the ecosystem and purify existing toxic groundwater contaminated by radioactive elements.
- Agriculture: Farmers can remove contaminants from irrigation runoff and other forms of wastewater, so it can be reused or returned to waterways or the water table.
Mesopaper has been certified to NSF/ANSI 53: Drinking Water Treatment Units – Health Effects, the American National Standard for drinking water treatment units.
“When consumers see the NSF mark on a product, they can have confidence that the product has been independently tested and certified to do what the manufacturer says it will do,” said David Purkiss, vice president of the global water division at NSF International. “NSF International’s independent certification of this new material to NSF/ANSI 53 means the drinking water filtration industry now has a new filtration medium that is verified to reduce both lead and pentavalent arsenic (or arsenic V) to levels set by the EPA and WHO.”
Most arsenic enters the drinking water supply either from natural deposits in the earth or from industrial and agricultural pollution. According to WHO, more than 200 million people worldwide might be chronically exposed to arsenic in drinking water. Long-term exposure can lead to chronic arsenic poisoning and to certain cancers.
Mesopaper has been verified to reduce arsenic to below the EPA and WHO health advisory levels of 10 parts per billion (ppb). The material is also NSF International certified for lead reduction to 10 ppb or less, which is lower than the U.S. EPA action level of 15 ppb.