Nov 26, 2007

UV Disinfection on the Go

UV disinfection technology is now portable with Hydro-Photon, Inc.’s SteriPEN.

Hikers and trekkers alike may be interested in receiving a new product for Christmas—a portable tool that can transform unsafe water to potable water. The disinfection method that has been in place for over 60 years is now something they can carry with them: Hydro-Photon, Inc.’s SteriPEN is a portable UV-disinfection system that weighs just a few ounces.

Weighing less than 4 oz., the SteriPEN is capable of removing viruses, bacteria and protozoa in 16 oz. of water in 48 seconds. The user simply has to fill his or her bottle, insert the tip of the SteriPEN, push the button, wait for the UV light to turn on and gently shake the bottle during the process.

Miles Maiden, creator of the SteriPEN, told the Bangor Daily News that the idea came to him in the mid-1990s when he was working on a project for the Department of Energy that would heat fluids with solar energy. He considered the idea of creating UV light from sunlight and using that light to disinfect water. Until that point, treatment facilities disinfected water by having it flow past a stationary UV light. Maiden, however, hoped to reverse that system by bringing the light to the water. He then tested his idea at the University of Maine, and created the current SteriPEN.

The SteriPEN destroys giardia and cryptosporidium, kills 99.9% of bacteria—such as salmonella and E. coli—eliminates more than 99.99% of viruses such as hepatitis and poliovirus and meets the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Guide Standard and Protocol for testing microbiological water purifiers.