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净水之书

2014-08-26

新东方英语·中学版 2014年8期
关键词:净水科维奇工序

在水污染越来越严重的今天,能否喝上洁净的水是一个严峻的问题。与此同时,净水工序之复杂,造价之高,又远非普通民众所能承受。幸而,科学家们研制出了一种神奇的净水设备,它有着书的构造,更有着净水的功效。

In developing countries, clean drinking water is not a given1). According to the World Health Organization, every year around 3.4 million people die from water-related illnesses. Accessing clean water often means waiting in line for a truck to haul it to you, boiling it (an energy-hungry option) or running it through a ceramic2) filter (expensive). But the truth is, more often than not people don't clean it at all.

A new project from the Water Is Life organization is looking to simplify the purification process with a high-design solution. The Drinkable Book, as it's called, looks like something you'd keep on your coffee table, but it's actually a full-on3) water purification system.

Each page is its own little filter that can clean up to 100 liters of water (that's around a 30-day supply). This means each book can provide a single person with up to four years of clean water. Researchers at Carnegie Mellon and the University of Virginia developed a special kind of paper that's coated in silver nanoparticles4), which kill bacteria. "Some socks use silver nanoparticles to prevent fungus5) from growing on athletes' feet," explains chemist Theresa Dankovich, the project's lead scientist who has been researching this process since 2008.

The Drinkable Book isn't a water filter, exactly. While most water filters trap harmful content, the Drinkable Book works a little differently. As dirty water passes through the paper, bacteria absorbs the silver ions6) which causes it to die. Think of it like poison for the poison found in your water.

To make the paper, Dankovich soaks it in a bath of silver ions and a chemical reduction7) agent8). From there she drains9) the bath and heats the paper at around 200 degrees Fahrenheit for a few minutes. After the paper is full of silver nanoparticles it gets rinsed10) and dried again. The result is a rust11) orange color you see in the book.

Making the book is clearly a science-heavy process, but last summer Brian Gartside, a designer at DDB12), contacted Dankovich after finding her research online. He wanted to use the scientist's work and turn it into something that could be easily used in developing countries. "At the time, the whole thing was much clunkier13)," Dankovich explains. "Not something you'd see in a fancy video."

Gartside took the paper Dankovich was making and designed a system around it. In an effort to educate the people using the book, each page comes printed with guidelines and tips for safe water consumption. It's gorgeous.endprint

So how practical is something like this? Quite, says Dankovich. First, the paper and chemicals needed to produce this is cheaper than most other water-filtration mechanisms. "It should be something that's widely used," she says. "It doesn't require power and it's very intuitive14)." The team is planning to field test15) some form of the book later this year and are looking to have a commercially viable16) product ready for 2015.

在发展中国家,洁净的饮用水并不是理所当然就有的。据世界卫生组织统计,每年约有340万人死于与水有关的疾病。想要获取洁净的水,通常意味着先排队等候卡车把水运送过来,再将其煮沸(这种做法极需能量)或用陶瓷过滤器(价格不菲)对其进行过滤。然而事实却是,人们往往根本不对水进行净化处理。

“水即生命”组织进行的一个新项目希望用一种高级设计方案对净水工序进行简化。这种名为“净水之书”的设备看起来就像你摆放在咖啡桌上的物件,可它实际上却是一个净水系统,具有净水系统的所有特征。

净水之书的每一页都是一个小过滤器,最多可净化100升水(大约够用30天)。这意味着每本书可为一个人提供长达四年的洁净饮用水。卡内基梅隆大学和弗吉尼亚大学的研究人员研制出一种特别的纸张,其外面包裹着可以杀菌的银纳米粒子。“有的袜子使用银纳米粒子来防止运动员脚上滋长真菌。”化学家特雷莎·丹科维奇解释道。她是这个项目的首席科学家,从2008年起就一直在研究净水工序。

准确地说,净水之书并不是滤水器。大多数滤水器都会将有害物质滤出,而净水之书的工作原理稍微有些不同。当污水从书页中通过时,细菌会吸收银离子而死。你可以把它看作一种毒药,用来杀死你饮用水中的有毒物质。

为了制作这种纸张,丹科维奇先将纸浸入盛有银离子和一种化学还原剂的容器中,然后将容器中的液体排尽,并用约200华氏度(译注:约93摄氏度)将纸加热几分钟。当纸完全被银纳米粒子覆盖后,将其冲洗干净,再次烘干。最后就得到了你在净水之书中看到的那种橙赭色书页。

制作净水之书的过程显然极具科研色彩。不过在去年夏天(编注:本文写于2014年5月),DDB传媒集团一位名叫布赖恩·加特赛德的设计师在网上发现丹科维奇的研究之后,与她取得了联系。加特赛德想要利用她的研究成果,将其开发成易于在发展中国家使用的设备。“那时,这整套净水设备比现在的要笨重许多,”丹科维奇解释说,“并不是你在某个炫酷的视频中所看到的那样。”

加特赛德拿来丹科维奇正在研制的纸张,围绕其设计了一套净水系统。为了教人们使用净水之书,该书的每一页都印有安全饮水的指导方法和建议。这太棒了!

那么这种净水设备的可行性如何呢?非常可行,丹科维奇说。首先,生产该设备所用的纸张及化学药品比大多数其他滤水装置都要便宜。“这种设备应广泛应用,”她说,“它不需要动力,而且易于理解和使用。”该研究团队打算在今年晚些时候对净水之书的某种模型进行现场试验,他们希望具备商业可行性的相关产品能够在2015年成形。

1. given [?ɡ?vn] n. 理所当然的事实

2. ceramic [s??r?m?k] adj. 陶瓷的

3. full-on: 最典型的;具有一应特征的

4. nanoparticle [?n?n??pɑ?t?kl] n. 纳米粒子

5. fungus [?f??ɡ?s] n. 霉菌;真菌

6. ion [?a??n] n. 【化】离子

7. reduction [r??d?k?n] n. 【化】还原(作用)

8. agent [?e?d??nt] n. 剂;作用剂

9. drain [dre?n] vt. 慢慢排尽……的水(或液体)

10. rinse [r?ns] vt. 清洗,冲洗

11. rust [r?st] adj. 红褐色的

12. DDB: DDB传媒集团,全称为DDB Worldwide Communications Group Inc.,是世界范围内的营销传媒网络,隶属于世界上最大的广告控股公司宏盟集团(Omnicom Group Inc.)。

13. clunky [?kl??ki] adj. <口> <主美>笨重的

14. intuitive [?n?tju??t?v] adj. 易于理解和使用的

15. field test: 现场试验;实地试验

16. viable [?va??bl] adj. 可行的endprint

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