Bottled water is far more expensive than tap water, but still it’s one of the most preferred sources of drinking water. It may seem like a healthy and convenient alternative, but its environmental and financial impacts are enormous. The world spends about 100 billion dollars for about 200 billion mineral water bottles annually which is equivalent to 2,000 times the energy required to produce the same volume of tap water, while it is also one of the biggest contributors to land and natural water contamination.
Imagine if you could be able to transform tap water into mineral water at your home to cope with the alarming situation. Although there are a plenty of water filtration systems out there, none assures filteration of harmful elements without reducing minerals or trace elements. France-based company Solable has developed Lavie, a unique water purification system that can really turn tap water into mineral water naturally using biomimetic technologies.
It is just a simple bamboo box outfitted with LG’s 50%-efficiency UVA white light LED to create an imitation of the Sun’s UV light. There is a borosilicate glass bottle which users need to fill with tap water and put inside the bamboo box for 20 minutes to treat the water. The outcome of the process is pure mineral water, without taste, odors, chlorine.
• The water purifying technology uses an advanced oxidative process based on photodissociation of chlorine (HOCl). It needs no additional consumable or filter as built-in led UV lights can do it for more than 10 years.
• The main box used in the water filtering process is made of natural moso bamboo which is durable and has a very small CO2 impact. This bamboo wood is also resistant to water and heat which makes it a perfect material for such application.
• The 1L bottle is made of tempered borosilicate glass that will not break with heat or shock but is quite completely UV transparent. This glass is also known as Pyrex used for PV/ solar thermal panels.
• Energy used for purifying 1L tap water is 10wh which goes to about US$1 for filtering 500L water. It is powered by 12v/5A power input with 110/240v external power supply. The power is modulated by the electronic components during the treatment to achieve high efficiency (UV-A intensity is 6x sun radiation to achieve 20 minutes time instead of 2 hours).
• There is an embedded Bluetooth low energy module with microcontroller unit to control the process with the companion app. This low-energy microchip helps to avoid energy leaks during an idle
• As for UV radiation, there are built-in LG UV-A LED lights with 50% efficiency and air cooling feature. If somehow cooling fan fails, the device efficiency goes down by 10-15%, but it is still functional due to passive cooling initiated by the water-filled bottle placed inside the box. LEDs are placed on an aluminum PCB, and are in direct contact with the glass, making the bottle act as cooler to improve LED efficiency and lifespan.
How it works
LaVie is very simple to use: you just need to fill the bottle with tap water and place the bottle inside the LaVie bamboo box. There is a built-in sensor to tell the microcontroller unit to start the purification cycle and automatically stop at the end. The user gets notified about the current status by the colored LEDs. At the end of every purification cycle, the light is pulsed slowly to show that now you can drink water or put in the fridge.
Chlorine (HOCl) in drinking water is classified as Level 3 on the carcinogenic scale. With Lavie, Chlorine inside the tap water can be photodissociated by the sunlight and as a result, a lot of radicals are then created with its huge oxidative potential (h+, h-, o+, o-, cl+, cl-, o3, h2o2). These dissociated elements are able to mineralize complex chemicals such as pesticides and medicines traces and destroy bacteria and virus as well as remove odors and tastes.
Using advanced oxidation induced by homolytic fission, this water purifier removes chlorine, chloramines, pesticides, chemicals, odors, and tastes, but leaves untouched all minerals and trace elements.
How is Lavie différent from others
If compared to Lavie, there is no water treatment machine that can filter bad components in the tap water such as chlorine, chloramine, pesticides, etc. without reducing minerals or trace elements.
• UV-C reactors destroy bacteria and virus DNA but don’t affect chlorine, or pesticides.
• Water purifiers with reverse osmosis technology (RO) destroy all minerals and trace elements, while half of the water input is wasted and dangerous.
• Ultrafiltration (UF) eliminates bacteria and virus but slightly reduces the present minerals in the water. In addition, this method is also not active at all about odor, taste and dissolved pollutants.
• Filtering jugs also have undeniable benefits for human health. With these water purifiers, there is a huge reduction of minerals and trace elements, while addition of silver oxide is harmful. Furthermore, longer use of the same water purifier without any thorough cleaning can lead to bacteria development in the water storage tank.
• Safety: It is a totally safe water purifying device that requires no precautions for day to day use. You just need to buy and use, forget about security. During the each water treatment cycle, the bottle is also sterilized along with the water. If somehow the user leaves the bottle in the Lavie box, the secure daily treatment ensures zero bacterial re-growth. The company is assured to provide quality that is comparable to commercial natural mineral waters often you buy.
• Eco-friendly: The most important concern after safety and health impact is its overall footprint. Unlike most of the water purifications systems in the market, Lavie uses no consumables and needs no additional service. The built-in LED and battery system is capable of purifying the water for years without any replacement. This zero consumable strategy is a winner compared to filtering jugs that need plastic filters replacement, full of hazardous substances for human life. As of the built-in LG UV-A LEDs, they are as efficient as white light LED that contributes a lot to improve the energy performance of the water purification system.
• Cost-effective: With Lavie, users don’t need any additional replacement which literally, saves a lot of money. On the other hand, the return on investment is also very fast – 10 month for a household of two people compared to bottled water and two years when compared with a filtering jug and other filtering cartridges. Delivery impact of the Lavie water purifying machine is near the same as a mineral water bottle, but it will produce thousands liters of mineral water during its entire life.
• Natural design: Lavie fits seamlessly into any type home décor with a simple and beautiful design that mixes nature and luxurious materials with advanced technology. This eco-friendly water purification concept not only ensures finest water quality but also helps households to leave the bottled water habit.
Energy footprint of bottled water is huge, and Lavie can be a great solution to reduce the use of packaged water in households as well as offices. It turns tap water into pure mineral water without any filter or add-on product, and reduces next to zero its environmental footprint. Standard water purification machines and filtering jugs aren’t able to fully-destroy all harmful water contaminants, while Lavie can meet this challenge with biomimetic technologies.
Lavie will be officially launched at CES 2018 through a participatory fundraising campaign. The idea to provide homeowners with mineral water manufacturing units is truly an enhancement in time, money and environment.
Update: Solable’s Lavie smart water purifier is currently available for pre-orders at Kickstarter. You have to spend a minimum of US$180 to get a complete water purifying system in June 2018.
Special thanks to Pascal Nuti, of Solable, for sharing the details with us.