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22 October, 2008 - 03:51 By Staff Reporter

Mazda has bottle to call on Lifesaver

Ipswich company Lifesaver Systems has designed for Mazda the world’s first ultra filtration water bottle to be installed in a car.

The LIFESAVER bottle citiTM removes all waterborne pathogens and other pollutants creating safe sterile drinking water for the driver and passengers. The innovation has made its debut in Mazda’s new Kiyora concept car. Taking advantage of rain as a natural resource, the roof of the Mazda Kiyora channels rainwater firstly through an activated carbon filter and then into the specially commissioned drinks bottle located between the front seats for easy access. The invention uses state of the art ultra filtration hollow fibre membranes. With a pore size of 15 nano-meters these membranes remove all microbiological contamination including bacteria and viruses without using chemicals, delivering safe fresh drinking water to the driver and passengers any time.   The bottle is removable so can be taken out of the car and used to gather water from other natural sources such as rivers, lakes and streams. “If it makes sense it could be fitted as an accessory,” says Mazda design director Laurens van den Acker. “A lot of these ideas aren’t far away when you think about it, especially in Australia where it never rains. Besides, they say water is the next oil.”   Van den Acker says Mazda wouldn’t have bothered with sourcing proven technology that’s already on the market if it wasn’t serious about implementing it in cars that will soon be in showrooms.   “We could have just as easily put a few lines in the press kit, but instead we got the real thing.” Michael Pritchard, inventor and CEO of Lifesaver Systems said: “It makes me very proud to be working with Mazda on such a thrilling, environmentally sound project.   “Bottled water is just wrong when we have such plentiful supplies of nature’s resource all around us. I look forward to the LIFESAVER bottle citi going into  production and preventing millions of tonnes of plastic water bottles being dumped each year into landfill.” Pritchard developed the LIFESAVER bottle after seeing the tragic waste of life and serious problems caused by the lack of safe drinking water in the wake of the tsunami in December 2004 and the following year when Hurricane Katrina hit Louisiana.   It took a little while and some very frustrating prototypes but eventually he did it. Since it’s launch in September 2007 LIFESAVER systems has played a leading role in personal water filtration. The bottles are currently being used in service by both UK and US forces and are actively being considered and tested by military around the world.   Pritchard is now working on several other projects for extending the range of applications for the technology. He is also MD of Hydronic Solutions (Europe) Ltd, a specialist water treatment and legionella risk assessment company.

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