UNICEF champions recycling human sweat into clean water

A device that generates clean drinking water from recycled human sweat has been created by UNICEF to highlight the pressing issue of global water scarcity.

The 'sweat machine' works by squeezing perspiration from heavily soaked clothes, such as football kit tops, and purifying it - it is estimated that one sweaty football shirt can produce 10ml of clean drinking water.

The device was developed and built as part of UNICEF Sweden's campaign to raise awareness of the lack of clean water in many parts of the world, such as drought-stricken communities.

The concept was the brainchild of creative agency Deportivo, who has already used the machine at the Gothia Cup, a youth soccer tournament staged in Gothenburg. It is made from washing machine parts, a coffee percolator, and a new type of water filter.

About 1,000 people have tried the water so far with positive results, but there are no plans for the machine to enter commercial production any time soon.

According to Deportivo the machine has its limitations as it is dependent on how much can individuals can sweat within a given period.

UNICEF says it is intending to use the device more as a PR awareness raising campaign and continue with more proven solutions where clean water is in short supply, such as water purifying pills.

Maxine Perella


drought | football | video | Water scarcity


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