Make A Water Filter Out Of A Tree Branch

Make A Water Filter Out Of A Tree Branch

In our pursuit of advanced technology, we forget that mother nature has already patented all the best ideas. With just a hose clamp, some plastic tubing and a piece of tree branch, you can create a simple water filter.

A research team at MIT came up with what’s dubbed a “xylem filter”, named for the xylem tissue in the tree branch that transports sap inside of a tree. Rohit Karnik, associate professor of mechanical engineering at MIT, explains:

Today’s filtration membranes have nanoscale pores that are not something you can manufacture in a garage very easily. The idea here is that we don’t need to fabricate a membrane, because it’s easily available. You can just take a piece of wood and make a filter out of it.

The type of wood required for the filter is called sapwood and is a common part of many different species of tree, including white pine. Just cut the branch piece, strip the bark, insert it tightly into a plastic tube, and secure it with a hose clamp. To learn more about the xylem filer, check out the link below.

Water Filter Made from a Tree Branch Removes 99% of E. coli Bacteria [Ecopreneurist via Adafruit]


  • Every tree has sapwood, it’s just that some trees have a smaller proportion of sapwood than others. The sapwood is the living, outer layer of the tree that conducts sap upwards into the branches to feed growth.

    • Same thoughts. It’s a good idea! Just wondering what is the flow rate. Any idea for how tong to get a cup or 500ml bottle of filtered water?

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