It's not a secret that TreeHugger believes in the beneficial powers of the bicycle. We've covered the excellent bikey ideas that could really benefit the world in a big way. Most concepts like these don't get built - like the Aquaduct, for example, and the Lightfog pollution-eating bicycle.
But the CycloClean is another 'big idea' bike that, though perhaps not as exquisitely designed, has been around for years.
More than three million people die annually from water-related diseases, according to UNICEF, and children are most vulnerable. There are many reasons that potable water is an expensive proposition.The CycloClean brings clean water anywhere a bike can go, and it's a pedal-powered solution that's starting to catch on.
The Japanese-based company Nippon Basic Co. that developed the bikes, has been making them in small batches for over a decade and selling them mostly to local governments. Nippon Basic's sales have just topped 200 bikes.
But now there's a push to drop the cost of the bike (it's about US$6,600) so that it can make clean-water inroads in places like Bangladesh. Bangladesh has about 60 million people without access to clean water. If the bike is assembled in Bangladesh and then fitted with the water purification filters, the price drops down by approximately half. This seems like a Kickstarter/partnership opportunity waiting to happen. Clean water is a luxury most of us take for granted.
Vigorous pedaling of the CycloClean bicycle can pump about 300 liters of water through the back-rack based filtering system, company founder Yuichi Katsuura told The Rakyat Press.
CycloClean's inventor also said even river water could be sanitized to a drinkable level with the CycloClean (though wastewater and seawater could not).
In Bangladesh the combination of local bicycles with the filtration system are being called New CycloClean.