Combat Feeding: Just Add Water - Any Water

Soldiers in the field carry their own food; one day's supply weighs about 3.5 kilograms. However, remove the water, and it only weighs 0.4 kg. But where can you find potable water in the field?

This problem has been solved by using special pouches that have holes big enough for water (about 0.5 nanometers) but not big enough for bacteria. So, just pour in any old dirty water you can find, and voila! dinner is served.

Yes, that means any water, including urine. However, scientists caution users that the pouches do not filter out urea; kidney failure could result from overuse.

The osmotic membrane is provided by Hydration Technology. Here's how it works with chicken and rice (sounds good already). The two indgredients sit in their own pouches surrounded by a semipermeable membrane; when water is poured into the meal, osmosis draws water to the more concentrated (drier) side.

SF writers have not neglected filtration as an area for speculation; see the filter wheel from The Diamond Age by Neal Stephenson

See Food rations hydrated by swamp water ... or worse, Combat Feeding and Hydration Technology X-Pack for more info.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 7/21/2004)

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