Sweat Machine Turns Grimy Soccer Sweat Into Clean Water

A sweat machine that claimed to extract the sweat from soccer player’s clothes and turn it into a cup of pure drinking water made its first appearance yesterday at the Gothia Cup youth soccer tournament in Gothenburg, Sweden.

UNICEF and the Gothia Cup officials said that they planned to transform the sweat from people from over 70 countries. They want to draw attention to the problem of the estimated 780 million people on the planet who still don’t have access to safe drinking water.

As you can see in the top photograph on the right, soccer great Kim Källström of the Spartak Moskva and Sweden National Team took the dare. The smile on his face almost convinces me to try it. Well, I did say almost.

Kim Källström is a 21-year-old well-regarded midfielder who participated in the Gothia Cup himself when he was younger.

The finals for the Gothia Cup were played today in the event open to boys and girls aged 11 to 19. Over 70 countries fielded over 4,000 teams on 91 fields over the course of the week.

A Discovery report said that the sweat machine was built by engineer Andreas Hammar. He used an off-the-shelf clothes dryer combined with a filter designed at the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, Sweden.

Reporter Jesse Esmpak summed it up like this:

“[T]hey put the sweaty clothes in the dryer component. That spins and squeezes out the sweat. The sweat gets heated, exposed to UV light and pushed through the high-tech filters, to get rid of salts and bacteria. The water then goes through a coffee filter to get the fibers from the clothes out. The result: distilled water.”

Since it takes a full dryer load of sweaty clothes to produce a full cup of the water, the UNICEF booth also had a bicycle set up to help people get sweaty. They said about 500 people had tasted the sweat machine water.

No word yet if representatives of all of the 70-plus nations present actually did sample the sweat machine drinking water.

[Top photos by Gothia Cup Official photos via Instagram]
[UNICEF Gothia Cup photo by Gothia Cup Official website]