Using Ceramics and Nanoparticle Technology to Clean Water
In developing countries, poor sanitation and lack of proper sewage systems could lead to soil and water contamination by pathogenic microorganisms. PureMadi is working to prevent waterborne diseases through educating, training, and empowering resource-limited communities to produce and distribute an innovative point-of-use water treatment technology.
They have successfully developed and implemented a sustainable, ceramic water filter factory in South Africa. Ceramic filters are a point-of-use (e.g. household-level) water treatment technology that can be produced with local materials (clay, sawdust, and water) and local labor. The materials are mixed in appropriate proportions, pressed into the shape of a filter pot, and fired in a kiln at 900 ˚C. Upon firing, the clay forms a ceramic and the sawdust combusts, leaving a porous ceramic matrix for filtration. In addition, the filters are treated with a dilute solution of silver nanoparticles. The nanoparticles lodge in the pore space of the ceramic matrix and act as a highly effective disinfectant for waterborne pathogens like Vibrio cholerae and pathogenic strains of Escherichia coli. Untreated water can then be passed through the filter and collected in a lower reservoir with a spigot to obtain purified water.
A filter factory can become a sustainable business venture that provides economic stimulus to the local community. The solutions provided by them are grounded in sustainability principles that enable communities to help solve their own water problems. Could we emulate this approach to provide people in our villages with clean drinking water?
Spotted by: Bikram Palikhey