A biopolymer coagulant for household water treatment

January 26, 2012 · 0 comments

A biopolymer–coagulant for household A biopolymer coagulant for household water treatment

Feb 1,  2012 Seminar by: Ampai Soros, PhD Student, ESE

Nearly a billion people still lack access to safe drinking water, and more than 80% of them are living in developing countries. Household water treatment and safe storage (HWTS) is a promising intervention to solve this problem and to provide safe water for many people, especially the rural poor.

There are several low-cost technologies which have been employed for water treatment at the household level in developing countries, including ceramic pot filter, solar disinfection, combined
flocculation-disinfection, boiling, and biosand filters. Coagulation-flocculation is another simple technology that can be used at household level, and can be used in conjunction with other household water treatment methods to improve their effectiveness. Conventional coagulants such as aluminum sulfate have been used widely in large-scale water treatment plants; however, these coagulants are difficult to apply at the household level.

Chitosan, a bio-polymer from seafood waste, is a promising alternative coagulant for point of use household water treatment. It has the potential to remove contaminants in water, including microbes. It is favorable for use at the household level because it is biodegradable and non-toxic. In initial lab studies, results indicate that chitosans can remove bacteria and virus from water up to 99%. This showed its potential to be used alone or combined with other technologies for making microbially safe drinking water in the home.

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