Water Treatment for Rural and Developing Communities Using Gasifier Biochar.

May 22, 2012 · 0 comments

Handbook: Sustainable Decentralized Water Treatment for Rural and Developing Communities Using Gasifier Biochar, 2012.

Contamination of drinking water sources by synthetic organic compounds (SOCs – e.g. pesticides, pharmaceuticals, fuel compounds, etc.) is a growing worldwide problem. Many of these chemicals bio-accumulate in the human body and cause cancer, birth defects and diseases of the reproductive system, and disrupt endocrine and neurological systems. However, few low-cost, sustainable and appropriate treatment technologies are available to rural and developing communities for SOC removal. Moreover, SOCs are rarely or not-at-all addressed in the majority of safe drinking water programs implemented by major international development NGOs and government agencies, university research programs, philanthropic organizations, non-profits, faith-based charities, etc.

In advanced centralized water treatment systems, adsorption by activated carbon (AC) is considered the best available technology for the removal of SOCs. However, the manufacture of AC is a sophisticated (and often proprietary) industrial process and cannot be replicated at the location and scale of rural and developing communities. Under these circumstances, charcoals produced by traditional kiln systems may serve as an effective, low-cost local surrogate for commercial AC as they exhibit similar molecular-scale properties (e.g. porosity and internal surface area, surface reactive sites). In fact, water filtration using charcoal is an ancient practice that continues today in non-industrialized regions around the world, though it has not yet been rigorously demonstrated for removal of modern industrial pollutants.

Bookmark and Share

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: