Critical parameters in the production of ceramic pot filters for household water treatment in developing countries

December 31, 2014 · 0 comments

Critical parameters in the production of ceramic pot filters for household water treatment in developing countriesJournal of Water and Health, In Press, Uncorrected Proof © IWA Publishing 2014 | doi:10.2166/wh.2014.090

A. I. A. Soppe, S. G. J. Heijman, I. Gensburger, A. Shantz, D. van Halem, J. Kroesbergen, G. H. Wubbels and P. W. M. H. Smeets

Aqua for All Foundation, Koningskade 40, The Hague 2596 AA, the Netherlands E-mail:
Department of Water Management, Delft University of Technology, Stevinweg 1, Delft 2628 CN, the Netherlands
Engineers Without Borders Australia, 99 Howard Street, North Melbourne, VIC, Australia and Downer Ltd., 133 Main South Road, PO Box 13031, Dunedin 9052, New Zealand
Resource Development International Cambodia, No. 50A, Phum Prek Thom Sangkat Kbal Koh, Khan Mean Chey, Phnom Penh, Kingdom of Cambodia
Het Waterlaboratorium, J.W. Lucasweg 2, Haarlem 2031 BE, the Netherlands
Waterlaboratorium Noord, Rijksstraatweg 85, Glimmen 9756 AD, the Netherlands
KWR Watercycle Research Institute, Groningenhaven 7, Nieuwegein 3433 PE, the Netherlands

The need to improve the access to safe water is generally recognized for the benefit of public health in developing countries. This study’s objective was to identify critical parameters which are essential for improving the performance of ceramic pot filters (CPFs) as a point-of-use water treatment system. Defining critical production parameters was also relevant to confirm that CPFs with high-flow rates may have the same disinfection capacity as pots with normal flow rates. A pilot unit was built in Cambodia to produce CPFs under controlled and constant conditions.

Pots were manufactured from a mixture of clay, laterite and rice husk in a small-scale, gas-fired, temperature-controlled kiln and tested for flow rate, removal efficiency of bacteria and material strength. Flow rate can be increased by increasing pore sizes and by increasing porosity. Pore sizes were increased by using larger rice husk particles and porosity was increased with larger proportions of rice husk in the clay mixture.

The main conclusions are larger pore size decreases the removal efficiency of bacteria; higher porosity does not affect the removal efficiency of bacteria, but does influence the strength of pots; flow rates of CPFs can be raised to 10–20 L/hour without a significant decrease in bacterial removal efficiency.

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