Porous Concrete Water Filtration: New Technology for Developing Countries

University of Alabama, 2007 - $19,400

It is well known that over 1.1 billion people in the world lack access to safe drinking water. Point-of-use (POU) drinking water treatment technologies have the potential to provide clean drinking water for those without, but are limited in their use in developing nations by their cost, durability, microbiological effectiveness, maintenance, and general usability. One promising technology is porous ceramic filtration, which provides an effective barrier against microbial pathogens in water and has recorded significant health gains in users versus non-users. The filter is, however, susceptible to breakage over time (2% per month in a daily household), is expensive to make where fuel to fire the kilns is scarce, and isn't feasible where clay isn't locally available.

This E-Team aims to build on the success of ceramic filtration by substituting the porous ceramic filter body with porous concrete, a more durable, more widely available, and less energy-intensive product.