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Cost-Effective Filter Materials Coated with Silver Nanoparticles for the Removal of Pathogenic Bacteria in Groundwater
Department of Environmental, Water and Earth Sciences, Tshwane University of Technology, Arcadia Campus, Private Bag X680, Pretoria 0001, South Africa
Department of Chemical Engineering, Tshwane University of Technology, Arcadia Campus, Private Bag X680, Pretoria 0001, South Africa
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 13 December 2011; in revised form: 9 January 2012 / Accepted: 12 January 2012 / Published: 18 January 2012
Abstract: The contamination of groundwater sources by pathogenic bacteria poses a public health concern to communities who depend totally on this water supply. In the present study, potentially low-cost filter materials coated with silver nanoparticles were developed for the disinfection of groundwater. Silver nanoparticles were deposited on zeolite, sand, fibreglass, anion and cation resin substrates in various concentrations (0.01 mM, 0.03 mM, 0.05 mM and 0.1 mM) of AgNO3. These substrates were characterised by SEM, EDS, TEM, particle size distribution and XRD analyses. In the first phase, the five substrates coated with various concentrations of AgNO3 were tested against E. coli spiked in synthetic water to determine the best loading concentration that could remove pathogenic bacteria completely from test water. The results revealed that all filters were able to decrease the concentration of E. coli from synthetic water, with a higher removal efficiency achieved at 0.1 mM (21–100%) and a lower efficiency at 0.01 mM (7–50%) concentrations. The cation resin-silver nanoparticle filter was found to remove this pathogenic bacterium at the highest rate, namely 100%. In the second phase, only the best performing concentration of 0.1 mM was considered and tested against presumptive E. coli, S. typhimurium, S. dysenteriae and V. cholerae from groundwater. The results revealed the highest bacteria removal efficiency by the Ag/cation resin filter with complete (100%) removal of all targeted bacteria and the lowest by the Ag/zeolite filter with an 8% to 67% removal rate. This study therefore suggests that the filter system with Ag/cation resin substrate can be used as a potential alternative cost-effective filter for the disinfection of groundwater and production of safe drinking water.
Keywords: silver nanoparticles; filter systems; bacterial removal; water disinfection; groundwater
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MDPI and ACS Style
Mpenyana-Monyatsi, L.; Mthombeni, N.H.; Onyango, M.S.; Momba, M.N.B. Cost-Effective Filter Materials Coated with Silver Nanoparticles for the Removal of Pathogenic Bacteria in Groundwater. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2012, 9, 244-271.
Mpenyana-Monyatsi L, Mthombeni NH, Onyango MS, Momba MNB. Cost-Effective Filter Materials Coated with Silver Nanoparticles for the Removal of Pathogenic Bacteria in Groundwater. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2012; 9(1):244-271.
Mpenyana-Monyatsi, Lizzy; Mthombeni, Nomcebo H.; Onyango, Maurice S.; Momba, Maggy N. B. 2012. "Cost-Effective Filter Materials Coated with Silver Nanoparticles for the Removal of Pathogenic Bacteria in Groundwater." Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 9, no. 1: 244-271.