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Fe0/H2O Filtration Systems for Decentralized Safe Drinking Water: Where to from Here?

Laboratory of Analytical Chemistry, Faculty of Sciences, University of Yaoundé I, P.O. Box 812 Yaoundé, Cameroon
Biosystems and Environmental Engineering Research Group, Department of Soil Science and Agricultural Engineering, Faculty of Agriculture, University of Zimbabwe, P.O. Box MP 167, Mount Pleasant, Harare, Zimbabwe
Department of Chemistry, Higher Teachers’ Training College, University of Maroua, P.O. Box 46 Maroua, Cameroon
Leibniz-Institut für Angewandte Geophysik, Stilleweg 2, D-30655 Hannover, Germany
Department of Applied Geology, Universität Göttingen, Goldschmidtstraße 3, D-37077 Göttingen, Germany
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Water 2019, 11(3), 429;
Received: 11 December 2018 / Revised: 12 February 2019 / Accepted: 22 February 2019 / Published: 28 February 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Filters in Drinking Water Treatment)
PDF [1989 KB, uploaded 12 March 2019]
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Inadequate access to safe drinking water is one of the most pervasive problems currently afflicting the developing world. Scientists and engineers are called to present affordable but efficient solutions, particularly applicable to small communities. Filtration systems based on metallic iron (Fe0) are discussed in the literature as one such viable solution, whether as a stand-alone system or as a complement to slow sand filters (SSFs). Fe0 filters can also be improved by incorporating biochar to form Fe0-biochar filtration systems with potentially higher contaminant removal efficiencies than those based on Fe0 or biochar alone. These three low-cost and chemical-free systems (Fe0, biochar, SSFs) have the potential to provide universal access to safe drinking water. However, a well-structured systematic research is needed to design robust and efficient water treatment systems based on these affordable filter materials. This communication highlights the technology being developed to use Fe0-based systems for decentralized safe drinking water provision. Future research directions for the design of the next generation Fe0-based systems are highlighted. It is shown that Fe0 enhances the efficiency of SSFs, while biochar has the potential to alleviate the loss of porosity and uncertainties arising from the non-linear kinetics of iron corrosion. Fe0-based systems are an affordable and applicable technology for small communities in low-income countries, which could contribute to attaining self-reliance in clean water supply and universal public health. View Full-Text
Keywords: appropriate technology; bio-sand filter; developing world; household water filters; zero-valent iron appropriate technology; bio-sand filter; developing world; household water filters; zero-valent iron

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Nanseu-Njiki, C.P.; Gwenzi, W.; Pengou, M.; Rahman, M.A.; Noubactep, C. Fe0/H2O Filtration Systems for Decentralized Safe Drinking Water: Where to from Here? Water 2019, 11, 429.

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