Special Issue "Filters in Drinking Water Treatment"

A special issue of Water (ISSN 2073-4441). This special issue belongs to the section "Water and Wastewater Treatment".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 December 2018).

Special Issue Editor

Dr. Chicgoua Noubactep
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Applied Geology in Universität Göttingen, Goldschmidtstrasse 3, D-37077 Göttingen, Germany
Interests: Environmental Chemistry; Decentralized safe drinking water supply; Groundwater remediation
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Before the isolation of Vibrio cholera in 1884, it was already known that public water supply is a source of infection for humans. In 1892, a study on cholera in the cities of Hamburg and Altona provided the best evidence of the importance of water filtration for protection against this disease. Both cities received their drinking water from the Elbe River, but only Altona used filtration. The water of Altona was taken from the Elbe below the city of Hamburg. The results were clear: Altona, even with an inferior water source, had a markedly lower incidence of cholera than Hamburg. Since this time slow sand filtration (SSF) is established as a standard water treatment technology. Around 1887, it was discovered that when filtration is preceded by chemical coagulation the speed of filtration can be significantly increased but bacteria, color and turbidity be still quantitatively removed. Thus, filtration as water treatment technology has a century-old scientific history. Clearly, biological and physical contamination can be defeated by filtration. What about micro-pollution (chemical contamination)?

The progressive discovery and characterization of chemical contaminants and group of contaminants led to the (further) development of adsorptive filtration to cope with the selective nature of contaminants to the various adsorbents. It can be roughly considered, that adsorptive filtration was established as water treatment technology in the 1970s. These almost 50 years of sound research on this key technology has produced a huge volume of scientific publications. Although good overview articles and textbooks on water filtration exist, it is necessary to have an actualized open access 'handout' from active researchers. This Special Issue aims to present a summary of important aspects of water filtration, actually scattered in the scientific literature, to a research beginner. Any contribution should be situated in the chain of knowledge on filtration as to help research beginner to identify knowledge gaps.

Prof. Dr. Chicgoua Noubactep
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • deep-bed filtration
  • frugal innovation
  • permeability
  • rational design
  • water treatment
  • zerovalent iron

Published Papers (6 papers)

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Editorial

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Open AccessEditorial
Editorial for the Special Issue: Filters in Drinking Water Treatment
Water 2019, 11(3), 522; https://doi.org/10.3390/w11030522 - 13 Mar 2019
Abstract
Slow sand filters were first used for safe drinking water provision during the 19th century. The technology has been gradually improved and utilized at several scales. Based on their intrinsic limitations other filtration systems have been developed, including membrane technologies. The universal applicability [...] Read more.
Slow sand filters were first used for safe drinking water provision during the 19th century. The technology has been gradually improved and utilized at several scales. Based on their intrinsic limitations other filtration systems have been developed, including membrane technologies. The universal applicability of filtration in drinking water supply makes filters a device of choice to facilitate the achievement of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (‘drinking water for all by 2030’). Available strategies to rationally design efficient and sustainable water filters are scattered in the literature and are difficult to access and evaluate by starting researchers. The present Special Issue summarizes knowledge on two key filtration systems for drinking water supply: (i) membrane technology and (ii) metallic iron based filters. The five (5) accepted articles are being briefly presented herein. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Filters in Drinking Water Treatment)

Research

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Open AccessCommunication
Fe0/H2O Filtration Systems for Decentralized Safe Drinking Water: Where to from Here?
Water 2019, 11(3), 429; https://doi.org/10.3390/w11030429 - 28 Feb 2019
Cited by 2
Abstract
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) [...] Read more.
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. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Filters in Drinking Water Treatment)
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Review

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Open AccessReview
Fe0/H2O Systems for Environmental Remediation: The Scientific History and Future Research Directions
Water 2018, 10(12), 1739; https://doi.org/10.3390/w10121739 - 27 Nov 2018
Cited by 6
Abstract
Elemental iron (Fe0) has been widely used in groundwater/soil remediation, safe drinking water provision, and wastewater treatment. It is still mostly reported that a surface-mediated reductive transformation (direct reduction) is a dominant decontamination mechanism. Thus, the expressions “contaminant removal” and “contaminant [...] Read more.
Elemental iron (Fe0) has been widely used in groundwater/soil remediation, safe drinking water provision, and wastewater treatment. It is still mostly reported that a surface-mediated reductive transformation (direct reduction) is a dominant decontamination mechanism. Thus, the expressions “contaminant removal” and “contaminant reduction” are interchangeably used in the literature for reducible species (contaminants). This contribution reviews the scientific literature leading to the advent of the Fe0 technology and shows clearly that reductive transformations in Fe0/H2O systems are mostly driven by secondary (FeII, H/H2) and tertiary/quaternary (e.g., Fe3O4, green rust) reducing agents. The incidence of this original mistake on the Fe0 technology and some consequences for its further development are discussed. It is shown, in particular, that characterizing the intrinsic reactivity of Fe0 materials should be the main focus of future research. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Filters in Drinking Water Treatment)
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Open AccessReview
Functional Channel Membranes for Drinking Water Production
Water 2018, 10(7), 859; https://doi.org/10.3390/w10070859 - 28 Jun 2018
Cited by 3
Abstract
Drinking water production utilities rely on, among other processes, different filtration technologies like bank filtration and slow sand filters, as well as pressure, roughing, or rapid gravity filters that, together with low- and high-pressure operating membranes, help to ensure high quality drinking water [...] Read more.
Drinking water production utilities rely on, among other processes, different filtration technologies like bank filtration and slow sand filters, as well as pressure, roughing, or rapid gravity filters that, together with low- and high-pressure operating membranes, help to ensure high quality drinking water for millions of customers all over the world. The global market of membrane separation technologies is projected to reach USD 11.95 Billion by 2021, encompassing water treatment, wastewater treatment, food and beverage processing, industrial gas processing, and pharmaceutical and biomedical applications. In addition to the current, polymer-based membrane separation technologies, new promising strategies using embedded functional motifs, water and ion channels, are expected to play a key role in the next generation of membranes for separation purposes, which are of paramount relevance for drinking water production utilities. In this review, we summarize the different strategies for developing new advanced membranes with a wide variety of functional motifs, like biological and artificial water and ion channels, and their possible impact on drinking water applications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Filters in Drinking Water Treatment)
Open AccessReview
Progress in Understanding the Mechanism of CrVI Removal in Fe0-Based Filtration Systems
Water 2018, 10(5), 651; https://doi.org/10.3390/w10050651 - 17 May 2018
Cited by 12
Abstract
Hexavalent chromium (CrVI) compounds are used in a variety of industrial applications and, as a result, large quantities of CrVI have been released into the environment due to inadequate precautionary measures or accidental releases. CrVI is highly toxic to [...] Read more.
Hexavalent chromium (CrVI) compounds are used in a variety of industrial applications and, as a result, large quantities of CrVI have been released into the environment due to inadequate precautionary measures or accidental releases. CrVI is highly toxic to most living organisms and a known human carcinogen by inhalation route of exposure. Another major issue of concern about CrVI compounds is their high mobility, which easily leads to contamination of surface waters, soil, and ground waters. In recent years, attention has been focused on the use of metallic iron (Fe0) for the abatement of CrVI polluted waters. Despite a great deal of research, the mechanisms behind the efficient aqueous CrVI removal in the presence of Fe0 (Fe0/H2O systems) remain deeply controversial. The introduction of the Fe0-based filtration technology, at the beginning of 1990s, was coupled with the broad consensus that direct reduction of CrVI by Fe0 was followed by co-precipitation of resulted cations (CrIII, FeIII). This view is still the dominant removal mechanism (reductive-precipitation mechanism) within the Fe0 remediation industry. An overview on the literature on the Cr geochemistry suggests that the reductive-precipitation theory should never have been adopted. Moreover, recent investigations recalling that a Fe0/H2O system is an ion-selective one in which electrostatic interactions are of primordial importance is generally overlooked. The present work critically reviews existing knowledge on the Fe0/CrVI/H2O and CrVI/H2O systems, and clearly demonstrates that direct reduction with Fe0 followed by precipitation is not acceptable, under environmental relevant conditions, as the sole/main mechanism of CrVI removal in the presence of Fe0. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Filters in Drinking Water Treatment)

Other

Open AccessFeature PaperConcept Paper
White Teeth and Healthy Skeletons for All: The Path to Universal Fluoride-Free Drinking Water in Tanzania
Water 2019, 11(1), 131; https://doi.org/10.3390/w11010131 - 12 Jan 2019
Cited by 6
Abstract
Fluorosis has been prevalent in the great East African Rift Valley (EARV) since before this region was given a name. In the Tanganyika days, Germans reported elevated fluoride concentrations in natural waters. In the 1930s, the clear relationship between high fluoride level and [...] Read more.
Fluorosis has been prevalent in the great East African Rift Valley (EARV) since before this region was given a name. In the Tanganyika days, Germans reported elevated fluoride concentrations in natural waters. In the 1930s, the clear relationship between high fluoride level and mottling of teeth was established. Since then, the global research community has engaged in the battle to provide fluoride-free drinking water, and the battle is not yet won for low-income communities. An applicable concept for fluoride-free drinking water in the EARV was recently presented, using the Kilimanjaro as a rainwater harvesting park. The Kilimanjaro concept implies that rainwater is harvested, stored on the Kilimanjaro mountains, gravity-transported to the point of use, eventually blended with natural water and treated for distribution. This article provides a roadmap for the implementation of the Kilimanjaro concept in Tanzania. Specifically, the current paper addresses the following: (i) presents updated nationwide information on fluoride contaminated areas, (ii) discusses the quality and quantity of rainwater, and current rainwater harvesting practices in Tanzania, (iii) highlights how low-cost water filters based on Fe0/biochar can be integrating into rainwater harvesting (RWH) systems to provide clean drinking water, and (iv) discusses the need for strict regulation of RWH practices to optimize water collection and storage, while simplifying the water treatment chain, and recommends strict analytical monitoring of water quality and public education to sustain public health in the EARV. In summary, it is demonstrated that, by combining rainwater harvesting and low-cots water treatment methods, the Kilimanjaro concept has the potential to provide clean drinking water, and overcome fluorosis on a long-term basis. However, a detailed design process is required to determine: (i) institutional roles, and community contributions and participation, (ii) optimal location and sizing of conveyance and storage facilities to avoid excessive pumping costs, and (iii) project funding mechanisms, including prospects for government subsidy. By drawing attention to the Kilimanjaro concept, the article calls for African engineers and scientists to take the lead in translating this concept into reality for the benefit of public health, while simultaneously increasing their self-confidence to address other developmental challenges pervasive in Africa. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Filters in Drinking Water Treatment)
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