Batten College of Engineering & Technology


Ph.D. Engineering - Civil & Environmental Engineering

Publication Date



Heavy metal contamination is a serious concern that needs to be addressed in order to prevent the severe health effect caused from its exposure through drinking water. Activated carbon is the adsorbent of existing water filters available in the market but it has some limitations in removing metal contaminants such as lead. Literatures report, biochar shows higher adsorption potential in removing lead from drinking water than that of activated carbon due to the presence of oxygen containing functional group. Biochar has lower energy demand, lower global warming potential impact, and retrieve more cost efficiently than activated carbon for metal removal. The current study presents the experiences of designing, testing, and operating a low-cost biochar water filter for removing lead from drinking water. To make a customized filter, three major steps are conceived including (i) making biochar, (ii) granulating biochar, and (iii) packing granulated biochar in a filter casing. Small-scale biochar maker is constructed by using recyclable household materials like food cans. A handcrafted or low-technology method for granulation of biochar powder have been implemented. The product will be developed simulating the process of actual faucet flow rate and mimicing the practical lead contamination condition. The filter will be highly effective (with 99.99% reduction efficiency) in providing protection from lead contamination. The filter is unique since it uses the adsorption potential of biochar and can be made at a nominal cost (< $1 per unit) from locally available biomass waste and recyclable materials. This will provide significant benefits in water purification technology and metal contamination management not only for the developed world but also to the developing countries with subpar infrastructure.





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Design of a Biochar-Based Water Filter for Metal Removal



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