Sirshendu De selected for Innovation Award 2016 for developing laterite based arsenic water filter

Mar 6, 2016 10:10 IST

Prof. Sirshendu De, Head of the Chemical Engineering department of the IIT, Kharagpur on 4 March 2016 was selected for the Innovation Award 2016 given by the Indian Desalination Association (IDA), South Zone.

He was selected for the award for developing an ultra low-cost eco-friendly laterite based arsenic water filter.

The cost-effective filter would provide safe drinking water in areas contaminated with arsenic. The indigenous filter, made from naturally occurring red laterite soil, is capable of absorbing arsenic to the extent of 32mg per gram.

This material has undergone chemical treatment to enhance its capabilities to adsorb arsenic. Moreover, an optimized design of a filter, with the material, has been formulated as well which enjoys plethora of advantages like:

• Ultra low cost of the filter media compared to available such filters, appropriate for the socio-economic conditions of our country

• Arsenic concentration of filtrate is always within the WHO drinking water permissible limit, independent of the ground water concentration

• Extremely long life of the filters (about five years)

• No regeneration of the adsorbent (filter medium) is required during its lifetime

• No power requirement for the household filter

• Removal of arsenic (below 10 ppb), iron (below 0.3 ppm) and bacteriological contamination (more than 98%) together in a single unit

• Upon exhaustion of the filter, the filter medium can be safely dumped without any risk of leaching and further contamination

• The capacity of domestic filter is in the range of 80-100 litres/day

• Easy operation and maintenance free, as the filter does not require any regeneration or backwashing

• Cost of the treated water is less than 3 paisa/liter

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