Development of a Point-of-Use Drinking Water Purifier Using Aluminum Oxide-Based Flocculent-Disinfectant Composite

Patricia Nemate(1), Feleke Zewge(2), Eyobel Mulugeta(3*)

(1) Basic Sciences Department, Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources, P.O. Box 219, Lilongwe, Malawi
(2) African Centre of Excellence for Water Management, Addis Ababa University, P.O. Box 1176, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
(3) Bio and Emerging Technology Institute, Ministry of Innovation and Technology, P.O. Box 5954, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
(*) Corresponding Author


One in every three people in the world still lacks access to clean drinking water. Aside from microbiological pollution, high fluoride content in drinking water is one of the most serious problems in African countries. This study aimed to contribute to the availability of clean water by developing a point-of-use drinking water purifier using an aluminum oxide-based flocculent-disinfectant composite. Batch experiments were conducted to determine factors affecting fluoride removal efficiency (FRE) and E. coli log reduction efficiency. AO of 75 mg/L, 800 mg/L alum, lime (35% alum dose), and 1.5 mg/L Ca(OCl)₂ doses achieved 95% FRE and 5 log10 reductions of E. coli using 15 mg/L as initial fluoride concentration ([F]0), and 105 CFU/100 mL E. coli concentration. [F]0 affected FRE but showed no effect on E. coli log reduction. The optimum pH of the solution for both FRE and E. coli log reduction was found to be in the range of 4–8. Three prototypes in powder form were developed. The prototypes were tested on real water samples from the Ethiopian Rift Valley, and the results were found to be within the drinking water standards, thus indicating the capability of the developed products to purify contaminated water for human consumption.


fluoride; aluminum oxide; water purifier; E. coli

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