Creation of a Filter Factory in Hammanskraal, South Africa: Filter Optimization and Training Local Residents

Panagides, John, Community Based Undergraduate Research Grant, University of Virginia
Smith, James, Civil & Env Engr, University of Virginia

Over the past 5 years, PureMadi, a non-profit organization composed of UVA faculty, students, and alumni, have created a ceramic water filter factory in Limpopo Province, South Africa. The factory is fully functioning and has produced and sold more than 1000 filter units. In 2015, a JPC team partnered with PureMadi and Khulisa Social Solutions to create the infrastructure for a ceramic water filter factory in Hammanskraal, South Africa.  This includes a concrete open-air structure, a paved factory floor, a fence around the factory premises, a borehole for water supply, a hammer mill, a sieve table, and a filter drying rack. We returned to this factory in June 2016 with two primary objectives: first, conduct experiments to optimize the clay-sawdust-water formulation for filter manufacturing based on the available local materials, and second, teach local community members how to manufacture the filters. Silver-impregnated ceramic water filters have been shown to be inexpensive, sustainable, effective at purifying drinking water at the household level, and capable of improving human health in the developing world (1-5). The filters, which are produced from primarily local materials (clay, water, sawdust) and labor, can also provide economic stimulus, as local workers can manufacture and sell the filters, keeping financial resources within the community.

BA (Bachelor of Arts)
silver nanoparticle filtration, Hammanskraal
All rights reserved (no additional license for public reuse)
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