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Water ltration and purication


Water lter


Methods of ltration . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


Types . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


Water treatment plant lters . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


Point-of-use lters . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


Portable water lters . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Certication . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


NSF International . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


Underwriters Laboratories . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


Water Quality Association . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


Water polishing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


History . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


See also . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


External links . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .




Isotherms . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .





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Langmuir . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


BET . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


Kisliuk . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .



Adsorption enthalpy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


Adsorbents . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .



Characteristics and general requirements . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .



Silica gel . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .



Zeolites . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .



Activated carbon . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .



Protein adsorption of biomaterials . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .



Adsorption chillers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .



Portal site mediated adsorption . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .



Adsorption spillover . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .



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Polymer adsorption . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .



Adsorption in viruses . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .



In popular culture . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


2.10 See also . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


2.11 References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


2.12 Further reading . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


2.13 External links . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


Ion exchange



Applications . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .



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Regeneration wastewater . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .



See also . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .




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External links . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


Other applications

Media lter



Filter design . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .



Drinking water ltration systems . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .



Media ltration for stormwater . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .



Media ltration for sewage and wastewater . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .



See also . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .



References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


Screen lter



Information . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .



See also . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .



References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


Disk lter


Slow sand lter






Method of operation

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Features . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .



Advantages . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .



Disadvantages . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .



See also . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .



Notes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .





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Rapid sand lter



Design and operation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .



Advantages and disadvantages


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See also . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .



Notes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .





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Cloth lter



Method . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .



Eectiveness . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .



Background . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .



References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .



External links . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


10 Algae scrubber
10.1 Concepts

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10.3 Modern forms . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


10.3.1 Cleaning and harvesting . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


10.4 See also . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


10.5 References

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10.6 External links . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


10.2 History

11 Backwashing (water treatment)


11.1 Procedure . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


11.2 Treatment . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


11.3 Recycling . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


11.4 References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


11.5 External links . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


12 Carbon ltering


12.1 Types of carbon lters

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12.2 History of carbon lters . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


12.3 Hydrogen production . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


12.4 Radiation or nuclear medicine

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12.5 See also . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


12.6 References


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13 Distillation


13.1 History . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


13.2 Applications of distillation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


13.3 Idealized distillation model . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


13.3.1 Batch distillation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


13.3.2 Continuous distillation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


13.3.3 General improvements . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


13.4 Laboratory scale distillation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .



13.4.1 Simple distillation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


13.4.2 Fractional distillation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


13.4.3 Steam distillation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


13.4.4 Vacuum distillation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


13.4.5 Air-sensitive vacuum distillation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


13.4.6 Short path distillation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


13.4.7 Zone distillation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


13.4.8 Other types . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


13.5 Azeotropic distillation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


13.5.1 Breaking an azeotrope with unidirectional pressure manipulation . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


13.5.2 Pressure-swing distillation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


13.6 Industrial distillation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


13.6.1 Multi-eect distillation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


13.7 Distillation in food processing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


13.7.1 Distilled beverages . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


13.8 Gallery . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


13.9 See also . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


13.10References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


13.11Further reading . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


13.12External links . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


14 Water purication


14.1 Sources of water . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


14.2 Treatment . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


14.2.1 Aims . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


14.2.2 Pre-treatment . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


14.2.3 Coagulation and occulation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


14.2.4 Sedimentation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


14.2.5 Dissolved air otation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


14.2.6 Filtration . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


14.2.7 Membrane ltration . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


14.2.8 Removal of ions and other dissolved substances . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


14.2.9 Disinfection . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


14.2.10 Additional treatment options . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


14.3 Other water purication techniques . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


14.4 Safety and controversies . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


14.4.1 Demineralized water . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


14.5 History . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


14.5.1 Sand lter . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


14.5.2 Water chlorination . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


14.6 See also . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


14.7 References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .



14.8 Further reading . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


14.9 External links . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


15 Membrane technology


15.1 Applications . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


15.2 Current market and forecast . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 100

15.3 Mass transfer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 101
15.3.1 Solution-diusion model . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 101
15.3.2 Hydrodynamic model . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 101
15.4 Membrane operations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 101
15.5 Membrane shapes and ow geometries . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 102
15.6 Membrane performance and governing equations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 104
15.7 Membrane separation processes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 104
15.8 Pore size and selectivity . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 104
15.9 See also . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 106
15.10Notes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 106
15.11References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 106
16 Ultraltration


16.1 Applications . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 108

16.1.1 Drinking water . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 108
16.1.2 Protein concentration . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 109
16.1.3 Other applications

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16.2 Principles . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 110

16.3 Membrane fouling

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16.3.1 Concentration polarization . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 111

16.3.2 Types of fouling

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16.4 Membrane arrangements . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 112

16.4.1 Tubular modules . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 113
16.4.2 Hollow bre

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16.4.3 Spiral-wound modules . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 113

16.4.4 Plate and frame . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 113
16.5 Process characteristics

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 114

16.6 Process design considerations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 114

16.6.1 Pre-treatment . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 114
16.6.2 Membrane specications . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 114
16.6.3 Operation strategy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 114
16.6.4 Post-treatment

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 116

16.6.5 Cleaning . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 116

16.7 New developments

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 117

16.8 References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 117



17 Solar water disinfection


17.1 Principle of SODIS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 120

17.2 Photocatalyzed processes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 120
17.3 Process for household application . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 121
17.4 Applications . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 121
17.5 Cautions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 122
17.6 Health impact, diarrhea reduction

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 123

17.7 Promotion . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 125

17.8 See also . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 125
17.9 References

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 125

17.10External links . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 127

Chapter 1

Water lter

A large-scale occulation water lter

A water lter removes impurities from water by means of a ne physical barrier, a chemical process or a biological
process. Filters cleanse water to dierent extents for purposes like irrigation, drinking water, aquariums, ponds and
swimming pools.

1.1 Methods of ltration

Main article: Filtration
Filters use sieving, adsorption, ion exchanges, biological metabolite transfer, and other processes. Unlike a sieve or
screen, a lter can remove particles much smaller than the holes through which the water passes.


1.2 Types

Water treatment plant lters

Main article: Water purication

Types of water lters media lters, screen lters, disk lters, slow sand lter beds, rapid sand lters, cloth lters,[1]
and biological lters such as algae scrubbers.


Point-of-use lters

Further information: Portable water purication

Point-of-use lters for home use include granular-activated carbon lters (GAC) used for carbon ltering, metallic
alloy lters, microporous ceramic lters, carbon block resin (CBR), microltration and ultraltration membranes.
Some lters use more than one ltration method. An example of this is a multi-barrier system. Jug lters can be used
for small quantities of drinking water. Some kettles have built-in lters, primarily to reduce limescale buildup.
Point-of-use microltration devices can be directly installed at water outlets (faucets, showers) in order to protect
users against Legionella spp., Pseudomonas spp., Nontuberculous mycobacteria, Escherichia coli and other potentially
harmful water pathogens by providing a barrier to them and/or minimizing patient exposure.


Portable water lters

A sectional view of a personal water lter

Main article: Portable water purication

Water lters are used by hikers, aid organizations during humanitarian emergencies, and the military. These lters
are usually small, portable and lightweight (1-2 pounds/0.5-1.0 kg or less), and usually lter water by working a


mechanical hand pump, although some use a siphon drip system to force water through while others are built into
water bottles. Dirty water is pumped via a screen-ltered exible silicon tube through a specialized lter, ending up
in a container. These lters work to remove bacteria, protozoa and microbial cysts that can cause disease. Filters may
have ne meshes that must be replaced or cleaned, and ceramic water lters must have their outside abraded when
they have become clogged with impurities.
These water lters should not be confused with devices or tablets that disinfect water which remove or kill viruses
such as hepatitis A and rotavirus.

1.3 Certication
Three organizations are accredited by the American National Standards Institute, and each one of them certied products using American National Standard Institute/National Science Foundation standards. Each American National
Standards Institute/National Science Foundation standard requires verication of contaminant reduction performance
claims, an evaluation of the unit, including its materials and structural integrity, and a review of the product labels and
sales literature. Each certies that home water treatment units meet or exceed National Standard Institute/National
Science Foundation and Environmental Protection Agency drinking water standards. American National Standard
Institute/National Science Foundation standards are issued in two dierent sets, one for health concerns (such as
removal of specic contaminants (Standard 53, Health Eects) and one for aesthetic concerns (Aesthetic Eects,
such as improving taste or appearance of water). Certication from these organizations will specify one or both of
these specic standards.


NSF International

NSF International as it is now known started out as the National Sanitation Foundation in 1944 at the University of
Michigan School of Public Health. [2] The NSFs water treatment Device Certication Program requires extensive
product testing and unannounced audits of production facilities. One goal of this not for prot organization is to
provide assurance to consumers that the water treatment devices they are purchasing meet the design, material,and
performance requirements of national standards.[3]


Underwriters Laboratories

Underwriters Laboratories, Inc., is an independent, accredited testing and certication organization that certies
home water treatment units which meet or exceed EPA and American National Standard Institute/National Science
Foundation drinking water standards of contaminant reduction, aesthetic concerns, structural integrity, and materials


Water Quality Association

The Water Quality Association is a trade organization that tests water treatment equipment, and awards its Gold Seal
to systems that meet or exceed ANSI/NSF standards for contaminant reduction performance, structural integrity, and
materials safety.
Filters that use reverse osmosis, those labeled as absolute one micron lters, or those labeled as certied by an American National Standards Institute (ANSI)- accredited organization to American National Standard Institute/National
Science Foundation Standard 53 for Cyst Removal provide the greatest assurance of removing Cryptosporidium.
As with all lters, follow the manufacturers instructions for lter use and replacement.[4]

1.4 Water polishing

The term water polishing can refer to any process that removes small (usually microscopic) particulate material, or
removes very low concentrations of dissolved material from water. The process and its meaning vary from setting
to setting: a manufacturer of aquarium lters may claim that its lters perform water polishing by capturing micro
particles within nylon or polyester pads just as a chemical engineer can use the term to refer to the removal of


magnetic resins from a solution by passing the solution over a bed of magnetic particulate.[5] In this sense, water
polishing is simply another term for whole house water ltration systems. Polishing is also done on a large scale in
water reclamation plants.[6]

1.5 History
During the 19th and 20th centuries, water lters for domestic water production were generally divided into slow
sand lters and rapid sand lters (also called mechanical lters and American lters). While there were many smallscale water ltration systems prior to 1800, Paisley, Scotland is generally acknowledged as the rst city to receive
ltered water for an entire town. The Paisley lter began operation in 1804 and was an early type of slow sand lter.
Throughout the 1800s, hundreds of slow sand lters were constructed in the UK and on the European continent.
An intermittent slow sand lter was constructed and operated at Lawrence, Massachusetts in 1893 due to continuing
typhoid fever epidemics caused by sewage contamination of the water supply.[7] The rst continuously operating slow
sand lter was designed by Allen Hazen for the city of Albany, New York in 1897.[8] The most comprehensive history
of water ltration was published by Moses N. Baker in 1948 and reprinted in 1981.[7]
In the 1800s, mechanical ltration was an industrial process that depended on the addition of aluminum sulfate prior
to the ltration process. The ltration rate for mechanical ltration was typically more than 60 times faster than
slow sand lters, thus requiring signicantly less land area. The rst modern mechanical ltration plant in the U.S.
was built at Little Falls, New Jersey for the East Jersey Water Company. George W. Fuller designed and supervised
the construction of the plant which went into operation in 1902.[9] In 1924, John R. Baylis developed a xed grid
backwash assist system which consisted of pipes with nozzles that injected jets of water into the lter material during

1.6 See also

Moringa seeds (water purication)
Backwashing (water treatment)
Carbon ltering
Reverse osmosis
Reverse osmosis plant
Sand separator
Settling basin
Swimming pool sanitation

1.7 References
[1] Types of Filters. Mountain Empire Community College. Retrieved 2008-10-01.
[4] Water Health Series: Filtration Facts (PDF). United States Environmental Protection Agency.
[5] Water Polishing Process. (Patent description.) Retrieved 2009-11-26.


[7] Baker, Moses N. (1981). The Quest for Pure Water: the History of Water Purication from the Earliest Records to the
Twentieth Century. 2nd Edition. Vol. 1. Denver: American Water Works Association, 64-80.
[8] Allen Hazen. (1930). Jour. American Water Works Association. 22:9, 1268-70.
[9] Fuller, George W. (1902). The Filtration Works of the East Jersey Water Company, at Little Falls, New Jersey. Transactions of the ASCE. 29 (February)): 153-202.
[10] Baylis, John R. (1959). Review of Filter Bed Design and Methods of Washing. Journal AWWA. 51:11 1433-54.

1.8 External links

Media related to Water lters at Wikimedia Commons

Chapter 2

Not to be confused with Absorption.
See also: Physisorption and Chemisorption
Adsorption is the adhesion of atoms, ions, or molecules from a gas, liquid, or dissolved solid to a surface.[1] This

Brunauer, Emmett and Tellers model of multilayer adsorption is a random distribution of molecules on the material surface.

process creates a lm of the adsorbate on the surface of the adsorbent. This process diers from absorption, in which
a uid (the absorbate) permeates or is dissolved by a liquid or solid (the absorbent).[2] Adsorption is a surface-based
process while absorption involves the whole volume of the material. The term sorption encompasses both processes,
while desorption is the reverse of it. Adsorption is a surface phenomenon.
IUPAC Denition
Increase in the concentration of a substance at the interface of a condensed and a liquid or gaseous layer owing to the
operation of surface forces.
Note 1: Adsorption of proteins is of great importance when a material is in contact with blood or body uids. In the
case of blood, albumin, which is largely predominant, is generally adsorbed rst, and then rearrangements occur in
favor of other minor proteins according to surface anity against mass law selection (Vroman eect).
Note 2: Adsorbed molecules are those that are resistant to washing with the same solvent medium in the case of
adsorption from solutions. The washing conditions can thus modify the measurement results, particularly when the
interaction energy is low. [3]
Similar to surface tension, adsorption is a consequence of surface energy. In a bulk material, all the bonding requirements (be they ionic, covalent, or metallic) of the constituent atoms of the material are lled by other atoms in
the material. However, atoms on the surface of the adsorbent are not wholly surrounded by other adsorbent atoms
and therefore can attract adsorbates. The exact nature of the bonding depends on the details of the species involved,


but the adsorption process is generally classied as physisorption (characteristic of weak van der Waals forces) or
chemisorption (characteristic of covalent bonding). It may also occur due to electrostatic attraction.[4]
Adsorption is present in many natural, physical, biological, and chemical systems, and is widely used in industrial
applications such as activated charcoal, capturing and using waste heat to provide cold water for air conditioning
and other process requirements (adsorption chillers), synthetic resins, increase storage capacity of carbide-derived
carbons, and water purication. Adsorption, ion exchange, and chromatography are sorption processes in which
certain adsorbates are selectively transferred from the uid phase to the surface of insoluble, rigid particles suspended
in a vessel or packed in a column. Pharmaceutical industry applications, which use adsorption as a means to prolong
neurological exposure to specic drugs or parts thereof, are lesser known.
However, it should be remarked that the distinction between adsorption and absorption vanishes as we go from
perfectly crystalline macroscopic materials to porous/structured materials, aggregates and composites made out of
increasingly smaller grains, viz., micron-sized particles to nanoparticles, sub-nano particles and nally molecules (or
atoms). In such nano-composites, the internal surface area of particulate matter is very very large. Then the adsorption on internal surfaces simply becomes absorption when viewed from the bulk. Then the distinction between
adsorption and absorption vanishes. On the other hand, the distinction is clearest between bulk solids without internal
structure, but having only surfaces where only adsorption can occur on the outer surfaces, and nanocomposites or
aggregates with internal structure where absorption by the host material is simply adsorption on internal surfaces of
the host material. As an example, we may consider a crystalline piece of silicon dioxide (quartz) which can adsorb
water molecules on its surface. However, if the quartz is ground into very ne sand, the pile of sand (an aggregate)
has a very large internal surface area. A very large amount of water can be adsorbed by the internal surfaces of
the grains in the pile of sand, and this absorption is simply internal adsorption. If water is made to ow thorugh
such a pile of sand, ions and toxins in the water may be preferentially adsorbed by the surfaces of the grains of sand,
providing a simple, well-known water purication application.
The word adsorption was coined in 1881 by German physicist Heinrich Kayser (1853-1940).[5]

2.1 Isotherms
Adsorption is usually described through isotherms, that is, the amount of adsorbate on the adsorbent as a function
of its pressure (if gas) or concentration (if liquid) at constant temperature. The quantity adsorbed is nearly always
normalized by the mass of the adsorbent to allow comparison of dierent materials. To date, 15 dierent isothem
models were developed.[6]



Main article: Henry adsorption constant



Main article: Freundlich equation

The rst mathematical t to an isotherm was published by Freundlich and Kster (1894) and is a purely empirical
formula for gaseous adsorbates,
= kP n

where x is the quantity of adsorbate adsorbed in moles, m is the mass of the adsorbent, P is the pressure of adsorbate
(this can be changed to concentration if investigating solution rather than gas) and k and n are empirical constants
for each adsorbent-adsorbate pair at a given temperature. The function is not adequate at very high pressure because
in reality x/m has an asymptotic maximum as pressure increases without bound. As the temperature increases, the
constants k and n change to reect the empirical observation that the quantity adsorbed rises more slowly and higher
pressures are required to saturate the surface.




See also: Langmuir equation

Irving Langmuir was the rst to derive a scientically based adsorption isotherm in 1918.[7] The model applies to
gases adsorbed on solid surfaces. It is a semi-empirical isotherm with a kinetic basis and was derived based on
statistical thermodynamics. It is the most common isotherm equation to use due to its simplicity and its ability to t
a variety of adsorption data. It is based on four assumptions:
1. All of the adsorption sites are equivalent and each site can only accommodate one molecule.
2. The surface is energetically homogeneous and adsorbed molecules do not interact.
3. There are no phase transitions.
4. At the maximum adsorption, only a monolayer is formed. Adsorption only occurs on localized sites on the
surface, not with other adsorbates.
These four assumptions are seldom all true: there are always imperfections on the surface, adsorbed molecules are
not necessarily inert, and the mechanism is clearly not the same for the very rst molecules to adsorb to a surface as
for the last. The fourth condition is the most troublesome, as frequently more molecules will adsorb to the monolayer;
this problem is addressed by the BET isotherm for relatively at (non-microporous) surfaces. The Langmuir isotherm
is nonetheless the rst choice for most models of adsorption, and has many applications in surface kinetics (usually
called LangmuirHinshelwood kinetics) and thermodynamics.
Langmuir suggested that adsorption takes place through this mechanism: Ag + S AS , where A is a gas molecule
and S is an adsorption site. The direct and inverse rate constants are k and k. If we dene surface coverage, , as
the fraction of the adsorption sites occupied, in the equilibrium we have:



(1 )P


1 + KP

where P is the partial pressure of the gas or the molar concentration of the solution. For very low pressures KP
and for high pressures 1
is dicult to measure experimentally; usually, the adsorbate is a gas and the quantity adsorbed is given in moles,
grams, or gas volumes at standard temperature and pressure (STP) per gram of adsorbent. If we call v the STP
volume of adsorbate required to form a monolayer on the adsorbent (per gram of adsorbent), = vmon
and we obtain
an expression for a straight line:
1 1
Kvmon P
Through its slope and y-intercept we can obtain v and K, which are constants for each adsorbent/adsorbate pair at
a given temperature. v is related to the number of adsorption sites through the ideal gas law. If we assume that
the number of sites is just the whole area of the solid divided into the cross section of the adsorbate molecules, we
can easily calculate the surface area of the adsorbent. The surface area of an adsorbent depends on its structure; the
more pores it has, the greater the area, which has a big inuence on reactions on surfaces.
If more than one gas adsorbs on the surface, we dene E as the fraction of empty sites and we have:

E =



K i Pi


Also, we can dene j as the fraction of the sites occupied by the j-th gas:

j =

Kj Pj

Ki Pi

where i is each one of the gases that adsorb.



Main article: BET theory

Often molecules do form multilayers, that is, some are adsorbed on already adsorbed molecules and the Langmuir
isotherm is not valid. In 1938 Stephen Brunauer, Paul Emmett, and Edward Teller developed a model isotherm that
takes that possibility into account. Their theory is called BET theory, after the initials in their last names. They
modied Langmuirs mechanism as follows:
A + S AS
A + AS A2 S
A + A2 S A3 S and so on

Langmuir isotherm (red) and BET isotherm (green)

The derivation of the formula is more complicated than Langmuirs (see links for complete derivation). We obtain:
x(c 1)
v(1 x)
vmon c
vmon c



x is the pressure divided by the vapor pressure for the adsorbate at that temperature (usually denoted P /P0 ), v is
the STP volume of adsorbed adsorbate, vmon is the STP volume of the amount of adsorbate required to form a
monolayer and c is the equilibrium constant K we used in Langmuir isotherm multiplied by the vapor pressure of
the adsorbate. The key assumption used in deriving the BET equation that the successive heats of adsorption for all
layers except the rst are equal to the heat of condensation of the adsorbate.
The Langmuir isotherm is usually better for chemisorption and the BET isotherm works better for physisorption for
non-microporous surfaces.



Two adsorbate nitrogen molecules adsorbing onto a tungsten adsorbent from the precursor state around an island of previously
adsorbed adsorbate (left) and via random adsorption (right)

In other instances, molecular interactions between gas molecules previously adsorbed on a solid surface form signicant interactions with gas molecules in the gaseous phases. Hence, adsorption of gas molecules to the surface
is more likely to occur around gas molecules that are already present on the solid surface, rendering the Langmuir
adsorption isotherm ineective for the purposes of modelling. This eect was studied in a system where nitrogen
was the adsorbate and tungsten was the adsorbent by Paul Kisliuk (19222008) in 1957.[8] To compensate for the
increased probability of adsorption occurring around molecules present on the substrate surface, Kisliuk developed
the precursor state theory, whereby molecules would enter a precursor state at the interface between the solid adsorbent and adsorbate in the gaseous phase. From here, adsorbate molecules would either adsorb to the adsorbent or
desorb into the gaseous phase. The probability of adsorption occurring from the precursor state is dependent on the
adsorbates proximity to other adsorbate molecules that have already been adsorbed. If the adsorbate molecule in the
precursor state is in close proximity to an adsorbate molecule that has already formed on the surface, it has a sticking
probability reected by the size of the SE constant and will either be adsorbed from the precursor state at a rate of
kEC or will desorb into the gaseous phase at a rate of kES. If an adsorbate molecule enters the precursor state at a
location that is remote from any other previously adsorbed adsorbate molecules, the sticking probability is reected
by the size of the SD constant.
These factors were included as part of a single constant termed a sticking coecient, kE, described below:

kE =


As SD is dictated by factors that are taken into account by the Langmuir model, SD can be assumed to be the
adsorption rate constant. However, the rate constant for the Kisliuk model (R) is dierent from that of the Langmuir
model, as R is used to represent the impact of diusion on monolayer formation and is proportional to the square root
of the systems diusion coecient. The Kisliuk adsorption isotherm is written as follows, where is fractional
coverage of the adsorbent with adsorbate, and t is immersion time:



= R (1 )(1 + kE ).
Solving for yields:

(t) =

1 eR (1+kE )t
1 + kE eR (1+kE )t


Adsorption enthalpy

Adsorption constants are equilibrium constants, therefore they obey the van 't Ho equation:

ln K



As can be seen in the formula, the variation of K must be isosteric, that is, at constant coverage. If we start from the
BET isotherm and assume that the entropy change is the same for liquefaction and adsorption we obtain

Hads = Hliq RT ln c,
that is to say, adsorption is more exothermic than liquefaction.

2.2 Adsorbents

Characteristics and general requirements

Adsorbents are used usually in the form of spherical pellets, rods, moldings, or monoliths with a hydrodynamic radius
between 0.25 and 5 mm. They must have high abrasion resistance, high thermal stability and small pore diameters,
which results in higher exposed surface area and hence high capacity for adsorption. The adsorbents must also have
a distinct pore structure that enables fast transport of the gaseous vapors.
Most industrial adsorbents fall into one of three classes:
Oxygen-containing compounds Are typically hydrophilic and polar, including materials such as silica gel and
Carbon-based compounds Are typically hydrophobic and non-polar, including materials such as activated
carbon and graphite.
Polymer-based compounds Are polar or non-polar functional groups in a porous polymer matrix.


Silica gel

Silica gel is a chemically inert, nontoxic, polar and dimensionally stable (< 400 C or 750 F) amorphous form of SiO2 .
It is prepared by the reaction between sodium silicate and acetic acid, which is followed by a series of after-treatment
processes such as aging, pickling, etc. These after-treatment methods results in various pore size distributions.
Silica is used for drying of process air (e.g. oxygen, natural gas) and adsorption of heavy (polar) hydrocarbons from
natural gas.



Activated carbon is used as an adsorbent



Zeolites are natural or synthetic crystalline aluminosilicates, which have a repeating pore network and release water
at high temperature. Zeolites are polar in nature.
They are manufactured by hydrothermal synthesis of sodium aluminosilicate or another silica source in an autoclave
followed by ion exchange with certain cations (Na+ , Li+ , Ca2+ , K+ , NH4 + ). The channel diameter of zeolite cages
usually ranges from 2 to 9 (200 to 900 pm). The ion exchange process is followed by drying of the crystals, which
can be pelletized with a binder to form macroporous pellets.
Zeolites are applied in drying of process air, CO2 removal from natural gas, CO removal from reforming gas, air
separation, catalytic cracking, and catalytic synthesis and reforming.
Non-polar (siliceous) zeolites are synthesized from aluminum-free silica sources or by dealumination of aluminumcontaining zeolites. The dealumination process is done by treating the zeolite with steam at elevated temperatures,
typically greater than 500 C (930 F). This high temperature heat treatment breaks the aluminum-oxygen bonds and
the aluminum atom is expelled from the zeolite framework.


Activated carbon

Activated carbon is a highly porous, amorphous solid consisting of microcrystallites with a graphite lattice, usually
prepared in small pellets or a powder. It is non-polar and cheap. One of its main drawbacks is that it reacts with
oxygen at moderate temperatures (over 300 C).
Activated carbon can be manufactured from carbonaceous material, including coal (bituminous, subbituminous, and
lignite), peat, wood, or nutshells (e.g., coconut). The manufacturing process consists of two phases, carbonization
and activation. The carbonization process includes drying and then heating to separate by-products, including tars
and other hydrocarbons from the raw material, as well as to drive o any gases generated. The process is completed
by heating the material over 400 C (750 F) in an oxygen-free atmosphere that cannot support combustion. The
carbonized particles are then activated by exposing them to an oxidizing agent, usually steam or carbon dioxide at



Silica gel adsorber for NO2 , Fixed Nitrogen Research Laboratory, ca.1930s

high temperature. This agent burns o the pore blocking structures created during the carbonization phase and so,
they develop a porous, three-dimensional graphite lattice structure. The size of the pores developed during activation is
a function of the time that they spend in this stage. Longer exposure times result in larger pore sizes. The most popular
aqueous phase carbons are bituminous based because of their hardness, abrasion resistance, pore size distribution,
and low cost, but their eectiveness needs to be tested in each application to determine the optimal product.
Activated carbon is used for adsorption of organic substances and non-polar adsorbates and it is also usually used for
waste gas (and waste water) treatment. It is the most widely used adsorbent since most of its chemical (e.g. surface
groups) and physical properties (e.g. pore size distribution and surface area) can be tuned according to what is needed.
Its usefulness also derives from its large micropore (and sometimes mesopore) volume and the resulting high surface

2.3 Protein adsorption of biomaterials

Protein adsorption is a process that has a fundamental role in the eld of biomaterials. Indeed, biomaterial surfaces in
contact with biological media, such as blood or serum, are immediately coated by proteins. Therefore, living cells do
not interact directly with the biomaterial surface, but with the adsorbed proteins layer. This protein layer mediates the
interaction between biomaterials and cells, translating biomaterial physical and chemical properties into a biological
language.[9] In fact, cell membrane receptors bind to protein layer bioactive sites and these receptor-protein binding
events are transduced, through the cell membrane, in a manner that stimulates specic intracellular processes that
then determine cell adhesion, shape, growth and dierentiation. Protein adsorption is inuenced by many surface
properties such as surface wettability, surface chemical composition [10] and surface nanometre-scale morphology.[11]



Activated carbon nitrogen isotherm showing a marked microporous type I behavior

2.4 Adsorption chillers

Combining an adsorbent with a refrigerant, adsorption chillers use heat to provide a cooling eect. This heat, in the
form of hot water, may come from any number of industrial sources including waste heat from industrial processes,
prime heat from solar thermal installations or from the exhaust or water jacket heat of a piston engine or turbine.
Although there are similarities between absorption and adsorption refrigeration, the latter is based on the interaction
between gases and solids. The adsorption chamber of the chiller is lled with a solid material (for example zeolite,
silica gel, alumina, active carbon and certain types of metal salts), which in its neutral state has adsorbed the refrigerant. When heated, the solid desorbs (releases) refrigerant vapour, which subsequently is cooled and liqueed. This
liquid refrigerant then provides its cooling eect at the evaporator, by absorbing external heat and turning back into
a vapour. In the nal stage the refrigerant vapour is (re)adsorbed into the solid.[12] As an adsorption chiller requires
no moving parts, it is relatively quiet.

2.5 Portal site mediated adsorption

Portal site mediated adsorption is a model for site-selective activated gas adsorption in metallic catalytic systems
that contain a variety of dierent adsorption sites. In such systems, low-coordination edge and corner defect-like
sites can exhibit signicantly lower adsorption enthalpies than high-coordination (basal plane) sites. As a result,
these sites can serve as portals for very rapid adsorption to the rest of the surface. The phenomenon relies on the
common spillover eect (described below), where certain adsorbed species exhibit high mobility on some surfaces.
The model explains seemingly inconsistent observations of gas adsorption thermodynamics and kinetics in catalytic
systems where surfaces can exist in a range of coordination structures, and it has been successfully applied to bimetallic
catalytic systems where synergistic activity is observed.
In contrast to pure spillover, portal site adsorption refers to surface diusion to adjacent adsorption sites, not to



non-adsorptive support surfaces.

The model appears to have been rst proposed for carbon monoxide on silica-supported platinum by Brandt et al.
(1993).[13] A similar, but independent model was developed by King and co-workers[14][15][16] to describe hydrogen
adsorption on silica-supported alkali promoted ruthenium, silver-ruthenium and copper-ruthenium bimetallic catalysts. The same group applied the model to CO hydrogenation (FischerTropsch synthesis).[17] Zupanc et al. (2002)
subsequently conrmed the same model for hydrogen adsorption on magnesia-supported caesium-ruthenium bimetallic catalysts.[18] Trens et al. (2009) have similarly described CO surface diusion on carbon-supported Pt particles
of varying morphology.[19]

2.6 Adsorption spillover

In the case catalytic or adsorbent systems where a metal species is dispersed upon a support (or carrier) material
(often quasi-inert oxides, such as alumina or silica), it is possible for an adsorptive species to indirectly adsorb to
the support surface under conditions where such adsorption is thermodynamically unfavorable. The presence of the
metal serves as a lower-energy pathway for gaseous species to rst adsorb to the metal and then diuse on the support
surface. This is possible because the adsorbed species attains a lower energy state once it has adsorbed to the metal,
thus lowering the activation barrier between the gas phase species and the support-adsorbed species.
Hydrogen spillover is the most common example of an adsorptive spillover. In the case of hydrogen, adsorption is
most often accompanied with dissociation of molecular hydrogen (H2 ) to atomic hydrogen (H), followed by spillover
of the hydrogen atoms present.
The spillover eect has been used to explain many observations in heterogeneous catalysis and adsorption.[20]

2.7 Polymer adsorption

Main article: polymer adsorption
Adsorption of molecules onto polymer surfaces is central to a number of applications, including development of nonstick coatings and in various biomedical devices. Polymers may also be adsorbed to surfaces through polyelectrolyte

2.8 Adsorption in viruses

Adsorption is the rst step in the viral life cycle. The next steps are penetration, uncoating, synthesis (transcription
if needed, and translation), and release. The virus replication cycle, in this respect, is similar for all types of viruses.
Factors such as transcription may or may not be needed if the virus is able to integrate its genomic information in the
cells nucleus, or if the virus can replicate itself directly within the cells cytoplasm.

2.9 In popular culture

The game of Tetris is a puzzle game in which blocks of 4 are adsorbed onto a surface during game play. Scientists
have used Tetris blocks as a proxy for molecules with a complex shape and their adsorption on a at surface for
studying the thermodynamics of nanoparticles.[21][22]

2.10 See also

Absorption (chemistry)
BET theory


Freundlich equation
Langmuir equation
Molecular sieve
Pressure Swing Adsorption
Reactions on surfaces
Kelvin probe force microscope
Fluidized Bed Concentrator
Dual polarisation interferometry
Henry adsorption constant
Polanyi Adsorption

2.11 References
[1] Glossary. The Brownelds and Land Revitalization Technology Support Center. Retrieved 2009-12-21.
[2] absorption (chemistry)". Memidex (WordNet) Dictionary/Thesaurus. Retrieved 2010-11-02.
[3] Glossary of atmospheric chemistry terms (Recommendations 1990)". Pure and Applied Chemistry 62: 2167. 1990.
doi:10.1351/goldbook.A00155. ISBN 0-9678550-9-8.
[4] Ferrari, L.; Kaufmann, J.; Winnefeld, F.; Plank, J. (2010). Interaction of cement model systems with superplasticizers
investigated by atomic force microscopy, zeta potential, and adsorption measurements. J Colloid Interface Sci. 347 (1):
1524. doi:10.1016/j.jcis.2010.03.005. PMID 20356605.
[5] Kayser, Heinrich (1881). Annalen der Physik und Chemie. 10.1002/andp.18812480404 248 (4): 526537. Bibcode:1881AnP...248..526K.
doi:10.1002/andp.18812480404.. In this study of the adsorption of gases by charcoal, the rst use of the word adsorption
appears on page 527: Schon Saussure kannte die beiden fr die Grsse der Adsorption massgebenden Factoren, den Druck
und die Temperatur, da er Erniedrigung des Druckes oder Erhhung der Temperatur zur Befreiung der porsen Krper
von Gasen benutzte. (Saussaure already knew the two factors that determine the quantity of adsorption [namely,] the
pressure and temperature since he used the lowering of the pressure or the raising of the temperature to free the porous
substances of gases.)
[6] Foo, K.Y.; Hameed, B.H. (2010). Insights into the modeling of adsorption isotherm systems. Chemical Engineering
Journal 156 (1): 210. doi:10.1016/j.cej.2009.09.013. ISSN 1385-8947.
[7] Czepirski, L.; Balys, M. R.; Komorowska-Czepirska, E. (2000). Some generalization of Langmuir adsorption isotherm.
Internet Journal of Chemistry 3 (14). ISSN 1099-8292.
[8] Kisliuk, P. (1957). The sticking probabilities of gases chemisorbed on the surfaces of solids. Journal of Physics and
Chemistry of Solids 3 (12): 95101. Bibcode:1957JPCS....3...95K. doi:10.1016/0022-3697(57)90054-9.
[9] Wilson, CJ; Clegg, RE; Leavesley, DI; Pearcy, MJ (2005). Mediation of Biomaterial-Cell Interactions by Adsorbed
Proteins: A Review. Tissue engineering 11 (1): 118. doi:10.1089/ten.2005.11.1. PMID 15738657.
[10] Sivaraman B., Fears K.P., Latour R.A. (2009). Investigation of the eects of surface chemistry and solution concentration
on the conformation of adsorbed proteins using an improved circular dichroism method. Langmuir 25 (5): 30506.
doi:10.1021/la8036814. PMC 2891683. PMID 19437712.
[11] Scopelliti, Pasquale Emanuele; Borgonovo, Antonio; Indrieri, Marco; Giorgetti, Luca; Bongiorno, Gero; Carbone, Roberta;
Podest, Alessandro; Milani, Paolo (2010). Zhang, Shuguang, ed. The eect of surface nanometre-scale morphology on
protein adsorption. PLoS ONE 5 (7): e11862. Bibcode:2010PLoSO...511862S. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0011862.
[12] Pilatowsky, I.; Romero, R.J.; Isaza, C.A.; Gamboa, S.A.; Sebastian, P.J.; Rivera, W. (2011). Chapter 5: Sorption Refrigeration Systems. Cogeneration Fuel Cell-Sorption Air Conditioning Systems. Green Energy and Technology. Springer. pp.
99,100. ISBN 978-1-84996-027-4. Retrieved 10 May 2011.



[13] Brandt, R. K.; Hughes, M. R.; Bourget, L. P.; Truszkowska, K.; Greenler, R. G. (1993). The interpretation of CO adsorbed
on Pt/SiO2 of two dierent particle-size distributions. Surface Science 286 (12): 1525. Bibcode:1993SurSc.286...15B.
[14] Uner, D. O.; Savargoankar, N.; Pruski, M.; King, T. S. (1997). The eects of alkali promoters on the dynamics of
hydrogen chemisorption and syngas reaction kinetics on Ru/SiO2 catalysts. Studies in Surface Science and Catalysis.
Studies in Surface Science and Catalysis 109: 315324. doi:10.1016/S0167-2991(97)80418-1. ISBN 9780444826091.
[15] Narayan, R. L.; King, T. S. (1998). Hydrogen adsorption states on silica-supported Ru-Ag and Ru-Cu bimetallic catalysts
investigated via microcalorimetry. Thermochimica Acta 312 (12): 105114. doi:10.1016/S0040-6031(97)00444-9.
[16] VanderWiel, D. P.; Pruski, M.; King, T. S. (1999). A Kinetic Study of the Adsorption and Reaction of Hydrogen on
Silica-Supported Ruthenium and Silver-Ruthenium Bimetallic Catalysts during the Hydrogenation of Carbon Monoxide.
Journal of Catalysis 188 (1): 186202. doi:10.1006/jcat.1999.2646.
[17] Uner, D. O. (1998). A sensible mechanism of alkali promotion in Fischer Tropsch synthesis:Adsorbate mobilities.
Industrial and Engineering Chemistry Research 37 (6): 22392245. doi:10.1021/ie970696d.
[18] Zupanc, C.; Hornung, A.; Hinrichsen, O.; Muhler, M. (2002). The Interaction of Hydrogen with Ru/MgO Catalysts.
Journal of Catalysis 209 (2): 501514. doi:10.1006/jcat.2002.3647.
[19] Trens, P.; Durand, R.; Coq, B.; Coutanceau, C.; Rousseau, S.; Lamy, C. (2009). Poisoning of Pt/C catalysts by CO and
its consequences over the kinetics of hydrogen chemisorption. Applied Catalysis B: Environmental 92 (34): 280284.
[20] Rozanov, V. V.; Krylov, O. V. (1997). Hydrogen spillover in heterogeneous catalysis. Russian Chemical Reviews 66 (2):
107119. Bibcode:1997RuCRv..66..107R. doi:10.1070/RC1997v066n02ABEH000308.
[21] The Thermodynamics of Tetiris, Ars Technica, 2009.
[22] Barnes, Brian C.; Siderius, Daniel W.; Gelb, Lev D. (2009). Structure, Thermodynamics, and Solubility in Tetromino
Fluids. Langmuir 25 (12): 670216. doi:10.1021/la900196b. PMID 19397254.

2.12 Further reading

Cussler, E. L. (1997). Diusion: Mass Transfer in Fluid Systems (2nd ed.). New York: Cambridge University
Press. pp. 308330. ISBN 0-521-45078-0.

2.13 External links

Derivation of Langmuir and BET isotherms, at
Carbon Adsorption, at

Chapter 3

Ion exchange
Ion exchange is an exchange of ions between two electrolytes or between an electrolyte solution and a complex. In
most cases the term is used to denote the processes of purication, separation, and decontamination of aqueous and
other ion-containing solutions with solid polymeric or mineralic 'ion exchangers.
Typical ion exchangers are ion exchange resins (functionalized porous or gel polymer), zeolites, montmorillonite,
clay, and soil humus. Ion exchangers are either cation exchangers that exchange positively charged ions (cations)
or anion exchangers that exchange negatively charged ions (anions). There are also amphoteric exchangers that
are able to exchange both cations and anions simultaneously. However, the simultaneous exchange of cations and
anions can be more eciently performed in mixed beds that contain a mixture of anion and cation exchange resins,
or passing the treated solution through several dierent ion exchange materials.
Ion exchangers can be unselective or have binding preferences for certain ions or classes of ions, depending on their
chemical structure. This can be dependent on the size of the ions, their charge, or their structure. Typical examples
of ions that can bind to ion exchangers are:
H+ (proton) and OH (hydroxide)
Single-charged monatomic ions like Na+ , K+ , and Cl
Double-charged monatomic ions like Ca2+ and Mg2+
Polyatomic inorganic ions like SO4 2 and PO4 3
Organic bases, usually molecules containing the amine functional group -NR2 H+
Organic acids, often molecules containing -COO (carboxylic acid) functional groups
Biomolecules that can be ionized: amino acids, peptides, proteins, etc.
Along with absorption and adsorption, ion exchange is a form of sorption.
Ion exchange is a reversible process and the ion exchanger can be regenerated or loaded with desirable ions by washing
with an excess of these ions.

3.1 Applications
Ion exchange is widely used in the food & beverage, hydrometallurgy, metals nishing, chemical & petrochemical,
pharmaceutical, sugar & sweeteners, ground & potable water, nuclear, softening & industrial water, semiconductor,
power, and a host of other industries.
Most typical example of application is preparation of high purity water for power engineering, electronic and nuclear industries; i.e. polymeric or mineralic insoluble ion exchangers are widely used for water softening, water
purication, water decontamination, etc.
Ion exchange is a method widely used in household (laundry detergents and water lters) to produce soft water. This
is accomplished by exchanging calcium Ca2+ and magnesium Mg2+ cations against Na+ or H+ cations (see water


Ion exchanger




Ion exchange resin beads

Ion exchange column, used for protein purication

softening). Another application for ion exchange in domestic water treatment is the removal of nitrate and natural
organic matter.
Industrial and analytical ion exchange chromatography is another area to be mentioned. Ion exchange chromatography
is a chromatographical method that is widely used for chemical analysis and separation of ions. For example, in
biochemistry it is widely used to separate charged molecules such as proteins. An important area of the application
is extraction and purication of biologically produced substances such as proteins (amino acids) and DNA/RNA.
Ion-exchange processes are used to separate and purify metals, including separating uranium from plutonium and
other actinides, including thorium, and lanthanum, neodymium, ytterbium, samarium, lutetium, from each other and
the other lanthanides. There are two series of rare earth metals, the lanthanides and the actinides, both of whose
families all have very similar chemical and physical properties. Using methods developed by Frank Spedding in the
1940s, ion-exchange used to be the only practical way to separate them in large quantities, until the advent of solvent
extraction techniques that can be scaled up enormously.
A very important case is the PUREX process (plutonium-uranium extraction process), which is used to separate the
plutonium and the uranium from the spent fuel products from a nuclear reactor, and to be able to dispose of the waste
products. Then, the plutonium and uranium are available for making nuclear-energy materials, such as new reactor
fuel and nuclear weapons.
The ion-exchange process is also used to separate other sets of very similar chemical elements, such as zirconium and
hafnium, which is also very important for the nuclear industry. Zirconium is practically transparent to free neutrons,



used in building reactors, but hafnium is a very strong absorber of neutrons, used in reactor control rods.
Ion exchangers are used in nuclear reprocessing and the treatment of radioactive waste.
Ion exchange resins in the form of thin membranes are used in chloralkali process, fuel cells and vanadium redox

Large cation/anion ion exchangers used in water purication of boiler feedwater.[1]

Ion exchange can also be used to remove hardness from water by exchanging calcium and magnesium ions for sodium
ions in an ion exchange column. Liquid (aqueous) phase ion exchange desalination has been demonstrated.[2] In this
technique anions and cations in salt water are exchanged for carbonate anions and calcium cations respectively using
electrophoresis. Calcium and carbonate ions then react to form calcium carbonate, which then precipitates leaving
behind fresh water. The desalination occurs at ambient temperature and pressure and requires no membranes or solid
ion exchangers. Theoretical energy eciency of this method is on par with electrodialysis and reverse osmosis.


Other applications

In soil science, cation exchange capacity is the ion exchange capacity of soil for positively charged ions. Soils
can be considered as natural weak cation exchangers.
In pollution remediation and geotechnical engineering, ion exchange capacity determines the swelling capacity
of swelling or Expansive clay such as Montmorillonite, which can be used to capture pollutants and charged
In planar waveguide manufacturing, ion exchange is used to create the guiding layer of higher index of refraction.
Dealkalization, removal of alkali ions from a glass surface.
Chemically strengthened glass, produced by exchanging K+ for Na+ in soda glass surfaces using KNO3 melts.



3.2 Regeneration wastewater

Most ion exchange systems are containers of ion exchange resin operated on a cyclic basis. Water ows through the
resin container until the resin is considered exhausted when water leaving the exchanger contains more than the desired
maximum concentration of the ions being removed. Resin is then regenerated by sequentially backwashing the resin
bed to remove accumulated solids, ushing removed ions from the resin with a concentrated solution of replacement
ions, and rinsing the ushing solution from the resin. Production of backwash, ushing, and rinsing wastewater during
regeneration of ion exchange media limits the usefulness of ion exchange for wastewater treatment.[3]
Water softeners are regenerated with brine containing ten percent sodium chloride.[4] Aside from the soluble chloride
salts of divalent cations removed from the softened water, softener regeneration wastewater contains the unused fty
to seventy percent of the sodium chloride regeneration ushing brine required to reverse ion exchange resin equilibria.
For deionizers, which utilize ion exchange as well, regeneration is carried out using a strong acid (for cation resins)
and/or a liquid caustic, such as sodium hydroxide (for anion resins)[5] . Deionizing resin regeneration with sulfuric
acid and sodium hydroxide is approximately twenty to forty percent ecient. Neutralized deionizer regeneration
wastewater contains all of the removed ions plus 2.5 to ve times their equivalent concentration as sodium sulfate.[6]

3.3 See also

Ion chromatography
Alkali anion exchange membrane
Ion-exchange resin
Ion exchange membranes

3.4 References
[1] Mischissin, Stephen G. (7 February 2012). University of Rochester - Investigation of Steam Turbine Extraction Line
Failures (PDF). Arlington, VA. p. 25-26. Retrieved 23 February 2015.
[2] Shkolnikov, Viktor; Bahga, Supreet S.; Santiago, Juan G. (August 28, 2012). Desalination and hydrogen, chlorine, and
sodium hydroxide production via electrophoretic ion exchange and precipitation (PDF) 14 (32). Phys. Chem. Chem
[3] Kemmer, pp.12-7&12-25
[4] Betz, p.59
[5] Ion Exchange. WaterProfessionals.
[6] Kemmer, p.12-8

Betz Laboratories (1976). Handbook of Industrial Water Conditioning (7th Edition). Betz Laboratories.
Ion Exchangers (K. Dorfner, ed.), Walter de Gruyter, Berlin, 1991.
C. E. Harland, Ion exchange: Theory and Practice, The Royal Society of Chemistry, Cambridge, 1994.
Friedrich G. Helerich (1962). Ion Exchange. Courier Dover Publications. ISBN 978-0-486-68784-1.
Kemmer, Frank N. (1979). The NALCO Water Handbook. McGraw-Hill.
Ion exchange (D. Muraviev, V. Gorshkov, A. Warshawsky), M. Dekker, New York, 2000.
A. A. Zagorodni, Ion Exchange Materials: Properties and Applications, Elsevier, Amsterdam, 2006.


3.5 External links

Illustrated and well dened chemistry lab practical on ion exchange from Dartmouth College
Some applets illustrating ion exchange processes
A simple explanation of deionization
Ion exchange, BioMineWiki


Chapter 4

Media lter
This article is about a type of water lter. For software lters used for decoding audio and video, see Filter (video).
A media lter is a type of lter that uses a bed of sand, peat, shredded tires, foam, crushed glass, geo-textile fabric,

Peat-Sand Filter in United States. The lter treats stormwater runo from a residential area. Stormwater from streets is rst routed
to a small detention basin (rear of photo, behind berm), which removes coarse sediment. After ltration an under-drain piping
system discharges the ltered water to an adjacent stream.

crushed granite or other material to lter water for drinking, swimming pools, aquaculture, irrigation, stormwater
management and other applications.

4.1 Filter design

One design brings the water in the top of a container through a header which distributes the water evenly. The lter
media start with ne sand on the top and then graduatingly coarser sand in a number of layers followed by gravel
on the bottom, in gradually larger sizes. The top sand physically removes particles from the water. The job of the
subsequent layers is to support the ner layer above and provide ecient drainage.



4.2 Drinking water ltration systems

Municipal drinking water systems often use a rapid sand lter and/or a slow sand lter for purication.

4.3 Media ltration for stormwater

Media lter system for urban runo

Media lters are used to protect water quality in streams, rivers, and lakes. They can be eective at removing pollutants
in stormwater such as suspended solids and phosphorus. Sand is the most common lter material.[1][2] In other lters,
sometimes called organic lters, wood chips or leaf mold may be used.[3]

4.4 Media ltration for sewage and wastewater

Media lters are also used for cleaning the euent from septic tanks and primary settlement tanks. The materials
commonly used are sand, peat and natural stone bre.

4.5 See also




Rapid sand lter
Slow sand lter

4.6 References
[1] Water Environment Federation, Alexandria, VA; and American Society of Civil Engineers, Reston, VA. Urban Runo
Quality Management. WEF Manual of Practice No. 23; ASCE Manual and Report on Engineering Practice No. 87.
1998. ISBN 1-57278-039-8. Chapter 5.
[2] Atlanta Regional Commission. Atlanta, GA.Georgia Stormwater Management Manual. Section 3.2.4: Sand Filters.
August 2001.
[3] ibid., Section 3.3.3: Organic Filter.

Chapter 5

Screen lter
For a device that ts over a computer screen, see monitor lter.
A screen lter is not a type of lter using a rigid or exible screen to separate sand and other ne particles out of
water for irrigation or industrial applications.[1] These are generally not recommended for ltering out organic matter
such as algae, since these types of contaminants can be extruded into spaghetti-like strings through the lter if enough
pressure drop occurs across the lter surface. Typical screen materials include stainless steel (mesh), polypropylene,
nylon and polyester.

5.1 Information
Self-cleaning screen lters incorporate an automatic backwash cycle to overcome these limitations. Backwash cycles
are far more frequent when compared to a media lter with similar capacity, and each backwash requires far less water
to perform. Their ability to quickly remove contaminants from water before they leach their nutrients make such
lters popular choices for recirculating aquaculture systems. They have also become popular in closed loop industrial
systems such as cooling tower, heat exchanger, and other equipment protection applications. Similar devices with
larger openings designed only to keep out large objects are called strainers.

5.2 See also

Traveling screen

5.3 References
[1] Whiting, Joanne E. Drinan ; associate editor, Nancy E. (2000). Water and Wastewater Treatment a Guide for the Nonengineering Professionals. Hoboken: CRC Press. p. 62. ISBN 9781420031799.


Chapter 6

Disk lter
A disc lter is a type of water lter used primarily in irrigation, similar to a screen lter, except that the lter cartridge
is made of a number of discs stacked on top of each other like a pile of poker chips. The water passes through the
small grooves in between and the impurities are trapped behind. The higher or lower ltration quality, dened this as
the higher or lower quantity and size of particles that the ltering element is able to retain, depend on the geometry
and size of the channels, the length of these and the number of generated intersection points.
Some types of disc lters can be backushed in such a way that the discs are able to separate and spin during the
cleaning cycle.


Chapter 7

Slow sand lter

Slow lter in "Filtry Lindleya", Warsaw

Slow sand lters are used in water purication for treating raw water to produce a potable product. They are typically
1 to 2 metres deep, can be rectangular or cylindrical in cross section and are used primarily to treat surface water. The
length and breadth of the tanks are determined by the ow rate desired by the lters, which typically have a loading
rate of 0.1 to 0.2 metres per hour (or cubic metres per square metre per hour).
Slow sand lters dier from all other lters used to treat drinking water in that they work by using a complex biological
lm that grows naturally on the surface of the sand. The sand itself does not perform any ltration function but simply
acts as a substrate, unlike its counterparts for UV and pressurized treatments.
Although they are often the preferred technology in many developing countries because of their low energy requirements and robust performance, they are also used to treat water in some of the most developed countries, such as the
UK, where they are used to treat water supplied to London. Slow sand lters now are also being tested for pathogen
control of nutrient solutions in hydroponic systems.



A prole of slow sand lter used in a water purication plant.

7.1 History
The rst documented use of sand lters to purify the water supply dates to 1804, when the owner of a bleachery
in Paisley, Scotland, John Gibb, installed an experimental lter, selling his unwanted surplus to the public.[1][2] This
method was rened in the following two decades by engineers working for private water companies, and it culminated
in the rst treated public water supply in the world, installed by engineer James Simpson for the Chelsea Waterworks



Original map by John Snow showing the clusters of cholera cases in the London epidemic of 1854.

Company in London in 1829.[3][4] This installation provided ltered water for every resident of the area, and the
network design was widely copied throughout the United Kingdom in the ensuing decades.
The practice of water treatment soon became mainstream, and the virtues of the system were made starkly apparent
after the investigations of the physician John Snow during the 1854 Broad Street cholera outbreak. Snow was sceptical
of the then-dominant miasma theory that stated that diseases were caused by noxious bad airs. Although the germ
theory of disease had not yet been developed, Snows observations led him to discount the prevailing theory. His 1855
essay On the Mode of Communication of Cholera conclusively demonstrated the role of the water supply in spreading
the cholera epidemic in Soho,[5] with the use of a dot distribution map and statistical proof to illustrate the connection
between the quality of the water source and cholera cases. His data convinced the local council to disable the water
pump, which promptly ended the outbreak.
The Metropolis Water Act introduced the regulation of the water supply companies in London, including minimum
standards of water quality for the rst time. The Act made provision for securing the supply to the Metropolis of
pure and wholesome water, and required that all water be eectually ltered from 31 December 1855.[6] This was
followed up with legislation for the mandatory inspection of water quality, including comprehensive chemical analyses, in 1858. This legislation set a worldwide precedent for similar state public health interventions across Europe.
The Metropolitan Commission of Sewers was formed at the same time, water ltration was adopted throughout the
country, and new water intakes on the Thames were established above Teddington Lock.



7.2 Method of operation

The raw water is let in to the lter room slowly from the pipe on the right. The water will pass through the sand layers down to the
bottom of this room. The Schmutzdecke layer can be observed in this picture.

Slow sand lters work through the formation of a gelatinous layer (or biolm) called the hypogeal layer or Schmutzdecke
in the top few millimetres of the ne sand layer. The Schmutzdecke is formed in the rst 1020 days of operation[7]
and consists of bacteria, fungi, protozoa, rotifera and a range of aquatic insect larvae. As an epigeal biolm ages,
more algae tend to develop and larger aquatic organisms may be present including some bryozoa, snails and Annelid
worms. The surface biolm is the layer that provides the eective purication in potable water treatment, the underlying sand providing the support medium for this biological treatment layer. As water passes through the hypogeal
layer, particles of foreign matter are trapped in the mucilaginous matrix and soluble organic material is adsorbed.
The contaminants are metabolised by the bacteria, fungi and protozoa. The water produced from an exemplary slow
sand lter is of excellent quality with 90-99% bacterial cell count reduction.[8]
Slow sand lters slowly lose their performance as the biolm thickens and thereby reduces the rate of ow through
the lter. Eventually, it is necessary to refurbish the lter. Two methods are commonly used to do this. In the rst,
the top few millimetres of ne sand is scraped o to expose a new layer of clean sand. Water is then decanted back
into the lter and re-circulated for a few hours to allow a new biolm to develop. The lter is then lled to full volume
and brought back into service.[8] The second method, sometimes called wet harrowing, involves lowering the water
level to just above the hypogeal layer, stirring the sand; thus precipitating any solids held in that layer and allowing
the remaining water to wash through the sand. The lter column is then lled to full capacity and brought back into
service. Wet harrowing can allow the lter to be brought back into service more quickly.[7]

7.3 Features
Slow sand lters have a number of unique qualities:
1. Unlike other ltration methods, slow sand lters use biological processes to clean the water, and are non-



Typical conguration of a housed slow sand lter system

Articial inltration works on the principles of slow sand lters

pressurized systems. Slow sand lters do not require chemicals or electricity to operate.
2. Cleaning is traditionally done by use of a mechanical scraper, which is usually driven into the lter bed once
the bed has been dried out. However, some slow sand lter operators use a method called wet harrowing,
where the sand is scraped while still under water, and the water used for cleaning is drained to waste.
3. For municipal systems there usually is a certain degree of redundancy, since it is desirable for the maximum
required throughput of water to be achievable with one or more beds out of service.



4. Slow sand lters require relatively low turbidity levels to operate eciently. In summer conditions and in
conditions when the raw water is turbid, blinding of the lters occurs more quickly and pre-treatment is recommended.
5. Unlike other water ltration technologies that produce water on demand, slow sand lters produce water at a
slow, constant ow rate and are usually used in conjunction with a storage tank for peak usage. This slow rate
is necessary for healthy development of the biological processes in the lter.[9]:3841 [10]

While many municipal water treatment works will have 12 or more beds in use at any one time, smaller communities
or households may only have one or two lter beds.
In the base of each bed is a series of herringbone drains that are covered with a layer of pebbles which in turn is
covered with coarse gravel. Further layers of sand are placed on top followed by a thick layer of ne sand. The whole
depth of lter material may be more than 1 metre in depth, the majority of which will be ne sand material. On top
of the sand bed sits a epigeal layer of raw, unltered water.

7.4 Advantages
As they require little or no mechanical power, chemicals or replaceable parts, and they require minimal operator
training and only periodic maintenance, they are often an appropriate technology for poor and isolated areas.
Slow sand lters, due to their simple design, may be created DIY. DIY-slow sand lters have been used in
Afghanistan and other countries to aid the poor.[11]
Slow sand lters are recognized by the World Health Organization , Oxfam, United Nations and the United
States Environmental Protection Agency as being superior technology for the treatment of surface water
sources. According to the World Health Organization, Under suitable circumstances, slow sand ltration
may be not only the cheapest and simplest but also the most ecient method of water treatment.

7.5 Disadvantages
Due to the low ltration rate, slow sand lters require extensive land area for a large municipal system.[9] Many
municipal systems in the U.S. initially used slow sand lters, but as cities have grown they subsequently installed
rapid sand lters, due to increased demand for drinking water.

7.6 See also

Bank ltration
BioSand Filter

7.7 Notes
[1] Filtration of water supplies (PDF), World Health Organization
[2] Buchan, James. (2003). Crowded with genius: the Scottish enlightenment: Edinburghs moment of the mind. New York:
Harper Collins.
[3] History of the Chelsea Waterworks
[4] Christman, Keith. (1998). The history of chlorine. Waterworld, 14 (8), 66-67.
[5] Concepts and practice of humanitarian medicine (2008) Par S. William Gunn, M. Masellis ISBN 0-387-72263-7
[6] An Act to make better Provision respecting the Supply of Water to the Metropolis, (15 & 16 Vict. C.84)
[7] Centre for Aordable Water and Sanitation Technology, Biosand Filter Manual: Design, Construction, & Installation,
July 2007.



[8] National Drinking Water Clearinghouse (U.S.), Morgantown, WV. Slow Sand Filtration. Tech Brief Fourteen, June
[9] United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)(1990). Cincinnati, OH. Technologies for Upgrading Existing or
Designing New Drinking Water Treatment Facilities. Document no. EPA/625/4-89/023.
[10] HDR Engineering (2001). Handbook of Public Water Systems. New York: John Wiley and Sons. p. 353. ISBN 978-0471-29211-1. Retrieved 2010-03-28.
[11] DIY slow sand lter

7.8 References
Learn More: Water (slow sand lter)". Refugee Camp Project -. Doctors Without Borders. Archived from the
original on 2007-07-28. Retrieved 2007-03-27.
Slow Sand Filtration, World Health Organization, 1974 ISBN 92-4-154037-0
UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) Water Manual for Refugee Situations, Geneva, November
1992. Slow sand lters recommendations listed on, p. 38.
Small System Compliance Technology List for The Surface Water Treatment Rule, United States Environmental Protection Agency, EPA 815-R-97-002 August 1997. Slow sand ltration is listed on, p. 24.

"Filter bed". Colliers New Encyclopedia. 1921.

Chapter 8

Rapid sand lter

Cutaway view of a typical rapid sand lter

The rapid sand lter or rapid gravity lter is a type of lter used in water purication and is commonly used in
municipal drinking water facilities as part of a multiple-stage treatment system.[1]
The rst modern rapid sand ltration plant was designed and built by George W. Fuller in Little Falls, New Jersey.
Fullers ltration plant went into operation in 1920[2] and its success was responsible for the change to this technology
in the U.S.[3] Rapid sand lters were widely used in large municipal water systems by the 1920s, because they required
smaller land areas compared to slow sand lters.



8.1 Design and operation

Rapid sand lters use relatively coarse sand and other granular media to remove particles and impurities that have
been trapped in a oc through the use of occulation chemicalstypically alum. The unltered water ows through
the lter medium under gravity or under pumped pressure and the oc material is trapped in the sand matrix.
Mixing, occulation and sedimentation processes are typical treatment stages that precede ltration. Chemical additives, such as coagulants, are often used in conjunction with the ltration system.[1]:79
The two types of rapid sand lter are the gravity type (e.g. Patersons lter) and pressure type (e.g. Candys lter).
A disinfection system (typically using chlorine or ozone) is commonly used following ltration.[1]:911 Rapid sand
ltration has very little eect on taste and smell and dissolved impurities of drinking water, unless activated carbon
is included in the lter medium.
Rapid sand lters must be cleaned frequently, often several times a day, by backwashing, which involves reversing the
direction of the water and adding compressed air. During backwashing, the bed is uidized and care must be taken
not to wash away the media.

8.2 Advantages and disadvantages

Rapid sand lters are typically designed as part of multi-stage treatment systems used by large municipalities. These
systems are complex and expensive to operate and maintain, and therefore less suitable for small communities and
developing nations.
Advantages include:
Much higher ow rate than a slow sand lter; about 150 to 200 million gallons of water per acre per day.
Requires relatively small land area.
Less sensitive to changes in raw water quality, e.g. turbidity.
Requires less quantity of sand.
Disadvantages include:
Large pore size will not, without coagulant or occulent, remove pathogens smaller than 20 m like Cryptosporidium.
Requires greater maintenance than a slow sand lter. For this reason, it is not usually classed as an "appropriate
technology", as the term is applied in less-developed countries.
Generally ineective against taste and odor problems.
Produces large volumes of sludge for disposal.
Requires ongoing investment in costly occulation reagents.
Treatment of raw water with chemicals is essential.
Skilled supervision is essential.
Cost of maintenance is higher.

8.3 See also

Automated pool cleaner



8.4 Notes
[1] United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)(1990). Cincinnati, OH. Technologies for Upgrading Existing or
Designing New Drinking Water Treatment Facilities. Document no. EPA/625/4-89/023.
[2] Qasemy, Nawid. Rapid Sand Filtration. nawid11. Retrieved 27 January 2015.
[3] Fuller, George W. (1902). The Filtration Works of the East Jersey Water Company, at Little Falls, New Jersey. Transactions of the ASCE. 29 (February)): 153-202.

8.5 References
Spellman, Frank R. (2008). Handbook of Water and Wastewater Treatment Plant Operations. CRC Press.
ISBN 978-1-4200-7530-4.

Chapter 9

Cloth lter
This article is about decontamination of drinking water. For other uses, see cheesecloth.
Developed for use in Bangladesh, the cloth lter is a simple and cost-eective appropriate technology method for

Women at a village pond in Matlab, Bangladesh washing utensils and vegetables. The woman on the right is putting a sari lter onto
a water-collecting pot (or kalash) to lter water for drinking.

reducing the contamination of drinking water. Water collected in this way has a greatly reduced pathogen count though it will not necessarily be perfectly safe, it is an improvement for poor people with limited options.

9.1 Method
The method used in Bangladesh is as follows: an old sari is folded to make four or eight layers. The folded cloth
is placed over a wide-mouthed container used to collect surface water. It is usually sucient to rinse the cloth and
dry it in the sun for a couple of hours. In the monsoon seasons, it may be advisable to use a cheap disinfectant to
decontaminate the material.



The preferred cloth is used cotton sari cloth. Other types of clean, used cloth can be used with some eect, though
the eectiveness will vary signicantly. Used cloth is more eective than new cloth, as the repeated washing reduces
the space between the bres.[1]

9.2 Eectiveness
The cloth is eective because most pathogens are attached to particles and plankton, particularly a type of zooplankton called copepods, within the water. By passing the water through an eective lter, most cholera bacteria and
other pathogens are removed. It has been demonstrated to greatly reduce cholera infections in poor villages where
disinfectants and fuel for boiling are dicult to get.
In sub-Saharan Africa where guinea worm infections (dracunculiasis) are endemic, infection is prevented by use of a
nylon mesh with pore size of approximately 150 m to lter out the copepods that host the parasite.[2][3][4]
An old cotton sari, folded, creates a smaller eective mesh size (approximately 20-m). This should be small enough
to remove all zooplankton, most phytoplankton, and thus a large proportion of the cholera in the water (99%, according to laboratory studies). However, the nylon net with the larger mesh size was found to be almost equally
The cloth lter provides less than ideal purication on its own - usually ltering is an initial step, to be followed by
further disinfection. However, where there are no other options, water professionals may consider that it is of course,
better than nothing [5]

9.3 Background
The cloth lter has been studied and reported on by Rita Colwell and Anwar Huq from the University of Maryland
Biotechnology Institute, together with other researchers from the USA and Bangladesh. They report that:
It is common practice in villages in Bangladesh to use cloth, frequently a at, unfolded piece of an old
sari, to lter home-prepared drinks.[2]
The researchers studied the application of this technique to drinking water, with folded cloth. They studied the pore
size of the cloth, the eect of folding the cloth on the eective pore size, the ability of the cloth to remove particles
and plankton, as well as the eect on rates of cholera when used in a Bangladesh village.[6]

9.4 References
[1] Moss J (January 27, 2003). Cloth Filters Fight Cholera. Development Report (Voice of America).
[2] Colwell RR, Huq A, Islam MS et al. (February 2003). Reduction of cholera in Bangladeshi villages by simple ltration.
Proc Natl Acad Sci USA. 100 (3): 10515. doi:10.1073/pnas.0237386100. PMC 298724. PMID 12529505.
[3] Fighting the 'ery serpent' in Sudan. ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation). Reuters. June 6, 2008. The
Carter Center distributes cloth lters and plastic drinking pipes with gauze at one end to block the larvae.
[4] Hopkins DR, Ruiz-Tiben E, Diallo N, Withers PC, Maguire JH (October 2002). Dracunculiasis eradication: and now,
Sudan. Am. J. Trop. Med. Hyg. 67 (4): 41522. PMID 12452497. More than 278,000 cloth lters for household use
in preventing the infection were distributed in Sudan in 1995 (compared with 93,000 the year before), and approximately
600,000 or more have been distributed each year since then. In 2001, however, in addition to distributing nearly 850,000
lters for household use, more than 7.8 million pipe lters were also distributed throughout endemic areas ....
[5] Hogan J (13 January 2003). Old clothes lter out cholera. New Scientist.
[6] Huq, Anwar; Mohammed Yunus; Syed Salahuddin Sohel; Abbas Bhuiya; Michael Emch; Stephen P. Luby; Estelle RussekCohen; G. Balakrish Nair; R. Bradley Sack; Rita R. Colwell.Awabdeh (2010). Simple sari cloth ltration of water is
sustainable and continues to protect villagers from cholera in Matlab, Bangladesh. MBio 1 (1).


9.5 External links

Safe Saris - Bangladesh
NSF Director Colwell Fights Spread of Cholera with Saris
Sari lter stops cholera, with photo. ICDDR,B website.
Photo showing woman using sari to lter drinking water - Source: Dr. Rita Colwell


Chapter 10

Algae scrubber

Newest algae scrubber designs use upowing air bubbles to generate turbulence; when illumination is added, algae grows inside the
unit and consumes nutrients.

An algae scrubber is a water ltering device (not to be confused with a scrubber pad used to clean glass) which
uses light to grow algae; in this process, undesirable chemicals are removed from the water.[1] Algae scrubbers have
allowed saltwater and freshwater aquarium and pond hobbyists the ability to operate their tanks the way that oceans
and lakes operate: using natural ltration in the form of primary production.

10.1 Concepts
Both iron fertilization and ocean nourishment are techniques that boost the primary production of algae in the ocean,
which consumes massive amounts of nutrients and CO2 . It is this same consumption of nutrients that algae perform
in an aquarium or pond.



Commercial oating surface algae scrubber uses red LED lights and up-owing air bubbles to cause algae to grow in the growth
compartment. Inside of the compartment is lined with rough textures which enhance algal attachment; ribbons/strings allow further
algal attachment.

An algae scrubber lters water by moving water rapidly over a rough, highly illuminated surface, which causes algae
to start growing in large amounts. As the algae grow, they consume nutrients such as nitrate, phosphate, nitrite,
ammonia, ammonium and even metals such as copper from the water.[2] These nutrients are normally a problem in
aquariums and ponds because they cause nuisance algae to grow, and also because they cause sickness and/or other
problems in aquarium sh, invertebrates and corals.[3] An algae scrubber allows algae to grow, but the algae grow
inside the lter instead of in the aquarium or pond. This removes excess nutrients (scrubs the water), diminishing
nuisance algae in the aquarium or pond . Nuisance algae in the aquarium or pond are not to be confused with the
desired algae in the algae scrubber lter itself. The algae that grow in the algae scrubber can then be removed, or fed
back to the livestock.
Algae scrubbers are used in both saltwater and freshwater, and remove nuisance algae of multiple types: cyano or
slime, bubble, hair, Chaetomorpha, Caulerpa, and lm algae, as well as dinoagellates and Aiptasia.



Periodic removal of the algae that has grown inside of an algae scrubber removes nutrients (ammonia, nitrate, phosphate) from the
aquarium water, thus providing the needed ltration.

10.2 History
The algae scrubber was invented by Dr. Walter Adey, who beginning in the late 1970s, was Director of the Marine Systems Laboratory at the Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution (Washington DC, USA).[4] His
research of various types of algae, especially in their ecological role on coral reefs, gave him insight into how the
ocean (in particular a reef) recycles nutrients. He designed and built various exhibits ranging in size up to 3000
gallons, and modeled dierent aquatic ecological systems including a tropical coral reef/lagoon which after 8 years
of closure [to the environment], had its chemical parameters controlled solely by an algal turf scrubber. This system,
studied by a multidisciplinary team of biologists, demonstrated calcication [coral growth] rates equal to the best 4
percent of wild reefs, and at 543 identied species, and an estimated 800 species, ranked per unit area as the most
biodiverse reef ever measured.[5]
In three editions of his book, Dynamic Aquaria, Dr Adey described his work in detail and discussed in scientic
principles the physical, chemical, and biological considerations for building a functioning ecological system within an
enclosure, from aquarium size, to microcosm (up to 5000 gallons), or mesocosm size (>5000 gallons). In describing
the algal turf scrubber he designed, he explained that removing excess nutrients was not its only function. By operating
the scrubber at night when the main tank had shifted to a dierent respiratory phase (plants were now absorbing oxygen
rather than producing it) the scrubber maintained oxygen levels and helped buer pH by preventing high levels of
carbon dioxide from building up.
Recycling means how the nutrients go from plants to animals, and back to plants again. On land, you see recycling
by following the oxygen ow: Green plants use carbon dioxide and release oxygen; animals use this oxygen and
release carbon dioxide. In oceans and lakes, the nutrients go from algae to animals, and back to the algae again.
Dr. Adey built several versions of algae scrubbers for aquariums at the Smithsonian. He called them Algal Turf
Scrubbers, because at the time it was believed that turf algae was the best type of algae to grow in a scrubber. He
also was granted the rst U.S. patent for a dumping-bucket algae scrubber,[6] which described a complex dumping
device that poured water onto a horizontal surface, thus simulating waves in a reef environment. After several years



Dr. Walter Adey

of development, he participated in a test of a large algae scrubber on the Great Barrier Reef Aquarium: The Reef
Tank represents the rst application of algal scrubber technology to large volume aquarium systems. Aquaria using
conventional water purication methods (e.g. bacterial lters) generally have nutrient levels in parts per million, while



Upowing scrubber

algal scrubbers have maintained parts per billion concentrations [much lower], despite heavy biological loading in the
Reef Tank. The success of the algal scrubbers in maintaining suitable water quality for a coral reef was demonstrated
in the observed spawning of scleractinian corals and many other tank inhabitants.[1]
Unfortunately, it was not known at the time (1988) that calcium and alkalinity needed to be added to an enclosed
reef tank, in order to replace that which is utilized by the growing calcifying organisms. Even ve years after that,
the Pittsburgh Zoo was just starting to test a mesocosm scrubber reef tank to see if calcium levels would drop: It
was hypothesized that Ca2+ and the substitutive elements Sr2+ and Mg2+ might have reduced concentrations in a coral
reef microcosm due to continuous reuse of the same seawater as a consequence of the recycling process inherent
in the coral reef mesocosm. [...] The scleractinians (Montastrea, Madracis, Porites, Diploria, and Acropora) and
calcareous alga (Halimeda and others) present in the coral reef mesocosm are the most likely organisms responsible for
the signicant reduction in concentration of the Ca2+ and Sr2+ cations. [...] Ca is not normally a biolimiting element,
and strontium is never a biolimiting element; HCO3 [alkalinity] can be. It appears that, because of a minor limitation
in the design parameters of the mesocosm, these elements and compounds may have become limiting factors. [...]



Aquatic nutrient cycle

It is surprising that the organisms could deplete the thousands of gallons of seawater (three to six thousand) of these
elements even within two or more years.[7] After other researchers added calcium and/or connected their tanks to
the ocean (which also supplies calcium and alkalinity), corals began growing again. Nevertheless, problem nutrients
(ammonia, ammonium, nitrate, nitrite, phosphate, CO2 , metals) were always kept at very low numbers.
Dr. Adey licensed his patent to very few individuals, who for a short number of years sold a limited number of
aquarium scrubbers to hobbyists. The complexity of the design, however, and the cost of the license, caused the
scrubber units to be very expensive. This, combined with the fact that the units were noisy, splashy, and unreliable
(the dumping mechanism would get stuck) caused the sales to be slow. The scrubbers were just starting to make
headway into the aquarium hobby in the 1990s when Adey decided to withdraw his license and no longer allow
anybody to make or sell them. He turned his attention instead to commercial and industrial applications, and entered
private business making large scale scrubber installations for lakes and rivers.[8]
As the internet developed in the 1990s, aquarium and pond hobbyists began discussing nuisance algae problems, and
started noticing a trend: Aquariums and ponds with very high amounts of nuisance algae had no detectable nutrients
in the water. This at rst seemed odd, since the amount of nuisance algae should increase as the nutrients in the water
increased. How could there be a very large amount of nuisance algae, but no measurable nutrients in the water to
support this? Biologists then began pointing out that when the amount of nuisance algae became large enough, the
algae actually consumed all the available nutrients from the water faster than new nutrients were added. Dr. Adeys
principles were at work again.
Interest in using algae for nutrient control once again increased, this time in the form of keeping the algae in a sump
or other small aquarium which was connected to the main aquarium via plumbing. With added lighting and ow, algae
would grow in this area, and the algae would consume nutrients from the water just as Dr. Adeys algae scrubber units
did. Sumps or other small aquariums used for this purpose became known as refugiums.[9] The name refugium
was used because the growing algae provided a safe place for small and microscopic animals to breed and grow, and
thus was a refuge from the large sh and invertebrates in the main aquarium that would otherwise consume them.
However while the refugiums did indeed consume nutrients from the water, they did not consume them fast enough
in all situations; this caused many hobbyists to continue to have nuisance algae problems in their main aquariums.



10.3 Modern forms

Original vertical scrubber design

More recent variations are built with a simple waterfall driven by gravity, using a simple PVC plumbing pipe to
ow water down a piece of plastic knitting screen (also known as plastic canvas), which is roughed up to allow algae
to attach. In almost every case, these homemade algae scrubbers reduced the nutrients to very low levels, and this
reduced or eliminated all nuisance algae problems.
In addition, turf algae, which was the focus of Dr. Adeys dumping-bucket design, is replaced by green hair
algae.[10] This is because turf algae tends to be dark brown and thick (like articial turf on sports elds), and it
blocks the light and water from reaching the screen. This slows the growth (and ltering) of the algae because the
bottom layers of algae that are attached to the screen start to die and detach. Green algae, however (especially lightgreen hair algae), allows light and water to penetrate all the way down to the screen if the growth is kept less than 20
mm thick,[11] which allows the algae to grow faster and absorb more nutrients without dying and losing attachment to
the screen. This is fortunate because green hair algae is the exact type of algae that grows automatically in a properly

10.4. SEE ALSO


constructed algae scrubber.

Some models also use up-owing air bubbles. This version, which is basically the exact opposite of the waterfall,
allows the algae scrubber to be placed underwater in the aquarium, sump or pond, instead of above it. This greatly
simplies construction, since the device does not need to be waterproof, and it allows placement of the scrubber
into tight areas where there is no room above the water line. The design also keeps the algae from drying out in the
event of a power failure, because all the algae is under water, and the design also removes almost all splashing. The
up-owing bubble design falls into three categories: those that attach to and shine through the aquarium (or sump)
glass; those that oat on top of the aquarium, sump or pond water surface; and those that go completely underwater
like a submarine.


Cleaning and harvesting

Generally, and except for specic continuous-ltering or continuous-cultivating versions, algae scrubbers require the
algae to be removed (harvested) periodically from the scrubber. This removal of algae has the eect of removing
undesired nutrients from the water because the algae used the nutrients in order to grow. The algae is generally
removed either:
Every 7 to 21 days, or
When it is black, or
When it lls up the scrubber, or
When it starts letting go, or
When nutrients start to rise in the water.
For waterfall versions, the screen is removed from the pipe and cleaned in a sink with running water. The pipe is
removed also, and the slot is cleaned with a toothbrush, to remove any algae that have grown up into it. After the algae
are removed, the screen and pipe are put back in the scrubber. For upow versions, the cleaning method depends on
the type:
Glass-attached version: The magnet portion outside the glass is removed, and the inside portion is lifted out of the
water. If the growth is thick green hair algae, then it is just removed by hand. If the growth is thin green hair (as
occurs in freshwater) or dark slime, then the inside unit is taken to the sink and cleaned with a toothbrush. After
cleaning, the inside and outside parts are put back into place on the glass.
Floating-surface version: If the growth is thick green hair algae then it is just removed by hand by lifting the LED lid
up and pulling the growth out. If the growth is thin green hair or dark slime, then the oating portion is taken to the
sink and cleaned with a toothbrush.
Drop-in version: The entire unit is lifted out of the water, and the lid is removed. If the growth is thick green hair
algae then it is just removed by hand. If the growth is thin green hair or dark slime, then the whole unit is taken to
the sink and cleaned with a toothbrush.
If the screen is not cleaned like this periodically, the algae will get too thick and block light and ow from reaching
the roots of the algae, and these areas will die and let go, putting nutrients back into the water.[10]

10.4 See also

Refugium (shkeeping)
Wikiversity:Algae scrubber, on how to build a DIY algae scrubber

10.5 References
[1] Nutrient Cycling In The Great Barrier Reef Aquarium. Proceedings of the 6th International Coral Reef Symposium,
Australia, 1988, Vol. 2



[2] Algal Response To Nutrient Enrichment In Forested Oligotrophic Stream. Journal of Phycology, June 2008
[3] Fish Disease: Diagnosis and Treatment, Second Edition, 2010
[4] Smithsonian Institution, Dept. of Botany
[6] U.S. Patent 4333263, Issue Date June 8, 1982
[7] An Introduction to the Biogeochemical Cycling of Calcium and Substitutive Strontium in Living Coral Reef Mesocosms
[8] Hydromentia Water Treatment Technologies
[9] Reef Invertebrates, 2003, page 46
[10] AlgaeScrubber.Net
[11] Production within dense mats of the lamentous macroalga Chaetomorpha linum in relation to light and nutrient availability,
gure 5.

10.6 External links forum about algae scrubbers for aquariums
PowerPoint slideshow about algae scrubbers
DIY upow version video
DIY waterfall version

Chapter 11

Backwashing (water treatment)

This article is about water treatment. For the geologic process, see Swash.
In terms of water treatment, including water purication and sewage treatment, backwashing refers to pumping
water backwards through the lters media, sometimes including intermittent use of compressed air during the process.
Backwashing is a form of preventive maintenance so that the lter media can be reused. In water treatment plants,
backwashing can be an automated process that is run by local programmable logic controllers (PLCs). The backwash
cycle is triggered after a set time interval, when the lter euent turbidity is greater than a treatment guideline or
when the dierential pressure (head loss) across the lter exceeds a set value.
Water treatment lters that can be backwashed include rapid sand lters, pressure lters and granular activated carbon
(GAC) lters. Diatomaceous earth lters are backwashed according to the proprietary arrangement of pumps, valves
and lters associated with the ltration system.[2] Slow sand lters and self-cleaning screen lters employ mechanisms
other than backwashing to remove trapped particles. To keep water treatment lters functional, they have to be cleaned
periodically to remove particulates. Ineective backwashing is one of the main reasons that water treatment lters

11.1 Procedure
Backwashing of granular media lters involves several steps. First, the lter is taken o line and the water is drained
to a level that is above the surface of the lter bed. Next, compressed air is pushed up through the lter material
causing the lter bed to expand breaking up the compacted lter bed and forcing the accumulated particles into
suspension. After the air scour cycle, clean backwash water is forced upwards through the lter bed continuing the
lter bed expansion and carrying the particles in suspension into backwash troughs suspended above the lter surface.
In some applications, air and water streams are simultaneously pushed upwards through the granular media followed
by a rinse water wash.[3]:213-4 Backwashing continues for a xed time, or until the turbidity of the backwash water is
below an established value. At the end of the backwash cycle, the upward ow of water is terminated and the lter
bed settles by gravity into its initial conguration. Water to be ltered is then applied to the lter surface until the
lter clogs and the backwash cycle needs to be repeated.[3]:264-8[4]:10.53-10.58[5]:937-9[6]:8.11-8.18[7]:353-6
Some water treatment lters use surface wash systems that break up the heavily clogged, granular media surface layer.
Surface wash systems are buried in the top of the lter media or are suspended above the lter media surface. John
R. Baylis developed a xed grid system which consisted of pipes with nozzles that injected jets of water into the lter
material during expansion.[8] Rotating arms use jets of water to break up the clogged lter surface and to rotate a
movable arm through the lter material. A surface wash step in a backwash cycle usually takes place at the beginning
of the lter bed cleaning process.[3]:199-200[7]:357-60

11.2 Treatment
Spent backwash water is either discharged without treatment to a sanitary sewer system or is treated and recycled
within the plant.[4]:22.37-22.40 Historically, backwash water was discharged directly to surface water supplies; however,
direct discharge is now highly regulated through NPDES discharge permits and is often discouraged. Used back51



Backwashing cycle is run on the left lter of the test columns in a water ltration plant.[1]

wash water contains high concentrations of particulate material. Typical treatment processes include coagulation,
occulation and sedimentation. High molecular weight synthetic organic polymers are sometimes added to facilitate
the formation of settleable oc. Failure of a backwash treatment process and reintroduction of the resulting poor
quality water into the main water purication plant ow stream can cause overall process upsets and result in the
production of poor quality treated drinking water.[6]:20.11-20.13



11.3 Recycling
As a water conservation measure, many water purication plants recycle lter backwash water and other product
streams from sludge treatment processes back to the beginning of the plant.[4]:22.40-22.43[5]:242-3 On June 8, 2001, the
USEPA released a nal regulation governing acceptable practices for recycling backwash water.[9] The purpose of the
regulation was to improve the control of microbial contaminants such as Cryptosporidium by reducing the potential
for recycled product streams to upset the removal eciency of the main treatment processes. The regulation requires
that spent lter backwash water be recycled to the front of the treatment plant so that all available particle removal
treatment processes can be employed to remove the microbial and particulate material from the backwash water.[10]

11.4 References
[1] Bungays lecture on sand ltration. Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. Retrieved 26 February 2015.
[2] Diatomaceous Earth Pool Filters Accessed 2012-06-20.
[3] Kawamura, Susumu. (2000). Integrated Design and Operation of Water Treatment Facilities. 2nd Edition. New York:
Wiley. pp. 74-5, 104. ISBN 0-471-35093-1
[4] Edzwald, James K., ed. (2011). Water Quality and Treatment. 6th Edition. New York:McGraw-Hill. ISBN 978-0-07163011-5
[5] Crittenden, John C., et al., eds. (2005). Water Treatment: Principles and Design. 2nd Edition. Hoboken, NJ:Wiley. ISBN
[6] Baruth, Edward E., ed. (1990). Water Treatment Plant Design. 4th Edition. New York:McGraw-Hill. ISBN 0-07-1418725
[7] Williams, Robert B. and Culp, Gordon L., eds. (1986). Handbook of Public Water Systems. New York:Van Nostrand
Reinhold. ISBN 0-442-21597-5
[8] Baylis, John R. (1959). Review of Filter Bed Design and Methods of Washing. Journal AWWA. 51:11 1433-54.
[9] National Primary Drinking Water Regulations: Filter Backwash Recycling Rule Federal Register. 66:111 June 8, 2001.
[10] Filter Backwash Recycling Rule Accessed 2012-06-20.

11.5 External links

National Environmental Services Center - Filter Backwashing Accessed 2012-06-20.
Filter Backwash - Seymour Capilano Water Plant video. Accessed 2012-06-20.
High-Rate Spent Filter Backwash Water Treatment Information Tool Accessed 2012-06-20.
Filtration: Water Treatment Basics Session III - Technical Learning College video. Accessed 2012-06-20.

Chapter 12

Carbon ltering
Carbon ltering is a method of ltering that uses a bed of activated carbon to remove contaminants and impurities,
using chemical absorption.
Each particle/granule of carbon provides a large surface area/pore structure, allowing contaminants the maximum
possible exposure to the active sites within the lter media. One pound (450 g) of activated carbon contains a surface
area of approximately 100 acres (40 Hectares).
Activated carbon works via a process called adsorption, whereby pollutant molecules in the uid to be treated are
trapped inside the pore structure of the carbon substrate. Carbon ltering is commonly used for water purication,
in air puriers and industrial gas processing, for example the removal of siloxanes and hydrogen sulde from biogas.
It is also used in a number of other applications, including respirator masks, the purication of sugarcane and in the
recovery of precious metals, especially gold. It is also used in cigarette lters.
Active charcoal carbon lters are most eective at removing chlorine, sediment, volatile organic compounds (VOCs),
taste and odor from water. They are not eective at removing minerals, salts, and dissolved inorganic compounds.
Typical particle sizes that can be removed by carbon lters range from 0.5 to 50 micrometres. The particle size will
be used as part of the lter description. The ecacy of a carbon lter is also based upon the ow rate regulation.
When the water is allowed to ow through the lter at a slower rate, the contaminants are exposed to the lter media
for a longer amount of time.

12.1 Types of carbon lters

There are 2 predominant types of carbon lters used in the ltration industry: powdered block lters and granular
activated lters. In general, carbon block lters are more eective at removing a larger number of contaminants,
based upon the increased surface area of carbon. Many carbon lters also use secondary media, such as silver or
Kdf-55, to prevent bacteria growth within the lter. Alternatively, the activated carbon itself may be impregnated
with silver to provide this bacteriostatic property.

12.2 History of carbon lters


Carbon lters have been used for several hundred years and are considered one of the oldest means of water
purication. Historians have shown evidence that carbon ltration may have been used in ancient Egyptian cultures
for medical purposes and as a purifying agent.[2] 2000 B.C. Sanskrit text refers to ltering water through charcoal
(1905 translation of Sushruta Samhita by Francis Evelyn Place). The rst recorded use of a carbon lter to purify
potable water on a large scale occurred in 19th century England.[2]
Currently, carbon lters are used in individual homes as point-of-use water lters, groundwater remediation, landll
leachate, industrial wastewater and, occasionally, in municipal water treatment facilities. They are also used as pretreatment devices for reverse osmosis systems and as specialized lters designed to remove chlorine-resistant cysts,
such as giardia and cryptosporidium.



12.3 Hydrogen production

For small-scale production of hydrogen water puriers are installed to prevent formation of minerals on the surface of
the electrodes and to remove organics and chlorine from utility water. First the water passes through a 20 micrometer
interference (mesh or screen lter) lter to remove sand and dust particles, second, a charcoal lter (activated carbon)
to remove organics and chlorine, third stage, a de-ionizing lter to remove metallic ions. A test can be done before
and after the lter for proper functioning on barium, calcium, potassium, magnesium, sodium and silicon.

12.4 Radiation or nuclear medicine

Carbon lters, along with HEPA lters, are widely used in the construction of hot cells. This allows the room to
exhaust air that contains innitesimal quantities of radioactivity and contaminants.

12.5 See also

Water lter
List of waste-water treatment technologies

12.6 References
[1] Cheremisino, Paul N.; Angelo C. Morresi (1980). Carbon Adsorption Handbook. Ann Arbor, Michigan: Ann Arbor
Science Publishers, Inc. pp. 154.
[2] Pope, Jason (1999-01-01). A Brief History of Activated Carbon and a Summary of Its Uses. Virginia Tech - Environmental and Water Resources Engineering. Retrieved 2013-09-24.

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Washington, D.C. (2013). Granular Activated Carbon.
Drinking Water Treatability Database.
A Citizens Guide to Activated Carbon Treatment. Document no. EPA 542-F-01-020 (PDF). EPA. 2001.
Residential Air Cleaners: A Summary of Available Information. 2nd edition. Document no. EPA 402-F-09-002



Carbon ltering is usually used in water ltration systems. In this illustration, the activated carbon is in the fourth level (counted
from bottom).

Chapter 13

Distiller and Distillery redirect here. For other uses, see Distiller (disambiguation) and Distillery (disambiguation).
For other uses, see Distillation (disambiguation).
Distillation is a process of separating the component substances from a liquid mixture by selective evaporation
and condensation. Distillation may result in essentially complete separation (nearly pure components), or it may be a
partial separation that increases the concentration of selected components of the mixture. In either case the process
exploits dierences in the volatility of mixtures components. In industrial chemistry, distillation is a unit operation
of practically universal importance, but it is a physical separation process and not a chemical reaction.
Commercially, distillation has many applications. For example:
In the fossil fuel industry distillation is a major class of operation in obtaining materials from crude oil for fuels
and for chemical feedstocks.
Distillation permits separation of air into its components notably oxygen, nitrogen, and argon for industrial
In the eld of industrial chemistry, large ranges of crude liquid products of chemical synthesis are distilled to
separate them, either from other products, or from impurities, or from unreacted starting materials.
Distillation of fermented products produces distilled beverages with a high alcohol content, or separates out
other fermentation products of commercial value.
An installation for distillation, especially of alcohol, is a distillery. The distillation equipment is a still.

13.1 History
See also: Distilled beverage
Aristotle wrote about the process in his Meteorologica and even that ordinary wine possesses a kind of exhalation, and that is why it gives out a ame.[5] Later evidence of distillation comes from Greek alchemists working in
Alexandria in the 1st century AD.[6] Distilled water has been known since at least c. 200, when Alexander of Aphrodisias described the process.[7] Distillation in China could have begun during the Eastern Han Dynasty (1st2nd
centuries), but archaeological evidence indicates that actual distillation of beverages began in the Jin and Southern
Song dynasties.[8] A still was found in an archaeological site in Qinglong, Hebei province dating to the 12th century.
Distilled beverages were more common during the Yuan dynasty.[8] Arabs learned the process from the Alexandrians
and used it extensively in their chemical experiments.
Clear evidence of the distillation of alcohol comes from the School of Salerno in the 12th century.[6][9] Fractional
distillation was developed by Tadeo Alderotti in the 13th century.[10]
In 1500, German alchemist Hieronymus Braunschweig published Liber de arte destillandi (The Book of the Art of
Distillation)[11] the rst book solely dedicated to the subject of distillation, followed in 1512 by a much expanded
version. In 1651, John French published The Art of Distillation the rst major English compendium of practice,











Laboratory display of distillation: 1: A source of heat 2: Still pot 3: Still head 4: Thermometer/Boiling point temperature 5:
Condenser 6: Cooling water in 7: Cooling water out 8: Distillate/receiving ask 9: Vacuum/gas inlet 10: Still receiver 11: Heat
control 12: Stirrer speed control 13: Stirrer/heat plate 14: Heating (Oil/sand) bath 15: Stirring means e.g. (shown), boiling chips or
mechanical stirrer 16: Cooling bath.[1]

though it has been claimed[12] that much of it derives from Braunschweigs work. This includes diagrams with people
in them showing the industrial rather than bench scale of the operation.
As alchemy evolved into the science of chemistry, vessels called retorts became used for distillations. Both alembics
and retorts are forms of glassware with long necks pointing to the side at a downward angle which acted as air-



Distillation equipment used by the 3rd century Greek alchemist Zosimos of Panopolis,[2][3] from the Byzantine Greek manuscript
Parisinus graces.[4]

cooled condensers to condense the distillate and let it drip downward for collection. Later, copper alembics were
invented. Riveted joints were often kept tight by using various mixtures, for instance a dough made of rye our.[13]
These alembics often featured a cooling system around the beak, using cold water for instance, which made the
condensation of alcohol more ecient. These were called pot stills. Today, the retorts and pot stills have been largely
supplanted by more ecient distillation methods in most industrial processes. However, the pot still is still widely
used for the elaboration of some ne alcohols such as cognac, Scotch whisky, tequila and some vodkas. Pot stills
made of various materials (wood, clay, stainless steel) are also used by bootleggers in various countries. Small pot
stills are also sold for the domestic production[14] of ower water or essential oils.
Early forms of distillation were batch processes using one vaporization and one condensation. Purity was improved by
further distillation of the condensate. Greater volumes were processed by simply repeating the distillation. Chemists
were reported to carry out as many as 500 to 600 distillations in order to obtain a pure compound.[15]
In the early 19th century the basics of modern techniques including pre-heating and reux were developed, particularly
by the French,[15] then in 1830 a British Patent was issued to Aeneas Coey for a whiskey distillation column,[16]
which worked continuously and may be regarded as the archetype of modern petrochemical units. In 1877, Ernest
Solvay was granted a U.S. Patent for a tray column for ammonia distillation[17] and the same and subsequent years
saw developments of this theme for oil and spirits.
With the emergence of chemical engineering as a discipline at the end of the 19th century, scientic rather than
empirical methods could be applied. The developing petroleum industry in the early 20th century provided the
impetus for the development of accurate design methods such as the McCabeThiele method and the Fenske equation.
The availability of powerful computers has also allowed direct computer simulation of distillation columns.



Hieronymus Brunschwigs Liber de arte Distillandi de Compositis (Strassburg, 1512) Chemical Heritage Foundation



A retort


13.2 Applications of distillation

The application of distillation can roughly be divided in four groups: laboratory scale, industrial distillation, distillation
of herbs for perfumery and medicinals (herbal distillate), and food processing. The latter two are distinctively dierent
from the former two in that in the processing of beverages, the distillation is not used as a true purication method
but more to transfer all volatiles from the source materials to the distillate.
The main dierence between laboratory scale distillation and industrial distillation is that laboratory scale distillation



Old Ukrainian vodka still

Simple liqueur distillation in East Timor

is often performed batch-wise, whereas industrial distillation often occurs continuously. In batch distillation, the
composition of the source material, the vapors of the distilling compounds and the distillate change during the distillation. In batch distillation, a still is charged (supplied) with a batch of feed mixture, which is then separated into its
component fractions which are collected sequentially from most volatile to less volatile, with the bottoms (remaining
least or non-volatile fraction) removed at the end. The still can then be recharged and the process repeated.
In continuous distillation, the source materials, vapors, and distillate are kept at a constant composition by carefully
replenishing the source material and removing fractions from both vapor and liquid in the system. This results in a
better control of the separation process.

13.3 Idealized distillation model

The boiling point of a liquid is the temperature at which the vapor pressure of the liquid equals the pressure around
the liquid, enabling bubbles to form without being crushed. A special case is the normal boiling point, where the



vapor pressure of the liquid equals the ambient atmospheric pressure.

It is a common misconception that in a liquid mixture at a given pressure, each component boils at the boiling point
corresponding to the given pressure and the vapors of each component will collect separately and purely. This,
however, does not occur even in an idealized system. Idealized models of distillation are essentially governed by
Raoults law and Daltons law, and assume that vaporliquid equilibria are attained.
Raoults law states that the vapor pressure of a solution is dependent on 1) the vapor pressure of each chemical
component in the solution and 2) the fraction of solution each component makes up a.k.a. the mole fraction. This
law applies to ideal solutions, or solutions that have dierent components but whose molecular interactions are the
same as or very similar to pure solutions.
Daltons law states that the total vapor pressure is the sum of the vapor pressures of each individual component in
the mixture. When a multi-component liquid is heated, the vapor pressure of each component will rise, thus causing
the total vapor pressure to rise. When the total vapor pressure reaches the pressure surrounding the liquid, boiling
occurs and liquid turns to gas throughout the bulk of the liquid. Note that a mixture with a given composition has
one boiling point at a given pressure, when the components are mutually soluble.
An implication of one boiling point is that lighter components never cleanly boil rst. At boiling point, all volatile
components boil, but for a component, its percentage in the vapor is the same as its percentage of the total vapor
pressure. Lighter components have a higher partial pressure and thus are concentrated in the vapor, but heavier volatile
components also have a (smaller) partial pressure and necessarily evaporate also, albeit being less concentrated in the
vapor. Indeed, batch distillation and fractionation succeed by varying the composition of the mixture. In batch
distillation, the batch evaporates, which changes its composition; in fractionation, liquid higher in the fractionation
column contains more lights and boils at lower temperatures.
The idealized model is accurate in the case of chemically similar liquids, such as benzene and toluene. In other
cases, severe deviations from Raoults law and Daltons law are observed, most famously in the mixture of ethanol
and water. These compounds, when heated together, form an azeotrope, which is a composition with a boiling point
higher or lower than the boiling point of each separate liquid. Virtually all liquids, when mixed and heated, will
display azeotropic behaviour. Although there are computational methods that can be used to estimate the behavior of
a mixture of arbitrary components, the only way to obtain accurate vaporliquid equilibrium data is by measurement.
It is not possible to completely purify a mixture of components by distillation, as this would require each component
in the mixture to have a zero partial pressure. If ultra-pure products are the goal, then further chemical separation
must be applied. When a binary mixture is evaporated and the other component, e.g. a salt, has zero partial pressure
for practical purposes, the process is simpler and is called evaporation in engineering.


Batch distillation

Main article: Batch distillation

Heating an ideal mixture of two volatile substances A and B (with A having the higher volatility, or lower boiling
point) in a batch distillation setup (such as in an apparatus depicted in the opening gure) until the mixture is boiling
results in a vapor above the liquid which contains a mixture of A and B. The ratio between A and B in the vapor will
be dierent from the ratio in the liquid: the ratio in the liquid will be determined by how the original mixture was
prepared, while the ratio in the vapor will be enriched in the more volatile compound, A (due to Raoults Law, see
above). The vapor goes through the condenser and is removed from the system. This in turn means that the ratio of
compounds in the remaining liquid is now dierent from the initial ratio (i.e., more enriched in B than the starting
The result is that the ratio in the liquid mixture is changing, becoming richer in component B. This causes the boiling
point of the mixture to rise, which in turn results in a rise in the temperature in the vapor, which results in a changing
ratio of A : B in the gas phase (as distillation continues, there is an increasing proportion of B in the gas phase). This
results in a slowly changing ratio A : B in the distillate.
If the dierence in vapor pressure between the two components A and B is large (generally expressed as the dierence
in boiling points), the mixture in the beginning of the distillation is highly enriched in component A, and when
component A has distilled o, the boiling liquid is enriched in component B.







Puried A


A batch still showing the separation of A and B.


Continuous distillation

Main article: Continuous distillation

Continuous distillation is an ongoing distillation in which a liquid mixture is continuously (without interruption)
fed into the process and separated fractions are removed continuously as output streams occur over time during the
operation. Continuous distillation produces a minimum of two output fractions, including at least one volatile distillate
fraction, which has boiled and been separately captured as a vapor, and then condensed to a liquid. There is always a
bottoms (or residue) fraction, which is the least volatile residue that has not been separately captured as a condensed
Continuous distillation diers from batch distillation in the respect that concentrations should not change over time.
Continuous distillation can be run at a steady state for an arbitrary amount of time. For any source material of specic
composition, the main variables that aect the purity of products in continuous distillation are the reux ratio and
the number of theoretical equilibrium stages, in practice determined by the number of trays or the height of packing.
Reux is a ow from the condenser back to the column, which generates a recycle that allows a better separation with
a given number of trays. Equilibrium stages are ideal steps where compositions achieve vaporliquid equilibrium,
repeating the separation process and allowing better separation given a reux ratio. A column with a high reux ratio
may have fewer stages, but it reuxes a large amount of liquid, giving a wide column with a large holdup. Conversely,
a column with a low reux ratio must have a large number of stages, thus requiring a taller column.


General improvements

Both batch and continuous distillations can be improved by making use of a fractionating column on top of the
distillation ask. The column improves separation by providing a larger surface area for the vapor and condensate to
come into contact. This helps it remain at equilibrium for as long as possible. The column can even consist of small
subsystems ('trays or 'dishes) which all contain an enriched, boiling liquid mixture, all with their own vaporliquid
There are dierences between laboratory-scale and industrial-scale fractionating columns, but the principles are the
same. Examples of laboratory-scale fractionating columns (in increasing eciency) include
Air condenser
Vigreux column (usually laboratory scale only)



Packed column (packed with glass beads, metal pieces, or other chemically inert material)
Spinning band distillation system.

13.4 Laboratory scale distillation

Typical laboratory distillation unit

Laboratory scale distillations are almost exclusively run as batch distillations. The device used in distillation, sometimes referred to as a still, consists at a minimum of a reboiler or pot in which the source material is heated, a
condenser in which the heated vapour is cooled back to the liquid state, and a receiver in which the concentrated
or puried liquid, called the distillate, is collected. Several laboratory scale techniques for distillation exist (see also
distillation types).


Simple distillation

In simple distillation, the vapor is immediately channeled into a condenser. Consequently, the distillate is not pure
but rather its composition is identical to the composition of the vapors at the given temperature and pressure. That
concentration follows Raoults law.
As a result, simple distillation is eective only when the liquid boiling points dier greatly (rule of thumb is 25 C)[18]
or when separating liquids from non-volatile solids or oils. For these cases, the vapor pressures of the components
are usually dierent enough that the distillate may be suciently pure for its intended purpose.


Fractional distillation

Main article: Fractional distillation



For many cases, the boiling points of the components in the mixture will be suciently close that Raoults law must
be taken into consideration. Therefore, fractional distillation must be used in order to separate the components
by repeated vaporization-condensation cycles within a packed fractionating column. This separation, by successive
distillations, is also referred to as rectication.[19]
As the solution to be puried is heated, its vapors rise to the fractionating column. As it rises, it cools, condensing
on the condenser walls and the surfaces of the packing material. Here, the condensate continues to be heated by the
rising hot vapors; it vaporizes once more. However, the composition of the fresh vapors are determined once again
by Raoults law. Each vaporization-condensation cycle (called a theoretical plate) will yield a purer solution of the
more volatile component.[20] In reality, each cycle at a given temperature does not occur at exactly the same position
in the fractionating column; theoretical plate is thus a concept rather than an accurate description.
More theoretical plates lead to better separations. A spinning band distillation system uses a spinning band of Teon
or metal to force the rising vapors into close contact with the descending condensate, increasing the number of
theoretical plates.[21]


Steam distillation

Main article: Steam distillation

Like vacuum distillation, steam distillation is a method for distilling compounds which are heat-sensitive.[22] The
temperature of the steam is easier to control than the surface of a heating element, and allows a high rate of heat
transfer without heating at a very high temperature. This process involves bubbling steam through a heated mixture
of the raw material. By Raoults law, some of the target compound will vaporize (in accordance with its partial
pressure). The vapor mixture is cooled and condensed, usually yielding a layer of oil and a layer of water.
Steam distillation of various aromatic herbs and owers can result in two products; an essential oil as well as a watery
herbal distillate. The essential oils are often used in perfumery and aromatherapy while the watery distillates have
many applications in aromatherapy, food processing and skin care.


Vacuum distillation

Main article: Vacuum distillation

Some compounds have very high boiling points. To boil such compounds, it is often better to lower the pressure at
which such compounds are boiled instead of increasing the temperature. Once the pressure is lowered to the vapor
pressure of the compound (at the given temperature), boiling and the rest of the distillation process can commence.
This technique is referred to as vacuum distillation and it is commonly found in the laboratory in the form of the
rotary evaporator.
This technique is also very useful for compounds which boil beyond their decomposition temperature at atmospheric
pressure and which would therefore be decomposed by any attempt to boil them under atmospheric pressure.
Molecular distillation is vacuum distillation below the pressure of 0.01 torr.[23] 0.01 torr is one order of magnitude
above high vacuum, where uids are in the free molecular ow regime, i.e. the mean free path of molecules is
comparable to the size of the equipment. The gaseous phase no longer exerts signicant pressure on the substance to
be evaporated, and consequently, rate of evaporation no longer depends on pressure. That is, because the continuum
assumptions of uid dynamics no longer apply, mass transport is governed by molecular dynamics rather than uid
dynamics. Thus, a short path between the hot surface and the cold surface is necessary, typically by suspending a hot
plate covered with a lm of feed next to a cold plate with a line of sight in between. Molecular distillation is used
industrially for purication of oils.


Air-sensitive vacuum distillation

Some compounds have high boiling points as well as being air sensitive. A simple vacuum distillation system as
exemplied above can be used, whereby the vacuum is replaced with an inert gas after the distillation is complete.
However, this is a less satisfactory system if one desires to collect fractions under a reduced pressure. To do this



Dimethyl sulfoxide usually boils at 189 C. Under a vacuum, it distills o into the receiver at only 70 C.

a cow or pig adaptor can be added to the end of the condenser, or for better results or for very air sensitive
compounds a Perkin triangle apparatus can be used.
The Perkin triangle, has means via a series of glass or Teon taps to allows fractions to be isolated from the rest of
the still, without the main body of the distillation being removed from either the vacuum or heat source, and thus can
remain in a state of reux. To do this, the sample is rst isolated from the vacuum by means of the taps, the vacuum
over the sample is then replaced with an inert gas (such as nitrogen or argon) and can then be stoppered and removed.



A fresh collection vessel can then be added to the system, evacuated and linked back into the distillation system via
the taps to collect a second fraction, and so on, until all fractions have been collected.


Short path distillation

Short path distillation is a distillation technique that involves the distillate travelling a short distance, often only a
few centimeters, and is normally done at reduced pressure.[24] A classic example would be a distillation involving the
distillate travelling from one glass bulb to another, without the need for a condenser separating the two chambers.
This technique is often used for compounds which are unstable at high temperatures or to purify small amounts of
compound. The advantage is that the heating temperature can be considerably lower (at reduced pressure) than the
boiling point of the liquid at standard pressure, and the distillate only has to travel a short distance before condensing.
A short path ensures that little compound is lost on the sides of the apparatus. The Kugelrohr is a kind of a short path
distillation apparatus which often contain multiple chambers to collect distillate fractions.


Zone distillation

Zone distillation is a distillation process in long container with partial melting of rened matter in moving liquid zone
and condensation of vapor in the solid phase at condensate pulling in cold area. The process is worked in theory.
When zone heater is moving from the top to the bottom of the container then solid condensate with irregular impurity
distribution is forming. Then most pure part of the condensate may be extracted as product. The process may be
iterated many times by moving (without turnover) the received condensate to the bottom part of the container on
the place of rened matter. The irregular impurity distribution in the condensate (that is eciency of purication)
increases with number of repetitions of the process. Zone distillation is a distillation analog of zone recrystallization. Impurity distribution in the condensate is described by known equations of zone recrystallization with various
numbers of iteration of process with replacement distribution ecient k of crystallization on separation factor
of distillation.[25][26][27]


Other types

The process of reactive distillation involves using the reaction vessel as the still. In this process, the product is usually signicantly lower-boiling than its reactants. As the product is formed from the reactants, it is
vaporized and removed from the reaction mixture. This technique is an example of a continuous vs. a batch
process; advantages include less downtime to charge the reaction vessel with starting material, and less workup.
Distillation over a reactant could be classied as a reactive distillation. It is typically used to remove volatile
impurity from the distallation feed. For example a little lime may be added to remove carbon dioxide from
water followed by a second distillation with a little sulphuric acid added to remove traces of ammonia.
Catalytic distillation is the process by which the reactants are catalyzed while being distilled to continuously
separate the products from the reactants. This method is used to assist equilibrium reactions reach completion.
Pervaporation is a method for the separation of mixtures of liquids by partial vaporization through a non-porous
Extractive distillation is dened as distillation in the presence of a miscible, high boiling, relatively non-volatile
component, the solvent, that forms no azeotrope with the other components in the mixture.
Flash evaporation (or partial evaporation) is the partial vaporization that occurs when a saturated liquid stream
undergoes a reduction in pressure by passing through a throttling valve or other throttling device. This process
is one of the simplest unit operations, being equivalent to a distillation with only one equilibrium stage.
Codistillation is distillation which is performed on mixtures in which the two compounds are not miscible.
The unit process of evaporation may also be called distillation":
In rotary evaporation a vacuum distillation apparatus is used to remove bulk solvents from a sample. Typically
the vacuum is generated by a water aspirator or a membrane pump.



In a kugelrohr a short path distillation apparatus is typically used (generally in combination with a (high) vacuum) to distill high boiling (> 300 C) compounds. The apparatus consists of an oven in which the compound
to be distilled is placed, a receiving portion which is outside of the oven, and a means of rotating the sample.
The vacuum is normally generated by using a high vacuum pump.
Other uses:
Dry distillation or destructive distillation, despite the name, is not truly distillation, but rather a chemical reaction known as pyrolysis in which solid substances are heated in an inert or reducing atmosphere and any volatile
fractions, containing high-boiling liquids and products of pyrolysis, are collected. The destructive distillation
of wood to give methanol is the root of its common name wood alcohol.
Freeze distillation is an analogous method of purication using freezing instead of evaporation. It is not truly
distillation, but a recrystallization where the product is the mother liquor, and does not produce products equivalent to distillation. This process is used in the production of ice beer and ice wine to increase ethanol and
sugar content, respectively. It is also used to produce applejack. Unlike distillation, freeze distillation concentrates poisonous congeners rather than removing them; As a result, many countries prohibit such applejack as a
health measure. However, reducing methanol with the absorption of 4A molecular sieve is a practical method
for production.[28] Also, distillation by evaporation can separate these since they have dierent boiling points.

13.5 Azeotropic distillation

Main article: Azeotropic distillation
Interactions between the components of the solution create properties unique to the solution, as most processes entail
nonideal mixtures, where Raoults law does not hold. Such interactions can result in a constant-boiling azeotrope
which behaves as if it were a pure compound (i.e., boils at a single temperature instead of a range). At an azeotrope,
the solution contains the given component in the same proportion as the vapor, so that evaporation does not change
the purity, and distillation does not eect separation. For example, ethyl alcohol and water form an azeotrope of
95.6% at 78.1 C.
If the azeotrope is not considered suciently pure for use, there exist some techniques to break the azeotrope to
give a pure distillate. This set of techniques are known as azeotropic distillation. Some techniques achieve this by
jumping over the azeotropic composition (by adding another component to create a new azeotrope, or by varying
the pressure). Others work by chemically or physically removing or sequestering the impurity. For example, to purify
ethanol beyond 95%, a drying agent or a (desiccant such as potassium carbonate) can be added to convert the soluble
water into insoluble water of crystallization. Molecular sieves are often used for this purpose as well.
Immiscible liquids, such as water and toluene, easily form azeotropes. Commonly, these azeotropes are referred to
as a low boiling azeotrope because the boiling point of the azeotrope is lower than the boiling point of either pure
component. The temperature and composition of the azeotrope is easily predicted from the vapor pressure of the
pure components, without use of Raoults law. The azeotrope is easily broken in a distillation set-up by using a
liquidliquid separator (a decanter) to separate the two liquid layers that are condensed overhead. Only one of the
two liquid layers is reuxed to the distillation set-up.
High boiling azeotropes, such as a 20 weight percent mixture of hydrochloric acid in water, also exist. As implied by
the name, the boiling point of the azeotrope is greater than the boiling point of either pure component.
To break azeotropic distillations and cross distillation boundaries, such as in the DeRosier Problem, it is necessary to
increase the composition of the light key in the distillate.


Breaking an azeotrope with unidirectional pressure manipulation

The boiling points of components in an azeotrope overlap to form a band. By exposing an azeotrope to a vacuum
or positive pressure, its possible to bias the boiling point of one component away from the other by exploiting the
diering vapour pressure curves of each; the curves may overlap at the azeotropic point, but are unlikely to be remain
identical further along the pressure axis either side of the azeotropic point. When the bias is great enough, the two
boiling points no longer overlap and so the azeotropic band disappears.



This method can remove the need to add other chemicals to a distillation, but it has two potential drawbacks.
Under negative pressure, power for a vacuum source is needed and the reduced boiling points of the distillates requires
that the condenser be run cooler to prevent distillate vapours being lost to the vacuum source. Increased cooling
demands will often require additional energy and possibly new equipment or a change of coolant.
Alternatively, if positive pressures are required, standard glassware can not be used, energy must be used for pressurization and there is a higher chance of side reactions occurring in the distillation, such as decomposition, due to
the higher temperatures required to eect boiling.
A unidirectional distillation will rely on a pressure change in one direction, either positive or negative.


Pressure-swing distillation

Further information: Pressure-Swing Distillation (section on the main Azeotrope page)

Pressure-swing distillation is essentially the same as the unidirectional distillation used to break azeotropic mixtures,
but here both positive and negative pressures may be employed.
This improves the selectivity of the distillation and allows a chemist to optimize distillation by avoiding extremes of
pressure and temperature that waste energy. This is particularly important in commercial applications.
One example of the application of pressure-swing distillation is during the industrial purication of ethyl acetate after
its catalytic synthesis from ethanol.

13.6 Industrial distillation

Main article: Continuous distillation
Large scale industrial distillation applications include both batch and continuous fractional, vacuum, azeotropic,
extractive, and steam distillation. The most widely used industrial applications of continuous, steady-state fractional
distillation are in petroleum reneries, petrochemical and chemical plants and natural gas processing plants.
To control and optimize such industrial distillation, a standardized laboratory method, ASTM D86, is established.
This test method extends to the atmospheric distillation of petroleum products using a laboratory batch distillation
unit to quantitatively determine the boiling range characteristics of petroleum products.
Industrial distillation[19][29] is typically performed in large, vertical cylindrical columns known as distillation towers
or distillation columns with diameters ranging from about 65 centimeters to 16 meters and heights ranging from
about 6 meters to 90 meters or more. When the process feed has a diverse composition, as in distilling crude oil,
liquid outlets at intervals up the column allow for the withdrawal of dierent fractions or products having dierent
boiling points or boiling ranges. The lightest products (those with the lowest boiling point) exit from the top of the
columns and the heaviest products (those with the highest boiling point) exit from the bottom of the column and
are often called the bottoms.
Industrial towers use reux to achieve a more complete separation of products. Reux refers to the portion of the
condensed overhead liquid product from a distillation or fractionation tower that is returned to the upper part of the
tower as shown in the schematic diagram of a typical, large-scale industrial distillation tower. Inside the tower, the
downowing reux liquid provides cooling and condensation of the upowing vapors thereby increasing the eciency
of the distillation tower. The more reux that is provided for a given number of theoretical plates, the better the towers
separation of lower boiling materials from higher boiling materials. Alternatively, the more reux that is provided
for a given desired separation, the fewer the number of theoretical plates required. Chemical engineers must choose
what combination of reux rate and number of plates is both economically and physically feasible for the products
puried in the distillation column.
Such industrial fractionating towers are also used in cryogenic air separation, producing liquid oxygen, liquid nitrogen,
and high purity argon. Distillation of chlorosilanes also enables the production of high-purity silicon for use as a
Design and operation of a distillation tower depends on the feed and desired products. Given a simple, binary component feed, analytical methods such as the McCabeThiele method[19][30] or the Fenske equation[19] can be used.



For a multi-component feed, simulation models are used both for design and operation. Moreover, the eciencies of
the vaporliquid contact devices (referred to as plates or trays) used in distillation towers are typically lower than
that of a theoretical 100% ecient equilibrium stage. Hence, a distillation tower needs more trays than the number
of theoretical vaporliquid equilibrium stages. A variety of models have been postulated to estimate tray eciencies.
In modern industrial uses, a packing material is used in the column instead of trays when low pressure drops across
the column are required. Other factors that favor packing are: vacuum systems, smaller diameter columns, corrosive
systems, systems prone to foaming, systems requiring low liquid holdup, and batch distillation. Conversely, factors
that favor plate columns are: presence of solids in feed, high liquid rates, large column diameters, complex columns,
columns with wide feed composition variation, columns with a chemical reaction, absorption columns, columns limited by foundation weight tolerance, low liquid rate, large turn-down ratio and those processes subject to process
This packing material can either be random dumped packing (13 wide) such as Raschig rings or structured sheet
metal. Liquids tend to wet the surface of the packing and the vapors pass across this wetted surface, where mass
transfer takes place. Unlike conventional tray distillation in which every tray represents a separate point of vapor
liquid equilibrium, the vaporliquid equilibrium curve in a packed column is continuous. However, when modeling
packed columns, it is useful to compute a number of theoretical stages to denote the separation eciency of the
packed column with respect to more traditional trays. Dierently shaped packings have dierent surface areas and
void space between packings. Both of these factors aect packing performance.
Another factor in addition to the packing shape and surface area that aects the performance of random or structured
packing is the liquid and vapor distribution entering the packed bed. The number of theoretical stages required to
make a given separation is calculated using a specic vapor to liquid ratio. If the liquid and vapor are not evenly
distributed across the supercial tower area as it enters the packed bed, the liquid to vapor ratio will not be correct in
the packed bed and the required separation will not be achieved. The packing will appear to not be working properly.
The height equivalent to a theoretical plate (HETP) will be greater than expected. The problem is not the packing
itself but the mal-distribution of the uids entering the packed bed. Liquid mal-distribution is more frequently the
problem than vapor. The design of the liquid distributors used to introduce the feed and reux to a packed bed is
critical to making the packing perform to it maximum eciency. Methods of evaluating the eectiveness of a liquid
distributor to evenly distribute the liquid entering a packed bed can be found in references.[32][33] Considerable work
as been done on this topic by Fractionation Research, Inc. (commonly known as FRI).[34]


Multi-eect distillation

The goal of multi-eect distillation is to increase the energy eciency of the process, for use in desalination, or in
some cases one stage in the production of ultrapure water. The number of eects is inversely proportional to the
kWh/m3 of water recovered gure, and refers to the volume of water recovered per unit of energy compared with
single-eect distillation. One eect is roughly 636 kWh/m3 .
Multi-stage ash distillation Can achieve more than 20 eects with thermal energy input, as mentioned in the
Vapor compression evaporation Commercial large-scale units can achieve around 72 eects with electrical
energy input, according to manufacturers.
There are many other types of multi-eect distillation processes, including one referred to as simply multi-eect
distillation (MED), in which multiple chambers, with intervening heat exchangers, are employed.

13.7 Distillation in food processing


Distilled beverages

Main article: Distilled beverage

Carbohydrate-containing plant materials are allowed to ferment, producing a dilute solution of ethanol in the process.
Spirits such as whiskey and rum are prepared by distilling these dilute solutions of ethanol. Components other than



ethanol, including water, esters, and other alcohols, are collected in the condensate, which account for the avor of the
beverage. Some of these beverages are then stored in barrels or other containers to acquire more avor compounds
and characteristic avors.

13.8 Gallery
13.9 See also

13.10 References
[1] Harwood, Laurence M.; Moody, Christopher J. (1989). Experimental organic chemistry: Principles and Practice (Illustrated
ed.). Oxford: Blackwell Scientic Publications. pp. 141143. ISBN 978-0-632-02017-1.
[2] E. Gildemeister and Fr. Homan, translated by Edward Kremers (1913). The Volatile Oils 1. New York: Wiley. p. 203.
[3] Bryan H. Bunch and Alexander Hellemans (2004). The History of Science and Technology. Houghton Miin Harcourt. p.
88. ISBN 0-618-22123-9.
[4] Marcelin Berthelot Collection des anciens alchimistes grecs (3 vol., Paris, 18871888, p.161)
[5] Berthelot, M. P. E. M. (1893). The Discovery of Alcohol and Distillation. The Popular Science Monthly. XLIII: 8594.
[6] Forbes, Robert James (1970). A short history of the art of distillation: from the beginnings up to the death of Cellier
Blumenthal. BRILL. pp. 57, 89. ISBN 978-90-04-00617-1. Retrieved 29 June 2010.
[7] Taylor, F. (1945). The evolution of the still. Annals of Science 5 (3): 185. doi:10.1080/00033794500201451.
[8] Haw, Stephen G. (2012). Wine, women and poison. Marco Polo in China. Routledge. pp. 147148. ISBN 978-1-13427542-7. The earliest possible period seems to be the Eastern Han dynasty ... the most likely period for the beginning of
true distillation of spirits for drinking in China is during the Jin and Southern Song dynasties
[9] Sarton, George (1975). Introduction to the history of science. R. E. Krieger Pub. Co. p. 145. ISBN 0-88275-172-7.
[10] Holmyard, Eric John (1990). Alchemy. Courier Dover Publications. p. 53. ISBN 0-486-26298-7.
[11] Magnum Opus Hermetic Sourceworks Series. Retrieved on 2014-04-20.
[12] Industrial Engineering Chemistry (1936) p. 677
[13] Sealing Technique, accessed 16 November 2006.
[14] Traditional Alembic Pot Still, accessed 16 November 2006.
[15] D. F. Othmer (1982) Distillation Some Steps in its Development, in W. F. Furter (ed) A Century of Chemical Engineering
ISBN 0-306-40895-3
[16] A. Coey British Patent 5974, 5 August 1830
[17] U.S. Patent 198,699 Improvement in the Ammonia-Soda Manufacture
[18] ST07 Separation of liquidliquid mixtures (solutions), DIDAC by IUPAC
[19] Perry, Robert H. and Green, Don W. (1984). Perrys Chemical Engineers Handbook (6th ed.). McGraw-Hill. ISBN
[20] Fractional Distillation.
[21] Spinning Band Distillation. B/R Instrument Corporation (accessed 8 September 2006)
[22] Harwood & Moody 1989, pp. 151153



[23] Vogels 5th ed.

[24] Harwood & Moody 1989, p. 150
[25] Kravchenko, A. I. (2011). Zone distillation: a new method of rening. Problems of atomic science and technology (in
Russian) 6 (19): 2426.
[26] Kravchenko, A. I. (2014). Zone distillation: justication. Problems of atomic science and technology 1 (20): 6465.
[27] Kravchenko, A. I. (2014). Design of advanced processes of zone distillation. Perspectivnye materialy (in Russian) (7):
[28] Study on Method of Decreasing Methanol in Apple Pomace Spirit.
[29] Kister, Henry Z. (1992). Distillation Design (1st ed.). McGraw-Hill. ISBN 0-07-034909-6.
[30] Seader, J. D. and Henley, Ernest J. (1998). Separation Process Principles. New York: Wiley. ISBN 0-471-58626-9.
[31] Energy Institute website page. Retrieved on 2014-04-20.
[32] Moore, F., Rukovena, F. (August 1987) Random Packing, Vapor and Liquid Distribution: Liquid and gas distribution in
commercial packed towers, Chemical Plants & Processing, Edition Europe, pp. 1115
[33] Spiegel, L (2006). A new method to assess liquid distributor quality. Chemical Engineering and Processing 45 (11):
1011. doi:10.1016/j.cep.2006.05.003.
[34] Kunesh, John G.; Lahm, Lawrence; Yanagi, Takashi (1987). Commercial scale experiments that provide insight on packed
tower distributors. Industrial & Engineering Chemistry Research 26 (9): 1845. doi:10.1021/ie00069a021.

13.11 Further reading

Allchin, F. R. (1979). India: The Ancient Home of Distillation?". Man 14 (1): 5563. doi:10.2307/2801640.
JSTOR 2801640.
Forbes, R. J. (1970). A Short History of the Art of Distillation from the Beginnings up to the Death of Cellier
Blumenthal. BRILL. ISBN 90-04-00617-6.
Needham, Joseph (1980). Science and Civilisation in China. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-08573X.
Geankoplis, Christie John (2003). Transport Processes and Separation Process Principles (4th ed.). Prentice
Hall. ISBN 0-13-101367-X.

13.12 External links

Alcohol distillation
Case Study: Petroleum Distillation
Binary Vapor-Liquid Equilibrium Data (searchable database). Chemical Engineering Research Information
Center. Retrieved 5 May 2007.






Perkin triangle distillation setup

1: Stirrer bar/anti-bumping granules 2: Still pot 3: Fractionating column 4: Thermometer/Boiling point temperature 5: Teon tap 1
6: Cold nger 7: Cooling water out 8: Cooling water in 9: Teon tap 2 10: Vacuum/gas inlet 11: Teon tap 3 12: Still receiver




Short path vacuum distillation apparatus with vertical condenser (cold nger), to minimize the distillation path; 1: Still pot with
stirrer bar/anti-bumping granules 2: Cold nger bent to direct condensate 3: Cooling water out 4: cooling water in 5: Vacuum/gas
inlet 6: Distillate ask/distillate.


Typical industrial distillation towers



Automatic Distillation Unit for the determination of the boiling range of petroleum products at atmospheric pressure



Diagram of a typical industrial distillation tower



Section of an industrial distillation tower showing detail of trays with bubble caps




Chapter 14

Water purication
This article is about large scale, municipal water purication. For other uses, see Purication of water.
Water purication is the process of removing undesirable chemicals, biological contaminants, suspended solids

Control room and schematics of the water purication plant to Lac de Bret, Switzerland

and gases from contaminated water. The goal is to produce water t for a specic purpose. Most water is disinfected
for human consumption (drinking water), but water purication may also be designed for a variety of other purposes,
including fullling the requirements of medical, pharmacological, chemical and industrial applications. The methods
used include physical processes such as ltration, sedimentation, and distillation; biological processes such as slow
sand lters or biologically active carbon; chemical processes such as occulation and chlorination and the use of
electromagnetic radiation such as ultraviolet light.
Purifying water may reduce the concentration of particulate matter including suspended particles, parasites, bacteria,
algae, viruses, fungi, as well as reducing the amount of a range of dissolved and particulate material derived from the
surfaces that come from runo due to rain.
The standards for drinking water quality are typically set by governments or by international standards. These standards usually include minimum and maximum concentrations of contaminants, depending on the intended purpose
of water use.



Visual inspection cannot determine if water is of appropriate quality. Simple procedures such as boiling or the use
of a household activated carbon lter are not sucient for treating all the possible contaminants that may be present
in water from an unknown source. Even natural spring water considered safe for all practical purposes in the
19th century must now be tested before determining what kind of treatment, if any, is needed. Chemical and
microbiological analysis, while expensive, are the only way to obtain the information necessary for deciding on the
appropriate method of purication.
According to a 2007 World Health Organization (WHO) report, 1.1 billion people lack access to an improved drinking
water supply, 88 percent of the 4 billion annual cases of diarrheal disease are attributed to unsafe water and inadequate
sanitation and hygiene, while 1.8 million people die from diarrheal diseases each year. The WHO estimates that 94
percent of these diarrheal cases are preventable through modications to the environment, including access to safe
water.[1] Simple techniques for treating water at home, such as chlorination, lters, and solar disinfection, and storing
it in safe containers could save a huge number of lives each year.[2] Reducing deaths from waterborne diseases is a
major public health goal in developing countries.

14.1 Sources of water

Further information: Water supply
1. Groundwater: The water emerging from some deep ground water may have fallen as rain many tens, hundreds,
or thousands of years ago. Soil and rock layers naturally lter the ground water to a high degree of clarity
and often it does not require additional treatment other than adding chlorine or chloramines as secondary
disinfectants. Such water may emerge as springs, artesian springs, or may be extracted from boreholes or
wells. Deep ground water is generally of very high bacteriological quality (i.e., pathogenic bacteria or the
pathogenic protozoa are typically absent), but the water may be rich in dissolved solids, especially carbonates
and sulfates of calcium and magnesium. Depending on the strata through which the water has owed, other
ions may also be present including chloride, and bicarbonate. There may be a requirement to reduce the iron
or manganese content of this water to make it acceptable for drinking, cooking, and laundry use. Primary
disinfection may also be required. Where groundwater recharge is practised (a process in which river water
is injected into an aquifer to store the water in times of plenty so that it is available in times of drought), the
groundwater may require additional treatment depending on applicable state and federal regulations.
2. Upland lakes and reservoirs: Typically located in the headwaters of river systems, upland reservoirs are usually
sited above any human habitation and may be surrounded by a protective zone to restrict the opportunities
for contamination. Bacteria and pathogen levels are usually low, but some bacteria, protozoa or algae will be
present. Where uplands are forested or peaty, humic acids can colour the water. Many upland sources have
low pH which require adjustment.
3. Rivers, canals and low land reservoirs: Low land surface waters will have a signicant bacterial load and may
also contain algae, suspended solids and a variety of dissolved constituents.
4. Atmospheric water generation is a new technology that can provide high quality drinking water by extracting
water from the air by cooling the air and thus condensing water vapor.
5. Rainwater harvesting or fog collection which collect water from the atmosphere can be used especially in areas
with signicant dry seasons and in areas which experience fog even when there is little rain.
6. Desalination of seawater by distillation or reverse osmosis.
7. Surface Water: Freshwater bodies that are open to the atmosphere and are not designated as groundwater are
termed surface waters.

14.2 Treatment


The aims of the treatment are to remove unwanted constituents in the water and to make it safe to drink or t for a
specic purpose in industry or medical applications. Widely varied techniques are available to remove contaminants



like ne solids, micro-organisms and some dissolved inorganic and organic materials, or environmental persistent
pharmaceutical pollutants. The choice of method will depend on the quality of the water being treated, the cost of
the treatment process and the quality standards expected of the processed water.
The processes below are the ones commonly used in water purication plants. Some or most may not be used
depending on the scale of the plant and quality of the raw (source) water.



1. Pumping and containment The majority of water must be pumped from its source or directed into pipes
or holding tanks. To avoid adding contaminants to the water, this physical infrastructure must be made from
appropriate materials and constructed so that accidental contamination does not occur.
2. Screening (see also screen lter) The rst step in purifying surface water is to remove large debris such as
sticks, leaves, rubbish and other large particles which may interfere with subsequent purication steps. Most
deep groundwater does not need screening before other purication steps.
3. Storage Water from rivers may also be stored in bankside reservoirs for periods between a few days and many
months to allow natural biological purication to take place. This is especially important if treatment is by slow
sand lters. Storage reservoirs also provide a buer against short periods of drought or to allow water supply
to be maintained during transitory pollution incidents in the source river.
4. Pre-chlorination In many plants the incoming water was chlorinated to minimize the growth of fouling organisms on the pipe-work and tanks. Because of the potential adverse quality eects (see chlorine below), this
has largely been discontinued.[3]
pH adjustment
Pure water has a pH close to 7 (neither alkaline nor acidic). Sea water can have pH values that range from 7.5 to
8.4 (moderately alkaline). Fresh water can have widely ranging pH values depending on the geology of the drainage
basin or aquifer and the inuence of contaminant inputs (acid rain). If the water is acidic (lower than 7), lime, soda
ash, or sodium hydroxide can be added to raise the pH during water purication processes. Lime addition increases
the calcium ion concentration, thus raising the water hardness. For highly acidic waters, forced draft degasiers can
be an eective way to raise the pH, by stripping dissolved carbon dioxide from the water.[4][5][6] Making the water
alkaline helps coagulation and occulation processes work eectively and also helps to minimize the risk of lead being
dissolved from lead pipes and from lead solder in pipe ttings. Sucient alkalinity also reduces the corrosiveness of
water to iron pipes. Acid (carbonic acid, hydrochloric acid or sulfuric acid) may be added to alkaline waters in some
circumstances to lower the pH. Alkaline water (above pH 7.0) does not necessarily mean that lead or copper from
the plumbing system will not be dissolved into the water. The ability of water to precipitate calcium carbonate to
protect metal surfaces and reduce the likelihood of toxic metals being dissolved in water is a function of pH, mineral
content, temperature, alkalinity and calcium concentration.[7]


Coagulation and occulation

See also: particle aggregation

One of the rst steps in a conventional water purication process is the addition of chemicals to assist in the removal
of particles suspended in water. Particles can be inorganic such as clay and silt or organic such as algae, bacteria,
viruses, protozoa and natural organic matter. Inorganic and organic particles contribute to the turbidity and color of
The addition of inorganic coagulants such as aluminum sulfate (or alum) or iron (III) salts such as iron(III) chloride
cause several simultaneous chemical and physical interactions on and among the particles. Within seconds, negative
charges on the particles are neutralized by inorganic coagulants. Also within seconds, metal hydroxide precipitates
of the aluminum and iron (III) ions begin to form. These precipitates combine into larger particles under natural
processes such as Brownian motion and through induced mixing which is sometimes referred to as occulation.
The term most often used for the amorphous metal hydroxides is oc. Large, amorphous aluminum and iron (III)



hydroxides adsorb and enmesh particles in suspension and facilitate the removal of particles by subsequent processes
of sedimentation and ltration.[8]:8.28.3
Aluminum hydroxides are formed within a fairly narrow pH range, typically: 5.5 to about 7.7. Iron (III) hydroxides
can form over a larger pH range including pH levels lower than are eective for alum, typically: 5.0 to 8.5.[9]:679
In the literature, there is much debate and confusion over the usage of the terms coagulation and occulationwhere
does coagulation end and occulation begin? In water purication plants, there is usually a high energy, rapid mix
unit process (detention time in seconds) where the coagulant chemicals are added followed by occulation basins
(detention times range from 15 to 45 minutes) where low energy inputs turn large paddles or other gentle mixing
devices to enhance the formation of oc. In fact, coagulation and occulation processes are ongoing once the metal
salt coagulants are added.[10]:745
Organic polymers were developed in the 1960s as aids to coagulants and, in some cases, as replacements for the
inorganic metal salt coagulants. Synthetic organic polymers are high molecular weight compounds that carry negative,
positive or neutral charges. When organic polymers are added to water with particulates, the high molecular weight
compounds adsorb onto particle surfaces and through interparticle bridging coalesce with other particles to form oc.
PolyDADMAC is a popular cationic (positively charged) organic polymer used in water purication plants.[9]:6678



Waters exiting the occulation basin may enter the sedimentation basin, also called a clarier or settling basin. It is
a large tank with low water velocities, allowing oc to settle to the bottom. The sedimentation basin is best located
close to the occulation basin so the transit between the two processes does not permit settlement or oc break up.
Sedimentation basins may be rectangular, where water ows from end to end, or circular where ow is from the centre
outward. Sedimentation basin outow is typically over a weir so only a thin top layer of waterthat furthest from
the sludgeexits.
In 1904, Allen Hazen showed that the eciency of a sedimentation process was a function of the particle settling
velocity, the ow through the tank and the surface area of tank. Sedimentation tanks are typically designed within a
range of overow rates of 0.5 to 1.0 gallons per minute per square foot (or 1.25 to 2.5 meters per hour). In general,
sedimentation basin eciency is not a function of detention time or depth of the basin. Although, basin depth must
be sucient so that water currents do not disturb the sludge and settled particle interactions are promoted. As particle
concentrations in the settled water increase near the sludge surface on the bottom of the tank, settling velocities can
increase due to collisions and agglomeration of particles. Typical detention times for sedimentation vary from 1.5 to
4 hours and basin depths vary from 10 to 15 feet (3 to 4.5 meters).[8]:9.399.40[9]:7901[10]:1402, 171
Inclined at plates or tubes can be added to traditional sedimentation basins to improve particle removal performance.
Inclined plates and tubes drastically increase the surface area available for particles to be removed in concert with
Hazens original theory. The amount of ground surface area occupied by a sedimentation basin with inclined plates
or tubes can be far smaller than a conventional sedimentation basin.

Sludge storage and removal

As particles settle to the bottom of a sedimentation basin, a layer of sludge is formed on the oor of the tank which
must be removed and treated. The amount of sludge generated is signicant, often 3 to 5 percent of the total volume
of water to be treated. The cost of treating and disposing of the sludge can impact the operating cost of a water
treatment plant. The sedimentation basin may be equipped with mechanical cleaning devices that continually clean
its bottom, or the basin can be periodically taken out of service and cleaned manually.

Floc blanket clariers

A subcategory of sedimentation is the removal of particulates by entrapment in a layer of suspended oc as the
water is forced upward. The major advantage of oc blanket clariers is that they occupy a smaller footprint than
conventional sedimentation. Disadvantages are that particle removal eciency can be highly variable depending on
changes in inuent water quality and inuent water ow rate.[9]:8356




Dissolved air otation

When particles to be removed do not settle out of solution easily, dissolved air otation (DAF) is often used. Water
supplies that are particularly vulnerable to unicellular algae blooms and supplies with low turbidity and high colour
often employ DAF. After coagulation and occulation processes, water ows to DAF tanks where air diusers on the
tank bottom create ne bubbles that attach to oc resulting in a oating mass of concentrated oc. The oating oc
blanket is removed from the surface and claried water is withdrawn from the bottom of the DAF tank.[8]:9.46



After separating most oc, the water is ltered as the nal step to remove remaining suspended particles and unsettled

Rapid sand lters

Cutaway view of a typical rapid sand lter

The most common type of lter is a rapid sand lter. Water moves vertically through sand which often has a layer of
activated carbon or anthracite coal above the sand. The top layer removes organic compounds, which contribute to
taste and odour. The space between sand particles is larger than the smallest suspended particles, so simple ltration
is not enough. Most particles pass through surface layers but are trapped in pore spaces or adhere to sand particles.
Eective ltration extends into the depth of the lter. This property of the lter is key to its operation: if the top
layer of sand were to block all the particles, the lter would quickly clog.[11]
To clean the lter, water is passed quickly upward through the lter, opposite the normal direction (called backushing
or backwashing) to remove embedded particles. Prior to this step, compressed air may be blown up through the bottom
of the lter to break up the compacted lter media to aid the backwashing process; this is known as air scouring. This
contaminated water can be disposed of, along with the sludge from the sedimentation basin, or it can be recycled by



mixing with the raw water entering the plant although this is often considered poor practice since it re-introduces an
elevated concentration of bacteria into the raw water.
Some water treatment plants employ pressure lters. These work on the same principle as rapid gravity lters, diering
in that the lter medium is enclosed in a steel vessel and the water is forced through it under pressure.
Filters out much smaller particles than paper and sand lters can.
Filters out virtually all particles larger than their specied pore sizes.
They are quite thin and so liquids ow through them fairly rapidly.
They are reasonably strong and so can withstand pressure dierences across them of typically 25 atmospheres.
They can be cleaned (back ushed) and reused.
Slow sand lters

Slow articial ltration (a variation of bank ltration) to the ground, Water purication plant Kran, Czech Republic

Slow sand lters may be used where there is sucient land and space, as the water must be passed very slowly through
the lters. These lters rely on biological treatment processes for their action rather than physical ltration. The lters
are carefully constructed using graded layers of sand, with the coarsest sand, along with some gravel, at the bottom
and nest sand at the top. Drains at the base convey treated water away for disinfection. Filtration depends on the
development of a thin biological layer, called the zoogleal layer or Schmutzdecke, on the surface of the lter. An
eective slow sand lter may remain in service for many weeks or even months if the pre-treatment is well designed
and produces water with a very low available nutrient level which physical methods of treatment rarely achieve. Very
low nutrient levels allow water to be safely sent through distribution systems with very low disinfectant levels, thereby
reducing consumer irritation over oensive levels of chlorine and chlorine by-products. Slow sand lters are not
backwashed; they are maintained by having the top layer of sand scraped o when ow is eventually obstructed by
biological growth.
A specic large-scale form of slow sand lter is the process of bank ltration, in which natural sediments in a
riverbank are used to provide a rst stage of contaminant ltration. While typically not clean enough to be used



A prole of layers of gravel, sand and ne sand used in a slow sand lter plant.

directly for drinking water, the water gained from the associated extraction wells is much less problematic than river
water taken directly from the major streams where bank ltration is often used.


Membrane ltration

Membrane lters are widely used for ltering both drinking water and sewage. For drinking water, membrane lters



can remove virtually all particles larger than 0.2 umincluding giardia and cryptosporidium. Membrane lters are an
eective form of tertiary treatment when it is desired to reuse the water for industry, for limited domestic purposes, or
before discharging the water into a river that is used by towns further downstream. They are widely used in industry,
particularly for beverage preparation (including bottled water). However no ltration can remove substances that are
actually dissolved in the water such as phosphorus, nitrates and heavy metal ions.


Removal of ions and other dissolved substances

Ultraltration membranes use polymer membranes with chemically formed microscopic pores that can be used to
lter out dissolved substances avoiding the use of coagulants. The type of membrane media determines how much
pressure is needed to drive the water through and what sizes of micro-organisms can be ltered out.
Ion exchange:[12] Ion exchange systems use ion exchange resin- or zeolite-packed columns to replace unwanted ions.
The most common case is water softening consisting of removal of Ca2+ and Mg2+ ions replacing them with benign
(soap friendly) Na+ or K+ ions. Ion exchange resins are also used to remove toxic ions such as nitrite, lead, mercury,
arsenic and many others.
Precipitative softening:[8]:13.1213.58 Water rich in hardness (calcium and magnesium ions) is treated with lime (calcium
oxide) and/or soda-ash (sodium carbonate) to precipitate calcium carbonate out of solution utilizing the common-ion
Electrodeionization:[12] Water is passed between a positive electrode and a negative electrode. Ion exchange membranes
allow only positive ions to migrate from the treated water toward the negative electrode and only negative ions toward
the positive electrode. High purity deionized water is produced with a little worse degree of purication in comparison with ion exchange treatment. Complete removal of ions from water is regarded as electrodialysis. The water is
often pre-treated with a reverse osmosis unit to remove non-ionic organic contaminants.



Disinfection is accomplished both by ltering out harmful micro-organisms and also by adding disinfectant chemicals.
Water is disinfected to kill any pathogens which pass through the lters and to provide a residual dose of disinfectant
to kill or inactivate potentially harmful micro-organisms in the storage and distribution systems. Possible pathogens
include viruses, bacteria, including Salmonella, Cholera, Campylobacter and Shigella, and protozoa, including Giardia
lamblia and other cryptosporidia. Following the introduction of any chemical disinfecting agent, the water is usually
held in temporary storage often called a contact tank or clear well to allow the disinfecting action to complete.

Chlorine disinfection
Main article: Water chlorination
The most common disinfection method involves some form of chlorine or its compounds such as chloramine or
chlorine dioxide. Chlorine is a strong oxidant that rapidly kills many harmful micro-organisms. Because chlorine
is a toxic gas, there is a danger of a release associated with its use. This problem is avoided by the use of sodium
hypochlorite, which is a relatively inexpensive solution that releases free chlorine when dissolved in water. Chlorine
solutions can be generated on site by electrolyzing common salt solutions. A solid form, calcium hypochlorite, releases
chlorine on contact with water. Handling the solid, however, requires greater routine human contact through opening
bags and pouring than the use of gas cylinders or bleach which are more easily automated. The generation of liquid
sodium hypochlorite is both inexpensive and safer than the use of gas or solid chlorine.
All forms of chlorine are widely used, despite their respective drawbacks. One drawback is that chlorine from any
source reacts with natural organic compounds in the water to form potentially harmful chemical by-products. These
by-products, trihalomethanes (THMs) and haloacetic acids (HAAs), are both carcinogenic in large quantities and
are regulated by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Drinking Water Inspectorate in
the UK. The formation of THMs and haloacetic acids may be minimized by eective removal of as many organics
from the water as possible prior to chlorine addition. Although chlorine is eective in killing bacteria, it has limited
eectiveness against protozoa that form cysts in water (Giardia lamblia and Cryptosporidium, both of which are



Pumps used to add required amount of chemicals to the clear water at the water purication plant before the distribution. From left
to right: sodium hypochlorite for disinfection, zinc orthophosphate as a corrosion inhibitor, sodium hydroxide for pH adjustment,
and uoride for tooth decay prevention.

Chlorine dioxide disinfection

Chlorine dioxide is a faster-acting disinfectant than elemental chlorine. It is relatively rarely used, because in some
circumstances it may create excessive amounts of chlorite, which is a by-product regulated to low allowable levels in
the United States. Chlorine dioxide can be supplied as an aqueous solution and added to water to avoid gas handling



problems; chlorine dioxide gas accumulations may spontaneously detonate.

Chloramine disinfection
The use of chloramine is becoming more common as a disinfectant. Although chloramine is not as strong an oxidant,
it does provide a longer-lasting residual than free chlorine and it will not readily form THMs or haloacetic acids. It is
possible to convert chlorine to chloramine by adding ammonia to the water after addition of chlorine. The chlorine
and ammonia react to form chloramine. Water distribution systems disinfected with chloramines may experience
nitrication, as ammonia is a nutrient for bacterial growth, with nitrates being generated as a by-product.
Ozone disinfection
Ozone is an unstable molecule which readily gives up one atom of oxygen providing a powerful oxidizing agent which
is toxic to most waterborne organisms. It is a very strong, broad spectrum disinfectant that is widely used in Europe.
It is an eective method to inactivate harmful protozoa that form cysts. It also works well against almost all other
pathogens. Ozone is made by passing oxygen through ultraviolet light or a cold electrical discharge. To use ozone as
a disinfectant, it must be created on-site and added to the water by bubble contact. Some of the advantages of ozone
include the production of fewer dangerous by-products and the absence of taste and odour problems (in comparison
to chlorination) . Another advantage of ozone is that it leaves no residual disinfectant in the water. Ozone has been
used in drinking water plants since 1906 where the rst industrial ozonation plant was built in Nice, France. The U.S.
Food and Drug Administration has accepted ozone as being safe; and it is applied as an anti-microbiological agent for
the treatment, storage, and processing of foods. However, although fewer by-products are formed by ozonation, it has
been discovered that ozone reacts with bromide ions in water to produce concentrations of the suspected carcinogen
bromate. Bromide can be found in fresh water supplies in sucient concentrations to produce (after ozonation) more
than 10 parts per billion (ppb) of bromate the maximum contaminant level established by the USEPA.[13]
Ultraviolet disinfection
Ultraviolet light (UV) is very eective at inactivating cysts, in low turbidity water. UV lights disinfection eectiveness
decreases as turbidity increases, a result of the absorption, scattering, and shadowing caused by the suspended solids.
The main disadvantage to the use of UV radiation is that, like ozone treatment, it leaves no residual disinfectant in
the water; therefore, it is sometimes necessary to add a residual disinfectant after the primary disinfection process.
This is often done through the addition of chloramines, discussed above as a primary disinfectant. When used in this
manner, chloramines provide an eective residual disinfectant with very few of the negative eects of chlorination.
Various portable methods of disinfection
Main article: Portable water purication
Available for disinfection in emergencies or in remote locations. Disinfection is the primary goal, since aesthetic
considerations such as taste, odor, appearance, and trace chemical contamination do not aect the short-term safety
of drinking water.
Solar water disinfection
One low-cost method of disinfecting water that can often be implemented with locally available materials is solar
disinfection (SODIS).[14][15][16][17][18] Unlike methods that rely on rewood, it has low impact on the environment.
One recent study has found that the wild Salmonella which would reproduce quickly during subsequent dark storage
of solar-disinfected water could be controlled by the addition of just 10 parts per million of hydrogen peroxide.[19]


Additional treatment options

1. Water uoridation: in many areas uoride is added to water with the goal of preventing tooth decay.[20] Fluoride
is usually added after the disinfection process. In the U.S., uoridation is usually accomplished by the addition



of hexauorosilicic acid,[21] which decomposes in water, yielding uoride ions.[22]

2. Water conditioning: This is a method of reducing the eects of hard water. In water systems subject to heating
hardness salts can be deposited as the decomposition of bicarbonate ions creates carbonate ions that precipitate out of solution. Water with high concentrations of hardness salts can be treated with soda ash (sodium
carbonate) which precipitates out the excess salts, through the common-ion eect, producing calcium carbonate of very high purity. The precipitated calcium carbonate is traditionally sold to the manufacturers of
toothpaste. Several other methods of industrial and residential water treatment are claimed (without general
scientic acceptance) to include the use of magnetic and/or electrical elds reducing the eects of hard water.
3. Plumbosolvency reduction: In areas with naturally acidic waters of low conductivity (i.e. surface rainfall in
upland mountains of igneous rocks), the water may be capable of dissolving lead from any lead pipes that it
is carried in. The addition of small quantities of phosphate ion and increasing the pH slightly both assist in
greatly reducing plumbo-solvency by creating insoluble lead salts on the inner surfaces of the pipes.
4. Radium Removal: Some groundwater sources contain radium, a radioactive chemical element. Typical sources
include many groundwater sources north of the Illinois River in Illinois. Radium can be removed by ion exchange, or by water conditioning. The back ush or sludge that is produced is, however, a low-level radioactive
5. Fluoride Removal: Although uoride is added to water in many areas, some areas of the world have excessive
levels of natural uoride in the source water. Excessive levels can be toxic or cause undesirable cosmetic eects
such as staining of teeth. Methods of reducing uoride levels is through treatment with activated alumina and
bone char lter media.

14.3 Other water purication techniques

Other popular methods for purifying water, especially for local private supplies are listed below. In some countries
some of these methods are also used for large scale municipal supplies. Particularly important are distillation (desalination of seawater) and reverse osmosis.
1. Boiling: Bringing it to its boiling point at 100 C (212 F), is the oldest and most eective way since it eliminates
most microbes causing intestine related diseases,[23] but it cannot remove chemical toxins or impurities.[24]
For human health, complete sterilization of water is not required, since the heat resistant microbes are not
intestine aecting.[23] The traditional advice of boiling water for ten minutes is mainly for additional safety,
since microbes start getting eliminated at temperatures greater than 60 C (140 F). Though the boiling point
decreases with increasing altitude, it is not enough to aect the disinfecting process.[23][25] In areas where the
water is hard (that is, containing signicant dissolved calcium salts), boiling decomposes the bicarbonate
ions, resulting in partial precipitation as calcium carbonate. This is the fur that builds up on kettle elements,
etc., in hard water areas. With the exception of calcium, boiling does not remove solutes of higher boiling point
than water and in fact increases their concentration (due to some water being lost as vapour). Boiling does not
leave a residual disinfectant in the water. Therefore, water that is boiled and then stored for any length of time
may acquire new pathogens.
2. Granular Activated Carbon ltering: a form of activated carbon with a high surface area, adsorbs many compounds including many toxic compounds. Water passing through activated carbon is commonly used in municipal regions with organic contamination, taste or odors. Many household water lters and sh tanks use
activated carbon lters to further purify the water. Household lters for drinking water sometimes contain
silver as metallic silver nanoparticle. If water is held in the carbon block for longer period, microorganisms
can grow inside which results in fouling and contamination. Silver nanoparticles are excellent anti-bacterial
material and they can decompose toxic halo-organic compounds such as pesticides into non-toxic organic
3. Distillation involves boiling the water to produce water vapour. The vapour contacts a cool surface where it
condenses as a liquid. Because the solutes are not normally vaporised, they remain in the boiling solution. Even
distillation does not completely purify water, because of contaminants with similar boiling points and droplets
of unvapourised liquid carried with the steam. However, 99.9% pure water can be obtained by distillation.



4. Reverse osmosis: Mechanical pressure is applied to an impure solution to force pure water through a semipermeable membrane. Reverse osmosis is theoretically the most thorough method of large scale water purication available, although perfect semi-permeable membranes are dicult to create. Unless membranes are
well-maintained, algae and other life forms can colonize the membranes.
5. The use of iron in removing arsenic from water. See Arsenic contamination of groundwater.
6. Direct contact membrane distillation (DCMD). Applicable to desalination. Heated seawater is passed along
the surface of a hydrophobic polymer membrane. Evaporated water passes from the hot side through pores in
the membrane into a stream of cold pure water on the other side. The dierence in vapour pressure between
the hot and cold side helps to push water molecules through.
7. Desalination is a process by which saline water (generally sea water) is converted to fresh water. The most
common desalination processes are distillation and reverse osmosis. Desalination is currently expensive compared to most alternative sources of water, and only a very small fraction of total human use is satised by
desalination. It is only economically practical for high-valued uses (such as household and industrial uses) in
arid areas.
8. Gas hydrate crystals centrifuge method. If carbon dioxide or other low molecular weight gas is mixed with
contaminated water at high pressure and low temperature, gas hydrate crystals will form exothermically. Separation of the crystalline hydrate may be performed by centrifuge or sedimentation and decanting. Water can
be released from the hydrate crystals by heating[27]
9. In Situ Chemical Oxidation, a form of advanced oxidation processes and advanced oxidation technology, is an
environmental remediation technique used for soil and/or groundwater remediation to reduce the concentrations
of targeted environmental contaminants to acceptable levels. ISCO is accomplished by injecting or otherwise
introducing strong chemical oxidizers directly into the contaminated medium (soil or groundwater) to destroy
chemical contaminants in place. It can be used to remediate a variety of organic compounds, including some
that are resistant to natural degradation

14.4 Safety and controversies

Further information: Distilled water Health concerns
In April, 2007, the water supply of Spencer, Massachusetts became contaminated with excess sodium hydroxide
(lye) when its treatment equipment malfunctioned.[28]
Many municipalities have moved from free chlorine to chloramine as a disinfection agent. However, chloramine
appears to be a corrosive agent in some water systems. Chloramine can dissolve the protective lm inside older
service lines, leading to the leaching of lead into residential spigots. This can result in harmful exposure, including
elevated blood lead levels. Lead is a known neurotoxin.[29]


Demineralized water

Distillation removes all minerals from water, and the membrane methods of reverse osmosis and nanoltration remove
most to all minerals. This results in demineralized water which is not considered ideal drinking water. The World
Health Organization has investigated the health eects of demineralized water since 1980.[30] Experiments in humans
found that demineralized water increased diuresis and the elimination of electrolytes, with decreased blood serum
potassium concentration. Magnesium, calcium, and other minerals in water can help to protect against nutritional
deciency. Demineralized water may also increase the risk from toxic metals because it more readily leaches materials
from piping like lead and cadmium, which is prevented by dissolved minerals such as calcium and magnesium. Lowmineral water has been implicated in specic cases of lead poisoning in infants, when lead from pipes leached at
especially high rates into the water. Recommendations for magnesium have been put at a minimum of 10 mg/L
with 2030 mg/L optimum; for calcium a 20 mg/L minimum and a 4080 mg/L optimum, and a total water hardness
(adding magnesium and calcium) of 2 to 4 mmol/L. At water hardness above 5 mmol/L, higher incidence of gallstones,
kidney stones, urinary stones, arthrosis, and arthropathies have been observed.[31] Additionally, desalination processes
can increase the risk of bacterial contamination.[31]
Manufacturers of home water distillers claim the oppositethat minerals in water are the cause of many diseases,
and that most benecial minerals come from food, not water.[32][33] They quote the American Medical Association



Drinking water pollution detector Rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) are being used in water purication plants to detect acute
water pollution

as saying The bodys need for minerals is largely met through foods, not drinking water. The WHO report agrees
that drinking water, with some rare exceptions, is not the major source of essential elements for humans and is
not the major source of our calcium and magnesium intake, yet states that demineralized water is harmful anyway.
Additional evidence comes from animal experiments and clinical observations in several countries. Animals given
zinc or magnesium dosed in their drinking water had a signicantly higher concentration of these elements in the
serum than animals given the same elements in much higher amounts with food and provided with low-mineral water
to drink.

14.5 History
The rst experiments into water ltration were made in the 17th century. Sir Francis Bacon attempted to desalinate
sea water by passing the ow through a sand lter. Although his experiment did not succeed, it marked the beginning
of a new interest in the eld. The fathers of microscopy, Antonie van Leeuwenhoek and Robert Hooke, used the
newly invented microscope to observe for the rst time small material particles that lay suspended in the water, laying
the groundwork for the future understanding of waterborne pathogens.[34]


Sand lter

The rst documented use of sand lters to purify the water supply dates to 1804, when the owner of a bleachery
in Paisley, Scotland, John Gibb, installed an experimental lter, selling his unwanted surplus to the public.[35] This
method was rened in the following two decades by engineers working for private water companies, and it culminated
in the rst treated public water supply in the world, installed by engineer James Simpson for the Chelsea Waterworks
Company in London in 1829.[36] This installation provided ltered water for every resident of the area, and the
network design was widely copied throughout the United Kingdom in the ensuing decades.
The practice of water treatment soon became mainstream and common, and the virtues of the system were made
starkly apparent after the investigations of the physician John Snow during the 1854 Broad Street cholera outbreak.
Snow was sceptical of the then-dominant miasma theory that stated that diseases were caused by noxious bad airs.



Drawing of an apparatus for studying the chemical analysis of mineral waters in a book from 1799.

Although the germ theory of disease had not yet been developed, Snows observations led him to discount the prevailing theory. His 1855 essay On the Mode of Communication of Cholera conclusively demonstrated the role of the
water supply in spreading the cholera epidemic in Soho,[37][38] with the use of a dot distribution map and statistical
proof to illustrate the connection between the quality of the water source and cholera cases. His data convinced the
local council to disable the water pump, which promptly ended the outbreak.
The Metropolis Water Act introduced the regulation of the water supply companies in London, including minimum
standards of water quality for the rst time. The Act made provision for securing the supply to the Metropolis of
pure and wholesome water, and required that all water be eectually ltered from 31 December 1855.[39] This was
followed up with legislation for the mandatory inspection of water quality, including comprehensive chemical analyses, in 1858. This legislation set a worldwide precedent for similar state public health interventions across Europe.
The Metropolitan Commission of Sewers was formed at the same time, water ltration was adopted throughout the
country, and new water intakes on the Thames were established above Teddington Lock. Automatic pressure lters,
where the water is forced under pressure through the ltration system, were innovated in 1899 in England.[35]


Water chlorination

John Snow was the rst to successfully use chlorine to disinfect the water supply in Soho that had helped spread the
cholera outbreak. William Soper also used chlorinated lime to treat the sewage produced by typhoid patients in 1879.
In a paper published in 1894, Moritz Traube formally proposed the addition of chloride of lime (calcium hypochlorite)
to water to render it germ-free. Two other investigators conrmed Traubes ndings and published their papers
in 1895.[40] Early attempts at implementing water chlorination at a water treatment plant were made in 1893 in
Hamburg, Germany and in 1897 the city of Maidstone England was the rst to have its entire water supply treated
with chlorine.[41]
Permanent water chlorination began in 1905, when a faulty slow sand lter and a contaminated water supply led to a
serious typhoid fever epidemic in Lincoln, England.[42] Dr. Alexander Cruickshank Houston used chlorination of the
water to stem the epidemic. His installation fed a concentrated solution of chloride of lime to the water being treated.
The chlorination of the water supply helped stop the epidemic and as a precaution, the chlorination was continued
until 1911 when a new water supply was instituted.[43]
The rst continuous use of chlorine in the United States for disinfection took place in 1908 at Boonton Reservoir



Original map by John Snow showing the clusters of cholera cases in the London epidemic of 1854.

(on the Rockaway River), which served as the supply for Jersey City, New Jersey.[44] Chlorination was achieved by
controlled additions of dilute solutions of chloride of lime (calcium hypochlorite) at doses of 0.2 to 0.35 ppm. The
treatment process was conceived by Dr. John L. Leal and the chlorination plant was designed by George Warren
Fuller.[45] Over the next few years, chlorine disinfection using chloride of lime were rapidly installed in drinking
water systems around the world.[46]
The technique of purication of drinking water by use of compressed liqueed chlorine gas was developed by a British
ocer in the Indian Medical Service, Vincent B. Neseld, in 1903. According to his own account:
It occurred to me that chlorine gas might be found satisfactory ... if suitable means could be found for
using it.... The next important question was how to render the gas portable. This might be accomplished
in two ways: By liquefying it, and storing it in lead-lined iron vessels, having a jet with a very ne
capillary canal, and tted with a tap or a screw cap. The tap is turned on, and the cylinder placed in the
amount of water required. The chlorine bubbles out, and in ten to fteen minutes the water is absolutely
safe. This method would be of use on a large scale, as for service water carts.[47]
U.S. Army Major Carl Rogers Darnall, Professor of Chemistry at the Army Medical School, gave the rst practical
demonstration of this in 1910. Shortly thereafter, Major William J. L. Lyster of the Army Medical Department used
a solution of calcium hypochlorite in a linen bag to treat water. For many decades, Lysters method remained the
standard for U.S. ground forces in the eld and in camps, implemented in the form of the familiar Lyster Bag (also
spelled Lister Bag). This work became the basis for present day systems of municipal water purication.



Manual Control Chlorinator for the liquefaction of chlorine for water purication, early 20th century. From Chlorination of Water
by Joseph Race, 1918.

14.6 See also

List of water supply and sanitation by country
Organisms used in water purication
Water conservation
Water recycling
Water treatment

14.7 References
[1] Combating Waterborne Diseases at the Household Level (PDF). World Health Organization. 2007. Part 1. ISBN 978-924-159522-3.



[2] Water for Life: Making it Happen (PDF). World Health Organization and UNICEF. 2005. ISBN 92-4-156293-5.
[3] Chen, Jimmy, and Regli, Stig. (2002). Disinfection Practices and Pathogen Inactivation in ICR Surface Water Plants.
Information Collection Rule Data Analysis. Denver:American Water Works Association. McGuire, Michael J., McLain,
Jennifer L. and Obolensky, Alexa, eds. pp. 376378. ISBN 1-58321-273-6
[4] Aeration and Gas Stripping, Accessed June 4, 2012.
[5] CO2 Degasiers/Drinking Water Corrosion Control,
[6] Degassing Towers,
[7] RTW corrosivity index calculator, American Water Works Association .
[8] Edzwald, James K., ed. (2011). Water Quality and Treatment. 6th Edition. New York:McGraw-Hill. ISBN 978-0-07163011-5
[9] Crittenden, John C., et al., eds. (2005). Water Treatment: Principles and Design. 2nd Edition. Hoboken, NJ:Wiley. ISBN
[10] Kawamura, Susumu. (2000). Integrated Design and Operation of Water Treatment Facilities. 2nd Edition. New York:
Wiley. pp. 745, 104. ISBN 0-471-35093-1
[11] United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)(1990). Cincinnati, OH. Technologies for Upgrading Existing or
Designing New Drinking Water Treatment Facilities. Document no. EPA/625/4-89/023.
[12] Andrei A. Zagorodni (2007). Ion exchange materials: properties and applications. Elsevier. ISBN 978-0-08-044552-6.
[13] Neemann, Je; Hulsey, Robert; Rexing, David; Wert, Eric (2004). Controlling Bromate Formation During Ozonation
with Chlorine and Ammonia. Journal American Water Works Association 96 (2): 2629.
[14] Conroy RM, Meegan ME, Joyce T, McGuigan K, Barnes J (October 1999). Solar disinfection of water reduces diarrhoeal
disease, an update. Arch Dis Child 81 (4): 3378. doi:10.1136/adc.81.4.337. PMC 1718112. PMID 10490440.
[15] Conroy RM, Meegan ME, Joyce TM, McGuigan KG, Barnes J (2001). Use of solar disinfection protects children under
6 years from cholera. Arch Dis Child 85 (4): 2935. doi:10.1136/adc.85.4.293. PMC 1718943. PMID 11567937.
[16] Rose A. at al. (February 2006). Solar disinfection of water for diarrhoeal prevention in southern India. Arch Dis Child
91 (2): 13941. doi:10.1136/adc.2005.077867. PMC 2082686. PMID 16403847.
[17] Hobbins M. (2003). The SODIS Health Impact Study, Ph.D. Thesis, Swiss Tropical Institute Basel
[18] Dawney, B. and Pearce, J.M. (2012). Optimizing Solar Water Disinfection (SODIS) Method by Decreasing Turbidity with
NaCl. The Journal of Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene for Development 2 (2): 8794. doi:10.2166/washdev.2012.043.
[19] Sciacca F, Rengifo-Herrera JA, Wth J, Pulgarin C (2010-01-08). Dramatic enhancement of solar disinfection (SODIS)
of wild Salmonella sp. in PET bottles by H(2)O(2) addition on natural water of Burkina Faso containing dissolved iron.
Chemosphere (epub ahead of print) 78 (9): 118691. doi:10.1016/j.chemosphere.2009.12.001. PMID 20060566.
[20] Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2001). Recommendations for using uoride to prevent and control dental
decay caries in the United States. MMWR Recomm Rep 50 (RR-14): 142. PMID 11521913. Lay summary CDC
[21] Division of Oral Health, National Center for Prevention Services, CDC (1993). Fluoridation census 1992 (PDF). Retrieved 2008-12-29.
[22] Reeves TG (1986). Water uoridation: a manual for engineers and technicians (PDF). Centers for Disease Control.
Retrieved 2008-12-10.
[23] Backer, Howard (2002). Water Disinfection for International and Wilderness Travelers. Clin Infect Dis. 34 (3): 355364.
doi:10.1086/324747. PMID 11774083.
[24] Curtis, Rick (1998) OA Guide to Water Purication, The Backpackers Field Manual, Random House.
[25] Is it true that you can't make a decent cup of tea up a mountain?". Retrieved 2 November 2012.
[26] Savage, Nora; Mamadou S. Diallo (May 2005). Nanomaterials and Water Purication: Opportunities and Challenges
(PDF). J. Nanopart. Res. 7 (45): 331342. doi:10.1007/s11051-005-7523-5. Retrieved 24 May 2011.
[27] Osegovic, John P. et al. (2009) Hydrates for Gypsum Stack Water Purication. AIChE Annual Convention



[28] Poulsen, Kevin (26 April 2007). Mysterious Glitch Poisons Town Water Supply. Wired.
[29] Miranda, M. L.; Kim, D.; Hull, A. P.; Paul, C. J.; Galeano, M. A. O. (2006). Changes in Blood Lead Levels Associated with Use of Chloramines in Water Treatment Systems. Environmental Health Perspectives 115 (2): 221225.
doi:10.1289/ehp.9432. PMC 1817676. PMID 17384768.
[30] Health risks from drinking demineralised water. (PDF) . Rolling revision of the WHO Guidelines for drinking-water
quality. World Health Organization, Geneva, 2004
[31] Kozisek F. (2004). Health risks from drinking demineralised water. WHO.
[32] Water Distillers Water Distillation Myths, Facts, etc. Retrieved on 2011-02-18.
[33] Minerals in Drinking Water. Retrieved on 2011-02-18.
[34] The Use of the Microscope in Water Filter History. History of Water Filters.
[35] Filtration of water supplies (PDF), World Health Organization
[36] History of the Chelsea Waterworks
[37] Gunn, S. William A. and Masellis, Michele (2007). Concepts and Practice of Humanitarian Medicine. Springer. p. 87.
ISBN 978-0-387-72264-1.
[38] Bazin, Herv (2008). L'histoire des vaccinations. John Libbey Eurotext. p. 290.
[39] An Act to make better Provision respecting the Supply of Water to the Metropolis, (15 & 16 Vict. C.84)
[40] Turneaure, F.E., and H.L. Russell (1901). Public Water-Supplies: Requirements, Resources, and the Construction of Works
(1st ed.). New York: John Wiley & Sons. p. 493.
[41] Typhoid Epidemic at Maidstone. Journal of the Sanitary Institute 18: 388. October 1897.
[42] A miracle for public health?". Retrieved 2012-12-17.
[43] Reece, R.J. (1907). Report on the Epidemic of Enteric Fever in the City of Lincoln, 1904-5. In Thirty-Fifth Annual
Report of the Local Government Board, 1905-6: Supplement Containing the Report of the Medical Ocer for 1905-6.
London:Local Government Board.
[44] Leal, John L. (1909). The Sterilization Plant of the Jersey City Water Supply Company at Boonton, N.J. Proceedings
American Water Works Association. pp. 1009.
[45] Fuller, George W. (1909). Description of the Process and Plant of the Jersey City Water Supply Company for the
Sterilization of the Water of the Boonton Reservoir. Proceedings AWWA. pp. 11034.
[46] Hazen, Allen. (1916). Clean Water and How to Get It. New York:Wiley. p. 102.
[47] Neseld, V. B. (1902). A Chemical Method of Sterilizing Water Without Aecting its Potability. Public Health: 6013.

14.8 Further reading

Standard Methods for the Examination of Water & Wastewater. American Public Health Association. ISBN
Masters, Gilbert M. Introduction to Environmental Engineering. 2nd ed. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice
Hall, 1998.
US EPA. Ground Water and Drinking Water. Overview of drinking water topics and detailed information
on US regulatory program. (Updated 2012-03-07.)

14.9 External links

American Water Works Association
Water On Tap: What You Need To Know. Consumer Guide to Drinking Water in the US (EPA)
Emergency Disinfection of Drinking Water - Camping, Hiking and Travel (CDC)
Code of Federal Regulations, Title 40, Part 141 U.S. National Primary Drinking Water Regulations

Chapter 15

Membrane technology
Membrane technology covers all engineering approaches for the transport of substances between two fractions with
the help of permeable membranes. In general, mechanical separation processes for separating gaseous or liquid
streams use membrane technology.

15.1 Applications

Ultraltration for a swimming pool

Membrane separation processes operate without heating and therefore use less energy than conventional thermal
separation processes such as distillation, sublimation or crystallization. The separation process is purely physical and
both fractions (permeate and retentate) can be used. Cold separation using membrane technology is widely used in the
food technology, biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries. Furthermore, using membranes enables separations



Venous-arterial extracorporeal membrane oxygenation scheme

to take place that would be impossible using thermal separation methods. For example, it is impossible to separate
the constituents of azeotropic liquids or solutes which form isomorphic crystals by distillation or recrystallization but
such separations can be achieved using membrane technology. Depending on the type of membrane, the selective
separation of certain individual substances or substance mixtures is possible. Important technical applications include
the production of drinking water by reverse osmosis (worldwide approximately 7 million cubic metres annually),
ltrations in the food industry, the recovery of organic vapours such as petro-chemical vapour recovery and the
electrolysis for chlorine production.
In waste water treatment, membrane technology is becoming increasingly important. With the help of ultra/microltration
it is possible to remove particles, colloids and macromolecules, so that waste-water can be disinfected in this way.
This is needed if waste-water is discharged into sensitive waters especially those designated for contact water-sports
and recreation.
About half of the market is in medical applications such as use in articial kidneys to remove toxic substances by
hemodialysis and as articial lung for bubble-free supply of oxygen in the blood.
The importance of membrane technology is growing in the eld of environmental protection (NanoMemPro IPPC
Database). Even in modern energy recovery techniques membranes are increasingly used, for example in fuel cells
and in osmotic power plants.

15.2 Current market and forecast

The global demand for membrane modules was estimated at approximately 15.6 billion USD in 2012. Driven by
new developments and innovations in material science and process technologies, global increasing demands, new
applications, and others, the market is expected to grow around 8% annually in the next years. It is forecast to
increase to 21.22 billion USD in 2016 and reach 25 billion in 2018.[1]



15.3 Mass transfer

Two basic models can be distinguished for mass transfer through the membrane:
the solution-diusion model and
the hydrodynamic model.
In real membranes, these two transport mechanisms certainly occur side by side, especially during ultra-ltration.


Solution-diusion model

In the solution-diusion model, transport occurs only by diusion. The component that needs to be transported
must rst be dissolved in the membrane. The general approach of the solution-diusion model is to assume that the
chemical potential of the feed and permeate uids are in equilibrium with the adjacent membrane surfaces such that
appropriate expressions for the chemical potential in the uid and membrane phases can be equated at the solutionmembrane interface. This principle is more important for dense membranes without natural pores such as those used
for reverse osmosis and in fuel cells. During the ltration process a boundary layer forms on the membrane. This
concentration gradient is created by molecules which cannot pass through the membrane. The eect is referred as
concentration polarization and, occurring during the ltration, leads to a reduced trans-membrane ow (ux). Concentration polarization is, in principle, reversible by cleaning the membrane which results in the initial ux being
almost totally restored. Using a tangential ow to the membrane (cross-ow ltration) can also minimize concentration polarization.


Hydrodynamic model

Transport through pores in the simplest case is done convectively. This requires the size of the pores to be
smaller than the diameter of the two separate components. Membranes which function according to this principle
are used mainly in micro- and ultraltration. They are used to separate macromolecules from solutions, colloids from
a dispersion or remove bacteria. During this process the not-passing particles or molecules form a pulpy mass (lter
cake) on the membrane, and this blockage of the membrane hampers the ltration. This blockage can be reduced
by the use of the cross-ow method (cross-ow ltration). Here, the liquid to be ltered ows along the front of the
membrane and is separated by the pressure dierence between the front and back of the membrane into retentate
(the owing concentrate) on the front and permeate (ltrate) on the back. The tangential ow on the front creates a
shear stress that cracks the lter cake and reduces the fouling.

15.4 Membrane operations

According to the driving force of the operation it is possible to distinguish:
Pressure driven operations
reverse osmosis
Concentration driven operations
forward osmosis
articial lung



gas separation

Operations in an electric potential gradient

membrane electrolysis e.g. chloralkali process
fuel cell
Operations in a temperature gradient
membrane distillation

15.5 Membrane shapes and ow geometries

Cross-ow geometry

There are two main ow congurations of membrane processes: cross-ow (or) tangential ow and dead-end ltrations. In cross-ow ltration the feed ow is tangential to the surface of membrane, retentate is removed from
the same side further downstream, whereas the permeate ow is tracked on the other side. In dead-end ltration
the direction of the uid ow is normal to the membrane surface. Both ow geometries oer some advantages and
disadvantages. Generally, dead-end ltration is used for feasibility studies on a laboratory scale. The dead-end membranes are relatively easy to fabricate which reduces the cost of the separation process. The dead-end membrane
separation process is easy to implement and the process is usually cheaper than cross-ow membrane ltration. The
dead-end ltration process is usually a batch-type process, where the ltering solution is loaded (or slowly fed) into
the membrane device, which then allows passage of some particles subject to the driving force. The main disadvantage of a dead end ltration is the extensive membrane fouling and concentration polarization. The fouling is usually
induced faster at higher driving forces. Membrane fouling and particle retention in a feed solution also builds up
a concentration gradients and particle back ow (concentration polarization). The tangential ow devices are more
cost and labor-intensive, but they are less susceptible to fouling due to the sweeping eects and high shear rates of the
passing ow. The most commonly used synthetic membrane devices (modules) are at sheets/plates, spiral wounds,
and hollow bers.
Flat plates are usually constructed as circular thin at membrane surfaces to be used in dead-end geometry modules.
Spiral wounds are constructed from similar at membranes but in the form of a pocket containing two membrane
sheets separated by a highly porous support plate.[2] Several such pockets are then wound around a tube to create
a tangential ow geometry and to reduce membrane fouling. hollow ber modules consist of an assembly of selfsupporting bers with dense skin separation layers, and a more open matrix helping to withstand pressure gradients



Dead-end geometry

and maintain structural integrity.[2] The hollow ber modules can contain up to 10,000 bers ranging from 200 to
2500 m in diameter; The main advantage of hollow ber modules is very large surface area within an enclosed
volume, increasing the eciency of the separation process.





impermeable sheet
impermeable sheet

Spiral wound membrane module

permeate ux



Hollow ber membrane module

Separation of air into oxygen and nitrogen through a membrane

15.6 Membrane performance and governing equations

The selection of synthetic membranes for a targeted separation process is usually based on few requirements. Membranes have to provide enough mass transfer area to process large amounts of feed stream. The selected membrane
has to have high selectivity (rejection) properties for certain particles; it has to resist fouling and to have high mechanical stability. It also needs to be reproducible and to have low manufacturing costs. The main modeling equation
for the dead-end ltration at constant pressure drop is represented by Darcys law:[2]
dt = Q = A Rm +R
where V and Q are the volume of the permeate and its volumetric ow rate respectively (proportional to same
characteristics of the feed ow), is dynamic viscosity of permeating uid, A is membrane area, R and R are
the respective resistances of membrane and growing deposit of the foulants. R can be interpreted as a membrane
resistance to the solvent (water) permeation. This resistance is a membrane intrinsic property and is expected to be
fairly constant and independent of the driving force, p. R is related to the type of membrane foulant, its concentration
in the ltering solution, and the nature of foulant-membrane interactions. Darcys law allows for calculation of the
membrane area for a targeted separation at given conditions. The solute sieving coecient is dened by the equation:[2]


where C and C are the solute concentrations in feed and permeate respectively. Hydraulic permeability is dened
as the inverse of resistance and is represented by the equation:[2]
Lp =


where J is the permeate ux which is the volumetric ow rate per unit of membrane area. The solute sieving coecient
and hydraulic permeability allow the quick assessment of the synthetic membrane performance.

15.7 Membrane separation processes

Membrane separation processes have a very important role in the separation industry. Nevertheless, they were
not considered technically important until the mid-1970s. Membrane separation processes dier based on separation mechanisms and size of the separated particles. The widely used membrane processes include microltration,
ultraltration, nanoltration, reverse osmosis, electrolysis, dialysis, electrodialysis, gas separation, vapor permeation,
pervaporation, membrane distillation, and membrane contactors.[3] All processes except for pervaporation involve no
phase change. All processes except (electro)dialysis are pressure driven. Microtration and ultraltration is widely
used in food and beverage processing (beer microltration, apple juice ultraltration), biotechnological applications
and pharmaceutical industry (antibiotic production, protein purication), water purication and wastewater treatment, the microelectronics industry, and others. Nanoltration and reverse osmosis membranes are mainly used for
water purication purposes. Dense membranes are utilized for gas separations (removal of CO2 from natural gas,
separating N2 from air, organic vapor removal from air or a nitrogen stream) and sometimes in membrane distillation.
The later process helps in the separation of azeotropic compositions reducing the costs of distillation processes.

15.8 Pore size and selectivity

The pore sizes of technical membranes are specied dierently depending on the manufacturer. One common distinction is by nominal pore size. It describes the maximum pore size distribution[4] and gives only vague information
about the retention capacity of a membrane. The exclusion limit or cut-o of the membrane is usually specied in
the form of NMWC (nominal molecular weight cut-o, or MWCO, molecular weight cut o, with units in Dalton). It
is dened as the minimum molecular weight of a globular molecule that is retained to 90% by the membrane. The
cut-o, depending on the method, can by converted to so-called D90 , which is then expressed in a metric unit. In
practice the MWCO of the membrane should be at least 20% lower than the molecular weight of the molecule that
is to be separated.



Ranges of membrane based separations

Filter membranes are divided into four classes according to pore size:
The form and shape of the membrane pores are highly dependent on the manufacturing process and are often dicult
to specify. Therefore, for characterization, test ltrations are carried out and the pore diameter refers to the diameter
of the smallest particles which could not pass through the membrane.
The rejection can be determined in various ways and provides an indirect measurement of the pore size. One possibility is the ltration of macromolecules (often dextran, polyethylene glycol or albumin), another is measurement
of the cut-o by gel permeation chromatography. These methods are used mainly to measure membranes for ultraltration applications. Another testing method is the ltration of particles with dened size and their measurement
with a particle sizer or by laser induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS). A vivid characterization is to measure the
rejection of dextran blue or other colored molecules. The retention of bacteriophage and bacteria, the so-called
bacteriachallenge test, can also provide information about the pore size.
To determine the pore diameter, physical methods such as porosimetry (mercury, liquid-liquid porosimetry and Bubble Point Test) are also used, but a certain form of the pores (such as cylindrical or concatenated spherical holes) is
assumed. Such methods are used for membranes whose pore geometry does not match the ideal, and we get nominal pore diameter, which characterizes the membrane, but does not necessarily reect its actual ltration behavior
and selectivity.
The selectivity is highly dependent on the separation process, the composition of the membrane and its electrochemical
properties in addition to the pore size. With high selectivity, isotopes can be enriched (uranium enrichment) in nuclear
engineering or industrial gases like nitrogen can be recovered (gas separation). Ideally, even racemics can be enriched
with a suitable membrane.
When choosing membranes selectivity has priority over a high permeability, as low ows can easily be oset by
increasing the lter surface with a modular structure. In gas phase ltration dierent deposition mechanisms are
operative, so that particles having sizes below the pore size of the membrane can be retained as well.



The pore distribution of a ctitious ultraltration membrane with the nominal pore size and the D90

15.9 See also

Articial membrane
Particle deposition

15.10 Notes
[1] Market Report: Global Membrane Technology Market. Acmite Market Intelligence.
[2] Osada, Y., Nakagawa, T., Membrane Science and Technology, New York: Marcel Dekker, Inc,1992.
[3] Pinnau, I., Freeman, B.D., Membrane Formation and Modication, ACS, 1999.
[4] TU Berlin script - 2 Principles of Membrane Processes (; PDF-Datei; 6,85 MB) Page 6 (German)
[5] Experience and potential application of nanoltration - University of Linz (German) (PDF)

15.11 References
Osada, Y., Nakagawa, T., Membrane Science and Technology, New York: Marcel Dekker, Inc,1992.
Zeman, Leos J., Zydney, Andrew L., Microltration and Ultratration, Principles and Applications., New York:
Marcel Dekker, Inc,1996.
Mulder M., Basic Principles of Membrane Technology, Kluwer Academic Publishers, Netherlands, 1996.
Jornitz, Maik W., Sterile Filtration, Springer, Germany, 2006



Van Reis R., Zydney A. Bioprocess membrane technology. J Mem Sci. 297(2007): 16-50.
Templin T., Johnston D., Singh V., Tumbleson M.E., Belyea R.L. Rausch K.D. Membrane separation of solids
from corn processing streams. Biores Tech. 97(2006): 1536-1545.
Ripperger S., Schulz G. Microporous membranes in biotechnical applications. Bioprocess Eng. 1(1986): 4349.
Thomas Melin, Robert Rautenbach, Membranverfahren, Springer, Germany, 2007, ISBN 3-540-00071-2.
Munir Cheryan, Handbuch Ultraltration, Behr, 1990, ISBN 3-925673-87-3.
Eberhard Staude, Membranen und Membranprozesse, VCH, 1992, ISBN 3-527-28041-3.

Chapter 16

Ultraltration (UF) is a variety of membrane ltration in which forces like pressure or concentration gradients lead to
a separation through a semipermeable membrane. Suspended solids and solutes of high molecular weight are retained
in the so-called retentate, while water and low molecular weight solutes pass through the membrane in the permeate.
This separation process is used in industry and research for purifying and concentrating macromolecular (103 - 106
Da) solutions, especially protein solutions. Ultraltration is not fundamentally dierent from microltration. Both of
these separate based on size exclusion or particle capture. It is fundamentally dierent from membrane gas separation,
which separate based on dierent amounts of absorption and dierent rates of diusion. Ultraltration membranes
are dened by the molecular weight cut-o (MWCO) of the membrane used. Ultraltration is applied in cross-ow
or dead-end mode.

16.1 Applications
Industries such as chemical and pharmaceutical manufacturing, food and beverage processing, and waste water treatment, employ ultraltration in order to recycle ow or add value to later products. Blood dialysis also utilizes ultraltration.


Drinking water

UF can be used for the removal of particulates and macromolecules from raw water to produce potable water. It
has been used to either replace existing secondary (coagulation, occulation, sedimentation) and tertiary ltration
(sand ltration and chlorination) systems employed in water treatment plants or as standalone systems in isolated
regions with growing populations.[1] When treating water with high suspended solids, UF is often integrated into the
process, utilising primary (screening, otation, ltration) and some secondary treatments as pre-treatment stages.[2]
UF processes are currently preferred over traditional treatment methods for the following reasons:

No chemicals required (aside from cleaning)

Constant product quality regardless of feed quality
Compact plant size
Capable of exceeding regulatory standards of water quality, achieving 90-100% pathogen removal

UF processes are currently limited by the high cost incurred due to membrane fouling and replacement.[4] Additional
pretreatment of feed water is required to prevent excessive damage to the membrane units.
In many cases UF is used for pre ltration in reverse osmosis (RO) plants to protect the RO membranes. Ultraltration
is an eective means of reducing the silt density index of water and removing particulates that can foul reverse osmosis
membranes. Ultraltration is frequently used to pretreat surface water, seawater and biologically treated municipal
water upstream of RO.[5]



Drinking water treatment 300 m/h using ultraltration in Grundmhle waterworks (Germany)


Protein concentration

UF is used extensively in the dairy industry; particularly in the processing of cheese whey to obtain whey protein
concentrate (WPC) and lactose-rich permeate.[6][7] In a single stage, a UF process is able to concentrate the whey
10-30 times the feed.[8]
The original alternative to membrane ltration of whey was using steam heating followed by drum drying or spray
drying. The product of these methods had limited applications due to its granulated texture and insolubility. Existing
methods also had inconsistent product composition, high capital and operating costs and due to the excessive heat
used in drying would often denature some of the proteins.[6]
Compared to traditional methods, UF processes used for this application:[6][8]
Are more energy ecient
Have consistent product quality, 35-80% protein product depending on operating conditions
Do not denature proteins as they use moderate operating conditions
The potential for fouling is widely discussed, being identied as a signicant contributor to decline in productivity.[6][7][8]
Cheese whey contains high concentrations of calcium phosphate which can potentially lead to scale deposits on the
membrane surface. As a result substantial pretreatment must be implemented to balance pH and temperature of the
feed to maintain solubility of calcium salts.[8]


Other applications
Filtration of euent from paper pulp mill
Cheese manufacture, see ultraltered milk
Removal of pathogens from milk
Process and waste water treatment
Enzyme recovery
Fruit juice concentration and clarication



A selectively permeable membrane can be mounted in a centrifuge tube. The buer is forced through the membrane by centrifugation,
leaving the protein in the upper chamber.

Dialysis and other blood treatments

Desalting and solvent-exchange of proteins (via dialtration)
Laboratory grade manufacturing

16.2 Principles
The basic operating principle of ultraltration uses a pressure induced separation of solutes from a solvent through
a semi permeable membrane. The relationship between the applied pressure on the solution to be separated and the
ux through the membrane is most commonly described by the Darcy equation:





where J is the ux (ow rate per membrane area),TMP is the transmembrane pressure (pressure dierence between
feed and permeate stream), is solvent viscosity, R is the total resistance (sum of membrane and fouling resistance).

16.3 Membrane fouling

Main article: Membrane fouling


Concentration polarization

When ltration occurs the local concentration of rejected material at the membrane surface increases and can become
saturated. In UF, increased ion concentration can develop an osmotic pressure on the feed side of the membrane.
This reduces the eective TMP of the system, therefore reducing permeation rate. The increase in concentrated layer
at the membrane wall decreases the permeate ux, due to increase in resistance which reduces the driving force for
solvent to transport through membrane surface. CP aects almost all the available membrane separation process. In
RO, the solutes retained at the membrane layer results in higher osmotic pressure in comparison to the bulk stream
concentration. So the higher pressures are required to overcome this osmotic pressure. Concentration polarisation
plays a dominant role in ultraltration as compared to microltration because of the small pore size membrane.[9] It
must be noted that concentration polarization diers from fouling as it has no lasting eects on the membrane itself
and can be reversed by relieving the TMP. It does however have a signicant eect on many types of fouling.[10]


Types of fouling

Particulate deposition
The following models describe the mechanisms of particulate deposition on the membrane surface and in the pores:

Standard blocking: macromolecules are uniformly deposited on pore walls

Complete blocking: membrane pore is completely sealed by a macromolecule
Cake ltration: accumulated particles or macromolecules form a fouling layer on the membrane
surface, in UF this is also known as a gel layer
Intermediate blocking: when macromolecules deposit into pores or onto already blocked pores,
contributing to cake formation [11]
As a result of concentration polarization at the membrane surface, increased ion concentrations may exceed solubility
thresholds and precipitate on the membrane surface. These inorganic salt deposits can block pores causing ux decline,
membrane degradation and loss of production. The formation of scale is highly dependent on factors aecting both
solubility and concentration polarization including pH, temperature, ow velocity and permeation rate.[12]
Microorganisms will adhere to the membrane surface forming a gel layer known as biolm.[13] The lm increases
the resistance to ow, acting as an additional barrier to permeation. In spiral-wound modules, blockages formed by
biolm can lead to uneven ow distribution and thus increase the eects of concentration polarization.[14]



16.4 Membrane arrangements

Hollow bre module

Depending on the shape and material of the membrane, dierent modules can be used for ultraltration process.[15]
Commercially available designs in ultraltration modules vary according to the required hydrodynamic and economic
constraints as well as the mechanical stability of the system under particular operating pressures.[16] The main modules
used in industry include:




Tubular modules

The tubular module design uses polymeric membranes cast on the inside of plastic or porous paper components with
diameters typically in the range of 5 25 mm with lengths from 0.6 - 6.4 m.[6] Multiple tubes are housed in a PVC
or steel shell. The feed of the module is passed through the tubes, accommodating radial transfer of permeate to
the shell side. This design allows for easy cleaning however the main drawback is its low permeability, high volume
hold-up within the membrane and low packing density.[6][16]


Hollow bre

This design is conceptually similar to the tubular module with a shell and tube arrangement. A single module can
consist of 50 to thousands of hollow bres and therefore are self-supporting unlike the tubular design. The diameter
of each bre ranges from 0.2 3 mm with the feed owing in the tube and the product permeate collected radially on
the outside. The advantage of having self-supporting membranes as is the ease at which it can be cleaned due to its
ability to be backushed. Replacement costs however are high, as one faulty bre will require the whole bundle to be
replaced. Considering the tubes are of small diameter, using this design also makes the system prone to blockage.[8]


Spiral-wound modules





impermeable sheet

permeate ux

impermeable sheet

Spiral-wound membrane module

Are composed of a combination of at membrane sheets separated by a thin meshed spacer material which serves
as a porous plastic screen support. These sheets are rolled around a central perforated tube and tted into a tubular
steel pressure vessel casing. The feed solution passes over the membrane surface and the permeate spirals into the
central collection tube. Spiral-wound modules are a compact and cheap alternative in ultraltration design, oer a
high volumetric throughput and can also be easily cleaned.[16] However it is limited by the thin channels where feed
solutions with suspended solids can result in partial blockage of the membrane pores.[8]


Plate and frame

This uses a membrane placed on a at plate separated by a mesh like material. The feed is passed through the system
from which permeate is separated and collected from the edge of the plate. Channel length can range from 10 60
cm and channel heights from 0.5 1 mm.[8] This module provides low volume hold-up, relatively easy replacement
of the membrane and the ability to feed viscous solutions because of the low channel height, unique to this particular



16.5 Process characteristics

The process characteristics of a UF system are highly dependent on the type of membrane used and its application.
Manufacturers specications of the membrane tend to limit the process to the following typical specications:[17][18][19][20]

16.6 Process design considerations

When designing a new membrane separation facility or considering its integration into an existing plant, there are
many factors which must be considered. For most applications a heuristic approach can be applied to determine many
of these characteristics to simplify the design process. Some design areas include:



Treatment of feed prior to the membrane is essential to prevent damage to the membrane and minimize the eects
of fouling which greatly reduce the eciency of the separation. Types of pre-treatment are often dependent on
the type of feed and its quality. For example in wastewater treatment, household waste and other particulates are
screened. Other types of pre-treatment common to many UF processes include pH balancing and coagulation.[21][22]
Appropriate sequencing of each pre-treatment phase is crucial in preventing damage to subsequent stages. Pretreatment can even be employed simply using dosing points.


Membrane specications

Most UF membranes use polymer materials (polysulfone, polypropylene, cellulose acetate, polylactic acid) however
ceramic membranes are used for high temperature applications.

Pore size
A general rule for choice of pore size in a UF system is to use a membrane with a pore size one tenth that of the
particle size to be separated. This limits the amount of smaller particles entering the pores and adsorbing to the pore
surface. Instead they block the entrance to the pores allowing simple adjustments of cross-ow velocity to dislodge


Operation strategy

Flow type
UF systems can either operate with cross-ow or dead-end ow. In dead-end ltration the ow of the feed solution
is perpendicular to the membrane surface. On the other hand in cross ow systems the ow passes parallel to the
membrane surface.[23] Dead-end congurations are more suited to batch processes with low suspended solids as
solids accumulate at the membrane surface therefore requiring frequent backushes and cleaning to maintain high
ux. Cross-ow congurations are preferred in continuous operations as solids are continuously ushed from the
membrane surface resulting in a thinner cake layer and lower resistance to permeation.

Flow velocity
Flow velocity is especially critical for hard water or liquids containing suspensions in preventing excessive fouling.
Higher cross-ow velocities can be used to enhance the sweeping eect across the membrane surface therefore preventing deposition of macromolecules and colloidal material and reducing the eects of concentration polarization.
Expensive pumps are however required to achieve these conditions.



Schematic of cross ow operation.

Schematic of dead-end operation

Flow temperature
To avoid excessive damage to the membrane, it is recommended to operate a plant at the temperature specied by
the membrane manufacturer. In some instances however temperatures beyond the recommended region are required
to minimise the eects of fouling.[22] Economic analysis of the process is required to nd a compromise between the
increased cost of membrane replacement and productivity of the separation.




Typical two stage membrane process with recycle stream

Pressure drops over multi-stage separation can result in a drastic decline in ux performance in the latter stages of
the process. This can be improved using booster pumps to increase the TMP in the nal stages. This will incur a
greater capital and energy cost which will be oset by the improved productivity of the process.[22] With a multistage operation, retentate streams from each stage are recycled through the previous stage to improve their separation
Multi-stage, multi-module
Multiple stages in series can be applied to achieve higher purity permeate streams. Due to the modular nature of
membrane processes, multiple modules can be arranged in parallel to treat greater volumes.[24]



Post-treatment of the product streams is dependent on the composition of the permeate and retentate and its enduse or government regulation. In cases such as milk separation both streams (milk and whey) can be collected and
made into useful products. Additional drying of the retentate will produce whey powder. In the paper mill industry,
the retentate (non-biodegradable organic material) is incinerated to recover energy and permeate (puried water) is
discharged into waterways. It is essential for the permeate water to be pH balanced and cooled to avoid thermal
pollution of waterways and altering its pH.



Cleaning of the membrane is done regularly to prevent the accumulation of foulants and reverse the degrading eects
of fouling on permeability and selectivity.
Regular backwashing is often conducted every 10 min for some processes to remove cake layers formed on the
membrane surface.[8] By pressurising the permeate stream and forcing it back through the membrane, accumulated
particles can be dislodged, improving the ux of the process. Backwashing is limited in its ability to remove more
complex forms of fouling such as biofouling, scaling or adsorption to pore walls.[25]
These types of foulants require chemical cleaning to be removed. The common types of chemicals used for cleaning

Acidic solutions for the control of inorganic scale deposits



Alkali solutions for removal of organic compounds

Biocides when bio-fouling is evident
When designing a cleaning protocol it is essential to consider:
Cleaning time Adequate time must be allowed for chemicals to interact with foulants and permeate into the membrane pores. However if the process is extended beyond its optimum duration it can lead to denaturation of the
membrane and deposition of removed foulants.[25] The complete cleaning cycle including rinses between stages may
take as long as 2 hours to complete.[27]
Aggressiveness of chemical treatment With a high degree of fouling it may be necessary to employ aggressive
cleaning solutions to remove fouling material. However in some applications this may not be suitable if the membrane
material is sensitive, leading to enhanced membrane ageing.
Disposal of cleaning euent The release of some chemicals into wastewater systems may be prohibited or regulated therefore this must be considered. For example the use of phosphoric acid may result in high levels of phosphates
entering water ways and must be monitored and controlled to prevent eutrophication.
Summary of common types of fouling and their respective chemical treatments [8]

16.7 New developments

In order to increase the life-cycle of membrane ltration systems, energy ecient membranes are being developed in
membrane bioreactor systems. Technology has been introduced which allows the power required to aerate the membrane for cleaning to be reduced whilst still maintaining a high ux level. Mechanical cleaning processes have also
been adopted using granulates as an alternative to conventional forms of cleaning; this reduces energy consumption
and also reduces the area required for ltration tanks.[28]
Membrane properties have also been enhanced to reduce fouling tendencies by modifying surface properties. This
can be noted in the biotechnology industry where membrane surfaces have been altered in order to reduce the amount
of protein binding.[29] Ultraltration modules have also been improved to allow for more membrane for a given area
without increasing its risk of fouling by designing more ecient module internals.
The current pre-treatment of seawater desulphination uses ultraltration modules that have been designed to withstand
high temperatures and pressures whilst occupying a smaller footprint. Each module vessel is self supported and
resistant to corrosion and accommodates easy removal and replacement of the module without the cost of replacing
the vessel itself.[28]

16.8 References
[1] Clever, M.; Jordt, F.; Knauf, R.; Rbiger, N.; Rdebusch, M.; Hilker-Scheibel, R. (1 December 2000). Process water
production from river water by ultraltration and reverse osmosis. Desalination 131 (1-3): 325336. doi:10.1016/S00119164(00)90031-6.
[2] Lan, J.-M.; Vial, D.; Moulart, Pierre (1 December 2000). Status after 10 years of operation overview of UF technology today. Desalination 131 (1-3): 1725. doi:10.1016/S0011-9164(00)90002-X.
[3] Water treatment membrane processes. New York [u.a.]: McGraw Hill. 1996. ISBN 9780070015593. |rst1= missing
|last1= in Authors list (help)
[4] Edwards, David; Donn, Alasdair; Meadowcroft, Charlotte (1 May 2001). Membrane solution to a signicant risk
Cryptosporidium groundwater source. Desalination 137 (1-3): 193198. doi:10.1016/S0011-9164(01)00218-1.
[5] Ultraltration. WaterProfessionals. Retrieved 14 November 2014.
[6] Tamime, A. Y. Membrane Processing Dairy and Beverage Applications. Chicester: Wiley. ISBN 1118457021.
[7] Nigam, Mayank Omprakash; Bansal, Bipan; Chen, Xiao Dong (1 January 2008). Fouling and cleaning of whey protein
concentrate fouled ultraltration membranes. Desalination 218 (1-3): 313322. doi:10.1016/j.desal.2007.02.027.
[8] Cheryan, Munir (1998). Ultraltration and Microltration Handbook. CRC Press. ISBN 1420069020.
[9] Brian, P.L., 1965, Concentration polarization in reverse osmosis desalination with variable ux and incomplete salt rejection, Ind. Eng. Chem. Fund. 4: 439445.



[10] Rizvi, edited by Anil Kumar Pabby, Ana Maria Sastre, Syed S.H.; Pabby, Anil Kumar; Rizvi,, Syed S.H.; Sastre, Ana
Maria (2007). Handbook of membrane separations : chemical, pharmaceutical, and biotechnological applications. Boca
Raton, Fla.: CRC Press. ISBN 978-0-8493-9549-9.
[11] Bruijn, J P F; Salazar, F N; Borquez, R (September 2005). Membrane blocking in ultraltration: A new approach to
fouling. Food and Bioproducts Processing 83 (3): 211219.
[12] Antony, Alice; Low, Jor How; Gray, Stephen; Childress, Amy E.; Le-Clech, Pierre; Leslie, Greg (1 November 2011).
Scale formation and control in high pressure membrane water treatment systems: A review. Journal of Membrane Science
383 (1-2): 116. doi:10.1016/j.memsci.2011.08.054.
[13] Flemming, H.-C.; Schaule, G.; Griebe, T.; Schmitt, J.; Tamachkiarowa, A. (1 November 1997). Biofoulingthe Achilles
heel of membrane processes. Desalination 113 (2-3): 215225. doi:10.1016/S0011-9164(97)00132-X.
[14] Baker, J.S.; Dudley, L.Y. (1 September 1998). Biofouling in membrane systems A review. Desalination 118 (1-3):
8189. doi:10.1016/S0011-9164(98)00091-5.
[15] Futselaar, Harry; Weijenberg, Dick C. (1 September 1998). System design for large-scale ultraltration applications.
Desalination 119 (1-3): 217224. doi:10.1016/S0011-9164(98)00159-3.
[16] Belfort, Georges (1 February 1988). Membrane modules: comparison of dierent congurations using uid mechanics.
Journal of Membrane Science 35 (3): 245270. doi:10.1016/S0376-7388(00)80299-9.
[17] Membrane Products. Koch Membrane Systems. Retrieved 9 October 2013. |rst1= missing |last1= in Authors list (help)
[18] Water Treatment Primer for Communities in Need (PDF). US Department of the Interior Bureau of Reclamation. Retrieved 11 October 2013. |rst1= missing |last1= in Authors list (help)
[19] Operation and Maintenance Manual - UF-6-HF Ultraltration System (PDF). Con-Serv Manufacturing. Retrieved 10
October 2013. |rst1= missing |last1= in Authors list (help)
[20] Lan, prepared by Joseph G. Jacangelo, Samer Adham, Jean-Michel (1997). Membrane ltration for microbial removal.
Denver, CO: AWWA Research Foundation and American Water Works Association. ISBN 0898678943.
[21] Rosehill Recycled Water Scheme - Faireld Recycled Water Plant (PDF). Sydney Water. |rst1= missing |last1= in
Authors list (help)
[22] Nordin, Anna-Karin; Jnsson, Ann-So (1 November 2006). Case study of an ultraltration plant treating bleach plant
euent from a pulp and paper mill. Desalination 201 (1-3): 277289. doi:10.1016/j.desal.2006.06.004.
[23] Farahbakhsh, Khosrow; Adham, Samer S.; Smith, Daniel W. (June 2003). Monitoring the Integrity of Low-Pressure
Membranes. Journal AWWA: 95107.
[24] Water treatment membrane processes. New York [u.a.]: McGraw Hill. 1996. ISBN 0070015597. |rst1= missing |last1=
in Authors list (help)
[25] Cui, edited by Z.F.; Muralidhara, H.S. (2010). Membrane technology : a practical guide to membrane technology and
applications in food and bioprocessing (1st ed. ed.). Amsterdam: Butterworth-Heinemann. pp. 213*254. ISBN 978-185617-632-3.
[26] Gao, Wei; Liang, Heng; Ma, Jun; Han, Mei; Chen, Zhong-lin; Han, Zheng-shuang; Li, Gui-bai (1 May 2011). Membrane fouling control in ultraltration technology for drinking water production: A review. Desalination 272 (1-3): 18.
[27] Wallberg, Ola; Jnsson, Ann-So; Wickstrm, Peter (1 December 2001). Membrane cleaning a case study in a sulphite
pulp mill bleach plant. Desalination 141 (3): 259268. doi:10.1016/S0011-9164(01)85004-9.
[28] Bennett, Anthony (1 November 2012). Membrane technology: Developments in ultraltration technologies. Filtration
+ Separation 49 (6): 2833. doi:10.1016/S0015-1882(12)70287-2.
[29] Ag, S (1 September 2012). Energy-ecient membrane is designed for MBR systems. Membrane Technology 2012 (9):
4. doi:10.1016/S0958-2118(12)70178-7.

Chapter 17

Solar water disinfection

SODIS application in Indonesia using clear PET plastic beverage bottles

Solar water disinfection is a type of portable water purication that uses solar energy to make biologically-contaminated
(e.g. bacteria, viruses, protozoa and worms) water safe to drink. Water contaminated with non-biological agents such
as toxic chemicals or heavy metals require additional steps to make the water safe to drink.
There are three primary subsets of solar water disinfection:
1. Electric. Solar disinfection using the eects of electricity generated by photovoltaic panels (solar PV).
2. Heat. Solar thermal water disinfection.
3. UV. Solar ultraviolet water disinfection.
Solar disinfection using the eects of electricity generated by photovoltaics typically uses an electric current to deliver
electrolytic processes which disinfect water, for example by generating oxidative free radicals which kill pathogens



by damaging their chemical structure. A second approach uses stored solar electricity from a battery, and operates at
night or at low light levels to power an ultraviolet lamp to perform secondary solar ultraviolet water disinfection.
Solar thermal water disinfection uses heat from the Sun to heat water to 70100 C for a short period of time. A
number of approaches exist here. Solar heat collectors can have lenses in front of them, or use reectors. They
may also use varying levels of insulation or glazing. In addition, some solar thermal water disinfection processes are
batch-based, while others (through-ow solar thermal disinfection) operate almost continuously while the Sun shines.
Water heated to temperatures below 100 C is generally referred to as Pasteurized water.
High energy ultraviolet radiation from the Sun can also be used to kill pathogens in water. The SODIS method
uses a combination of UV light and increased temperature (solar thermal) for disinfecting water using only sunlight
and PET plastic bottles. SODIS is a free and eective method for decentralized water treatment, usually applied at
the household level and is recommended by the World Health Organization as a viable method for household water
treatment and safe storage.[1] SODIS is already applied in numerous developing countries. Educational pamphlets on
the method are available in many languages,[2] each equivalent to the English-language version.[3]

17.1 Principle of SODIS

Exposure to sunlight has been shown to deactivate diarrhea-causing organisms in polluted drinking water. Three
eects of solar radiation are believed to contribute to the inactivation of pathogenic organisms:
UV-A interferes directly with the metabolism and destroys cell structures of bacteria.
UV-A (wavelength 320400 nm) reacts with oxygen dissolved in the water and produces highly reactive forms
of oxygen (oxygen free radicals and hydrogen peroxides) that are believed to also damage pathogens.
Cumulative solar energy (including the infrared radiation component) heats the water. If the water temperatures
rises above 50 C (122 F), the disinfection process is three times faster.
At a water temperature of about 30 C (86 F), a threshold solar irradiance of at least 500 W/m2 (all spectral light) is
required for about 5 hours for SODIS to be ecient. This dose contains energy of 555 Wh/m2 in the range of UV-A
and violet light, 350450 nm, corresponding to about 6 hours of mid-latitude (European) midday summer sunshine.
At water temperatures higher than 45 C (113 F), synergistic eects of UV radiation and temperature further enhance
the disinfection eciency.

17.2 Photocatalyzed processes

While Solar irradiation, UV-A in particular, can directly inactivate water-borne micro-organisms, photocatalysis
based approaches have gained increased traction in recent years.[4] Titanium dioxide, in its anatase and rutile phases
is notably the most studied material for such applications. In photocatalyzed water decontamination the anti-microbial
activity of solar irradiation is boosted by the presence of a stable semiconductor oxide (TiO2 or otherwise) in which
electron-hole pairs (excitons) are photogenerated by irradiation exceeding the materials optical band-gap. While
exciton recombination is predominant, this process has been shown to facilitate the photo-oxidation of pollutants at
the photocatalyst surface.
A photocatalysis based water treatment process can be enhanced by
Increased photocatalyst surface area
Reduction of electron-hole recombination rate by doping
Band gap reduction, or introduction of inter-band gap states by doping
Increased irradiative ux by solar concentration
Photocatalysis based water decontamination has been demonstrated using titanium dioxide in the form of thin lms,
thick lms,[5] particle suspensions and coated granular matter.[6] While eciency is generally low, the stability of
the materials involved and the absence of an energy input requirement help maintain interest in such processes, with
emphasis toward application in remote areas.



17.3 Process for household application

SODIS instructions for using solar water disinfection

Colourless, transparent PET water or soda pop bottles (2 litre or smaller size) with few surface scratches are
chosen for use. The labels are removed and the bottles are washed before the rst use.
Water from contaminated sources is lled into the bottles. To improve oxygen saturation, bottles can be lled
three-quarters, shaken for 20 seconds (with the cap on), then lled completely and recapped. Very cloudy
water with a turbidity higher than 30 NTU must be ltered prior to exposure to the sunlight.
Filled bottles are then exposed to the Sun. Bottles will heat faster and to higher temperatures if they are placed
on a sloped Sun-facing corrugated metal roof as compared to thatched roofs.
The treated water can be consumed directly from the bottle or poured into clean drinking cups. The risk of
re-contamination is minimized if the water is stored in the bottles. Relling and storage in other containers
increases the risk of contamination.
The most favorable regions for application of the SODIS method are located between latitude 15N and 35N, and
also 15S and 35S.[3] These regions have high levels of solar radiation, with limited cloud cover and rainfall, and
with over 90% of sunlight reaching the earths surface as direct radiation.[3] The second most favorable region lies
between latitudes 15N and 15S. these regions have high levels of scattered radiation, with about 2500 hours of
sunshine annually, due to high humidity and frequent cloud cover.[3]
Local education in the use of SODIS is important to avoid confusion between PET and other bottle materials. Applying SODIS without proper assessment (or with false assessment) of existing hygienic practices & diarrhea incidence
may not address other routes of infection. Community trainers must themselves be trained rst.[3]

17.4 Applications
SODIS is an eective method for treating water where fuel or cookers are unavailable or prohibitively expensive.
Even where fuel is available, SODIS is a more economical and environmentally friendly option. The application of
SODIS is limited if enough bottles are not available, or if the water is highly turbid. In fact, if the water is highly
turbid, SODIS cannot be used alone; additional ltering is then necessary.[8]
A basic eld test to determine if the water is too turbid for the SODIS method to work properly is the newspaper
test.[2] For the newspaper test place the lled bottle upright on top of a newspaper headline. Look down through the
bottle opening. If the letters of the headline are readable, the water can be used for the SODIS method. If the letters
are not readable then the turbidity of the water likely exceeds 30 NTU, and the water must be pretreated.
In theory, the method could be used in disaster relief or refugee camps. However, supplying bottles may be more
dicult than providing equivalent disinfecting tablets containing chlorine, bromine, or iodine. In addition, in some
circumstances, it may be dicult to guarantee that the water will be left in the Sun for the necessary time.
Other methods for household water treatment and safe storage exist (e.g., chlorination) dierent ltration procedures
or occulation/disinfection. The selection of the adequate method should be based on the criteria of eectiveness,
the co-occurrence of other types of pollution (turbidity, chemical pollutants), treatment costs, labor input and convenience, and the users preference.



When the water is highly turbid, SODIS cannot be used alone; additional ltering or occulation is then necessary to
clarify the water prior to SODIS treatment.[9][10] Recent work has shown that common table salt (NaCl) is an eective
occulation agent for decreasing turbidity for the SODIS method in some types of soil.[11] This method could be used
to increase the geographic areas for which the SODIS method could be used as regions with highly turbid water could
be treated for low costs.[12]
SODIS may alternatively be implemented using plastic bags. SODIS bags have been found to yield as much as
74% higher treatment eciencies than SODIS bottles, which may be because the bags are able to reach elevated
temperatures that cause accelerated treatment.[13] SODIS bags with a water layer of approximately 1 cm to 6 cm reach
higher temperatures more easily than SODIS bottles, and treat Vibrio cholerae more eectively.[13] It is assumed this
is because of the improved surface area to volume ratio in SODIS bags. In remote regions plastic bottles are not
locally available and need to be shipped in from urban centers which may be expensive and inecient since bottles
cannot be packed very tightly. Bags can be packed more densely than bottles, and can be shipped at lower cost,
representing an economically preferable alternative to SODIS bottles in remote communities. The disadvantages of
using bags are that they can give the water a plastic smell, they are more dicult to handle when lled with water,
and they typically require that the water be transferred to a second container for drinking.
Another important benet in using the SODIS bottles as opposed to the bags or other methods requiring the water to
be transferred to a smaller container for consumption is that the bottles are a point-of-use household water treatment
method.[14] Point-of-use means that the water is treated in the same easy to handle container it will be served from,
thus decreasing the risk of secondary water contamination.

17.5 Cautions
If the water bottles are not left in the Sun for the proper length of time, the water may not be safe to drink and could
cause illness. If the sunlight is less strong, due to overcast weather or a less sunny climate, a longer exposure time in
the Sun is necessary.
The following issues should also be considered:
Bottle material Some glass or PVC materials may prevent ultraviolet light from reaching the water.[16] Commercially
available bottles made of PET are recommended. The handling is much more convenient in the case of PET
bottles. Polycarbonate (resin identication code 7) blocks all UVA and UVB rays, and therefore should not be
used. Bottles that are clear are to be preferred over bottles that have been colored. For example: the green of
some lemon/lime soda pop bottles.
Aging of plastic bottles SODIS eciency depends on the physical condition of the plastic bottles, with scratches
and other signs of wear reducing the eciency of SODIS. Heavily scratched or old, blind bottles should be
Shape of containers The intensity of the UV radiation decreases rapidly with increasing water depth. At a water
depth of 10 cm (4 inches) and moderate turbidity of 26 NTU, UV-A radiation is reduced to 50%. PET soft
drink bottles are often easily available and thus most practical for the SODIS application.
Oxygen Sunlight produces highly reactive forms of oxygen (oxygen free radicals and hydrogen peroxides) in the
water. These reactive molecules contribute in the destruction process of the microorganisms. Under normal
conditions (rivers, creeks, wells, ponds, tap) water contains sucient oxygen (more than 3 mg/L of oxygen)
and does not have to be aerated before the application of SODIS.
Leaching of bottle material There has been some concern over the question of whether plastic drinking containers
can release chemicals or toxic components into water, a process possibly accelerated by heat. The Swiss Federal
Laboratories for Materials Testing and Research have examined the diusion of adipates and phthalates (DEHA
and DEHP) from new and reused PET-bottles in the water during solar exposure. The levels of concentrations
found in the water after a solar exposure of 17 hours in 60 C (140 F) water were far below WHO guidelines
for drinking water and in the same magnitude as the concentrations of phthalate and adipate generally found
in high-quality tap water. Concerns about the general use of PET-bottles were also expressed after a report
published by researchers from the University of Heidelberg on the release of antimony from PET-bottles for soft
drinks and mineral water stored over several months in supermarkets. However, the antimony concentrations
found in the bottles are orders of magnitude below WHO[17] and national guidelines for antimony concentrations
in drinking water.[18][19][20] Furthermore, SODIS water is not stored over such extended periods in the bottles.



The PET recycling mark shows that a bottle is made from polyethylene terephthalate, making it suitable for solar water disinfection[15]

Regrowth of bacteria Once removed from sunlight, remaining bacteria may again reproduce in the dark. A 2010
study showed that adding just 10 parts per million of hydrogen peroxide is eective in preventing the regrowth
of wild Salmonella.[21]
Toxic chemicals Solar water disinfection does not remove toxic chemicals that may be present in the water, such as
factory waste.

17.6 Health impact, diarrhea reduction

According to the World Health Organization, more than two million people per year die of water-borne diseases, and
one billion people lack access to a source of improved drinking water.[22][23]
It has been shown that the SODIS method (and other methods of household water treatment) can very eectively
remove pathogenic contamination from the water. However, infectious diseases are also transmitted through other
pathways, i.e. due to a general lack of sanitation and hygiene. Studies on the reduction of diarrhea among SODIS
users show reduction values of 3080%.[24][25][26][27]
The eectiveness of the SODIS was rst discovered by Professor Aftim Acra at the American University of Beirut
in the early 1980s. Substantial follow-up research was conducted by the research groups of Martin Wegelin at the
Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology (Eawag) and Dr Kevin McGuigan at the Royal College



Only forty-six percent of people in Africa have safe drinking water

of Surgeons in Ireland. Clinical control trials were pioneered by Professor Ronan Conroy of the RCSI team in
collaboration with Dr Michael Elmore-Meegan.ICROSS
Currently, a joint research project on SODIS is implemented by the following institutions:
Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (RCSI), Ireland (coordination)
University of Ulster (UU), United Kingdom
CSIR Environmentek, South Africa, Eawag, Switzerland
The Institute of Water and Sanitation Development (IWSD), Zimbabwe
Plataforma Solar de Almera (CIEMAT-PSA), Spain
University of Leicester (UL), United Kingdom
The International Commission for the Relief of Suering & Starvation (ICROSS), Kenya
University of Santiago de Compostela (USC), Spain
Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology (Eawag), Switzerland
The project has embarked on a multi-country study including study areas in Zimbabwe, South Africa and Kenya.
Other developments include the development of a continuous ow disinfection unit[28] and solar disinfection with
titanium dioxide lm over glass cylinders, which prevents the bacterial regrowth of coliforms after SODIS.[29] Research has shown that a number of low-cost additives are capable of accelerating SODIS and that additives might
make SODIS more rapid and eective in both sunny and cloudy weather, developments that could help make the technology more eective and acceptable to users.[30] A 2008 study showed that natural coagulants (powdered seeds of



ve natural legumes (peas, beans and lentils)Vigna unguiculata (cowpea), Phaseolus mungo (black lentil), Glycine
max (soybean), Pisum sativum (green pea), and Arachis hypogaea (peanut)were evaluated for the removal of turbidity), were as eective as commercial alum and even superior for clarication in that the optimum dosage was
low (1 g/L), occulation was rapid (725 minutes, depending on the seed used) and the water hardness and pH was
essentially unaltered.[31] Later studies have used chestnuts, oak acorns, and Moringa oleifera (drumstick tree) for the
same purpose.[32][33]
Other research has examined the use of doped semiconductors to increase the production of oxygen radicals under
solar UV-A.[34] Recently, researchers at the National Centre for Sensor Research and the Biomedical Diagnostics
Institute at Dublin City University have developed a novel printable UV dosimeter for SODIS applications that can
be read using a mobile phone.[35] The camera of the phone is used to acquire an image of the sensor and custom
software running on the phone analyses the sensor colour to provide a quantitative measurement of UV dose.
A signicant health problem in isolated regions of Africa is the eects of wood smoke and lung disease due to the
constant need for building res to boil water and cook. Research groups have often found that boiling of water is
neglected due to the cumbersome task of gathering wood, which may not be readily available in many areas due to
continuing depletion of wood sources. When presented with basic household water treatment options residents in
isolated regions in Africa have shown a preference for the SODIS method to boiling or other basic water treatment

17.7 Promotion
The Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology (EAWAG), through the Department of Water and
Sanitation in Developing Countries (Sandec), coordinates SODIS promotion projects in 33 countries including Bhutan,
Bolivia, Burkina Faso, Cambodia, Cameroon, DR Congo, Ecuador, El Salvador, Ethiopia, Ghana, Guatemala,
Guinea, Honduras, India, Indonesia, Kenya, Laos, Malawi, Mozambique, Nepal, Nicaragua, Pakistan, Per, Philippines, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Sri Lanka, Togo, Uganda, Uzbekistan, Vietnam, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.[36]
SODIS projects are funded by, among others, the SOLAQUA Foundation,[37] several Lions Clubs, Rotary Clubs,
Migros, and the Michel Comte Water Foundation.
SODIS has also been applied in several communities in Brazil, one of them being Prainha do Canto Verde, Beberibe
west of Fortaleza. Villagers there using the SODIS method have been quite successful, since the temperature during
the day can go beyond 40 C (104 F) and there is a limited amount of shade.
One of the most important things to consider for public health workers reaching out to communities in need of suitable,
cost ecient, and sustainable water treatment methods is teaching the importance of water quality in the context of
health promotion and disease prevention while educating about the methods themselves. Although skepticism has
posed a challenge in some communities to adopt SODIS and other household water treatment methods for daily use,
disseminating knowledge on the important health benets associated with these methods will likely increase adoption

17.8 See also

Appropriate technology
Ultraviolet Germicidal Irradiation
Water Pasteurization Indicator

17.9 References
[1] Household water treatment and safe storage. World Health Organization. Retrieved 30 November 2010.
[2] Training material. Swiss Federal Institute of Environmental Science and Technology (EAWAG) Department of Water
and Sanitation in Developing Countries (SANDEC). Retrieved 1 February 2010.



[3] Meierhofer R, Wegelin M (October 2002). Solar water disinfection A guide for the application of SODIS (PDF). Swiss
Federal Institute of Environmental Science and Technology (EAWAG) Department of Water and Sanitation in Developing
Countries (SANDEC). ISBN 3-906484-24-6.

[4] Recent developments in photocatalytic water treatment technology: A review. Water Research 44 (10). 2010. doi:10.1016/j.watres.2010.02.03
[5] Hanaor, D.; Michelazzi, M.; Leonelli, C.; Sorrell, C.C. (2011). The eects of ring conditions on the properties of
electrophoretically deposited titanium dioxide lms on graphite substrates. Journal of the European Ceramic Society 31
(15): 28772885. doi:10.1016/j.jeurceramsoc.2011.07.007.
[6] Sand as a low-cost support for titanium dioxide photocatalysts. Wiley VCH.
[7] How does it work?" (PDF). Retrieved 1 February 2010.
[8] Limitations of SODIS
[9] Treating turbid water. World Health Organization. 2010. Retrieved 30 November 2010.
[10] Clasen T (2009). Scaling Up Household Water Treatment Among Low-Income Populations (PDF). World Health Organization.
[11] B. Dawney and J.M. Pearce Optimizing Solar Water Disinfection (SODIS) Method by Decreasing Turbidity with NaCl,
The Journal of Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene for Development 2(2) pp. 87-94 (2012). open access
[12] B. Dawney, C. Cheng, R. Winkler, J. M. Pearce. Evaluating the geographic viability of the solar water disinfection (SODIS)
method by decreasing turbidity with NaCl: A case study of South Sudan. Applied Clay Science 99:194200 (2014). open
access soon DOI: 10.1016/j.clay.2014.06.032
[13] Plastic Bags for Water Treatment: A new Approach to Solar Disinfection of Drinking Water. University of British
Columbia (Vancouver). 2011.
[14] Mintz E; Bartram J; Lochery P; Wegelin M (2001). Not just a drop in the bucket: Expanding access to point-of-use water
treatment systems.. American Journal of Public Health, 91(10), 1565-1570.
[15] Plastic Packaging Resins (PDF). American Chemistry Council.
[16] SODIS Technical Note # 2 Materials: Plastic versus Glass Bottles (PDF). 20 October 1998. Retrieved 1
February 2010.
[17] Guidelines for drinking-water quality (PDF). World Health Organization. pp. 3046.
[18] Kohler M, Wolfensberger M. Migration of organic components from polyethylene terephthalate (PET) bottles to water
(PDF). Swiss Federal Institute for Materials Testing and Research (EMPA). Archived from the original (PDF) on 200709-21.
[19] William Shotyk, Michael Krachler and Bin Chen (2006). Contamination of Canadian and European bottled waters with
antimony from PET containers. Journal of Environmental Monitoring 8 (2): 288292. doi:10.1039/b517844b. PMID
16470261. Lay summary.
[20] Bottled Waters Contaminated with Antimony from PET (Press release). University of Heidelberg. 26 January 2006.
[21] Sciacca F, Rengifo-Herrera JA, Wth J, Pulgarin C (2010-01-08). Dramatic enhancement of solar disinfection (SODIS)
of wild Salmonella sp. in PET bottles by H(2)O(2) addition on natural water of Burkina Faso containing dissolved iron.
Chemosphere (EPUB AHEAD OF PRINT) 78 (9): 118691. doi:10.1016/j.chemosphere.2009.12.001. PMID 20060566.
[22] Household water treatment and safe storage. Retrieved 30 November 2010.
[23] The WHO and UNICEF Joint Monitoring Programme for Water Supply and Sanitation (2000). Global water supply and
sanitation assessment 2000 report. Geneva: World Health Organization. ISBN 92-4-156202-1.
[24] Conroy RM, Elmore-Meegan M, Joyce T, McGuigan KG, Barnes J (1996). Solar disinfection of drinking water and
diarrhoea in Maasai children: a controlled eld trial. Lancet 348 (9043): 16957. doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(96)02309-4.
PMID 8973432.
[25] Conroy RM, Meegan ME, Joyce T, McGuigan K, Barnes J (October 1999). Solar disinfection of water reduces diarrhoeal
disease: an update. Archives of Disease in Childhood 81 (4): 3378. doi:10.1136/adc.81.4.337. PMC 1718112. PMID
[26] Conroy RM, Meegan ME, Joyce T, McGuigan K, Barnes J (October 2001). Solar disinfection of drinking water protects
against cholera in children under 6 years of age. Archives of Disease in Childhood 85 (4): 2935. doi:10.1136/adc.85.4.293.
PMC 1718943. PMID 11567937.



[27] Rose A, Roy S, Abraham V et al. (February 2006). Solar disinfection of water for diarrhoeal prevention in southern India.
Archives of Disease in Childhood 91 (2): 13941. doi:10.1136/adc.2005.077867. PMC 2082686. PMID 16403847.
[28] Caslake LF, Connolly DJ, Menon V, Duncanson CM, Rojas R, Tavakoli J (February 2004). Disinfection of contaminated
water by using solar irradiation. Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 70 (2): 114550. doi:10.1128/AEM.70.2.1145-1150.2004.
PMC 348911. PMID 14766599.
[29] Gelover S, Gmez LA, Reyes K, Teresa Leal M (October 2006). A practical demonstration of water disinfection using
TiO2 lms and sunlight. Water Res. 40 (17): 327480. doi:10.1016/j.watres.2006.07.006. PMID 16949121.
[30] Fisher MB, Keenan CR, Nelson KL, Voelker BM (March 2008). Speeding up solar disinfection (SODIS): eects of
hydrogen peroxide, temperature, pH, and copper plus ascorbate on the photoinactivation of E. coli. J Water Health 6 (1):
3551. doi:10.2166/wh.2007.005. PMID 17998606.
[31] Mbogo SA (March 2008). A novel technology to improve drinking water quality using natural treatment methods in rural
Tanzania. J Environ Health 70 (7): 4650. PMID 18348392.
[32] iban M, Klanja M, Antov M, krbi B (2009). Removal of water turbidity by natural coagulants obtained from chestnut
and acorn.. Bioresource technology 100 (24): 663943. doi:10.1016/j.biortech.2009.06.047. PMID 19604691.
[33] Nkurunziza, T; Nduwayezu, JB; Banadda, EN; Nhapi, I (2009). The eect of turbidity levels and Moringa oleifera
concentration on the eectiveness of coagulation in water treatment.. Water science and technology : a journal of the
International Association on Water Pollution Research 59 (8): 15518. doi:10.2166/wst.2009.155. PMID 19403968.
[34] Byrne JA; Fernandez-Ibaez PA; Dunlop PSM; Alrousan DMA; Hamilton JWJ (2011). Photocatalytic Enhancement for
Solar Disinfection of Water: A Review. International Journal of Photoenergy. doi:10.1155/2011/798051.
[35] Copperwhite, R; McDonagh, C; O'Driscoll, S (2011). A Camera Phone-Based UV-Dosimeter for Monitoring the Solar
Disinfection (SODIS) of Water.. IEEE Sensors Journal. doi:10.1109/JSEN.2011.2172938.
[36] Contact addresses and case studies of the projects coordinated by the Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and
Technology (EAWAG) are available at
[37] SOLAQUA. Wegelin & Co. Archived from the original on 2008-05-04.

17.10 External links

How does it work
WADI - Device for Solar Water Disinfection
Plastic versus glass bottles PDF (36.0 KB)
SODIS in Latin America
covers the concept briey
Drinking Water For All (PDF) by Anumakonda Jagadeesh. Test results in Tamil Nadu, India.
Kenyans Tap Sun to Make Dirty Water Sparkle Multimedia from
Pure water for all, The Hindu Business Line, Apr 15, 2005
Clean water at no cost, the SODIS way, The Hindu, Sep 14, 2006
A place in the sun, October 7, 2009
Glass Bottles and UV Light (PDF) provides data on how much UV light is ltered by various types of glass
bottles, August 2008