Development of Household Defluoridation Unit Based on Crushed Burnt Clay Pot as Sorbent Medium: A Case of Keren Community, Eritrea

Beraki B. Mehari, Alfred O. Mayabi, Beatrice K. Kakoi


Fluoride in water in some parts of Eritrea is above the WHO guideline of 1.5 mg/L. One of the communities in Eritrea exposed to drinking water of high fluoride is Keren community and as a result, they suffer dental and skeletal fluorosis. A survey at 16 water sources in 13 villages was made and 87% of the samples exceeded the guideline, having fluoride levels 1.40-3.98 mg/L. Fluoride removal from synthetic water using crushed burnt clay pot as a sorbent medium was studied in a packed column. A preliminary experiment was carried out on a laboratory scale in mini column, with three different packed beds, 15, 20 and 25 cm depth. A flow rate of 2.5, 5, 10, and 15 ml/min having 5 mg/L fluoride was passed through each bed. The results indicated that the breakthrough volume and time increased with increasing bed depth of the column. On the other hand, an increase in flow rate reduced the treated volume at breakthrough and therefore decreased the service time. Ideal breakthrough occurred at 25 cm bed depth at a flow rate of 2.5 ml/min with breakthrough volume 7.3 L, resulted in reduction of fluoride from 5 to 1.48 mg/L. The result of the mini column was scaled up and tested in a pilot scale unit. The pilot scale managed to treat 324 L of water satisfying the WHO standards of fluoride concentration. The performance of the pilot column agreed with that obtained from the mini column and therefore, crushed burnt clay pot is suitable low cost adsorbent to remove fluoride from water.

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Environment and Natural Resources Research   ISSN 1927-0488 (Print)   ISSN 1927-0496 (Online)

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