IWA Publishing

An optical method for characterizing carbon content in ceramic pot filters


Courtesy of IWA Publishing

Ceramic pot filter (CPF) technology is a relatively common means of household water treatment in developing areas, and performance characteristics of CPFs have been characterized using production CPFs, experimental CPFs fabricated in research laboratories, and ceramic disks intended to be CPF surrogates. There is evidence that CPF manufacturers do not always fire their products according to best practices and the result is incomplete combustion of the pore forming material and the creation of a carbon core in the final CPFs. Researchers seldom acknowledge the existence of potential existence of carbon cores, and at least one CPF producer has postulated that the carbon may be beneficial in terms of final water quality because of the presence of activated carbon in consumer filters marketed in the Western world. An initial step in characterizing the presence and impact of carbon cores is the characterization of those cores. An optical method which may be more viable to producers relative to off-site laboratory analysis of carbon content has been developed and verified. The use of the optical method is demonstrated via preliminary disinfection and flowrate studies, and the results of these studies indicate that the method may be of use in studying production kiln operation.

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