Manufacturing Facility for Activated Carbon and Ceramic Water Filters at the Songhai Center, Benin

EPA Grant Number: SU832495
Title: Manufacturing Facility for Activated Carbon and Ceramic Water Filters at the Songhai Center, Benin
Investigators: Striebig, Bradley A. , Dacquisto, John F.
Current Investigators: Striebig, Bradley A. , Appel, Philip , Atwood, Samuel , Dacquisto, John F. , Dial, Jacob , Elder, Andrew , Garrity, Dan , Gieber, Terry , Jeannot, Mary , Johnson, Blake , Lemkau, Ben , Luu, Annie , Norwood, Susan , Prochnow, Lisa , Remick, Kim , Reyes, Raymond , Shamrell, James , Shenoy, Sushil , Smieja, Joanne , Spuler, Philip , Stanek, Krystal , Stippel, Joe , Vernon, Amanda , Young, Julia
Institution: Gonzaga University
EPA Project Officer: Nolt-Helms, Cynthia
Phase: I
Project Period: September 1, 2005 through May 30, 2006
Project Amount: $10,000
RFA: P3 Awards: A National Student Design Competition for Sustainability Focusing on People, Prosperity and the Planet (2005) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: P3 Challenge Area - Water , Pollution Prevention/Sustainable Development , P3 Awards , Sustainability


Ceramic filters will be manufactured at the Songhai Center in Porto-Novo, Benin for cost-effective drinking water treatment. The efficiency of the ceramic filters will be improved by adding activated carbon cartridges to remove organic and inorganic impurities. The activated carbon will be manufactured from coconut shell wastes, by-products of agricultural production. Community-focused projects, such as this one, directly address the eight Millennium Development Goals (MDG) set by the United Nations (UN). Members of the Gonzaga Chapter of Engineers Without Borders will be responsible for the planning, management and design of the project during their senior capstone design course. The sustainable design objectives for the EWB effort are to:

  1. Design and determine the efficiency of drinking water filters that utilize activated carbon and ceramic treatment.
  2. Design biogas burning furnaces to manufacture activated carbon and finish the ceramic filters.
  3. Design the structure of a filter manufacturing facility.
  4. Reduce exposure and subsequent illness to intestinal parasites and disease with cost-effective treatment technologies that can be distributed regionally in Benin.


    The water at the Songhai Center in Benin was tested in 2004 and was compromised by the lack of sanitation and water treatment due to the high poverty level in the Country. A ceramic filter called a Filtron, developed by Potters for Peace, will be used for water treatment. Activated carbon will be used to further increase the effectiveness of the filter, particularly in removing organic and inorganic contaminants. The effectiveness, low cost, and ease of use make these technologies fully sustainable and ideal for point source treatment of drinking water in Benin and developing countries

    Expected Results:

    Pathogens, organic contaminants and inorganic contaminants will be removed from drinking water. The improvement in water quality will directly affect the 400 or more workers at the Songhai Center and will allow several thousands of people who visit the center each year to consume local water instead of imported bottled mineral water. The new manufacturing facility may provide up to 30 new jobs at the Songhai Center. Most importantly, the Center will produce affordable water filters which can be sold at Songhai's non-profit retail stores throughout Benin. These regional stores have access to over 100,000 people. Water quality improvements will decrease childhood and maternal disease and mortality rates throughout Benin.

    Publications and Presentations:

    Publications have been submitted on this project: View all 6 publications for this project

    Supplemental Keywords:

    sustainable development, engineering, human health, drinking water, educational outcomes, Filtron, activated carbon, organics, cholera, and pathogens,, RFA, Scientific Discipline, PHYSICAL ASPECTS, Water, TREATMENT/CONTROL, POLLUTANTS/TOXICS, Wastewater, Health Risk Assessment, Environmental Microbiology, Physical Processes, Drinking Water, Microorganisms, Water Pollution Control, monitoring, pathogens, wastewater treatment, natural waters, bacteria, microbiological organisms, waterborne disease, exposure and effects, ceramic filters, ceramic filter, exposure, treatment, environmental chemistry, activated carbon, microbial risk management, parasites, drinking water contaminants, water treatment, drinking water treatment, other - risk management, drinking water system, adaptive technology

    Progress and Final Reports:

  5. Final Report