In the 16 sub-Saharan African countries, at least 40 percent of the population corresponding to more than 130 million people have no access to safe water. The aim of the project was to research and develop an autonomous and decentralized ˝Made in Africa˝ water treatment system for rural and periurban areas which is highly efficient in the degradation of harmful pollutants and which is accepted by the rural communities.
The purification system includes the carbon-based electrochemical oxidation (˝CabECO˝) technology of Fraunhofer IST which is based on an energy efficient highly effective electrochemical oxidation of critical substances and applies metal electrodes which are coated with diamond. The whole water purification system contains the following additional technologies: Electrocoagulation and electrodialysis for inorganic substances (Spain), Remote system monitoring and quality control (South Africa), Solar energy supply (South Africa). The project was coordinated by Fraunhofer IST.
Two jointly developed demonstrator plants have been successfully set up in Mozambique and South Africa. They can produce up to 100 m³ of WHO-quality water per day. Solar cells and batteries make the plant in South Africa energy self-sufficient. African partners are driving the implementation forward. The Fraunhofer IST is using the know-how gained for the further development of application-optimized cells.
Safe, cheap and sustainable: Clean water technology for Africa