The person makes To Lich’s water to be drinkable

Posted at: WEDnesday - 14/05/2014 10:42 - post name: Nguyễn Thị Thùy

The person makes To Lich’s water to be drinkable

To Lich river has known to be “death” river for years because its pollution level is always at an alarming rate. Assoc. Prof. Tran Hong Con (Chemistry Department – Natural Science Colleges – VNU), however, has successfully invented the water purification equipment making To Lich’s water be drinkable after 15 years of researching.

From “drawing” present condition of arsenic contaminated groundwater map…

Assoc. Prof. Tran Hong Con is the first scientist has drawn map of arsenic contaminated groundwater in Hanoi. The idea of drawing map of arsenic contaminated groundwater in Hanoi came to Assoc. Prof. Tran Hong Con so accidentally. In 1996, a colleague asked him to analyze water samples in a research of groundwater quality in Hanoi. The analytical results dazed him. There were 10 out of 30 water samples collected in Hanoi were arsenic contaminated. Especially, the water supplied from water plants such as Yen Phu, Ha Dinh, Phap Van etc. contained arsenic level exceeded allowance rate.

Meanwhile, the Institute of Chemistry and Water belongs to Switzerland potential development fund have invested for him to investigate the situation and evaluate arsenic-contaminated level of Hanoi groundwater. The study result showed that in the investigated wells in Hanoi, there was 30% of these had arsenic levels above 0.05mg/l and 50% of these had arsenic levels above 0.01mg/l.

During the period from 1998 to 2000, Assoc. Prof. Tran Hong Con had been working hard to set up reality map of arsenic contaminated groundwater in Hanoi. From that map, he was urged to find solutions to purify arsenic element in Hanoi groundwater. The report of reality arsenic contamination in Hanoi groundwater as well as treatment has been published in the US Science, Technology, and Environment Journal.

…To “purify” water of To Lich and Kim Nguu rivers

In researching process of how to remove arsenic in water, Mr. Con discovered that there were not only arsenic but also heavy metals, ammonia and other toxic organic compounds. After many days and nights, finding out solution to remove all these substances was a big question. Many methods had been tried but could not provide a best result. Assoc. Prof. Tran Hong Con had deployed a key research topic at VNU level to invent an equipment filtering water into drinking water as bottled water standard. He shared that his biggest goal in the research is to help people recycle contaminated water so as to use in everyday life in rural areas.

In order to create a safe and clean water source, Assoc. Prof. Tran Hong Con had to remove heavy metals, toxic organic compounds as well as harmful bacteria in water. It was a big challenge to him. Although he had ever thought about using chlorine, ultraviolet light, ozone to sterilize water but those could not be applied for compact water filter equipment. There were thousand of materials were selected and used in his study. After many researching years, he found out inexpensive but effective materials such as clay in Truc Thon, ochre in Deo Mountain, charcoal coconut shell in Tra Bac etc.

 “It’s like a coincident, I found out the solution for this difficult problem in a visit to the K9 – a historic site (Ba Vi District, Hanoi) with Youth Union of Chemistry Department” said Assoc. Prof. Tran Hong Con. He told that in the tour, he washed his face after lunch at a deep well in the site. With his experience in researching water, he felt the cleanliness and fresh of water there. The taste of this water was sweet and tasty. “I asked some locals and knew that if digging well was in laterite floor, the water in that well would taste sweet and cool whereas digging well in mud floor, the water would be muddy and smell. I immediately had an idea to bring laterite to lab for studying.” Assoc. Prof. Tran Hong Con. said that the researching result of laterite was perfect.

After researching and learning, he discovered that silver’s sterilization was very good but it’s difficult to apply due to the highly cost. “The nanotechnology began using widely in Vietnam right in the finding direction for our researching period. After knowing that we could modulate nano silver, I immediately researched and applied for our water filter works. The nano-silver technology not only reduces the needed quantity of silver from 30gr to 0.3gr but also increases killing bacteria to 100 times” said Assoc. Prof. Tran Hong Con.

The first prototype was created in 2009. Assoc. Prof. Tran Hong Con took water from To Lich and Kim Nguu rivers to test and prove for efficiency of water filtration columns. After testing, they transferred the water samples to National Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology Quality Assurance and Testing Center to check. The results showed that these samples met the indicators of bottle water, no bacteria and essential minerals remained.

The equipment includes shell, auxiliary and the main part – filtration column. And its operation is based on selective adsorption principle. The filtration column contains 4 layers of filter materials made of nature materials and available material in country. These filter materials layers are arranged continuously followed water stream, respectively:

(1)   The activated carbon oxidation made of charcoal Tra Bac coconut shell will remain heavy metals and arsenic.

(2) Laterite denatured layer will remain toxic organic compounds such as methane…;

(3) Laterite layer covered with FeOOH nano and MnO2 nano will transform ammonia into nitrogen as well as remain excess heavy metals and arsenic;

(4) the laterite layer covered with silver nano há antimicrobial effects.

The significant advantage of Assoc. Prof. Tran Hong Con’s water filter is selective adsorption technology. The filtered water still remain essential mineral be beneficial for people. This equipment, in addition, does not use electric and be environment friendly because of closed cycle without toxic water into environment.

Nanosky water filter – Vietnam product for Vietnamese

As the agreement of Assoc. Prof. Tran Hong Con, the Nano research and produce joint-stock company has developed his researching topic, combined with other advanced techniques and successfully produced Nanosky water filter.

The Nanosky water filter now has price at 3.2 million VND, at the low-average level in comparison with other products. “We are coordinating with companies applying advanced technologies to develop an equipment which is similar to Nanosky but in size of a bottle to help people in often flooded areas having clean water to use.” said Assoc. Prof Tran Hong Con.

The common Nanosky designed in compact size (42cm x 30cm x 14cm), which is smaller than many RO water filter in market, is convenient to install and create luxurious kitchen space. In addition, water pressure created by water in high place is the only necessary condition for the equipment’s operation without electricity and engine noise.

Translated by Nga Nguyen

Author: Thien Binh - VNU Media
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