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Ceramic media amended with metal oxide for the capture of viruses in drinking water

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Ceramic materials that can adsorb and/or inactivate viruses in water may find widespread application in low-tech drinking-water treatment technologies in developing countries, where porous ceramic filters and ceramic granular media filters are increasingly promoted for that purpose. We examined the adsorption and subsequent inactivation of bacteriophages MS2 and ΦX-174 on five ceramic media in batch adsorption studies to determine media suitability for use in a ceramic water filter application. The media examined were a kaolinitic ceramic medium and four kaolinitic ceramic media amended with iron or aluminium oxides that had been incorporated into the kaolinitic clays before firing. Batch adsorption tests indicate increased sorption and inactivation of surrogate viruses by media amended with Fe and Al oxide, with FeOOH-amended ceramic inactivating all bacteriophages up to 8 log10. Unmodified ceramic was a poor adsorbent of bacteriophages at less than 1 log10 adsorption-inactivation and high recovery of sorbed phages. These studies suggest that contact with ceramic media, modified with electropositive Fe or Al oxides, can reduce bacteriophages in waters to a greater extent than unmodified ceramic.
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Keywords: bacteriophages; ceramic filtration; drinking water; sorption

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Biological Sciences, University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, AL, USA 2: Department of Environmental Sciences and Engineering, University of North Carolina School of Public Health, Chapel Hill, NC, USA

Publication date: April 1, 2009

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