Water treatment, both for drinking water and waste management, is important for public health and environment. The use of kaolin in water treatment has been considered as an ideal solution for water treatment. How big is kaolin’s potential and how could it help with effective water treatment?
Vital Functions of Water Treatment
Water treatment, in general, has two functions: providing safe drinking water for the populations and making sure that wastewater is free from dangerous substances before being released to the environment. These functions are vital, especially with the rapid growth of population.
According to the United Nations, the world’s population now is three times larger than in the mid-20th Century. With the expected increase of two billion persons within 30 years, water treatment becomes one of the most vital concerns. With this growing concern over the growth of population, water treatment technology should become a major concern.
Kaolin has a good potential to support the water treatment industry, especially when incorporated in the steps of water treatment.
How Water Treatment Works
Before delving into the role of kaolin in water treatment, we should understand the main steps in water treatment. They are:
The coagulation process involves adding chemicals with positive charges like salt or iron, which bind the particles and dirt in the water to form larger particles.
The flocculation process uses water and other chemicals, which are stirred in the treated water. The goal is to form even larger particles called flocs, which are the combination of the smaller particles of the previous step.
Sedimentation is the process where the formed flocs sink to the bottom of a water container, due to their heavier weights.
Filtration happens when the water on top goes through several layers of filters. Each of them has a different density to properly filter all particles. Water treatment facilities usually use fine filter layers and active charcoal to create better water quality with no odor.
In disinfection, the water treatment facility adds chemicals that kill bacteria, viruses, parasites, and other harmful organisms. Other disinfection methods include ozone and UV light exposure.
So where does kaolin play a part during this process? The answer: its potential chemical absorption power.
Kaolin’s Potentials in Industries’ Wastewater Management
The use of kaolin in water treatment has become a subject of several studies, especially the ones about wastewater management.
In a 2019 paper of a joint study by researchers from Nigeria and the U.S, kaolin was shown as a potential natural absorbent for wastewater management in Nigeria’s tanning industry. Since the tanning industry produces highly polluted wastewater, kaolin was added in an experiment to absorb substances that could be dangerous for the environment.
During the study, researchers found that kaolin absorbed chemicals like sulfate, chloride, cadmium, zinc, and chromium from the wastewater. It also reduced the level of alkalinity, which helps balancing the water pH and making the treatment process smoother.
Kaolin Potentials for Drinking Water Treatment
What about drinking water? Kaolin also shows potential in the treatment for potable water. A 2020 study conducted in Ethiopia showed that kaolin has the potential to absorb fluoride during water treatment. The study itself was conducted on the water from the Rift Valley region, known for having high levels of fluoride.
The study also compared various types of absorbent materials aside from kaolin clay, such as red mud, bone char, quartz, activated carbon, and bentonite. The result showed that kaolin clay had the most favorable result, especially since it is widely available, cost-effective, and environmentally-friendly.
Investing in Kaolin for Water Treatment
Water treatments, both for drinking and waste management, opens a wide door for kaolin investment opportunities.
We can glean from the two studies that kaolin has a bright future as a material for water treatment, with these reasons:
- Safe and Environmentally-Friendly
Kaolin deposits are available naturally, and this material does not leave harmful waste or traces in the environment. You can market it as a safe, sustainable way to conduct water treatment.
- Effective in Absorbing Harmful Materials
Kaolin shows a good absorbing quality, which is helpful in getting rid of harmful substances from water. It is also good in removing fluoride from drinking water.
- Available for Various Industries
You get wide opportunities to partner and collaborate with various industries. Since wastewater management and regular water treatment are standards in many industries, you can approach them to offer kaolin as a material for proper treatment.
- Easy to Utilize
Utilizing kaolin clay’s benefits is not overly complicated. The previous studies showed that kaolin can be turned into fine particles to be mixed with water, or incorporated on the fine filtration layers. Kaolin as a water treatment solution is not some kind of niche, exclusive technology that only a few can use or benefit from.
Interested in investing in the use of kaolin in water treatment? Work with Yukami, your solution for high-quality kaolin suppliers. We provide kaolin in the forms of lump, noodle, powder, and many more, suitable for various investment plans you need. Contact us and start building your dream in investing in kaolin for water treatment.