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Electrocoagulation Pilot Plant in Ghana: Transforming the African Sun into Clean Water



Project Maji, in collaboration with the African Water Corridor, TU Delft, Witteveen+Bos, and SARI, is proud to announce the completion of Africa's largest electrocoagulation pilot plant in Nyankpala, northern Ghana. After months of planning, building, and testing, we are now ready to begin the next phase of our research and development.


Challenges in Water Management in Northern Ghana

Water management in northern Ghana is under pressure as it only rains during the rainy season. During the rest of the year, the population depends on groundwater, communal boreholes, local rivers, and reservoirs. As groundwater is often inaccessible and sometimes even saline, the people often depend on surface water.


Electrocoagulation: A New Approach

Coagulation itself is not a new technology, as surface water has been purified by coagulation for over 100 years. However, the process requires different chemicals, which poses some challenges in northern Ghana. The chemicals have to be imported from abroad and then transported over land to the specific location, resulting in high costs. In addition, the technique can often only be successfully applied for large installations in big cities, not in small communities.

This led the African Water Corridor, a collaboration between universities, companies and knowledge institutes in the Netherlands and Ghana, to experiment with electrocoagulation in a new way. In the coming years, Project Maji and its partners will test whether electrocoagulation using solar energy can provide a solution to the water issue in northern Ghana.


Solar-Powered Electrocoagulation

Our installation has a capacity to purify 1000 liters per hour, running on solar energy and without the use of chemicals. This is possible by placing metal plates in our reactors. Thanks to the solar panels, we can electro-chemically purify the water by running a current through these plates.


Built on one of Project Maji's water kiosks, our goal is to provide communities with clean water using electrocoagulation. However, our ambition doesn't stop there. Through the learnings from this project, we will be able to see if we can successfully apply this method to large-scale water treatment plants for the large cities in Ghana.


Conclusion

Using electrocoagulation, our goal is to transform the African sun into clean water. We are confident that this innovative approach will provide a sustainable solution to the water crisis in northern Ghana and beyond.

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