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19 Jan 2017

A Towering Success of CSIR

Water, albeit being an abundant resource and elixir of life, is not always safe to drink. Unsafe drinking water poses a grave risk of water borne diseases to over 800 million people in rural India, including diarrhoea in children.

CSIR has been instrumental in developing a gamut of indigenous technologies that have made water from ground and surface water sources, such as tube wells, dug wells, rivers and ponds safe to drink. One such technology, Terafil water filter magically eliminates, excess iron, harmful microorganisms and other water from ground and surface water sources, such as tube wells, dug wells, rivers and ponds safe to drink. Named Terafil, the filter magically eliminates excess Iron, harmful microorganisms and other impurities from contaminated water. Terafil is being successfully used by thousands of households in Meghalaya, Odisha, Arunachala Pradesh, MP and Karnataka.

Terafil disc, which is the core filtering mechanism, is made up of red clay, river sand and wood saw dust without any use of chemicals. The disc is sintered at high temperature with proper care taken to create the ideal pore shape and membrane thickness for filtering.  Unlike the ceramic filter candles, thin clay walls of 50-100 micron thickness separate the pores and have ultra-fine capillary openings with sub-micron diameter size.

The water flows through the pores by water pressure over the Terafil disc with the pores acting as micro-reservoirs.  The ultra-minute capillary openings prevent entry of impurities allowing only water to filter through. This is why Terafil discs never get clogged as the ceramic filters. The filtered water one gets is free from bad odour, colour, and turbidity. Filter effectively strips water of microorganisms, soluble iron, and certain heavy metals.

Filter needs to be periodically cleaned once a week to remove the impurities from clogging the Terafil surface.  Besides the impurities, the turbidity, raw water pressure, and disc diameter also influence the filtration efficacy. Terafil discs of 50 mm thickness and 100 & 220 mm diameter are ideal to obtain maximum benefits. A coir or nylon brush is sufficient to remove deposited impurities and keep the pores functioning well. This may reduce the Terafil disc thickness and require changing of the disc once in three to four years. Otherwise, the Terafil filters are effective for ground and surface water treatment, thereby offering a cost effective alternative without the need for any major long span maintenance.

Terafil is a multi- beneficial product with a long operational span, easy maintenance and high strength. Additionally it is simple to assemble and fix to the water container and easy to reassemble or dismantle in community or domestic filters. Most importantly the operation of  Terafil filters does not require electricity.

Terafil Feature Highlights

Manufacture: The innovative Terafil filter can be made by small and micro-entrepreneurs. No prerequisites needed

Raw materials: Red Clay, River sand, and wood saw dust

Equipment needed: 5 Hp Atta Chaki (Pulverizer), Manual/motorized sieves, mixing machines, Moulding hand tools, RCC platforms (60ft x 40 ft), shed (30ft x 20ft) and coa/wood fired pottery kiln(sintering)

Expertise:  Training is simple and does not need any special expertise. Traditional artisans can be trained to make Terafil filters instead of water pitchers in rural areas

Marketing: Can be done by artisans similar to selling of traditional earthen items

License: Minimal technology fee for Terafil disc manufacture

{Feature has been uploaded by CSIR (Unit for Science Dissemination), Ministry of Science & Technology, New Delhi}.


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