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Journal of Current Science and Technology

ISSN 2630-0656 (Online)

Charcoal and gravel basin lined solar still for brackish water purification

  • Nsikan Ime Obot, Solar Physics Group, Physics Department, Faculty of Science, University of Lagos, Akoka, Lagos, Nigeria, Corresponding author; E-mail:
  • Sulaimon Adekunle Akanbi, Solar Physics Group, Physics Department, Faculty of Science, University of Lagos, Akoka, Lagos, Nigeria
  • Ahmed Abdulyaqub Ajiboye, Solar Physics Group, Physics Department, Faculty of Science, University of Lagos, Akoka, Lagos, Nigeria
  • Michael Anthony C. Chendo, Solar Physics Group, Physics Department, Faculty of Science, University of Lagos, Akoka, Lagos, Nigeria


Solar still technology is one of the most cost-effective and efficient means of brackish water purification, particularly for tropical remote regions deprived of electricity supply.  This study evaluates the impacts of lining the basin of a locally made solar still with energy storage materials at an equatorial location.  During clear days, distillates were got from the distiller while its basin was lined with: (i) no material, (ii) black gravel, (iii) charcoal, and (iv) a mixture of both substances.  Compared to when no basin liner was used, the volume of distillate obtained during active hours increased by approximately 9%, 26%, and 106%, respectively.  However, during the night, the gravel-lined solar still had the highest output, and the peak hourly distillates ranged from approximately 9-24 ml, depending on the basin type.  The daily thermal efficiencies for the four solar stills were 17.6%, 18.9%, 14.4%, and 20.4%, respectively.  Turbidity, total dissolved solids, and total coliform counts in the offensive, cloudy brackish feed were reduced to the recommended limits for drinkable water.  Besides the effect of solar radiation intensity on distillate production, the heat absorbance and transfer capabilities of basin liners are essential considerations for solar stills.  A solar still, lined with a mixture of submerged black gravel and floating charcoal pieces, is recommended for brackish water purification due to outstanding distillate yield.  Alternatively, an energy storage material that combines the qualities of both black gravel and charcoal should be developed for usage in solar still.

Keywords: basin lining; brackish water treatment; energy storage materials; equatorial site; floating charcoal; solar distiller; submerged black gravel

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DOI: 10.14456/jcst.2022.11


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