In a bid to get and sustain clean water for healthy environments, a new research believes charcoal (biochar ) could be the answer to clean water.

Not just any type of charcoal, but one made from Eucalyptus trees. According to academics from the Stellenbosch University, although the research tried charcoal from the pine tree and eucalyptus tree, the charcoal from the eucalyptus tree proved to be more effective than the other.

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According to the Department of Science and Technology/National Research Foundation (DST-NRF), Centre of Excellence in Food Security, the Charcoal water purification system is a low-cost system which will solve the water pollution problem by removing organic compounds from wastewater in urban areas.

The charcoal or biochar (named so for its production from plant matter) has the propensity to get rid of organic, inorganic and microbiological contaminations found in water.

The biochar purification system was created by Professor Gunnar Sigge and collaborators from the Universities of Pretoria and Venda according to News24.

“This filtration method could benefit subsistence farmers. And, with further development, eucalyptus biochar could be used to remove organic pollutants from wastewaters produced by wineries and the food industry.”

The biochar can also be used on the soil to improve the crop yield and general soil health, due to how the organic compounds stick to the biochar. As a result, biochar can be considered a renewable wastewater treatment.

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“Therefore not only is biochar filtration a low-cost, low-tech way to remove organic pollutants from water, but it is also wastewater treatment that is both renewable and sustainable.”

Water pollution which is usually caused by urbanization, mining, deforestation, is rife in Africa, especially in poor communities. This affects the overall health of the community, as these unclean waters are used daily and eventually cause the spread of illnesses as in the case in Chad right now. More than 11 have been killed so far due to the viral spread of Hepatitis E particularly through contaminated water.