Carwash Effluent Treatment in Kumasi, Ghana

At the end of last year, I applied for an abroad final bachelor's degree project (BEP). Through professor Rietveld of the Department of Water Treatment, and his contact person Mr Monney, I had the opportunity to participate in a water treatment project in Kumasi, Ghana. Together with two fellow students from Delft University of Technology, we were allowed to strengthen the current PhD project of Mr. Monney.

In general, these BEP projects are very theoretical. However, this project included researching AND designing a still non-existent water treatment system for contaminated carwash water. This gave us the ideal opportunity to combine theory with practice. The pictures below illustrate a typical Ghanaian carwash station and the wastewater that we have collected which our purpose was to purify.

Having completed all necessary preparations and research in the summer, we were ready for the subsequent 9 weeks in Ghana to work on the project. Despite our good preparation and pleasant flight, this project began all but flawless. One of my two fellow students was soon forced to return to the Netherlands due to personal circumstances. As a result we, my remaining fellow student Hilco IJzer and I, had to completely revise our strategy for our project.

After some time, when acclimated to the temperature, the locals and country, our project finally started to take off. Although the local resources in Ghana are limited and we regularly had to deal with setbacks, we adapted well and came up with fast inventive solutions.

Unfortunately there was one obstacle too great and had wiped us out for a couple of weeks. Thinking that I had caught a bad case of the flu, our local supervisor reacted instantly and brought me to the hospital for further investigation. From blood tests was clear that the parasite Plasmodium Falciparium (a.k.a. malaria) knocked me out. It didn’t take long before the same thing happened to Hilco, but luckily we both recovered.

Once back on our feet we managed to successfully complete the project. The many hours spent in the lab had paid off. Our local supervisor is determined to extend this prototype with a similar system at all carwash station in Ghana. In the pictures below our self-built water purification system and the result are visible.

With reference to our local guidance by Isaac Monney, Hilco and I could not have gotten it any better. He has given us a warm welcome and accompanied us in the project and throughout the country, for this we are very grateful.

After 9 beautiful and educative weeks we returned to the cold Netherlands. We arrived early in the morning and went straight to Delft for our presentation to officially end our BEP.

Hugo Nota

Hilco and I still have contact with Isaac Monney and intent to pursue this. If you want to have a better indication of this project, please watch the video below that was put together by Mr Monney.

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