Designing an Activated Carbon Adsorption Column to Mitigate Mercury Pollution from Artisanal Small-Scale Mining in Ghana

Author: Jessica Antoine; Ema Mehuljic; Meron Tadesse

Advisors: Pratap Rao; Robert Kruegar

Category: Undergraduate

This paper discusses the design of an activated carbon filter made in Kyebi, Ghana to remove mercury pollution caused by small-scale gold mining. The paper elaborates on the health and safety information regarding exposure to mercury while discussing the collaboration effort with the government and miners of the region. We studied alternative approaches to artisanal mining and interviewed miners to identify the health risks of the process. In collaboration with Kyebi Senior High Technical School, we created a prototype of the filter with a three layer design: bleach activated carbon heated with an LPG oven, a clay-sawdust filter made with a 1:1 ration of clay and sawdust and a locally sourced woven cloth. The paper concludes with recommendations to expand the water filter project.

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