DuPont Provides Sustained Healthy Water Solutions for South African School
Community-based purification project at Reneilwe Primary School inaugurated on World Water Day
TEMBA, Gauteng Province, Republic of South Africa. March 23, 2021 – DuPont (NYSE:DD) donated a multi-technology water treatment plant that will provide safe, pure water to Reneilwe Primary School and the local community of Temba, Hammanskraal (north of Pretoria).
The area’s water sources are afflicted by high levels of nitrate and phosphate contaminants, making municipal water unsafe to drink. The new ultrafiltration membrane and ultraviolet light system removes impurities from groundwater pumped out of a new borehole and can supply up to 4,000 liters of healthy drinking water per hour, driven by solar power. A water kiosk has been built to dispense it to the local community and generate revenue for the school to operate the system sustainably. DuPont Water Solutions sponsored the project and partnered with Kusini Water, a South African NGO to get water flowing in just four months, as permission for the project was granted in October 2020
The U.S. Embassy in South Africa also collaborated on the project, helping to ensure five “water champions” from the community that have been receiving training from Kusini Water since November 2020 to autonomously operate and maintain the plant.
Kusini Water CEO Murendeni Mafumo said, “In South Africa, one out of three schools do not have access to safe water and clean sanitation, putting our school children at risk of serious sickness from waterborne diseases. We are delighted that the community of Temba is now one of over 50 sites in the country we have helped in our mission to provide five million people with five million liters of safe water in five years. Our thanks go to DuPont Water Solutions and the US Embassy for partnering on this vital community-led project.”
Today’s announcement coincides with recognizing World Water Day. “World Water Day is all about the vital importance of fresh water,” said Semano Sekatle, regional commercial manager, DuPont Sub-Saharan Africa. “We are delighted to be involved with such a beneficial project as this, which contributes to Sustainable Development Goal 6 – Clean Water and Sanitation. With the right partnership approach, no one in this world need suffer from a lack of safe water, as effective and highly advanced technology is available that can be community-run.”
“I applaud Kusini Water and their partner DuPont Water Solutions, who are helping to ensure that access to clean water and sanitation are a priority and reality for communities that have had little to no access in the past,” said Frank Whitaker, Minister Counselor for Public Affairs at the U.S. Embassy in Pretoria.
About DuPont Water & Protection
DuPont Water and Protection is a global leader in creating water, shelter and safety solutions for a more sustainable world; enabling its customers to win through unique capabilities, global scale and iconic brands including Kevlar®, Nomex®, Tyvek®, Corian® Design, GreatStuff™, Styrofoam™, and FilmTec™.
DuPont (NYSE: DD) is a global innovation leader with technology-based materials and solutions that help transform industries and everyday life. Our employees apply diverse science and expertise to help customers advance their best ideas and deliver essential innovations in key markets including electronics, transportation, construction, water, healthcare and worker safety. More information about the company, its businesses and solutions can be found at www.dupont.com. Investors can access information included on the Investor Relations section of the website at investors.dupont.com.
About Kusini Water
Kusini Water is a social enterprise that builds water treatment systems from nanotechnology and macadamia nut shells. Our systems bring clean, safe drinking water to people in rural, peri-urban and informal settlements throughout the African continent
About US Embassy Pretoria
The Public Affairs Section of the U.S. Embassy Pretoria works with the media, cultural and educational institutions, private organizations and other South African organizations to enhance mutual understanding between the people of the United States and South Africa. The Public Affairs Section informs and engages with the South African public through the dissemination of information about the United States, professional and academic exchange programs, cultural performances and exchanges, and youth programs.
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For further information contact:
+34 616 353 793
“As we look to increase access to fresh water and enable a water optimized world, we are energized by this research that demonstrates more sustainable ways to purify, conserve and reuse water.”
HP Nanda, global vice president and general manager, DuPont Water Solutions
“As we look to increase access to fresh water and enable a water optimized world, we are energized by this research that demonstrates more sustainable ways to purify, conserve and reuse water,” said HP Nanda, global vice president and general manager, DuPont Water Solutions. “With this knowledge of the impact of uniform membrane density, at a nanoscale, on water transport we can continue to innovate the next generation of membranes that will not only help reduce global water scarcity, but also minimize energy consumption and environmental impact.”
“Through research partnerships with leading universities, we are able to better understand previously unmeasurable properties of membrane technology,” said Jeffrey D. Wilbur, a DuPont scientist with expertise in membrane chemistry who helped lead the research team. “This knowledge will give us more advanced control of our membrane design and manufacturing, advancing the performance of our membranes for our customers doing the essential work of water purification.”
Desalination membranes remove salt and other chemicals from water, a process critical to the health of society, cleaning billions of gallons of water for agriculture, energy production and drinking. Reverse osmosis membranes work by applying pressure to the salty feed solution on one side. The minerals remain in the feed while the water passes through. Although more efficient than non-membrane desalination processes, this process still takes a large amount of energy in water treatment plants and improving the efficiency of the membranes could reduce that burden.
“We found that how you control the density distribution of the membrane itself at the nanoscale is really important for water-production performance.” said Enrique Gomez, professor of chemical engineering and materials science and engineering at Penn State, who led the research. Manish Kumar, associate professor in the Department of Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering at UT Austin, co-led the work.
The team used multimodal electron microscopy, which combines atomic-scale detailed imaging with techniques that reveal chemical composition, to determine that desalination membranes are inconsistent in density and mass. The researchers mapped the density variations in the polymer film in three dimensions with a spatial resolution of approximately one nanometer — that’s less than half the diameter of a DNA strand.
The team developed 3D reconstructions of the nanoscale membrane structure using state-of-the-art electron microscopes at the Materials Characterization Lab of Penn State. They modeled the path water takes through these membranes to predict how efficiently water could be cleaned based on polymer structure. The Texas Advanced Computing Center helped visualize these simulations, and most of the calculations were performed on Stampede2, TACC’s supercomputer, by Biswajit Khara and Baskar Ganapathysubramanian of Iowa State.
The team continues to study the structure of the membranes, as well as the chemical interactions involved in the desalination process. They are also examining how to develop the best membranes for specific materials, such as sustainable yet tough membranes that can prevent the formation of bacterial growth.
DuPont Water Solutions (DWS) is a leader in sustainable water purification and separation technologies, including ultrafiltration, reverse osmosis (RO) membranes and ion exchange resins. DuPont designs and produces the most widely used RO membrane technology in the world — trusted globally by municipalities, industries, manufacturers, commercial markets, and families requiring clean, healthy water.
About DuPont Safety & Construction
DuPont Safety & Construction is a global leader in delivering innovation for life’s essential needs in water, shelter and safety; enabling its customers to win through unique capabilities, global scale and iconic brands including DuPont ™ Corian®, Kevlar®, Nomex®, Tyvek® GreatStuff™, Styrofoam™, and FilmTec™. More on DuPont Water Solutions can be found at https://www.dupont.com/water
DuPont (NYSE: DD) is a global innovation leader with technology-based materials, ingredients and solutions that help transform industries and everyday life. Our employees apply diverse science and expertise to help customers advance their best ideas and deliver essential innovations in key markets including electronics, transportation, construction, water, health and wellness, food and worker safety. More information can be found at www.dupont.com.
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DuPont™, the DuPont Oval Logo, and all trademarks and service marks denoted with ™, ℠ or ® are owned by affiliates of DuPont de Nemours, Inc. unless otherwise noted.
For further information contact:
Anna Gemolas, DuPont