Document Type

Conference Paper/Presentation


2019 Student Research Symposium, Mississippi State University

Publication Date


Course Name

Methods in Scientific Inquiry (MSI)


Joseph T. Golab, PhD; Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy


The physical removal of particle contaminants from turbid water reduces bacteria and heavy metals and ensures greater safety in drinking water. Water filtration systems are utilized worldwide; however environmental research has yet to fully compare the efficiencies of three major methods to remove solid contaminants from water: gravitational (simple), vacuum and centrifuge, This study evaluated filtration efficiency based on the mean percent of contaminants filtered out, the mean volume of clean water produced, and the duration of filtration. The turbid water was manually created in the lab and each filtration method was tested five times. There was a significant difference between the three methods tested for each variable, Centrifugal filtration filtered out the most contaminants (94.87 ± 1,96%) but vacuum filtration produced the most water (95.8 ± 0.76 %) in the shortest time interval (27 ± 2.92 seconds). Gravitational filtration was shown to be the least effective in all three variables tested. This work demonstrates that centrifugation most efficiently removes contaminants while vacuum filtration produces clean water the fastest. However, considering the expense of electricity and filtration facilities required for centrifugal and vacuum systems, gravitational filtration is the most economically feasible and sustainable method to treat substantial quantities of water because it is easily operated and requires no electricity. The results of this project can contribute to future studies on methods of filtration. By providing data to evaluate water filtration efficiencies, this study furthers the sixth United Nations Sustainable Development Coal of clean water and sanitation.



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