The Potential in Water Supply and Sanitation Services of the On Site Production of Sodium Hypochlorite (OSEC) Driven by PV Solar Source
This study aims at evaluating the impact of an On Site Electro Chlorination (OSEC) device, a system for the sodium hypochlorite production, on the improvement of health and hygienic standards in Mesoamerica focusing on Chiapas-Mexico and Costa Rica, as well as in Africa, Western Sahara (Refugees Camp) and Tanzania. The threat of infectious diseases and the importance of cleaned and treated water with the consequent high impact on the vulnerable population have been studied in each of the above countries. In this framework the production of low cost sodium hypochlorite through a stand-alone system powered by PV solar source could be a good starting point in improving sanitation conditions, assuring the disinfection of water and clothes, and improve food safety. The cost analysis shows that producing sodium hypochlorite with an OSEC solar system could lead to 10 to 15 times saving with respect to the purchasing of it at market price, above all in developing countries. Furthermore, the LCA study highlights the low environmental impact of the on-site production of sodium hypochlorite through qualitative and quantitative data that demonstrate how this system has pollutant emissions from 14 to 56 times lower than the equivalent industrial process (N factor). The paper describes as well possible practical applications of the sodium hypochlorite in the African and Latin American context. Additionally, it demonstrates the potential to create an impact on the social context and microenterprises specialised in the production of hygiene and sanitation products, managed by local people selling at affordable prices and reaching the poorest villages of developing countries.