First Results: Innovative Solar Disinfection Technology for Treated Wastewater that Integrates Materiality, Geometry, and Reflective Panels

Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2020 Sep 8;17(18):6523. doi: 10.3390/ijerph17186523.


Climate change is having drastic consequences in Chile. The lack of water in various regions is causing environmental impacts on ecosystems, including the decrease in the productive activities of rural economies and the deterioration in the quality of life of the inhabitants that occupy the affected physical spaces. In this paper, we propose a sustainable, low-cost treatment of wastewater and its reuse as an adaptation and mitigation policy, patented in 2019, that consists of a wastewater disinfection system based on solar energy. This system can work in both continuous and discontinuous modes. The water passes through a canal of reflective material in the continuous regime, and in the batch regime, the water remains in the canal. The panels are located parallel to the lateral faces of the canal. These panels concentrate the radiation in the canal through reflection. The trapezoidal geometry of the disinfectant canal deflects the radiation and reflects in the direction of the front walls of the canal, radiating what is returned and vice versa. The fraction of the radiation reflected outside the canal reaches the reflective side panels that return the radiation to the canal. The synergy of these three considerations increases the radiation in the canal area, augmenting the elimination of the bacterial load. In the trapezoidal reflective canal without panels, only 5% of the measured radiation exceeded the atmospheric radiation, eliminating 83% of the coliforms. The incorporation of panels surpassed the atmospheric radiation over 36% of the measured radiations, and the removal of coliforms exceeded 99.7%.

Keywords: disinfection; solar radiation; wastewater.

MeSH terms

  • Chile
  • Disinfection
  • Ecosystem
  • Sunlight*
  • Technology
  • Wastewater*
  • Water Purification*


  • Waste Water