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Particle Technology Labs & Engineers Without Borders USA Provide Water to Villagers in Sabhung, Nepal


Particle Technology Labs is very proud to announce a recent contribution to an Engineers Without Borders USA project. Engineers Without Borders USA is an organization which works with developing communities around the world to empower them to sustainably meet their basic human needs. This is achieved through several projects including building water supply facilities, civil works, sanitation, agriculture, energy and other municipal facilities.

The Project

The Hartford Professional Chapter of Engineers Without Borders USA was tasked to design and implement a potable water system for a community in Sabhung, Nepal. They planned to accomplish this by constructing the system with the aid of village residents. Once the water system was functional, the engineers would educate and train citizens to be self-sufficient in maintaining the newly constructed system.

Prior to having this water system, women and children in Sabhung had to collect and physically carry water on their backs from several difficult sources, which included traveling very long distances over treacherous terrain on foot. The journey took hours to complete, resulting in a significant impact to their daily life.

Particle Technology Labs Involvement

Engineers Without Borders USA contacted Particle Technology Labs to help with the important issue of water quality. Once the new water system was put into place, a problem arose. During monsoon season, the water became more turbid than normal. Standard sedimentation methods were not successful due to the broad particle size range and composition of the particles. Particle characterization testing was needed to determine the particle size and concentration, as well as the density of the particles suspended in the water. PTL used their years of experience in the field to perform this testing on the organization’s behalf. Information gained from this testing was then used in the design and creation of a filtration system to effectively clean the water as it is pumped to a central location within Sabhung.

Chemist Jakub Strycharz performing particle size and concentration analysis on PTL’s Particle Sizing System’s Accusizer 780/780AD Instrumentation

“It’s very gratifying to lend our analytical services to an organization whose main objective is to improve the quality of life for people in developing countries,” states William Kopesky, Director of Analytical Services at PTL.   “It is easy to take for granted something as basic as clean water in our everyday lives. It is a tremendous opportunity for us to see directly how our results can impact a community in such a positive way.”


Since successful completion of the project, villagers have enjoyed their new and dramatically more convenient water supply. Through this improvement, they have used the reclaimed time for new purposes. Children can now spend more time in school acquiring a better education, which will enhance the future of their entire community. Sewing and weaving centers have been built where women are now able to earn an income by selling their crafts instead of spending hours to obtain water. The outcome has been truly dynamic both socially and economically for the community.

Particle Technology Labs is very pleased to have been able to help bring clean water to Sabhung, Nepal. This project also met the Engineers Without Borders USA’s continuing mission to improve the lives of those who had previously lacked basic human needs. PTL is honored to have been a part of a project that has given so much to an entire community.


A short film about this project and the people of Sabhung can be viewed at the following link.


To learn more about this project and the Engineers Without Borders organization, visit the following websites.

Hartford Professional Chapter
Engineers Without Borders USA

Engineers Without Borders USA

To read more about how PTL’s particle characterization services can benefit you, please contact us at 630.403.0127.

Surface Area and Porosity Analyses Available at PTL

The value of knowing the surface area and porosity of a material cannot be underestimated. Surface area affects the dissolution rate in powders, including pharmaceuticals, as well as the adsorption rate of filtration and purifying materials such as activated carbon. Surface area and porosity also govern the performance of catalysts and catalytic supports such as zeolites, porous silica, and alumina. The porosity of materials such as tricalcium phosphate granules and bone graft strips is also vital in the biomedical field.

PTL has several different methods available for determining surface area and porosity.

BET Specific Surface Area

The BET (Brunauer, Emmett and Teller) theory is commonly used to evaluate gas adsorption data and generate a specific surface area result expressed in units of area per mass of sample ( m 2 /g). Prior to analysis, the sample must be preconditioned to

Chorthip “Chip” Peeraphatdit and our Micromeritics Tristar II 3020.
remove physically bonded impurities from the surface of the material in a process called degassing or outgassing.

The specific surface area of a material is then determined by the physical adsorption of a gas (typically nitrogen, krypton, or argon) onto the surface of the sample at cryogenic temperatures. Once the amount of adsorbate gas has been measured, calculations which assume a monomolecular layer of the known gas are applied.

Mesopore Micropore Measurement

Mesopores are pores of internal width between 2 and 50 nm, while micropores are defined as pores with internal diameters of less than 2 nm. Characterization of both mesopores and micropores involves the use of physisorptive gases that can penetrate into the pores under investigation. Gases used include nitrogen and argon, which are physically bound at the solid surface in a process referred to as physisorption. Micropores are filled at very low relative pressure, while pores of larger sizes are filled at higher relative pressure ranges. The appropriate calculations are then applied in order to obtain the physisorption isotherm.

Mercury Intrusion Porosimetry

Mercury intrusion porosimetry (MIP) is a technique utilized for the evaluation of porosity, pore size distribution, and pore volume, among other properties.  The instrument, known as a porosimeter, employs a pressurized chamber that forces mercury to intrude into the voids within a porous substrate.  As pressure is applied, mercury fills the larger pores first.  As pressure increases, the filling proceeds to smaller and smaller pores.  Both the inter-particle pores (between the individual particles) and the intra-particle pores (within the particle itself) can be characterized using this technique.

To find out more about how surface area and porosity analyses can benefit you, contact PTL at 630.403.0127.