Arsenic removal with composite iron matrix filters in Bangladesh

June 4, 2013 · 1 comment

Arsenic removal with composite iron matrix filters in bangladesh: a field and laboratory study. Environ Sci Technol. 2013 May 7;47(9):4544-54.

Neumann A, Kaegi R, Voegelin A, Hussam A, Munir AK, Hug SJ. Eawag , Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology, Ueberlandstrasse 133, CH-8600 Duebendorf, Switzerland.

The main arsenic mitigation measures in Bangladesh, well-switching and deep tube wells, have reduced As exposure, but water treatment is important where As-free water is not available. Zero-valent iron (ZVI) based SONO household filters, developed in Bangladesh, remove As by corrosion of locally available inexpensive surplus iron and sand filtration in two buckets. We investigated As removal in SONO filters in the field and laboratory, covering a range of typical groundwater concentrations (in mg/L) of As (0.14-0.96), Fe (0-17), P (0-4.4), Ca (45-162), and Mn (0-2.8).

Depending on influent Fe(II) concentrations, 20-80% As was removed in the top sand layer, but As removal to safe levels occurred in the ZVI-layer of the first bucket. Residual As, Fe, and Mn were removed after re-aeration in the sand of the second bucket. New and over 8-year-old filters removed As to <50 μg/L and mostly to <10 μg/L and Mn to <0.2 mg/L. Vertical concentration profiles revealed formation of Fe(II) by corrosion of Fe(0) with O2 and incorporation of As into forming amorphous Fe phases in the composite iron matrix (CIM) of newer filters and predominantly magnetite in older filters.

As mass balances indicated that users filtered less than reported volumes of water, pointing to the need for more educational efforts. All tested SONO filters provided safe drinking water without replacement for up to over 8 years of use.

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