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PROCESS OF FILTERATION
Several sorptive media like activated alumina, activated carbon, iron and manganese coated sand, kaolinite clay, hydrated ferric oxide, activated bauxite, titanium oxide, silicium oxide and many natural and synthetic media have been reported to remove arsenic from water. The efficiency of sorptive media depends on the use of oxidising agents as aids to provoke the sorption of arsenic on the media.
Activated alumina (Al2O3) has a good sorptive surface, in the range of 200-300 m2/g. The large surface area gives the material a very large area for adsorption of arsenic. When water passes through a packed column of activated alumina, the impurities including arsenic present in water are adsorbed on the surfaces of activated alumina grains. Eventually, the column becomes saturated, first at its upper zone and later downstream towards the bottom end, and finally the column gets totally saturated. Regeneration of saturated alumina is carried out by exposing the medium to 4% caustic soda (NaOH) either in batch or by flow through the column resulting in highly arsenic-contaminated caustic wastewater. Arsenic removal by activated alumina is controlled by pH and the arsenic content of water. The efficiency drops as the point of zero charge is approached and at pH 8.2 where the surface is negatively charged, the removal capacities are only 2-5% of the capacity at optimal pH.
Granular ferric hydroxide
Granular ferric hydroxide is also used for the adsorptive removal of arsenate, arsenite and phosphate from water. Granular ferric hydroxide reactors are fixed bed adsorbers operate like a conventional filter with a downward flow of water. The water containing high dissolved iron and suspended matters should be aerated and filtered through a gravel/sand bed as a pre-treatment to avoid clogging of the adsorption bed.
Hydrous cerium oxide
Hydrous cerium oxide is also a good adsorbent; laboratory test and field-testing of the materials at several sites showed that the absorbent is highly efficient in removing arsenic from groundwater.