Arsenic removal by ferric-chloride coagulation – effect of phosphate, bicarbonate and silicate

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Courtesy of IWA Publishing

Jar tests with synthetic water were carried out in order to investigate the effect of phosphate, bicarbonate and silicate on arsenic removal efficiency by in-situ formed ferric hydroxide. Above 12 mg C/L inorganic carbon concentration, the adverse effect of bicarbonate was definite, and resulted in higher remaining arsenic concentration. At all pH values (7.5–7.8) and coagulant dosages (0.84–3.00 mg/L Fe) tested, the negative effect of phosphate on arsenic removal was also evident. In the presence of silicate small ferric-hydroxide colloids were formed, which were able to go through the 0.45 μm pore-size membrane. Compared to silicate-free systems, 2.5–3.5 times higher coagulant dose was needed to achieve the target arsenic concentration in the presence of 14–23 mg/L Si. At higher pH values the adverse effect of silicate was even more significant. All data were merged and multiple linear regression analysis was carried out in order to build up a robust model to predict the residual arsenic concentration if the raw water contains 50–60 μg/L initial arsenic concentration. The estimation was based on the following variables: PO4-P concentration, final pH, Si concentration, Fe(III) dose. The most important influencing factors proved to be the silicate concentration and applied coagulant dosage.

Keywords: arsenic removal, drinking water, ferric-chloride coagulation, jar-test, phosphate, regression analysis, silicate

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