Use of (modified) natural adsorbents for arsenic remediation: A review.


Department of Green Chemistry and Technology, Ghent University (UGent), Coupure Links 653, 9000 Ghent, Belgium; Department of Chemistry, College of Natural Sciences, Jimma University, P.O. Box 378, Jimma, Ethiopia. Electronic address: [Email]


Arsenic (As) is a ubiquitous element found in the atmosphere, soils and rocks, natural waters and organisms. It is one of the most toxic elements and has been classified as a human carcinogen (group I). Arsenic contamination in the groundwater has been observed in >70 countries, like Bangladesh, India, West Bengal, Myanmar, Pakistan, Vietnam, Nepal, Cambodia, United States and China. About 200 million people are being exposed to excessive As through consumption of contaminated drinking water. Therefore, developing affordable and efficient techniques to remove As from drinking water is critical to protect human health. The currently available technologies include coagulation-flocculation, adsorption, ion exchange, electrochemical conversion and membrane technologies. However, most of the aforementioned treatment techniques require high initial and maintenance costs, and skilled manpower on top of that. Nowadays, adsorption has been accepted as a suitable removal technology, particularly for developing regions, because of its simple operation, potential for regeneration, and little toxic sludge generation. Processes based on the use of natural, locally available adsorbents are considered to be more accessible for developing countries, have a lower investment cost and a lower environmental impact (CO2 emission). To increase their performance, these materials may be chemically modified. Hence, this review paper presents progress of adsorption technologies for remediation of As contaminated water using chemically modified natural materials.


Adsorption,Arsenic,Pollution,Treatment technology,Water,