348100 Electrochemical Arsenic Remediation (ECAR): Examining the Removal and Filtration of Arsenic in Simulated Groundwater

Monday, November 4, 2013
Grand Ballroom B (Hilton)
Rahul Batra and Edward Yang, Chemical Engineering, UC Berkeley, Berkeley, CA

The presence of arsenic (As) in drinking water is a major worldwide public health problem. In groundwater, arsenic exists as AsO2- (aq) and H2AsO4- (aq), referred to as As(III) and As(V) respectively. One method of arsenic removal called Electrochemical Arsenic Remediation (ECAR) electrolyzes iron and generates hydrous ferric oxide (HFO) which coagulates with As(V) species to be removed altogether by filtration. This experiment examined the effectiveness of ECAR in removing As(III) and As(V) from water and the effect of water hardness in this removal. Calcium and magnesium were used to simulate a groundwater sample. The effectiveness of ECAR was determined by comparing the concentrations of arsenic solution before and after ECAR using Microwave Plasma – Atomic Emission Spectroscopy (MP-AES). To examine the effect of salinity on ECAR and determine the feasibility of sand filtration, samples of varying salinity were tested and a sand filter was constructed to test the removal of precipitate and volume flow rate. The following results were obtained: 1) ECAR removed As(V) more effectively than it did As(III), indicating that As(III) was effectively oxidized to As(V); 2) ECAR removed approximately an equal amount of arsenic with varying water hardness; 3) the sand filter was able to remove all noticeable precipitate coagulants at a flow rate of 6.00 liters of water per hour.

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