Cerium Impregnated Activated Carbon Composite as a Filtering Material for Fluoride Removal from Groundwater

Students of Indian Institute of Technology Patna, Mahipal, Hasan Ahmed Faisal won the award for research work of Cerium Impregnated Activated Carbon Composite as a Filtering Material for Fluoride Removal from Groundwater. They carried her project work under guidance of Dr. Trishikhi Raychoudhury.

Groundwater Contamination with fluoride (F-) is a major concern due to its chronic behavior on human health. In India, specific region of Rajasthan, Gujarat, Telangana and Andhra Pradesh are severely affected by Fcontamination. To address this issue, there is a need to investigate for cost effective, efficient and environmental friendly technology focused primarily on F-removal from groundwater.There are only a few studies available that focus on removal of F- from natural groundwater.

 Therefore, to address this issue, several groundwater samples were collected from the Nagaur district of Rajasthan and with an objective to remove F- from the groundwater samples using a novel composite (AC-Ce). In this study, cerium metal was impregnated within granular activated carbon(AC-Ce) to increase its adsorption capacity. The study suggests impregnation of Ce in AC has enhanced the fluoride sorption efficiency significantly (0.27 mg/g to 2.9 mg/g). Sorption of F- and along with ion-exchange between nitrate and F- are attributed to high F- removal by the ACCe composite.The performance of the composite within a 1-D fixed bed column was studied to investigate the suitability of applying the composite in a filter. Effects of co-ions are also evaluated on fluoride removal by the composite. The result suggests, AC-Ce composite in fixed bed filter media can treat up to 722 ml of 10 mg/l Fcontaminated water. However, performance of composite reduces significantly in natural groundwater. This is due to presence of phosphate and bicarbonate ions competing with F- for active sites on the composite. Suitable pretreatment method should be adopted for addressing this problem.

Dr. Harsh Vardhan, Minister of Science and Technology, awarded the Gandhian Young Technological Innovation (GYTI) Appreciation to Mahipal, Hasan Ahmed Faisal, Indian Institute of Technology Patna at the GYTI 2018 Awards function held at Rashtrapati Bhawan on March 19, 2018.

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