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Simultaneous arsenic and fluoride removal from synthetic and real groundwater by electrocoagulation process: Parametric and cost evaluation.

ABSTRACT

Co-existence of arsenic and fluoride in groundwater has raised severe health issues to living being. Thus, the present research has been conducted for simultaneous removal of arsenic and fluoride from synthetic groundwater by using electrocoagulation process with aluminum electrode. Effects of initial pH, current density, run time, inter electrode distance and NaCl concentration over percentage removal of arsenic and fluoride as well as operating cost have been studied. The optimum experimental conditions are found to be initial pH: 7, current density: 10 A/m(2), run time: 95 min, inter electrode distance: 1 cm, NaCl concentration: 0.71 g/l for removal of 98.51% arsenic (initial concentration: 550 μg/l) and 88.33% fluoride (initial concentration: 12 mg/l). The concentration of arsenic and fluoride in treated water are found to be 8.19 μg/l and 1.4 mg/l, respectively, with an operating cost of 0.357 USD/m(3) treated water. Pseudo first and second order kinetic model of individual and simultaneous arsenic and fluoride removal in electrocoagulation have also been studied. Produced sludge characterization studies also confirm the presence of arsenic in As(III) form, and fluoride in sludge. The present electrocoagulation process is able to reduce the arsenic and fluoride concentration of synthetic as well as real groundwater to below 10 μg/l and 1.5 mg/l, respectively, which are maximum contaminant level of these elements in drinking water according to WHO guidelines.