Effectiveness of Iron Filings in Arsenate and Arsenite Removal from Drinking Water

Document Type : Research Paper


1 M.Sc., Faculty of Health, Shahroud University of Medical Sciences

2 Prof., Faculty of Health, Tehran University of Medical Sciences

3 Assist. Prof., Faculty of Health, Tehran University of Medical Sciences

4 Environmental health Expert, Faculty of Health, Tehran University of Medical Sciences

5 Assoc. Prof., Faculty of Health, Tehran University of Medical Sciences


 Groundwater contamination with arsenic (As) has been recognized as a serious problem and there are various reports from different regions, especially from Kurdistan Providence, indicating the presence of As in the from of arsenate and arsenite in water recourses. Removal of these compounds can be accomplished by various methods but they are all expensive. In this study, three concentrations (0.5, 1, and 1 mg/L) of iron filings (0.25, 0.5, 1 and 1.5 grams) were used as a cheap and available material for adsorption of As and the effects of contact time and pH as well as chloride and sulfate ion concentrations on removal efficiency were determined. Description of adsorption isotherms (Ferundlich and Langmuir) was accomplished. Finally, the data obtained were analyzed using the Excel softwere. The results indicate that iron filings show a high capability in adsorbing both arsenate and arsenic compounds from polluted water samples at pH 7 over a short contact time of 30 minutes. In fact, this cheap adsorbent shows good treatment when used at doses as low as 1g/L with no considerable interference by interfering anions (SO42- and Cl-). It appears that the absorbability of both arsenate and arsenite by iron filings can be expressed by Ferundlich isotherm with R2>0.96, whereas arsenate adsorption (with a R2 value of more than 0.96) can be better described by Langmuir isotherm than arsenite (with R2 value of more than 0.91). Results also indicate that the amount of iron added to water is much more than the standard value of 0.3mg/L set for dinking water. Nevertheless, this method has far greater advantages in terms of costs and availability than similar methods. Besides, as removal by this method is efficient without pH modification, iron filing treatment of drinking water may, therefore, be recomnended as a convenient solution to the problem of water resources polluted with As in Iran.


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