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Title: In situ treatment of arsenic contaminated groundwater by aquifer iron coating: Experimental Study

In situ arsenic removal from groundwater by an iron coating method has great potential to be a cost effective and simple groundwater remediation technique, especially in rural and remote areas where groundwater is used as the main source of drinking water. The in situ arsenic removal technique was first optimized by simulating arsenic removal in various quartz sand columns under anoxic conditions., Its effectiveness was then evaluated in an actual high-arsenic groundwater environment. The mechanism of arsenic removal by the iron coating was investigated under different conditions using scanning electron microscopy (SEM)/X-ray absorption spectroscopy, an electron microprobe, and Fourier transformation infrared spectroscopy. A 4-step alternative cycle aquifer iron coating method was developed. A continuous injection of 5 mmol/L FeSO4 and 2.5 mmol/L NaClO for 96 hours can create a uniform coating of crystalline goethite on the surface of quartz sand in the columns without causing clogging. At a flow rate of 0.45 cm/min of the injection reagents (vi), the time for arsenic (as Na2HAsO4) to pass through the iron-coated quartz sand column was approximately 35 hours, which was much longer than that for tracer fluorescein sodium (approximately 2 hours). The retardation factor of arsenic was 23, and its adsorption capacitymore » was 0.11 mol As per mol Fe, leading to an excellent arsenic removal. In situ arsenic removal from groundwater in an aquifer was achieved by simultaneous injections of As (V) and Fe (II) reagents. When the arsenic content in the groundwater was 233 μg/L, the aqueous phase arsenic was completely removed with an arsenic adsorption of 0.05 mol As per mol Fe. Arsenic fixation resulted from a process of adsorption/co-precipitation, in which arsenic and iron likely formed the arsenic-bearing iron mineral phases with poor crystallinity by way of bidentate binuclear complexes. Thus, the high arsenic removal efficiency of the technique likely resulted from the expanded specific iron oxide/hydroxide surface area with poor crystallinity and from coprecipitation.« less
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Resource Type:
Journal Article
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Journal Name: Science of the Total Environment, 527-528:38-46
Research Org:
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), Richland, WA (US)
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Country of Publication:
United States
arsenic, remediation, iron, coating