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Removal of Arsenic in Ground Water from Northern Burkina Faso through Adsorption with Granular Ferric Hydroxide: A SIDA Minor Field Study at the Department of Chemistry, University of Ouagadougou
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Earth Sciences, Department of Earth Sciences, LUVAL.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Earth Sciences, Department of Earth Sciences, LUVAL.
2013 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

The need of making arsenic contaminated ground water potable is urgent in parts of Burkina Faso. An implementation of a treatment design using Granular Ferric Hydroxide (GFH) is under development. Water from a tube-well in Lilgomdé, Yatenga province, Burkina Faso, has been treated with the adsorbent GFH through column experiments. The water had an arsenic concentration varying between 99 and 215 μg/L and an average pH of 7.9. The study has shown that arsenic, predominantly in the form of arsenate, can be adsorbed to the material in significant amounts despite a high natural pH and the presence of ions competing with arsenic for adsorption sites on the GFH.

When run through the column, the pH of the effluent water drastically decreased in the beginning. However, the low pH was soon followed by a slower readjustment towards the pH of the influent water. The adsorption of phosphates and fluorides was also studied. Both competitors exist in higher molar quantities than arsenic in the ground water. Even though arsenic displays a higher affinity for the GFH, an average 44 % of total phosphate and 64 % of the fluoride were adsorbed, making them a factor affecting the results of the study. Hydrogen carbonate is also believed to affect the adsorption process but this could not be confirmed. The empty bed contact time (EBCT), describing the average time of contact between the adsorbent and the water, has shown to be of importance. Increasing the EBCT resulted in notably more arsenic being adsorbed per volume GFH. When increasing the contact time, the study showed that reducing the speed of the flow was more effective than increasing the volume of the adsorbent.

The GFH was also found to have a self-regenerating ability to a certain extent. When interrupting the experiment and leaving the column material in the aqueous solution for several days, the arsenic adsorption capacity after the break was shown to be higher than just before it. A 13 % increased capacity was shown in one experiment. Conclusively, the results of this study suggest no hindrances towards developing larger scale columns and prototypes to be applied at tube-well pump stations. Further investigations on the treatment method with GFH, on arsenic contaminated water, are recommended.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2013. , 42 p.
Keyword [en]
Burkina Faso, arsenic, Granular Ferric Hydroxide, adsorption, column test, drinking water, ground water, self-regeneration
National Category
Inorganic Chemistry
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-268676OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-268676DiVA: diva2:878648
External cooperation
Institutionen för kemi och bioteknologi, Sveriges Lantbruksuniversitet
Subject / course
Educational program
Master Programme in Environmental and Water Engineering
2013-12-16, Skåne, Villavägen 16, Uppsala, 08:15 (Swedish)
Available from: 2015-12-18 Created: 2015-12-09 Last updated: 2015-12-18Bibliographically approved

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