ENVR Dionysios Dionysiou  Wednesday, August 31, 2011 

398 - Novel method for the treatment of arsenic in drinking water

Tsanangurayi Tongesayi, ttongesa@monmouth.edu, Clara Abbey, Muhammad Ali. Department of Chemistry, Medical Technology and Physics, Monmouth University, West Long Branch, NJ 07764, United States

Arsenic is toxic to plants, animals and humans. It accumulates in living tissues because of its high affinity for proteins, lipids and other cellular components. Arsenic is also a carcinogen and exposure can lead to cardiovascular, pulmonary, immunological, neurological and endocrine disorders in addition to skin, lung, bladder and kidney cancers. Drinking water remains one of the most significant routes of arsenic exposure to humans. The recognition of the extent of arsenic toxicity resulted in the reduction of the maximum contaminant level (MCL) of arsenic from 50 ppb to 10 ppb. The reduction in the MCL of the metalloid requires that more efficient technologies for the treatment of arsenic in water be developed. Current technologies include membrane filtration, alum precipitation, iron precipitation, lime softening, coagulation and flocculation, adsorption and ion exchange, combination with iron (and manganese) removal, oxidation and adsorption, electrochemical treatment and solar oxidation. These technologies remain inaccessible to most communities in the developing world due to their cost and operational complexity. The main objective of this study was, therefore, to develop an effective but simpler, cheaper, and environment-friendly method to remove arsenic from water. We attached cysteine molecules onto pieces of plastic cut from water bottles and used them to remove arsenic from synthetic water samples in a batch process. The method takes advantage of the high affinity of metals and metalloids by thiol groups. Arsenic, in the form of As(III), was removed to levels significantly lower than the current MCL for As of 10 ppb by at least an order of magnitude. Square wave cathodic stripping voltammetry was used to measure As(III).

Wednesday, August 31, 2011 06:00 PM
Novel Solutions to Water Pollution (06:00 PM - 08:00 PM)
Location: Colorado Convention Center
Room: Hall D


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