Iron out arsenic

Iron out arsenic With iron oxide nanoparticles

The millions of arsenic victims living in Bangladesh and India have another option for obtaining clean drinking water. Finely divided iron oxide nanoparticles (ionps) can remove arsenic from contaminated water.

Iron-containing compounds have been used in purifying groundwater. By the property of adsorption, arsenic can bind to the solid surface of iron. Small iron oxide or hydroxide particles are released into groundwater. The arsenic-adsorbed iron compounds are then filtered out, thus purifying the water. This led the researchers to explore the potential of ionps in arsenic removal because use of nanoparticles could help increase the surface area.

The researchers produced ionps as finely divided loose nanopowder. Sodium arsenite solution was added to the ionps in a test bottle and the bottle was shaken. The study found that adsorption of arsenic reached maximum level (96 per cent removal) with 2gm per litre of ionps.

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