Arsenic removal in synthetic ground water using iron electrolysis

Lei Li, Jun Li, Chen Shao, Kejia Zhang, Shuili Yu, Naiyun Gao, Yang Deng, Daqiang Yin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


Electrocoagulation (EC) using electrodes made from iron scrap is a novel and promising strategy for arsenic (As) contaminated ground water remediation. In synthetic groundwater, amorphous hydrous ferric oxide (HFO) precipitates formed by the rapid dissolution of a sacrificial iron scrap anode adsorbed As very effectively. A competitive adsorption model developed in this study with parameters fitted for As and other coexisting anions (phosphate and silicate) was in good agreement with the observed results. It is indicated that the maximum adsorption capacity of HFO generated in the EC system was ∼0.70 mol/mol. Reducing the As concentration in water from 500 μg/L As(V) and As(III) to below 50 μg/L (local drinking water standard in Bangladesh) required ∼8 mg/L and ∼32 mg/L iron respectively (pH = 7.1 ± 0.1, charge dosage rate = 3 coulomb/L/min). It was found that coexisting cations (Ca2+ and Mg2+) neutralized the HFO surface charge, promoted aggregation and resulted in greater As removal. The presence of humic acid exhibited a negligible effect on As removal and HFO precipitate settling. Jar tests showed that the turbidity of the solution could be reduced to <1 NTU with the addition of 2 mg/L Al3+.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)225-230
Number of pages6
JournalSeparation and Purification Technology
StatePublished - 10 Feb 2014


  • Arsenic removal
  • Electrocoagulation
  • Groundwater
  • Iron scrap
  • Sustainable water treatment


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