Development of a low-waste technology for arsenic removal from drinking water

József Hlavay, Klára Polyák, János Molnár, Kornél Gruber, Pál Medgyesi, Márta Hódi

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

1 Citation (Scopus)


The purification of drinking water containing inorganic arsenic compounds causes important problems in Hungary. Arsenic ions are accompanied by high concentrations of ammonium-, Fe-, and Mn-ions, humic acids (about 5-10 μg/l), dissolved gases, and the water has a high temperature, < 30°C. This contamination arises from natural leaching of arsenic rocks by the percolating water. New low-waste technology was developed by a combination of ion exchange and adsorption methods. It is appropriate for selective removal of ammonium, iron, manganese, and arsenic ions, as well as humic acids from drinking water. Processes were applied in laboratory and field experiments. Natural ion exchangers and adsorbents were used as sodium-form natural clinoptilolite (Na-Cli), manganese-form natural clinoptilolite (Mn-Cli), granulated activated carbon (GAC), and granulated Al2O3/Fe(OH)3. Natural zeolite is mined in Hungary and the clinoptilolite content was found to be 65-70 m/m% by XRD analysis. Optimal exhaustion-regeneration cycles were estimated and a pilot-plant set-up was designed. The Na-form of clinoptilolite was produced by 20 BV 20 g NaCl/l solution, then washed with distillated water. The Mn-form was prepared from the Na-form with 20 BV of 1 mol/l MnSO4 and 20 BV of 10 g/l KMnO4. Al2O3/Fe(OH)3 adsorbent was prepared from granules of 0.3-1.0 mm of activated Al2O3 and Fe(OH)3 was freshly precipitated onto the surface of particles. Laboratory and field experiments were carried out by 3.2 cm i.d.*15 cm and 8 cm i.d.*90 cm columns. Adsorption and ion exchange capacities were estimated for all materials. In the model experiments, up to the 10 μg/l As, the adsorption capacities were as follows: Al2O3/Fe(OH)3, 86.8 μg/g; GAC, 66.3 μg/g; Mn-Cli, 15.3 μg/g. The experimental set-up proved to be efficient for the removal of all analytes with concentrations higher than the maximum contaminant level (MCL).

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationArsenic Exposure and Health Effects V
PublisherElsevier Inc.
Number of pages11
ISBN (Electronic)9780080527567
ISBN (Print)9780444514417
Publication statusPublished - Dec 18 2003


  • Arsenic ions
  • Combined purification technology
  • Drinking water
  • Environmentally friendly materials
  • Novel type adsorbents

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Engineering(all)

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  • Cite this

    Hlavay, J., Polyák, K., Molnár, J., Gruber, K., Medgyesi, P., & Hódi, M. (2003). Development of a low-waste technology for arsenic removal from drinking water. In Arsenic Exposure and Health Effects V (pp. 491-501). Elsevier Inc..