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Treatability of inorganic arsenic and organoarsenicals in groundwater

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A 2-year three-phase study into methods for treatment of mixed inorganic and organic arsenic species to drinking water levels was conducted at a former pesticide facility in Houston, Tex. The species present include monomethylarsinic acid, dimethylarsinic acid, arsenate, and arsenite. Phase One studies reported here included the evaluation of four adsorbents using bottle roll and column flow through techniques, oxidation through the application of Fenton's reagent followed by coprecipitation, coprecipitation without oxidation, and ultraviolet (UV)/ozone tests.

The four adsorbents tested were activated carbon, activated alumina, ferrous sulfide, and a strongly basic ion exchange resin. All adsorbents removed some arsenic, but none except ferrous sulfide was sufficiently effective to warrant follow-up studies. Two small ferrous sulfide column tests, run under different conditions, removed arsenic but not to the levels and loading capacities needed to make this method practical. Organic compound destruction was tested using Fenton's reagent (a mixture of hydrogen peroxide and ferrous iron) before coprecipitation. Arsenic was reduced to 170 ppb in the treated liquor. Coprecipitation without oxidative pretreatment produced a liquor containing 260 ppb arsenic. A two-stage Fenton-type coprecipitation procedure produced a supernatant containing 110 ppb total arsenic. Preliminary tests with a second-stage oxidative process, using ozone and UV radiation, showed approximately 80% destruction of an organic-arsenic surrogate (cacodylic acid) in 1 hour.
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Keywords: ADSORPTION; ARSENATE; ARSENIC; ARSENITE; COPRECIPITATION; DIMETHYLARSINIC ACID; GROUNDWATER; ION EXCHANGE; MONOMETHYLARSINIC ACID; TREATMENT; WASTEWATER

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 1996-07-01

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    Water Environment Research (WER) publishes peer-reviewed research papers, research notes, state-of-the-art and critical reviews on original, fundamental and applied research in all scientific and technical areas related to water quality, pollution control, and management. An annual Literature Review provides a review of published books and articles on water quality topics from the previous year.

    Published as: Sewage Works Journal, 1928 - 1949; Sewage and Industrial Wastes, 1950 - 1959; Journal Water Pollution Control Federation, 1959 - Oct 1989; Research Journal Water Pollution Control Federation, Nov 1989 - 1991; Water Environment Research, 1992 - present.
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