Arsenic removal from water using a one-pot synthesized low cost mesoporous Fe-Mn modified biosorbent

Jasmina Nikić, Malcolm Watson, Aleksandra Tubić, Marijana Kragulj Isakovski, Snežana Maletić, Emilijan Mohora, Jasmina Agbaba


This paper investigates the removal of arsenic from water using an environmentally friendly modified biosorbent, chitosan coated with Fe-Mn binary oxide (Chit-FeMn), simply prepared with a one-pot low-cost procedure by simultaneous oxidation and coprecipitation. The sorbent was characterized by SEM, EDS, XRD, FTIR, BET specific surface area, and point of zero charge (pHpzc) measurements. The kinetic data fitted a pseudo-second order model for both As(III) and As(V), suggesting chemical adsorption on the sorbent surface and that intra-particle diffusion is not the only rate-limiting step during adsorption. The adsorption isotherms were best fit to the Freundlich model, and the non monolayer adsorption model for arsenic on Chit-FeMn is therefore proposed. Below pH 9, the effect of pH on As(III) and As(V) removal by Chit-FeMn was insignificant, with As removals remaining above 85 %. Cl- and NO3- had negligible influences on As(III) and As(V) removal, whereas PO43-, SiO32-, CO32- and SO42- anions were observed to compete with arsenic species for adsorption sites. The adsorbent was successfully applied to remove arsenic from real arsenic contaminated groundwater samples to below 10 µg L-1 suggesting that Chit-FeMn is a promising candidate for the low cost removal of both As(V) and As(III) during drinking water treatment.


adsorption; Chitosan; mechanism; competitive ions; groundwater

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