Dynamic Study and Modelling of Arsenic Removal from Groundwater Using Ferromagnetic Carbon as Fixed Bed Adsorbent in Column


  • Yacouba Sanou Laboratory of Analytical, Environmental and Bio-Organic Chemistry, University Joseph KI-ZERBO, 03 BP 7021 Ouagadougou 03, Burkina Faso
  • Thi Thanh Phuong Nguyen Institute for Environment and Resources (IER/HCMC), Vietnam National University, Vietnam.
  • Samuel Paré Laboratory of Analytical, Environmental and Bio-Organic Chemistry, University Joseph KI-ZERBO, 03 BP 7021 Ouagadougou 03, Burkina Faso
  • Van Phuoc Nguyen Institute for Environment and Resources (IER/HCMC), Vietnam National University, Vietnam




Arsenic, Ferromagnetic Carbon, Groundwater, column adsorption


This study investigated the performance of Ferromagnetic Carbon (FC) as an effective natural adsorbent for arsenic removal from groundwater in Dong Thap Province (Vietnam). To do this, leaching fixed-bed column experiments have been carried out. The influence of operating variables affecting the process was studied, under varying operating conditions and experimental data were modelled using bed depth service time (BDST) and mass transfer approaches. Speciation studies showed that the groundwater contained 48.5% of particulate arsenic and 51.5% of soluble arsenic. Indeed, As (III) and As (V) forms represented respectively 41.9% and 58.1% in the dissolved arsenic. As removal was parametric depending such as pH, flow rate, initial As and adsorbent mass, requiring an optimization for optimum conditions When the pH increased from 3 to 11, removal of As(V) decreased from 96.5% to 5% while As(III) removal increased from 40% to 69%.  The increase of initial arsenic has caused an increase in removal efficiency of different forms of arsenic. The easy regeneration of FC using a molar sodium hydroxide solution suggests that is an efficient and low-cost material to reduce the contamination of arsenic in drinking groundwater.


Berg M, Tran H, Nguyen T, Pham H, Schertenleib R, Giger W. Arsenic Contamination of Groundwater and Drinking Water in Vietnam: A Human Health Threat. Environmental Science & Technology 2001;35(13):2621-2626. https://doi.org/10.1021/es010027y

Bohart G, Adams E. Some aspects of the behavior of charcoal with respect to chlorine. Journal of the American Chemical Society 1920;42(3):523-544. https://doi.org/10.1021/ja01448a018

Edwards M, Patel S, McNeill L, Chen H, Frey M, Eaton A, Antweiler R, Taylor H. Considerations in As analysis and speciation. American Water Works Association 1998;90(3):103-113. https://doi.org/10.1002/j.1551-8833.1998.tb08402.x

Elyahyaoui A, Razzouki B, El Hajjaji S, Bouhlassa S. Arsenic coagulation/flocculation with iron (III) hydroxide: adsorption mechanisms and stability constants of surface complexes. International Journal of Development Research 2016;6(11):10013-10018.

Guo X, Chen F. Removal of Arsenic by Bead Cellulose Loaded with Iron Oxyhydroxide from Groundwater. Environmental Science Technology 2005;39(17):6808-6818. https://doi.org/10.1021/es048080k

Gupta V, Saini V, Jain N. Adsorption of As(III) from aqueous solutions by iron oxide-coated sand. Journal of Colloid and Interface Science 2005;288(1):55-60. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jcis.2005.02.054

Hutchins RA. New method simplifies design of activated-carbon systems. Chemical Engineering 1973;80(19):133-138.

Jiang J, Ashekuzzaman S, Jiang A, Sharifuzzaman S, Chowdhury S. Arsenic Contaminated Groundwater and Its Treatment Options in Bangladesh. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 2012;10(1):18-46. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph10010018

Kundu S, Gupta A. Analysis and modeling of fixed bed column operations on As(V) removal by adsorption onto iron oxide-coated cement (IOCC). Journal of Colloid and Interface Science 2005;290(1):52-60. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jcis.2005.04.006

Lombi E, Wenzel W, Sletten R. Arsenic adsorption by soils and iron-oxide-coated sand: kinetics and reversibility. Journal of Plant Nutrition and Soil Science 1999;162(4):451-456. https://doi.org/10.1002/(sici)1522-2624(199908)162:4<451::aid-jpln451>3.0.co;2-b

Maiti A, Dasgupta S, Basu J, De S. Adsorption of arsenite using natural laterite as adsorbent. Separation and Purification Technology 2007;55(3):350-359. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.seppur.2007.01.003

Maji S, Pal A, Pal T, Adak A. Modeling and fixed bed column adsorption of As(V) on laterite soil. Journal of Environmental Science and Health, Part A 2007;42(11):1585-1593. https://doi.org/10.1080/10934520701517713

Mähler J, Persson I. Rapid adsorption of arsenic from aqueous solution by ferrihydrite-coated sand and granular ferric hydroxide. Applied Geochemistry 2013;37:179-189. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.apgeochem.2013.07.025

Merola R, Hien T, Quyen D, Vengosh A. Arsenic exposure to drinking water in the Mekong Delta. Science of The Total Environment 2015;511:544-552. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2014.12.091

Michaels A. Simplified Method of Interpreting Kinetic Data in Fixed-Bed Ion Exchange. Industrial & Engineering Chemistry 1952;44(8):1922-1930. https://doi.org/10.1021/ie50512a049

Nicomel N, Leus K, Folens K, Van Der Voort P, Du Laing G. Technologies for Arsenic Removal from Water: Current Status and Future Perspectives. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 2015;13(1):62. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph13010062

Nguyen P, Yacouba S, Pare S, Bui H. Removal of Arsenic from Groundwater Using Lamdong Laterite as a Natural Adsorbent. Polish Journal of Environmental Studies 2020;29(2):1305-1314. https://doi.org/10.15244/pjoes/103028

Ouédraogo I, Pehlivan E, Tran H, Bonzi-Coulibaly Y, Zachmann D, Bahadir M. Synthesis of iron oxyhydroxide-coated rice straw (IOC-RS) and its application in arsenic(V) removal from water. Journal of Water and Health 2015;13(3):726-736. https://doi.org/10.2166/wh.2015.242

Pattanayak J, Mondal K, Mathew S, Lalvani S. A parametric evaluation of the removal of As(V) and As(III) by carbon-based adsorbents. Carbon 2000;38(4):589-596. https://doi.org/10.1016/s0008-6223(99)00144-x

Pehlivan E, Tran T, Ouédraogo W, Schmidt C, Zachmann D, Bahadir M. Removal of As(V) from aqueous solutions by iron coated rice husk. Fuel Processing Technology 2013;106:511-517. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.fuproc.2012.09.021

Qi P, Pichler T. Closer Look at As(III) and As(V) Adsorption onto Ferrihydrite under Competitive Conditions. Langmuir 2014;30(37):11110-11116. https://doi.org/10.1021/la502740w

Rice EW, Eaton AD, Clesceri LS. Standard methods for the examination of water and wastewater, APHA, AWWA, WEF, Washington DC 2012.

Sanou Y. Etude de la performance des charbons actifs, du granulé d'hydroxyde ferrique et de la latérite pour l'élimination de la demande chimique en oxygène, du calcium et de l'arsenic des eaux. Thèse de doctorat unique, Université Ouaga I Pr Joseph KI-ZERBO, Burkina Faso. 2017

Sanou Y, Phuong N, Pare S, Phuoc N. Arsenic(v) removal from aqueous solutions using ferromagnetic activated carbon: equilibrium and kinetic studies. Revue des sciences de l’eau 2019;32(2):179-192. https://doi.org/10.7202/1065206ar

Sanou Y, Kabore R, Pare S. Adsorption of arsenic and phosphate from groundwater onto a calcined laterite as fixed bed in column experiments. French-Ukrainian Journal of Chemistry 2020;8(2):227-243. https://doi.org/10.17721/fujcv8i2p227-243

Shankar S, Shanker U. Arsenic Contamination of Groundwater: A Review of Sources, Prevalence, Health Risks, and Strategies for Mitigation. The Scientific World Journal 2014;2014:1-18. https://doi.org/10.1155/2014/304524

Shihabudheen MM, Ligy P. Advances in Carbohydrate Chemistry, In: Southeast Asian Water Environment Series, S. Takizawa (3rd Eds.). IWA Publishing, London, UK 2009.

Thirunavukkarasu O, Viraraghavan T, Subramanian K. Removal of Arsenic in Drinking Water by Iron Oxide-Coated Sand and Ferrihydrite — Batch Studies. Water Quality Research Journal 2001;36(1):55-70. https://doi.org/10.2166/wqrj.2001.004

Tuna A, Özdemir E, Şimşek E, Beker U. Removal of As(V) from aqueous solution by activated carbon-based hybrid adsorbents: Impact of experimental conditions. Chemical Engineering Journal 2013;223:116-128. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cej.2013.02.096

Weber JrWJ. Physicochemical processes for water quality control. Wiley – Interscience, New York. First edition, 1972, ISBN 13: 9780471924357.

Winkel L, Trang P, Lan V, Stengel C, Amini M, Ha N, Viet P, Berg M. Arsenic pollution of groundwater in Vietnam exacerbated by deep aquifer exploitation for more than a century. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 2011;108(4):1246-1251. https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1011915108