Arsenite removal in groundwater treatment plants by sequential Permanganate―Ferric treatment

Arslan Ahmad, Emile Cornelissen, Stephan van de Wetering, Tim van Dijk, Case van Genuchten, Jochen Bundschuh, Albert van der Wal, Prosun Bhattacharya

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

51 Citations (Scopus)


The Dutch drinking water sector is actively investigating methods to reduce arsenic (As) to <1 μg/L in drinking water supply. We investigated (1) the effectiveness of sequential permanganate (MnO4¯)–ferric (Fe(III)) dosing during aeration–rapid sand filtration to achieve <1 μg/L As (2) the influence of MnO4¯–Fe(III) dosing on pre-established removal patterns of As(III), Fe(II), Mn(II) and NH4+ in rapid sand filters and (3) the influence of MnO4¯–Fe(III) dosing on the settling and molecular-scale structural properties of the filter backwash solids. We report that MnO4¯–Fe(III) dosing is an effective technique to improve arsenite [As(III)] removal at groundwater treatment plants. At a typical aeration—rapid sand filtration facility in the Netherlands effluent As concentrations of <1 μg/L were achieved with 1.2 mg/L MnO4¯–and 1.8 mg/L Fe(III). The optimized combination of MnO4¯ –and Fe(III) doses did not affect the removal efficiency of Fe(II), Mn(II) and NH4+ in rapid sand filters, however, the removal patterns of Fe(II) and Mn(II) in rapid sand filter were altered, as well as the settling behaviour of backwash solids. The characterization of backwash solids by Fe K-edge X-ray absorption spectroscopy (XAS) and X-ray diffraction (XRD) showed that the changed settling velocity of backwash solids with MnO4¯–Fe(III) in place was not due to changes in the molecular-scale structure of Fe-precipitates that constitute the major portion of the backwash solids.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)221-229
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Water Process Engineering
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Arsenic removal
  • Arsenite oxidation
  • Drinking water
  • Groundwater treatment
  • Permanganate
  • Rapid sand filtration

Programme Area

  • Programme Area 2: Water Resources


Dive into the research topics of 'Arsenite removal in groundwater treatment plants by sequential Permanganate―Ferric treatment'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this