Electro-chemical arsenic remediation: Field trials in West Bengal

Susan E. Amrose, Siva R.S. Bandaru, Caroline Delaire, Case M. van Genuchten, Amit Dutta, Anupam DebSarkar, Christopher Orr, Joyashree Roy, Abhijit Das, Ashok J. Gadgil

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

79 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Millions of people in rural South Asia are exposed to high levels of arsenic through groundwater used for drinking. Many deployed arsenic remediation technologies quickly fail because they are not maintained, repaired, accepted, or affordable. It is therefore imperative that arsenic remediation technologies be evaluated for their ability to perform within a sustainable and scalable business model that addresses these challenges. We present field trial results of a 600L Electro-Chemical Arsenic Remediation (ECAR) reactor operating over 3.5months in West Bengal. These results are evaluated through the lens of a community scale micro-utility business model as a potential sustainable and scalable safe water solution for rural communities in South Asia. We demonstrate ECAR's ability to consistently reduce arsenic concentrations of ~266μg/L to <5μg/L in real groundwater, simultaneously meeting the international standards for iron and aluminum in drinking water. ECAR operating costs (amortized capital plus consumables) are estimated as $0.83-$1.04/m3 under realistic conditions. We discuss the implications of these results against the constraints of a sustainable and scalable business model to argue that ECAR is a promising technology to help provide a clean water solution in arsenic-affected areas of South Asia.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)539-546
Number of pages8
JournalScience of the Total Environment
Volume488-489
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2014
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Arsenic
  • Bangladesh
  • Electrocoagulation
  • Field trial
  • India

Programme Area

  • Programme Area 2: Water Resources

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