Arsenic removal via electrocoagulation from heavy metal contaminated groundwater in la Comarca Lagunera México

J.R. Parga, D.L. Cocke, J.L. Valenzuela, J.A. Gomes, M. Kesmez, G. Irwin, H. Moreno, M. Weir

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Arsenic contamination is an enormous worldwide problem. A large number of people dwelling in Comarca Lagunera, situated in the central part of northern México, use well water with arsenic in excess of the water standard regulated by the Secretary of Environment and Natural Resources of México (SEMARNAT), to be suitable for human health. Individuals with lifetime exposure to arsenic develop the classic symptoms of arsenic poisoning. Among several options available for removal of arsenic from well water, electrocoagulation (EC) is a very promising electrochemical treatment technique that does not require the addition of chemicals or regeneration. First, this study will provide an introduction to the fundamental concepts of the EC method. In this study, powder X-ray diffraction, scanning electron microscopy, transmission Mössbauer spectroscopy and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy were used to characterize the solid products formed at iron electrodes during the EC process. The results suggest that magnetite particles and amorphous iron oxyhydroxides present in the EC products remove arsenic(III) and arsenic(V) with an efficiency of more than 99% from groundwater in a field pilot scale study.

Original languageUndefined/Unknown
Pages (from-to)247-254
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Hazardous Materials
Issue number1-3
StatePublished - 1 Oct 2005

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors wish to acknowledge support of this project by CONACYT/NSF (38393-U) and the U.S. Agency for International Development (TIES), Embajada de Estados Unidos in México and also, Welch Foundation (Grant # V-1103). Authors also would like to thank the NSF (Grant # 0116153) for their partial support for the instruments used in this project.


  • Arsenic removal
  • Drinking water
  • Electrocoagulation
  • Iron electrodes

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