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IIT Prof’s Tech to Kill Arsenic in Water is 4 Occasions Cheaper than Imports


(Above picture of IIT Roorkee researchers showcasing their inexpensive & point-of-use know-how to supply arsenic-free ingesting water ultimately month’s IInvenTiv’ IITs R&D Honest)

Abhijit Maiti, affiliate professor on the Division of Polymer and Course of Engineering, IIT-Roorkee, comes from a state the place hundreds of thousands of his fellow residents undergo from consuming arsenic contaminated groundwater. 

In keeping with a March 2017 report tabled within the Lok Sabha, West Bengal “topped the checklist in India” with greater than 1.04 crore arsenic-affected individuals. The presence of arsenic in groundwater additionally has a deleterious impact on meals crops grown within the state. Specialists observe that power publicity to arsenic could cause not solely cancerous well being results, however non-cancerous ones too.   

“Moreover, arsenic contamination in groundwater is discovered in lots of different states these days. That motivated me to discover a cheaper and efficient answer to supply arsenic-free ingesting water,” says Professor Abhijit Maiti, in a dialog with The Higher India.  

Underneath his management, a staff of researchers at IIT-Roorkee has developed a easy and inexpensive point-of-use know-how that may efficiently take away arsenic beneath an actual contaminated water surroundings. This answer to supply arsenic-free ingesting water may also take away different heavy metals like lead, copper, iron, and manganese. 

Inexpensive and minimal 

The researchers have developed a novel mechanism that may soak up two of essentially the most hazardous arsenic species of arsenite — As (III) and arsenate As(V) —  together with different heavy metallic ions. 

The adsorbent is ready from industrial waste referred to as ferromanganese slag, which comes from industrial waste largely discovered within the metal trade; and laterite rock, a pure rock abundantly accessible in several elements of India, by way of a easy chemical remedy.    

“Low-cost uncooked supplies, minimal use of chemical substances, and the benefit of scalability of the elimination course of — these are the three pillars of this innovation. Environmental sustainability is at its coronary heart, provided that ferromanganese slag has little business worth,” notes Professor Maiti. 

“About 500 kg of pelletised materials has already been ready in a single batch of chemical remedy course of primarily based on know-how developed in an industrial setup. Luckily, we had  one industrial associate who was related to this challenge by way of the Science and Engineering Analysis Board (SERB), a statutory physique beneath the Division of Science and Expertise, Authorities of India, beneath their ‘IMPRINT 2A’ scheme. Arsenic elimination experiments have efficiently been completed beneath actual arsenic-contaminated water environments,” he provides. 

IIT Roorkee Professor's team develops tech that removes arsenic to purify drinking water.
IIT Roorkee researchers explaining their their know-how to guests on the latest IInvenTiv’ IITs R&D Honest in IIT Delhi

Tackling a world problem 

In a press launch issued by the institute, Prof ML Sharma, performing director, IIT Roorkee, mentioned, “Arsenic contamination is taken into account a world drawback, as many from America and Africa are affected by this and different heavy metals within the aquifer. This innovation might be of nice profit not simply to India, however to the whole world. To fulfill excessive meals demand, large quantities of arsenic-contaminated groundwater are being withdrawn and so they trigger floor water contamination with arsenic.”

Prof Akshay Dvivedi, the dean of  Sponsored Analysis and Industrial Consultancy (SRIC) at IIT Roorkee, additionally famous within the press launch, “The administration of ferromanganese slag presents a problem for trade and the nation. So, [its] utilisation…might be an environmentally sustainable strategy. Thus, the method is environmentally pleasant as no hazardous chemical substances are concerned within the manufacturing course of.”

Composition of this innovation

The unique types of the 2 uncooked supplies — laterite rock and ferromanganese slag — discovered on this absorbent include irons, aluminium, and manganese compounds which can be activated to catch species of arsenic after chemical remedy solely. 

“The massive floor space and great amount of hydroxyl teams of this closing media [collection of substances] can simply catch arsenic species from water. The ultimate absorbent is available in granular type and may be poured within the cartridge,” explains Prof Maiti. 

He continues, “The stuffed cartridge may be fitted to any current water purification system to catch arsenic. The water with arsenic focus of 400 elements per billion (ppb) may be handed by way of this cartridge and closing water arsenic focus can be lower than 0 to 10 ppb. Different heavy metals like lead, copper, iron, and manganese may be eliminated utilizing this adsorbent,” explains Professor Maiti.

The quantity of water can be handled primarily based on the quantity of adsorbent media stuffed within the cartridge. In keeping with Professor Maiti, “The 1.5 litre (L) quantity of media within the cartridge is able to producing 8,000 litre arsenic free water. These 8,000 L may be produced from a 1.5 L cartridge inside 10,000 minutes (if water is being constantly handed by way of the cartridge).” 

Thus, the consumer will run the system based on their requirement. A household with four-five members typically requires 20 to 25 L water for ingesting and cooking functions per day. 

“To provide this quantity of water, we have to run it for a most of 20 to 25 minutes. The elements of this point-of-use system are one sand filter cartridge, one carbon filter cartridge, 10 L water storage system, a UV lamp (non-obligatory, relying on high quality of water), and a cartridge crammed with developed materials. No exterior pump is required. The overhead tank stress is enough to get the required stream of water by way of a media-filled cartridge. This know-how has been developed after steady analysis efforts extending about 10 years,” he provides. 

‘A primary of its sort in India’ 

As uncooked supplies are cheaper, supplies developed are less expensive than commercially accessible know-how to cope with arsenic in our groundwater, Prof Maiti says. 

“This media price is three to 4 occasions decrease than imported adsorbent. Additional, this media can oxidise essentially the most difficult-to-remove arsenic species, particularly arsenite (As(III) species), whereas different imported media can’t oxidise arsenite. Additional, no full system is obtainable that may declare to take away arsenic as much as safer focus ranges for ingesting water. Thus, such a tool can be the primary of its sort in India in addition to within the international market,” he claims. 

One other necessary function of this know-how is that it may be simply built-in into current water purification methods in households in addition to giant home methods. 

“Present water remedy know-how is able to eradicating many different dangerous elements (primarily dangerous organic elements) besides arsenic. A cartridge crammed with developed materials may be hooked up with current water purification units/methods of various capability. So, the ultimate system can be able to eradicating arsenic in addition to different dangerous elements. Additional, the quantity of used media may be scaled up as per the requirement. The fabric is in granular type, so it is going to give very negligible stress drop to the general current units,” he says.  

IIT Roorkee Professor Abhijit Maiti's team develops tech that removes arsenic to purify drinking water.
An IIT Roorkee researcher addressing ‘IInvenTiv’ IITs R&D Honest at IIT Delhi on 14 October 2022

Looking for trade collaboration

Not too long ago, the staff at IIT-Roorkee employed a prototype of this know-how on groundwater with an preliminary arsenic focus of 100-200 µg/L (microgram/litre). With contact time of about two minutes with the absorbent, round 250-300 L of water was produced with an arsenic focus of lower than 10 µg/L (most restrict set by the WHO).

At present, this know-how isn’t accessible in India. Imported adsorbents accessible available in the market are restricted, and the price can be significantly increased.

“So far, no authorities organisations have approached us. However some non-public organisations have began to speak and hopefully know-how can be transferred to any potential trade associate. We’re able to switch this know-how to any potential industrial associate. One Indian patent has been granted and one other software is pending on this know-how. Our staff could be very a lot excited by creating this system for mass use,” he says.

Further sources:
‘1.04 cr hit by arsenic contamination in Bengal’; Revealed by The Hindu on 19 March 2017 



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