Defluoridation of Drinking Water by Activated Alumina Balls

Our earth is known to be Blue planet just because it has a major portion of the globe covered with water. The irony plays so well when we say “Water is a scarce resource”. Freshwater is indeed very scare, majorly are polluted by natural and manmade contaminants. One such contaminant is fluoride. 


Fluoride is a natural element among mineral resources, sediments, and natural water supplies which are entered through drinking water into the body chain. Groundwater and surface water are the main and the best source of drinking water in India. In rural parts of India especially endemic spots of fluoride. The water from all the sources contains a substantially higher fluoride concentration than the permissible level quoted by WHO.


More than 100 districts across 20 states and over 60 million people consume drinking water with a fluoride content exceeding 1 mg / l. It involves that the daily fluoride consumption exceeds 10 mg/day. It is harmful to both children and adults alike. It caused a permanent defect in the body including dental and skeletal fluorosis, fertility, abortion and thyroid diseases, etc. However, fluoride in a minute form (1.0-1.5 mg F litre-1) is found beneficial for young children for calcification of dental enamel.


Then, how to deal with the problem?


Defluoridation is the removal of excess fluoride from water. This method enables one to bring the level of fluoride in the water down to an optimal level. Majorly three methods are used for defluoridation– Adsorption, ion exchange, and precipitation.


Fluoride removal by chemical precipitation using alum, iron, lime, magnesium compounds, and calcium phosphate was investigated by several groups of researchers. While various defluoridation techniques have been explored, each has its limitations. The alum is a popular choice for most of the rural communities but the study by Culp and Stoltenberg (1958) conducted proved that only high doses of alum can provide an acceptable level of fluorine concentration.


In 1979, A technique known as Nalgonda Technique was formulated. It involved the sequential addition of Lime and Bleaching powder (for disinfection) and alum or aluminum chloride. It was found effective, economic, and extensively prevalent in most of the community water supplies. It was later found that using such a method is associated with operation and sludge disposal problem.


Defluoridation of drinking water by activated alumina balls


In this respect, the removal of fluoride by adsorption onto Activated carbon, Activated Alumina (AA), and other low-cost materials appears to be attractive and has received wide attention. Adsorption is the property of a solid substance to attract and hold to its surface a gas, liquid, or a substance in solution or suspension. In the case of the Low-cost Adsorption material, like bone char, it faces hygiene issues. Among them, fluoride removal by activated alumina stands out as a one-sided option. It is cost-effective, high performance, and the activated alumina desiccant life is larger as compared to other adsorbent materials.


Additionally, it is can also be used as air dryer desiccant beads. It also functions as a dehumidifier. It removes humidity from the Air. Activated aluminum beads are multipurpose use.


Activated alumina balls can be employed for the removal of fluoride. It has an exceptionally large surface area and a uniformly porous surface. It imparts a unique quality to adsorb better in comparison to other materials. The life of activated alumina is larger as it can be regenerated and is easily adapted for rural usage.


The desiccant can be used effectively in Community water supplies and for domestic purposes. For the domestic purpose, it can be used in candle type filters. The hollow portion can be filled with the Activated alumina beads, and the opening is covered with cotton. In its tunnel establishment, it allows only a certain particle size molecule to pass by. So, it ensures completely safe drinking water. It can be used effectively in regions with high fluorine content. It has the potential to decrease the concentration of 10 ppm to 1.0 ppm.


Activated Alumina has been a choice of UNICEF in its water mission. Activated Alumina has been a trusted adsorbent for fluoride removal and its usage is widely acknowledged. Sorbead India has been serving trusted customers for past years with high-quality activated alumina balls. Sieves of all pore diameters and all forms are available in any desired quantity. We allow customized quantities and test sample packs also to be ordered to any place in India.

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