Bulletin of the Chemical Society of Ethiopia

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Beneberu Shimelis, Feleke Zewge*, Bhagwan Singh Chandravanshi


The efficiency of untreated hydrated alumina (UHA) and thermally treated hydrated alumina (THA) obtained from hydrolysis of locally manufactured aluminum sulfate to remove fluoride from aqueous solution has been investigated in batch and continuous operation. The parameters considered were contact time and adsorbent dose, thermal pre-treatment of adsorbent, initial fluoride concentration and pH. The adsorption was rapid during the initial 20 min, but significant amount (> 90 %) was removed within one hour at an optimum adsorbent dose of 1.6 g/L for initial F- concentration of 20 mg/L. The removal efficiency of F was increased with adsorbent dosage. Fluoride adsorption efficiencies increase with increase in the thermal treatment temperature up to 200 °C, but further increase in temperature resulted in decreased removal efficiency. For application in continuous packed bed column, treatment at 300 °C was taken as an optimum value. Fluoride adsorption capacity increases linearly with increase in F- concentration. High defluoridation efficiency was achieved using both UHA and THA within a pH range of 4.0 to 9.0. The adsorption data at ambient pH were well fitted to the Freundlich isotherm model with a minimum capacity of 23.7 mg F-/g and 7.0 mg F-/g for THA and UHA, respectively. The kinetic studies showed that the adsorption reaction of fluoride removal by hydrated alumina can be well described by a pseudo-second-order rate equation. Continuous packed bed column experiment using THA indicated that 4.5 g of THA could treat 6 L of water containing 20 mg/L fluoride before breakthrough. Hence, both UHA and THA can be applied for the treatment of water with high fluoride content.
KEY WORDS: Fluoride, Defluoridation, Hydrated alumina, Fluoride removal efficiency, Adsorption capacity, Adsorption kinetics, Breakthrough

Bull. Chem. Soc. Ethiop. 2006, 20(1), 17-34.
AJOL African Journals Online