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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 reasonably priced & point-of-use know-how to supply arsenic-free ingesting water ultimately month’s IInvenTiv’ IITs R&D Truthful)

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

    In response to a March 2017 report tabled within the Lok Sabha, West Bengal “topped the record 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. Consultants notice 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 resolution to supply arsenic-free ingesting water,” says Professor Abhijit Maiti, in a dialog with The Higher India.  

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

    Reasonably priced and minimal 

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

    The adsorbent is ready from industrial waste known as ferromanganese slag, which comes from industrial waste largely discovered within the metal trade; and laterite rock, a pure rock abundantly obtainable in numerous elements of India, by a easy chemical therapy.    

    “Low-cost uncooked supplies, minimal use of chemical compounds, 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 industrial worth,” notes Professor Maiti. 

    “About 500 kg of pelletised materials has already been ready in a single batch of chemical therapy course of primarily based on know-how developed in an industrial setup. Thankfully, we had  one industrial companion who was related to this mission by the Science and Engineering Analysis Board (SERB), a statutory physique below the Division of Science and Expertise, Authorities of India, below their ‘IMPRINT 2A’ scheme. Arsenic elimination experiments have efficiently been accomplished below 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 current IInvenTiv’ IITs R&D Truthful in IIT Delhi

    Tackling a world problem 

    In a press launch issued by the institute, Prof ML Sharma, appearing director, IIT Roorkee, stated, “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 will probably be of nice profit not simply to India, however to your complete world. To satisfy excessive meals demand, large quantities of arsenic-contaminated groundwater are being withdrawn they usually 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…will probably be an environmentally sustainable method. Thus, the method is environmentally pleasant as no hazardous chemical compounds 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 comprise irons, aluminium, and manganese compounds which can be activated to catch species of arsenic after chemical therapy solely. 

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

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

    The quantity of water could be handled primarily based on the quantity of adsorbent media stuffed within the cartridge. In response to 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 could be produced from a 1.5 L cartridge inside 10,000 minutes (if water is being constantly handed by the cartridge).” 

    Thus, the consumer will run the system based on their requirement. A household with four-five members usually 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 (elective, relying on high quality of water), and a cartridge crammed with developed materials. No exterior pump is required. The overhead tank strain is adequate to get the required move of water by 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 obtainable know-how to take care of arsenic in our groundwater, Prof Maiti says. 

    “This media price is three to 4 instances 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 on the market that may declare to take away arsenic as much as safer focus ranges for ingesting water. Thus, such a tool could be the primary of its sort in India in addition to within the world market,” he claims. 

    One other essential characteristic of this know-how is that it may be simply built-in into present water purification techniques in households in addition to massive home techniques. 

    “Present water therapy know-how is able to eradicating many different dangerous elements (primarily dangerous organic elements) besides arsenic. A cartridge crammed with developed materials could be hooked up with present water purification gadgets/techniques of various capability. So, the ultimate system could be able to eradicating arsenic in addition to different dangerous elements. Additional, the quantity of used media could be scaled up as per the requirement. The fabric is in granular type, so it’ll give very negligible strain drop to the general present gadgets,” 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 Truthful at IIT Delhi on 14 October 2022

    Searching for trade collaboration

    Not too long ago, the crew 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 the moment, this know-how just isn’t obtainable in India. Imported adsorbents obtainable out there are restricted, and the fee can be significantly increased.

    “Up to now, no authorities organisations have approached us. However some personal organisations have began to speak and hopefully know-how could be transferred to any potential trade companion. We’re able to switch this know-how to any potential industrial companion. One Indian patent has been granted and one other utility is pending on this know-how. Our crew may be very a lot fascinated with creating this system for mass use,” he says.

    Further sources:

    ‘1.04 cr hit by arsenic contamination in Bengal’; Printed by The Hindu on 19 March 2017