Superfund Research Program
Sorbents for Removal of Arsenic and Heavy Metals
Project Leader: John Stanley Lovell
Grant Number: R43ES011885
Funding Period: Phase I: 2002-2004
In January of 2001, the EPA adopted a new national standard for maximum arsenic content in drinking water of 10 parts per billion (ppb). This replaced the old standard of 50 ppb and became effective in February of 2002. Systems must comply with this new standard by January 23, 2006. In response to the adoption of the 10 ppb standard, ADA Technologies proposes to develop and commercialize a novel, low-cost sorbent for the removal of arsenic and other heavy metals from drinking water.
The sorbent will combine novel technology from ADA to chemically amend a substrate clay material to increase its capacity for arsenic with emerging technology from Texas A&M University to bind the clay to sand or other materials that increase the porosity of the sorbent and allow its use in water treatment. Preliminary tests conducted by ADA have shown that this new class of sorbents has extremely high arsenic adsorption capacities, and is capable of reducing the arsenic levels in drinking water to less than 10 ppb from starting concentrations as high as 7,000 ppb. Further, they have nearly 60 percent more capacity for arsenic than activated alumina, and are expected to be much cheaper than activated alumina sorbents, costing approximately $.25 per pound compared to $.50 per pound for the alumina material and $.85 per pound for iron modified AA.
In this project, ADA proposes to demonstrate the effectiveness of its new arsenic removal sorbents both in the laboratory and in field tests on actual well water. The ultimate goal is to produce a new class of sorbents that are significantly cheaper to use than the current approaches yet produce waste residuals that are not hazardous, thus being easily disposed.