Arsenic removal via ZVI in a hybrid spouted vessel/fixed bed filter system

Joseph Calo, Lakshmi Madhavan, Johannes Kirchner, Euan J. Bain

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)


The description and operation of a novel, hybrid spouted vessel/fixed bed filter system for the removal of arsenic from water are presented. The system utilizes zero-valent iron (ZVI) particles circulating in a spouted vessel that continuously generates active colloidal iron corrosion products via the “self-polishing” action between ZVI source particles rolling in the moving bed that forms on the conical bottom of the spouted vessel. This action also serves as a “surface renewal” mechanism for the particles that provides for maximum utilization of the ZVI material. (Results of batch experiments conducted to examine this mechanism are also presented.) The colloidal material produced in this fashion is continuously captured and concentrated in a fixed bed filter located within the spouted vessel reservoir wherein arsenic complexation occurs. It is demonstrated that this system is very effective for arsenic removal in the microgram per liter arsenic concentration (i.e., drinking water treatment) range, reducing 100 μg/L of arsenic to below detectable levels (≪10 μg/L) in less than an hour.

A mechanistic analysis of arsenic behavior in the system is presented, identifying the principal components of the population of active colloidal material for arsenic removal that explains the experimental observations and working principles of the system. It is concluded that the apparent kinetic behavior of arsenic in systems where colloidal (i.e., micro/nano) iron corrosion products are dominant can be complex and may not be explained by simple first or zeroth order kinetics.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)237-243
Number of pages7
JournalChemical Engineering Journal
Early online date20 Feb 2012
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2012


  • arsenic removal
  • zero-valent iron
  • spouted vessels
  • environmental chemical engineering


Dive into the research topics of 'Arsenic removal via ZVI in a hybrid spouted vessel/fixed bed filter system'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this