Water Resources Research Act Program

Details for Project ID 2015NM176B

Arsenic Removal from Water by Porous Polymers

Institute: New Mexico
Year Established: 2015 Start Date: 2015-03-01 End Date: 2016-02-29
Total Federal Funds: $20,547 Total Non-Federal Funds: $41,095

Principal Investigators: Reza Foudazi

Abstract: Water-supply innovation is the priority problem of this proposal. The main concern of this work is to remove arsenic contamination from water resources in order to provide economical strategies for drinking water in New Mexico. Arsenic is one the semi-metal elements in the periodic table, and it has the atomic number 33. The presence of arsenic in water resources is due to erosion of natural deposits, agriculture applications, and industrial wastes. Arsenic contamination in water is usually in form of derivatives of arsenous acid, H3AsO3, and arsenic acid, H3AsO4, such as arsenites and arsenates. The initial standard for arsenic contamination in drinking water was 0.05 mg/L, or 50 ppb, established in 1942 by the Public Health Service. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has regulated the arsenic maximum contaminant level (MCL) to 10 ppb in 2006.1 Several regions in New Mexico have high probability of occurrence of arsenic above the MCL of 10 ppb, with high expected individual risk for arsenic exposure from ground water.2 Arsenic contamination can be removed from water resources through adsorption, ion exchange, coagulation/filtration, oxidation/filtration, nanofiltration, and reverse osmosis (RO).37 While the latter is expensive compared to most other methods, it is widely used to bring the water quality into compliance with the EPA requirement. Adsorption methods are less expensive and can be adapted to rural areas and small communities.