Sustainable Bio-Adsorbent for Treatment of Nitrate, Fluoride and TDS in Groundwater

Main Article Content

Anupam Singhal
Rajiv Gupta
Arun Singh


The quality of groundwater and surface water bodies have been analyzed globally and showed that 23% of primary drinking water sources have more than permissible limits of pollutants’ concentration. A major part of the world suffers from high concentrations of Nitrate, Fluoride and total dissolved solids (TDS) in drinking water. Therefore, the present work focuses on the treatment of these three parameters. There are many processes available to remove and reduce the higher concentration of the aforesaid pollutants in water with advantages and disadvantages. One of the main disadvantages of these processes is the sustainability and availability of treating materials. In this regard, the work explores different agricultural materials (nine to be exact) for reduction of Fluoride, Nitrate and TDS in water. It is found that most of the materials have the potential to reduce either of one contaminant. However, only potato gel has shown potential in reduction of all three contaminants', i.e. Fluoride, Nitrate and TDS, concentration. The Isotherm plots indicate that Nitrate and TDS biosorption mechanism follows the Langmuir Isotherm while Fluoride biosorption follows the Freundlich Isotherm. Optimization is carried out, using batch and continuous study, in terms of time and mass of adsorbent against the concentration of the contaminant. Adsorption column tests indicate the reduction of 89%, 92% and 86% in the concentration of Fluoride, Nitrate and TDS respectively by potato gel.

Nitrate, fluoride and TDS, bio-adsorbent, potato gel, langmuir isotherm, freundlich isotherm, optimization

Article Details

How to Cite
Singhal, A., Gupta, R., & Singh, A. (2019). Sustainable Bio-Adsorbent for Treatment of Nitrate, Fluoride and TDS in Groundwater. International Research Journal of Pure and Applied Chemistry, 19(1), 1-11.
Original Research Article

Article Metrics


Montgomery JM. Water treatment principles and design. John Wiley & Sons Inc., New York, N.Y. 1985;696.

Croll BT, Hayes CR. Nitrate and water supplies in the United Kingdom. Environment. Pollution. 1988;50:163- 187.

Fried JJ. Nitrates and their control in EEC aquatic environment. Nitrate contamination: exposure, consequency and control. (ed.: I. Bogardi and R. D. Kuzelka), Springer-Verlag, Berlin, Germany. 1991;3-11.

Nixon N. English water utility tackles nitrate removal. Water Engineering Management. 1992;139:27-28.

Briskin JS. Pesticides, nitrates found in US wells. Chemical Engg. News. 1991;46:46-50.

WHO. Nutrients in drinking water (ISBN 92 4 159398 9). World Health Organization Geneva. 2005;322.

Miller JE. Review of water resources and desalination technologies. Report: 2003-0800. 2003;25.

Fraser P, Chilvers C, Beral V, Hill MJ. Nitrate and human cancer: a review of the evidence. Int. J. Epidemiology. 1980;19(1):3-11.

Mirvish SS. Role of N-nitroso compounds and N-nitrosation in etiology of gastric, esophageal, nasopharyngeal and bladder Cancer. Cancer Letter. 1995;93:17-48.

ATSDR. Toxicological profile for fluorides, hydrogen fluoride, and fluorine. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service: Atlanta, GA. 2003;2-132.

Public Health England. Delivering better oral health: an evidence-based toolkit for prevention (3rd ed.). London. 2014;6-35.

Health effects of water fluoridation: A review of the scientific evidence. (ISBN- 978-1-877317-08-8), Published by Royal Society of New Zealand. 2014;22-55.

Rozelle LT. Potential human health effects due to consumption of high purity water: Highlight investigation. Presented at Annual Water Quality Association Conference. 1993;47.

Rozelle LT. All in the body’s balance – Ill health effects are not connected to consumption of low TDS water. Water Technology. 1997;20:126-132.

Guyton Arthur L. Textbook of medical physiology. (11th Edition), W.B. Saunders Company, Philadelphia. 2006;258.

Punmia BC, Jain AK, Arun K. Jain. Environmental engineering: Water engineering (2nd ed., reprint). Laxmi publications, New Delhi. 2012;530.

ENAM. Facility classification standards. Standards under Environment Act, Environment & Natural Area Management (ENAM) Nova Scotta. 2009;10.

Luo J, Wu C, Xu T, Wu Y. Diffusion dialysis-concept, principle and applications. Journal of Membrane Science. 2011;366:1–16.

Al-Subaie KZ. Precise way to select a desalination technology. Desalination. 2007;206:29–35.

Della Rocca C, Belgiorno V, Meriç S. Overview of in-situ applicable nitrate removal processes. Desalination. 2007;204:46–62.

Brown MD, Aaron G. The effect of the point of use water conditioning systems on community fluoridated water. Pediatric Dentistry. 1991;13:35- 38.

Reeb Jim, Mike Milota. Moisture content by the oven-dry method for industrial a testing. WDKA. 1999;66-74.

Hans Dieter Belitz, Werner Grosch, Peter Schieberle. Food chemistry (3rd ed.). Springer. 2004;318-323.

Velasquez L, Dussan J. Biosorption and bioaccumulation of heavy metals on dead and living biomass of Bacillus sphaericus. J. Hazard. Mater. 2009; 167(3):713–716.

Ahalya N, Ramachandra TV, Kanamadi RD. Biosorption of heavy metals. Research Journal of Chemistry and Environment. 2003;7(4):61-71.

APHA. Standard methods for the examination of water and wastewater (19th ed., ISBN: 0-87553-223-3). edited by Andrew Deaton, Lenore S. Clesceri and Arnold E. Greenberg, Americam Public Health Association, Washington DC. 1995;963.

Foo KY, Hameed BH. Insights into the modeling of adsorption isotherm systems. Chemical Engineering Journal. 2010;156(1):2–10.

Reynolds TD, Richard PA. Unit operations and processes in environmental engineering (2nd ed.). PWS publishing, Toronto. 2009;795.

Langmuir I. The adsorption of gases on plane surfaces of glass, mica and platinum. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 1918;40: 1361-1403.

Averill A. Bruce, Eldredge Patricia. Chemistry: Principles, patterns and applications. Pearson. 2006;1100.

Bures Jordi. A simple graphical method to determine the order in catalyst. Angewandte Chemie. 2016;55(6):2028-2031.

Turner ER. The movement of organic nitrogen compounds in plants: With two figures in the text. Ann. Bot. 1960;24(3):387-396.

Brady NC, Weil RR. The nature and properties of soils. Prentice Hall Inc., NJ. 1999;186.

Gribble Gordon W. Naturally occurring organofluorines - The handbook of environmental chemistry (ISBN 3-540-42064-9). Springer-Verlag. 2002;121–136.

Basmadjian Diran. The little adsorption book: Practical guide for engineers and scientists. CRC press, Boca Raton. 1997;180.

Thomas HC. Heterogeneous ion exchange in a flowing system. Journal of the American Chemical Society. 1944;66: 1664-1666.