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Open AccessConcept Paper

Technologies for Decentralized Fluoride Removal: Testing Metallic Iron-based Filters

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Department of Chemistry, Faculty of Sciences, University of Douala, Douala P.O. Box 24157, Cameroon
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School of Engineering, Cardiff University, Queen’s Building, The Parade, Cardiff CF24 3AA, UK
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Department of Physical Sciences, Sokoine University of Agriculture, Morogoro P.O. Box 3038, Tanzania
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Department of Applied Geology, Universität Göttingen, Goldschmidtstraße 3, Göttingen D-37077, Germany
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Comité Afro-européen, Avenue Léopold II, Namur 41-5000, Belgium
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Kultur und Nachhaltige Entwicklung CDD e.V., Postfach 1502, Göttingen D-37005, Germany
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Department of Water and Environmental Science and Engineering, Nelson Mandela African Institution of Science and Technology, Arusha P.O. Box 447, Tanzania
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Academic Editor: Maria Filomena Camões
Water 2015, 7(12), 6750-6774; https://doi.org/10.3390/w7126657
Received: 22 September 2015 / Revised: 11 November 2015 / Accepted: 19 November 2015 / Published: 30 November 2015
Since the realization in the 1930s that elevated fluoride concentrations in drinking water can have detrimental effects on human health, new methods have been progressively developed in order to reduce fluoride to acceptable levels. In the developing world the necessity for filtration media that are both low-cost and sourced from locally available materials has resulted in the widespread use of bone char. Since the early 1990s metallic iron (Fe0) has received widespread use as both an adsorbent and a reducing agent for the removal of a wide range of contaminant species from water. The ion-selectivity of Fe0 is dictated by the positively charged surface of iron (hydr)oxides at circumneutral pH. This suggests that Fe0 could potentially be applied as suitable filter media for the negatively charged fluoride ion. This communication seeks to demonstrate from a theoretical basis and using empirical data from the literature the suitability of Fe0 filters for fluoride removal. The work concludes that Fe0-bearing materials, such as steel wool, hold good promise as low-cost, readily available and highly effective decentralized fluoride treatment materials. View Full-Text
Keywords: fluoride removal; frugal innovation; packed-bed filters; steel wool; water treatment; zero-valent iron fluoride removal; frugal innovation; packed-bed filters; steel wool; water treatment; zero-valent iron
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Ndé-Tchoupé, A.I.; Crane, R.A.; Mwakabona, H.T.; Noubactep, C.; Njau, K.N. Technologies for Decentralized Fluoride Removal: Testing Metallic Iron-based Filters. Water 2015, 7, 6750-6774.

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