Water contamination with harmful arsenic compounds represents one of the most serious calamities of the last two centuries. Natural occurrence of the toxic metal has been revealed recently for 21 countries worldwide; the risk of arsenic intoxication is particularly high in Bangladesh and India but recently also Europe is facing similar problem. Liquid membranes (LMs) look like a promising alternative to the existing removal processes, showing numerous advantages in terms of energy consumption, efficiency, selectivity, and operational costs. The development of different LM configurations has been a matter of investigation by several researching groups, especially for the removal of As(III) and As(V) from aqueous solutions. Most of these LM systems are based on the use of phosphine oxides as carriers, when the metal removal is from sulfuric acid media. Particularly promising for water treatment is the hollow fiber supported liquid membrane (HFSLM) configuration, which offers high selectivity, easy transport of the targeted metal ions, large surface area, and non-stop flow process. The choice of organic extractant(s) plays an essential role in the efficiency of the arsenic removal. Emulsion liquid membrane (ELM) systems have not been extensively investigated so far, although encouraging results have started to appear in the literature. For such LM configuration, the most relevant step toward efficiency is the choice of the surfactant type and its concentration.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License
which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.