Effect of fulvic acid on adsorptive removal of Cr(VI) and As(V) from groundwater by iron oxide-based adsorbents

V. Uwamariya, V. Uwamariya, B. Petrusevski, Y. M. Slokar, Cyril Aubry, P. N L Lens, Gary L. Amy, Gary L. Amy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Abstract Natural contamination has become a challenging problem in drinking water production due to metal contamination of groundwater throughout the world, and arsenic and chromium are well-known toxic elements. In this study, iron oxide-coated sand (IOCS) and granular ferric hydroxide (GFH) were used to study the effects of fulvic acid (FA) on the adsorptive removal of Cr(VI) and As(V) from synthetic groundwater. IOCS and GFH were characterized by SEM/EDS, and experiments were performed at different pH levels (6, 7, and 8). The surface of IOCS and GFH showed a high content of Fe and O (75 and 60 % of the atomic composition, respectively), suggesting that they can highly effectively adsorb Cr(VI) and As(V). Adsorption tests with the simultaneous presence of As(V) and FA, on the one hand, and Cr(VI) with FA, on the other hand, revealed that the role of FA on chromate and arsenate adsorption was insignificant at almost all pH values investigated with both adsorbents. A small influence as a result of FA was only observed for the removal of As(V) by IOCS at pH 6 with a decrease of 13 and 23 % when 2 and 5 mg/l were added to the synthetic water, respectively. It was also found that organic matter (OM) was leached from the IOCS during batch adsorption experiments. The use of FEEM revealed that humic-like, fulvic-like, and protein-like organic matter fractions are present on the IOCS surface. © 2015 Springer International Publishing Switzerland.
Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalWater, Air, & Soil Pollution
Issue number6
StatePublished - May 15 2015
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

KAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2020-10-01
Acknowledgements: The authors thank the Netherlands Government for providing financial assistance through the Netherlands Fellowship Program under Grant No. 32000022.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Water Science and Technology
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Pollution
  • Ecological Modeling
  • Environmental Engineering


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