New Waves August 2007

Breaking news about water resources research and education in Texas

TWRI grant recipient studies arsenic contamination in groundwater

By Kari Miller

Texas A&M University international graduate student Dongsuk Han is working with his advising professor Dr. Bill Batchelor from the Department of Civil Engineering to develop a new approach to remove inorganic arsenic contaminants from drinking water.

Han, originally from South Korea and a recipient of a $5,000 2006-2007 Texas Water Resource Institute (TWRI) research grant, said that arsenic contamination in groundwater is a threat to human health because of its toxicity and carcinogenicity and is caused by the use of arsenical pesticides, activities related to mining, fallout from the atmosphere and the natural geologic weathering process.

“Arsenic contamination in groundwater is a serious problem to many water treatment facilities around the world,” Han said.

According to his final report, the commonly applied processes for arsenic removal are chemical precipitation, co-precipitation, reverse osmosis, ion exchange and oxidative filtration. However, adsorption is considered to be the most promising process because of its safety, ease of handling and set-up, high removal efficiency with low cost and potential for regeneration of materials.

Han said to improve treatment technologies for arsenic, he used a new approach called nano-environmental adsorption technology (NEAT). This method used a synthesis of nanoporous adsorbents with titania reactive sorption sites for arsenic removal. The results of this new approach seemed to be successful.

For more information on Han’s research, visit USGS research grants.

Back to Top