Influence of HPO4 2-, H4SiO4, Ca2+, Mg2+ on Fe floc growth and As(III) removal in aerated, natural groundwater

D. J. de Ridder*, T. S.C.M. van de Wetering, T. van Dijk, D. van Halem

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)
59 Downloads (Pure)


Our aim was to systematically investigate the influence of anions (HPO4 2−), cations (Ca2+, Mg2+) and neutral H4SiO4 on Fe flocculation and As(III) removal in the complex natural water matrix. For this purpose, three different anaerobic groundwaters were selected and manipulated by dosing of Ca2+, Mg2+, HPO4 2−, or by their removal by cation – and anion exchange. The change in Fe floc volume and of dissolved Fe and As were followed in aerated jar experiments. Fe floc growth was improved by addition of Ca2+ or Mg2+, and hindered by their removal. This hindered floc growth was more severe for groundwaters with higher P:Fe ratios, where Fe flocs carry a larger net negative surface charge, and rely stronger on Ca2+ or Mg2+ for charge neutralisation. When expressing the charge balance of the different groundwaters as the molar ratio (Ca2+ + Mg2+)/P, a linear relationship was found with the cumulative Fe floc volume, with a plateau at molar ratios >500. At environmentally relevant concentrations, H4SiO4 was found more likely to compete with As(III) for adsorption capacity than HPO4 2−. As(III) removal was strongly related to Fe removal - independent of Ca2+ or Mg2+ presence - indicating that As(III) is primarily adsorbed at an early stage in the flocculation process.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)149-156
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Water Process Engineering
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2018


  • Arsenite adsorption
  • Iron floc growth
  • Natural groundwater


Dive into the research topics of 'Influence of HPO4 2-, H4SiO4, Ca2+, Mg2+ on Fe floc growth and As(III) removal in aerated, natural groundwater'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this