Environmental Processes

, Volume 3, Issue 1, pp 195–216 | Cite as

Fluoride Adsorption by Calcium Carbonate, Activated Alumina and Activated Sugarcane Ash

  • Naba Kumar Mondal
  • Ria Bhaumik
  • Jayanta Kumar Datta
Original Article


The aim of this research work is to develop a novel cost effective strategy for fluoride removal, applicable to rural areas of developing countries. Most of the adsorbent based technologies for fluoride removal work at acidic pH which is not a feasible condition for application in rural areas. This study investigates the feasibility of three low-cost adsorbents (calcium carbonate, activated alumina, and activated sugarcane ash) for the removal of fluoride ions by adsorption using a synthetic fluoride solution (3.0–30.0 ppm). The effects of various process parameters have been investigated by the following batch adsorption technique at 30 ± 1 °C. Fluoride ion adsorption increased with increasing adsorbent dose for all the adsorbents. Adsorption of fluoride increased with increasing contact time and reached equilibrium at 100 min. Adsorption data were fitted with the Langmuir isotherms. The maximum fluoride adsorptions occurred as 12.5 mg/g, 1.2 mg/g, 10.99 mg/g for calcium carbonate, activated alumina and activated sugarcane ash, respectively. Further, fluoride adsorption of all the studied adsorbents follows pseudo-second-order kinetics (R2 0.99). Intra-particle diffusion model revealed that activated carbon of sugarcane ash is more effective in adsorption of fluoride. Thermodynamic study showed spontaneous nature and feasibility of the adsorption process with negative enthalpy (∆H0) value also supported the exothermic nature. These results indicate that activated carbon of sugarcane ash can be used as an effective, low-cost adsorbent to remove fluoride compared to calcium carbonate and activated alumina.


Fluoride adsorption Activated alumina Kinetic equation Intra-particle diffusion model 



The authors are grateful to Dr. Aloke Ghosh, Reader, Department of Chemistry, Burdwan University, Burdwan, West Bengal, India for recording FTIR data, and they also extend their gratitude to Dr. Srikanta Chakraborty, Incharge of SEM, USIC, University of Burdwan, West Bengal, India for SEM study.


  1. Abdeen Z (2015) Enhanced recovery of Pb2+ ions from aquatic media by using polyurethane composite as adsorbent. Environ Process 2:189–203CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Abe I, Iwasaki S, Tokimoto T, Kawasaki N (2004) Adsorption of fluoride ions onto carbonaceous materials. J Colloid Interface Sci 275:35–39CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Agarwal CS, Choudhary NK (2001) Fluoride pollution in ground water and related ill effects with geo-morphological mapping using IRS data in parts of Unnao District, U.P. GSI Spl Pub 65(2):187–189Google Scholar
  4. Anwar J, Shafique U, Zaman W, Salman M, Dar A, Anwar S (2010) Removal of Pb (II) and Cd (II) from water by adsorption on peels of banana. Bioresour Technol 101:1752–1755CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Bhatti HN, Nasir AW, Hanif MA (2010) Efficacy of Daucus carota L. waste biomass for the removal of chromium from aqueous solutions. Desalination 253:78–87CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Bhaumik R, Mondal NK (2015) Adsorption of fluoride from aqueous solution by a new low-cost adsorbent: thermally and chemically activated coconut fibre dust. Clean Techn Environ Policy. doi: 10.1007/s10098-015-0937-6 Google Scholar
  7. Brahman KD, Kazi TG, Baig JA, Afridi HI, Khan A, Arain SS, Arain MB (2014) Fluoride and arsenic exposure through water and grain crops in Nagarparkar, Pakistan. Chemosphere 100:182–189CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Chen C, Wang X (2007) Sorption of Th (IV) to silica as a function of pH, humic/fulvic acid, ionic strength, electrolyte type. Appl Radiat Isot 65(2):155–163CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Daifullah AAM, Yakout SM, Elreefy SA (2007) Adsorption of fluoride in aqueous solutions using KMnO4-modified activated carbon derived from steam pyrolysis of rice straw. J Hazard Mater 147:633–643CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Das K, Dey U, Roy P, Pal KC, Mondal NK (2013) Dental fluorosis among children in Laxmisagar village, Bankura District, West Bengal, India. Fluoride 46(4):230–233Google Scholar
  11. Fenter P, Geissbuhler P, Srajer G, Sorenson LB, Sturchio NC (2000) Surface speciation of calcite observed in situ by highresolution X-ray reflectivity. Geochim Cosmochim Acta 64:1221–1228CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Freundlich H (1906) Uber die adsorption in losungen. Z Phys Chem 57(A):385Google Scholar
  13. Ganvir V, Das K (2011) Removal of fluoride from drinking water using aluminium hydroxide coated rice husk ash. J Hazard Mater 185:1287–1294CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Gueu S, Yao B, Ado G (2007) Kinetics and thermodynamics study of lead adsorption onto activated carbons from coconut and seed hull of the palm tree. Int J Sci Technol 4:11–17CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Guglielmacci J-H, Ealet B (1996) Determination of alumina sourface composition by Auger electron spectroscopy. Mater Sci Eng B 40(1):96–99CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Hamester MRR, Balzer PS, Becker D (2012) Characterization of calcium carbonate obtained from oyster and mussel shells and incorporation in polypropylene. Mater Res 15(2):204–208CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Han R, Wang Y, Yu W, Zow W, Shi J, Liu H (2007) Biosorption of methylene blue from aqueous solution by rice husk in a fixed-bed column. J Hazard Mater 144:713–718CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Hanafiah MAK, Zakaria H, Wan Ngah WS (2009) Equilibrium, kinetics, mechanism, and process design for the sorption of methylene blue onto rice husk. Water Air Soil Pollut 201:43–53CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Hartmann J, Beyer R, Harm S (2014) Effective removal of estrogens from drinking water and wastewater by adsorption technology. Environ Process 1:87–94CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Ho YS, Porter JF, McKay G (2002) Equilibrium isotherm studies for the sorption of divalent metal ions onto peat: copper, nickel and lead single component systems. Water Air Soil Pollut 141:1–33CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Jamode AV, Sapkal VS, Jamode VS (2004) Defluoridation of water using inexpensive adsorbents. J Indian Inst Sci 84:163–171Google Scholar
  22. Kalavathy H, Karthik B, Miranda LR (2010) Removal and recovery of Ni and Zn from aqueous solution using activated carbon from Hevea brasiliensis: batch and column studies. Colloid Surf B Biointerfaces 78:291–302CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Karthikeyan G, Llango SS (2007) Fluoride sorption using Moringa indica based activated carbon. Iran J Environ Health Sci Eng 4:21–28Google Scholar
  24. Karthikeyan G, Apparao BV, Meenakshi S (1997) Defluoridation properties of activated alumina. 2nd International Workshop on Fluorosis Prevention and Defluoridation of Water, 1997Google Scholar
  25. Kumar KV (2006) Comparative analysis of linear and non-linear method of estimating the sorption isotherm parameters for malachite green onto activated carbon. J Hazard Mater 136:197–203CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Kundu S, Gupta AK (2006) Arsenic adsorption onto iron oxide-coated cement (IOCC): regression analysis of equilibrium data with several isotherm models and their optimization. Chem Eng J 122:93–106CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Lagergren S (1898) About the theory of so called adsorption of soluble substances. der Sogenanntenadsorption geloster stoffe. Kungliga Svenska Vetenska psalka de Miens Handlingar 24(4):1–39.Google Scholar
  28. Langmuir I (1916) The constitution and fundamental properties of solids and liquids. Part I. solids. J Am Chem Soc 38:2221CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Lee G, Chen C, Yang ST, Ahn WS (2010) Enhanced adsorptive removal of fluoride using mesoporous alumina. Microporous Mesoporous Mater 127:152–156CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Lorenzen L, Eksteen JJ, Pelser M, Aldrich C, Georgalli G (2009) Activated alumina-based adsorption and recovery of excess fluoride ions subsequent to calcium and magnesium removal in base metal leach circuits. J South Afr Inst Min Metall 109:447–453Google Scholar
  31. Mandal S, Mahapatra SS, Adhikari S, Patel RK (2015) Modeling of arsenic (III) removal by evolutionary genetic programming and least square support vector machine models. Environ Process 2:145–172CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Manna S, Roy D, Saha P, Adhikari B (2014) Defluoridation of aqueous solution using alkali-steam treated water hyacinth and elephant grass. J Taiwan Inst Chem Eng. doi: 10.1016/J.jtice.2014.12.003 Google Scholar
  33. Melidis P (2015) Fluoride removal from aluminium finishing wastewater by hydroxyapatite. Environ Process 2:205–213CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Mondal NK, Pal KC, Kabi S (2012a) Prevalence and severity of dental fluorosis in relation to fluoride in ground water in the villages of Birbhum district, West Bengal, India. Environmentalist 32:70–84CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Mondal NK, Bhaumik R, Banerjee A, Datta JK, Baur T (2012b) A comparative study on the batch performance of fluoride adsorption by activated silica gel and activated rice husk ash. Int J Environ Sci 2(3):1643–1661Google Scholar
  36. Mondal NK, Bhaumik R, Bour T, Das B, Roy P, Datta JK (2012c) Studies on defluoridation of water by tea ash: an unconventional biosorbent. Chem Sci Trans 1(2):239–256CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Mondal NK, Das B, Bhaumik R, Bour T, Roy P (2012d) Calcareous soil as a promising adsorbent to remove fluoride from aqueous solution: equilibrium, kinetic and thermodynamic study. J Mod Chem Technol 3(3):1–21Google Scholar
  38. Mondal NK, Bhaumik R, Roy P, Das B, Datta JK (2013) Investigation on fixed bed column performance of fluoride adsorption by sugarcane charcoal. J Environ Biol 34:1059–1064Google Scholar
  39. Murugan M, Subramanian E (2006) Studies on defluoridation of water by Tamarind seed, an unconventional biosorbent. J Water Health 4:453–458Google Scholar
  40. Nath SK, Dutta RK (2010) Fluoride removal from water using crushed limestone. Indian J Chem Technol 17:120–125Google Scholar
  41. Ngah WSW, Ariff NFM, Hashim A, Hanafiah MAKM (2006) malachite green adsorption onto chitosan coated bentonite beads: isotherms, kinetics and mechanism. Clean Soil Air Water 38:394–400CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Sarkar M, Banerjee A, Pramanick PP, Sarkar AR (2006) Use of laterite for the removal of fluoride from contaminated drinking water. J Colloid Interface Sci 302:432–441CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Sharma RR, Chellam S (2006) Temperature and concentration effects on electrolyte transport across porous thin-film composite nanofiltration membranes: pore transport mechanisms and energetics of permeation. J Colloid Interface Sci 298(1):327–340CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Singh G, Kumar B, Sen PK, Majumdar J (1999) Removal of fluoride from spent pot liner leachate using ion exchange. J Water Environ Res 71:36–42CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Stipp SLS (1999) Toward a conceptual model of calcite surface: hydration, hydrolysis, and surface potential. Geochim Cosmochim Acta 63:1723–1736CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Sujana MG, Pradhan HK, Anand S (2009) Studies on sorption of some geomaterials for fluoride removal from aqueous solutions. J Hazard Mater 161:120–125CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Tembhurkar AR, Dongre S (2006) Studies on fluoride removal using adsorption process. J Environ Sci Eng 48:151–156Google Scholar
  48. Temkin LS (1996) A continuum argument for intransitivity. Philo Public Aff 25(3):175–210CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Turner BD, Binning P, Stipp SLS (2005) Fluoride removal by calcite: evidence for fluorite precipitation and surface adsorption. Environ Sci Technol 39:9561–9568CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Wang SL, Hseu RJ, Chang RR, Chang PN, Chen JH, Tzou YM (2006) Adsorption and thermal desorption of Cr(VI) on Li/Al layered double hydroxide. Colloids Surf 20:8–14CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Wasewar KL, Kumar S, Prasad B (2009) Adsorption of tin using granular activated carbon. J Environ Prot Sci 3:41–52Google Scholar
  52. Weber WJ, Morris JC (1963) Kinetics of adsorption on carbon from solution. J Sanit Eng Div Am Soc Civil Eng 89:31–60Google Scholar
  53. WHO (2006) Guidelines for drinking-water quality: incorporating first addendum, recommendations. In: World Health Organization, 3rd ed, 1. GenevaGoogle Scholar
  54. Xu L, Gao X, Li Z, Gao C (2015) Removal of fluoride by nature diatomite from high-fluorine water: an appropriate pretreatment for nanofiltration process. Desalination 369:97–104CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Yadav AK, Kaushik CP, Haritash AK, Kansal A, Neetu R (2006) Defluoridation of groundwater using brick powder as an adsorbent. J Hazard Mater 128:289–293CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Zhang J, Ping Q, Niu M, Shi H, Li N (2013) Kinetics and equilibrium studies from the methylene blue adsorption on diatomite treated with sodium hydroxide. Appl Clay Sci 83:12–16CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Naba Kumar Mondal
    • 1
  • Ria Bhaumik
    • 1
  • Jayanta Kumar Datta
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Environmental ScienceThe University of BurdwanBurdwanIndia

Personalised recommendations