An innovative approach to iron and manganese removal from groundwater using magnesium metal

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University of New Brunswick


Problems with excess iron and manganese are commonly experienced by users of groundwater throughout the world. This report investigates the feasibility of an innovative iron and manganese treatment process using magnesium metal. The study includes laboratory batch and column tests. Batch tests were performed to study the parameters which may affect removal efficiencies. Column tests were carried out using magnesium with different particle size, with or without catalysts, as packing materials. Hydraulic parameters such as detention times and pressure losses through the column were also investigated. From these laboratory tests it was proven that magnesium metal can be used to remove iron and manganese and other heavy metals. The removal efficiencies can be significantly improved if Mn02 or copper wire is used as a catalyst or an electron transfer agent together with magnesium respectively. Based on the experimental results, a prototype column was designed that is capable of treating enough water for a typical household for one year.