Abdulai Salifu, IHE-Delft PhD fellow successfully defended his thesis “Fluoride Removal from groundwater by Adsorption Technology: The occurrence, adsorbent synthesis regeneration and disposal”, on October 4, 2017 at Delft University of Technology (The Netherlands).
His research focused mainly on the development fluoride adsorbents for treatment of fluoride-contaminated groundwater in developing countries. The approach was to modify the surface properties of locally available indigenous materials and use them as fluoride adsorbents. The study further established methods for save disposal of exhausted adsorbents
The research highlighted that Aluminum Oxide Coated Wood Charcoal (AOCC) is a material capable of effectively treating fluoride-contaminated water. AOCC demonstrated effectiveness under both laboratory conditions, as well as in the field for treating real fluoride-contamination groundwater. The use of wood charcoal (which is locally available in most developing countries) as the base material for the adsorbent development, makes it amenable for in-country production which can potentially contribute to sustainability and reduced cost of production.
The developed material (AOCC) can be regenerated, and developed regeneration process increased fluoride adsorption capacity, which is in contrast to many adsorbents which usually decrease in capacity after regeneration. The regenerability of AOCC can contribute to its practical and economic viability.
The research also highlighted that exhausted AOCC can be disposed of safely in a landfill with environment polution.
The outcome of the PhD study will be the basis for the pilot: Bongo Groundwater Defluoridation Project, supported by Via Water. Dr. Abdulai Salifu will contribute to this pilot project as a Post Doc Researcher.