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Extramural Research

Containment of Highly Concentrated Arsenic-laden Spent Regenerant on the Indian Subcontinent

EPA Grant Number: SU833759
Title: Containment of Highly Concentrated Arsenic-laden Spent Regenerant on the Indian Subcontinent
Investigators: SenGupta, Arup K. , Alam, Morshed , Blaney, Lee M. , Chatterjee, Prasun , Ghosh, Debabrata , Greenleaf, John , Gupta, Anirban , Sarkar, Sudipta
Current Investigators: SenGupta, Arup K. , Alam, Morshed , Blaney, Lee M. , Chatterjee, Prasun , Freedman, Elliot , Ghosh, Debabrata , Greenleaf, John , Gupta, Anirban , Lin, Jin Cheng , Sarkar, Sudipta , Smith, Ryan
Institution: Lehigh University , Bengal Engineering & Science University
EPA Project Officer: Nolt-Helms, Cynthia
Project Period: September 1, 2007 through May 31, 2009
Project Amount: $75,000
RFA: P3 Awards: A National Student Design Competition for Sustainability Focusing on People, Prosperity and the Planet - Phase 2 (2007)
Research Category: Nanotechnology , Pollution Prevention/Sustainable Development , P3 Challenge Area - Water

Description:

The Phase II EPA P3 project encompasses the following two activities in the Indian subcontinent: Continued installation of arsenic removal units in rural villages and extension of sustainable arsenic-laden waste disposal practices. For ten years, Lehigh University and Bengal Engineering & Science University have been installing well-head arsenic removal units that are appropriate for rural villages in West Bengal, India. No electricity, chemical addition, or pH adjustment are necessary for daily use of the units. Currently, the units installed by this project team have provided over 150,000 villagers with arsenic-safe water for drinking and cooking. With initiation of the Phase II EPA P3 Award, expansion of the project will continue. Optimization of unit design and installation are being continually refined and improved. It is estimated that the Phase II funding will affect over 20,000 people favorably.

Objective:

Project objectives are: Install approximately 20 additional well-head units in rural villages of West Bengal, India; implement a second regeneration facility towards optimization of regeneration efficiency; begin to expand project implementation in other countries, specifically Mexico, Bangladesh, and Cambodia.

Furthermore, in order to prevent further crises regarding arsenic contamination of groundwater aquifers, the team is actively implementing sustainable disposal practices. Ironically, these processes are more effective at preventing arsenic leaching than those employed in the US, where such waste is dumped in landfills. Towards ideal project implementation, the project team is working with industry and non-governmental partners to help transfer responsibility and autonomy of the arsenic-removal project to local and community leaders.

Approach:

The collaboration between Lehigh University and Bengal Engineering & Science University is arguably the only successful arsenic removal project in the Indian subcontinent; furthermore, almost no arsenic removal projects consider safe disposal of arsenic-laden wastes. Inclusion of social and cultural concerns is a major reason for the project’s success. In this Phase II EPA P3 project, villagers will operate their own units and pay small tariffs to cover maintenance and regeneration costs; women will hold positions on villagers’ committees and oversee water collection and protection of water quality. The project attempts to include more villages in West Bengal and at the same time explores opportunities for community based arsenic removal systems in other countries in Asia and Central America.

Publications and Presentations:

Publications have been submitted on this project: View all 2 publications for this project

Journal Articles:

Journal Articles have been submitted on this project: View all 1 journal articles for this project

Supplemental Keywords:

Adsorbent, adsorbent reuse, arsenic, arsenic containment, India, Bangladesh, detoxification, groundwater protection, hazardous waste disposal, heavy metals, safe drinking water, sustainable technology, pollution prevention,

Relevant Websites:

Phase 1 Abstract
Phase 1 Final Report

Progress and Final Reports:
2008 Progress Report
Final Report

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The perspectives, information and conclusions conveyed in research project abstracts, progress reports, final reports, journal abstracts and journal publications convey the viewpoints of the principal investigator and may not represent the views and policies of ORD and EPA. Conclusions drawn by the principal investigators have not been reviewed by the Agency.

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