2017 Progress Report: Novel reactor design for enhanced removal of fluoride using a modified Nalgonda methodEPA Grant Number: SU836950
Title: Novel reactor design for enhanced removal of fluoride using a modified Nalgonda method
Investigators: Weber-Shirk, Monroe , Lion, Leonard William
Institution: Cornell University
EPA Project Officer: Lasat, Mitch
Project Period: February 1, 2017 through January 31, 2019 (Extended to January 31, 2020)
Project Period Covered by this Report: February 1, 2017 through January 31,2018
Project Amount: $75,000
RFA: P3 Awards: A National Student Design Competition for Sustainability Focusing on People, Prosperity and the Planet - Phase 2 (2016) Recipients Lists
Research Category: Sustainability , P3 Awards , P3 Challenge Area - Water
The Fluoride team seeks to develop a sustainable, inexpensive fluoride removal system for treatment of contaminated groundwater. The team is developing a novel reactor system that will be ultra-low energy and low maintenance. The reactor system is based on the Nalgonda method that has been adapted for continuous flow and with a novel fluidized bed that is coupled with lamellar sedimentation. The fluidized bed and lamellar sedimentation process efficiently separates the coagulant nanoparticles that have formed bonds with the fluoride. The team is testing the feasibility of using a single stage reactor system rather than a 2 stage system for cases where the fluoride contamination levels are not excessive. They are currently designing a gravity powered pilot scale reactor that can be used for testing performance in the field.
The team has been testing options for simplifying reactor design and maintenance requirements. They have demonstrated that it is possible to operate the reactor without adding clay by increasing the upflow velocity in the fluidized bed reactor. The increased upflow velocity is required to breakup large flocs and prevent the formation of a coagulant gel that had resulted in repeated performance failures in earlier experiments. The elimination of clay will significantly simplify operation in the field because the clay feed system would have been difficult to achieve with our goal of gravity powered operation.