Scientists Discover New Technique to Remove Fluoride from Drinking Water

Written by Andrew Puhanic

AROUND the world, it is estimated that tens of millions of people are affected by both dental and skeletal fluorosis. In many cases, it is the addition of fluoride into drinking water supplies by governments that is the primary cause of both dental and skeletal fluorosis.

Common techniques used for defluoridation are coagulation-precipitation, membrane process and ion exchange.

The problem with these three techniques is that they are either too expensive or they further pollute the water.

Researchers from the National University of Sciences and Technology in Pakistan have discovered an effective method to removefluoride from drinking water that is less expensive than conventional filtration processes and is safe to use.

The study, published in the Journal of Chemistry, concluded that the removal of fluoride from drinking water using modified immobilized activated alumina (MIAA) resulted in a removal efficiency that was 1.35 times higher than normal immobilized activated alumina.

Modified immobilized activated alumina (MIAA) was added to water that was tainted with fluoride and then analysis was conducted to evaluate the quantity of fluoride that was removed from the water.

Effect of an adsorbent dose on the removal of fluoride

Effect of an adsorbent dose on the removal of fluoride at 20 ± 1°C.

It was discovered that MIAA, at 20 +/- degrees celsius has the capacity to remove more than 95% of fluoride from water. In fact, the adsorption capacity of MIAA was much higher (0.76 mg/g) when compared to the adsorption capacity of activated charcoal (0.47 mg/g) for the same concentration fluoride samples.

The adsorption method that is used by modified immobilized activated alumina (MIAA) is much more cost-effective (Ali, I., & Gupta, V. K. (2007) Advances in water treatment by adsorption technology. Nature Protocols) than the popular Reverse Osmosis Filtration method.

Considering that both MIAA and Reverse Osmosis Filtration remove more than 90% of fluoride, MIAA could be a viable alternative to removing fluoride from drinking water supplies in developing countries.

Unfortunately, there are some limitations to the use of MIAA in removing fluoride from drinking water. The greatest challenge in the use of MIAA for removing fluoride from drinking water is filtering MIAA once all fluoride has been absorbed.

Real water samples with initial fluoride concentration

Real water samples with initial fluoride concentration and final concentration

However, considering that the granules produced by MIAA varied from 3 to 6 mm, all that was required during the study to remove the MIAA granules from the water was basic water filtration.

Ultimately, the primary challenge faced whentrying to removing fluoride from drinking water is cost.

The use of modified immobilized activated alumina (MIAA) to remove fluoride from drinking water could become a viable option that would enable communities in both developed and developing nations to remove fluoride from drinking water.

To download a copy of this publication, click here.

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46 Responses to "Scientists Discover New Technique to Remove Fluoride from Drinking Water"

  1. joylan  November 28, 2012 at 6:24 am

    Great news!! However, how about getting goverments to stop adding the fluoride to our water?

    • Special-K  November 28, 2012 at 7:03 am

      If the governments stopped dumping fluoride in our water supply, they’d have to start building toxic waste dumps. How else can they sneakily dump toxins?

    • Deanna Munson  November 29, 2012 at 6:09 am

      i know,right?

  2. Christopher Thomas  November 28, 2012 at 9:04 am

    awesome! so when you get rid of the fluoride, you add something toxic to replace it with! Then you just gotta get rid of that….

  3. zan  November 28, 2012 at 7:10 pm

    where can i get modified immobilized activated alumina (MIAA)

    • johnqpublic1  November 28, 2012 at 10:53 pm

      try !

  4. OWNtheNWO  November 29, 2012 at 1:25 am

    My concern is whether the activated Alumina is properly filtered by simple charcoal filters.

  5. Ricearoni  November 30, 2012 at 2:51 am

    The intake of fluoride in the human body means the calcification of the pineal gland- the gland which controls our ability to memorize, think, learn, be creative, maintain proper sleep cycles, etc. Calcification of the pineal gland means hardening and dulling of the pineal gland. Look up ways to de-calcify your pineal gland through diet, decreasing tap water intake, changing your toothpaste to a non-fluoridated toothpaste (or make your own with baking soda, water, peppermint oil. You can find recipes online), and do pineal gland activating meditations found on YouTube!
    The safest water to drink is Distilled Water. You can distill water at home by boiling water and capturing it’s vapors as the drinking water.

    • Loic  December 1, 2012 at 11:10 pm

      Distilled water will demineralize your body by osmosis, not recommended! You need the great majority of minerals that are in the water you get, you don’t want to get rid of them!

    • aponi  July 21, 2013 at 3:53 am

      Adding minerals to distilled water is as easy and cheap as adding a pinch of sea salt.

  6. cj.wijtmans  December 1, 2012 at 9:14 pm

    Dont drink distilled water, its poisonous.

    • aassassasasa  May 24, 2013 at 9:54 pm

      Are you f… retard its not pisunes you brainwashed retard

  7. [email protected]  December 2, 2012 at 8:30 am

    If we bring this technology to India it will help more than 20 million people in the state of Andhra Pradesh where so many villages are affected by fluorine water .

  8. Gonçalo Ferreira  December 2, 2012 at 5:29 pm

    In my country, we are told that fluoride is added to the water so that the population has healthy teeth.

    • kjens1089  January 2, 2013 at 10:02 am

      that is just another b.s. lie government is feeding people and thats what they tell us in my country to they also tell us that because of such heavy runoff into the water table from the hog, chicken, and cattle confinements(100’s of animals in cramped buildings dosed with up to 20 vaccines, n 2-6confinements/square mile where i live) that an increase in ppm of chlorine and fluoride is mandatory to ensure the hazardous byproducts are neutralized. So they up the dosage of poison in our water and do nothing about the farmers contribution of poison to our water and enviroment and they tell us its perfectly safe and the unbelievable spike in diagnosis of cancer parkinsons and autism in the community +surrounding areas has nothing to do with these poisons. IOWA living doesnt it just make you wanna be an American..(just fyi last statement was pure sarcasm)

  9. Arri Paine  December 14, 2012 at 5:02 am

    Hitler was the first to fluoridate water in the detention camps It was used as a means to keep the concentration camps under control by making people more docile and easy to control

  10. Just thinking  December 29, 2012 at 3:54 am

    Removes the fluoride, adds aluminum. No thanks.

  11. Joyce  January 7, 2013 at 2:26 pm

    We lived in Tanzania near a place that had high natural flouride content in the water. The villagers filtered their water through heated, broken cow bones….it worked to diminish the flouride by capturing the flouride in the ‘bone filter’. The simple indicator was that once the bones turned brown they were replaced with a fresh set of bones. The idea, as i recall came from an American rancher. But that was in the 1970’s – pre internet, fax, etc. It worked!

  12. Gavin MacMillan  July 19, 2013 at 2:00 pm

    I worked as a water engineer with one of the major aid agencies in Sri Lanka in the late ’90’s, and one of our programmes was installing fluoride filters in the Batticaloa area of the country, where water is naturally high in fluoride. We put in concrete tanks filled with crushed household bricks – basically fired clay.The water filtered through the crushed brick and the fluoride reacted with the iron compounds in this and oxidised out. The resulting oxides were then filtered out by passing the water through a sand filter. This process was recommended by engineers based in our HQ in Geneva, worked, and was considered a well understood and conventional technique.

    • jason E.  July 22, 2013 at 9:40 am

      Gavin,how crushed where the bricks?

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