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Researchers at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Hyderabad have used activated jamun seed powder to bring the fluoride content in drinking water to less than the WHO limit of 1.5 mg per litre.
This new study provides a relief as the process of removing excess fluoride from drinking water involves the usual problems such as high operational costs and getting rid of toxic sludge.
The fluoride ion removal increases with a decrease in pH, with maximum adsorption found at pH 3. The activated jamun seed acquires a positive charge at low pH and the positive charge attracts the fluoride ions while the negative charge in an alkaline medium repulses the fluoride ions.
On heating the activated jamun powder to 50 degree celsius, the fluoride gets desorbed and the jamun powder can be reused up to five times. About 96 per cent of the fluoride can be desorbed. So there is a loss of only 4 per cent efficiency after each desorption.
The team is now working on testing the efficiency of the activated jamun powder in water containing multiple ions such as fluoride, arsenic and heavy metals.