Vol 68 No 2 (2023): Journal of the Chilean Chemical Society


Margandan K Karunanithi
IFET College of Engineering
Published August 22, 2023
  • Key words: Fluoride, Ground water, adsorption
How to Cite
Karunanithi, M. K., Rachna, & Kushal Qanungo. (2023). A REVIEW OF FLUORIDE REMOVAL FROM GROUND WATER BY VARIOUS ADSORPTION TECHNIQUES. Journal of the Chilean Chemical Society, 68(2), 5839-5846. Retrieved from


This paper reviews a number of fluoride's negative consequences on human health. Due to the high concentration of fluoride in the ground water, the majority of the arid and semiarid regions of the Indian subcontinent are severely afflicted by the fluorosis problem. The groundwater becomes fluoridated as a result of fluoride leaching from the fluoride-bearing rocks. A thorough analysis of the various methods for removing fluoride, including the Nalgonda process, bone charcoal, contact precipitation, clay column, electro-dialysis, ion-exchange, and by activated alumina, is then provided.




  1. References
  2. Ayoob, S. and Gupta, A. K., Fluoride in Drinking Water: A Review on the Status and Stress Effects, Crit. Rev. Environ. Sci. Technol., 36 (2006) 433-487.
  3. Bhatnagar, A., Fluoride Removal from Water by Adsorption–A Review, Chem. Eng. J., 171 (2011) 811-840.
  4. Susheela, A. K., A Treatise on Fluorosis, Fluorosis, Research and Rural Development Foundation, 3rd Revised Ed., New Delhi (2007).
  5. Guidelines for Drinking-Water Quality Incorporating 1st and 2nd Addenda, Vol. 1 Recommendations, 3rd Ed. WHO, Geneva (2008).
  6. Indian Standards for Drinking Water, ISO 10500 (1992). (Date accessed 25th Dec. 2013)
  7. Fawell, J., Bailey, K., Chilton, J., Dahi, E., Fewtrell, L. and Magara, Y, Fluoride in Drinking-Water, WHO, IWA Publishing, London (2006).
  8. Brindha, K. and Elango, L., Fluoride in Groundwater: Causes, Implications and Mitigation Measures, Fluoride Properties, Applications and Environmental Management, Ed. by S. D. Monroy, (2011) 111-136. https://www.novapublishers. com /catalog/product_info.php?products_ id= 15895 (Date accessed 30th Aug. 2013)
  9. Nagendra Rao, C. R., Fluoride and Environment, Proceedings of the 3rd International Conference on Environment and Health, Chennai, 15-17th Dec. (2003) 386-399.
  10. Hussain, J., Sharma, K. C. and Hussain, I., Fluoride in Drinking Water in Rajasthan and Its Ill Effects on Human Health, J. Tissue Res., 4 (2004) 263-273.
  11. Reimann, C., Bjorvatn, K., Frengstad, B., Melaku, Z., Haimanot, R. T. and Siewers, U., Drinking Water Quality in the Ethiopian Section of the East African Rift Valley and Health Aspects, Sci. Total Environ., 311 (2003) 65-80.
  12. Hurtado, R., Torresdey, G. J. and Tieman, K. J., Fluoride Occurrence in Tap Water at Los De Jaliso in the Central Mexico Region, Proceedings of the 2000 Conference on Hazardous Waste Research, Denver, Colorado, 23-25th May (2000) 211-219.
  13. Agrawal, V., Groundwater Contamination with Fluoride in India: Sources, Effects and Prevention, J. Dev. Manage., 1 (2013) 194-198.
  14. Sharma, S. K., Toxicity of Fluoride in Parts of Indian Subsurface Water, 99-
  15. (Date accessed 30th Aug. 2013).
  16. Indu, R., Krishnan, S. and Shah, T., Impacts of Groundwater Contamination with Fluoride and Arsenic, Affliction, Severity, Medical Costs and Wage Loss in Some Villages of India, Int. J. Rural Manage., 3 (2007) 69-93.
  17. Rajasthan Development Report, Planning Commission, Govt. of India, New Delhi, Academic Foundation, New Delhi, Google books preview, (2006) 276-
  18. =PA277&dq=PHED+rajasthan+fluoride&source=bl&ots=CeD13u9qKg&sig =nguk5PIdzoXKHXx9KL9R9hSO_88&hl=en&sa=X&ei=rHBeULG5LJCnr AfGtYCoAg&ved=0CC4Q6AEwAw#v=onepage&q=PHED%20rajasthan% 20fluoride&f=false (Date accessed 30th Aug. 2013)
  19. Ranawat, P. S., Nature of Fluorspar Mineralization at Chowkri-Chhapoli, Sikar–Jhunjhunu Districts, Rajasthan, J. Geol. Soc. India, 20 (1979) 25-30.
  20. Shyam, R. and Kalwania, G. S., Ground Water Chemistry: A Case Study of Eastern Part of Sikar City (Rajasthan), India, Int. J. Appl. Eng. Res. Dindigul, 2 (2011) 367-378.
  21. Chaudhary, V., Sharma, M. and Yadav, B. S., Assessment of Water Fluoride Toxicity Levels in Northwest Rajasthan India, Research Report Fluoride, 41 (2008) 212-215.
  22. Mishra, P. C., Meher, K., Bhosagar, D. and Pradhan, K., Fluoride Distribution in Different Environmental Segments at Hirakud Orissa (India), African J. Environ. Sci. Technol. 3 (2009) 260-264.
  23. Bhargava, D. and Bhardwaj, N., Study of Fluoride Contribution through Water and Food to Human Population in Fluoride Endemic Village North Eastern Rajasthan, African J. Basic Appl. Sci., 1 (2009) 55-58.
  24. Sarvaiya, B. U., Bhayya, D., Arora, R. and Mehta, D. N., Prevalence of Dental Fluorosis in Relation with Different Fluoride Levels in Drinking Water Among School Going Children in Sarada Tehsil of Udaipur District, Rajasthan, J. Indian Soc. Pedod. Prev. Dent., 30 (2012) 317-322.
  25. Susheela, A. K., Epidemiology Studies of Health Risks from Drinking Water Naturally Contaminated with Fluoride, Assessing and Managing Health Risks from Drinking Water Contamination: Approaches and Applications, Ed. by Reichard, E. G. and Zapponi, G. A., IAHS Press, Wallingford-Oxfordshire, U. K. (1995).
  26. Si, Y. and Zhang, B., Epidemiology Study of Dental Fluorosis in China, Proceedings of the 4th International Workshop On Fluorosis Prevention and Defluoridation of Water, Colombo, Sri Lanka, Ed. by Dahi, E., 2-6th March (2004) 3-12.
  27. Shivashankara, A. R., Shivaraja Shankara, Y. M., Rao, S. H. and Bhat, P. G., Clinical and Biochemical Study of Chronic Fluoride Toxicity in Children of Kheru Thanda of Gulbarga District, Karnataka, India, Research Report Fluoride, 33 (2000) 66-73.
  28. Teotia, S. P. S., Teotia, M. and Singh, K. P., Highlights of Forty Years of Research on Endemic Skeletal Fluorosis in India, Proceedings of the 4th International Workshop on Fluorosis Prevention and Defluoridation of Water, Colombo, Sri Lanka, Ed. by Dahi, E., 2-6th March (2004) 107-125.
  29. Ayoob, S., Gupta, A. K. and Venugopal, T., A Conceptual Overview on Sustainable Technologies for the Defluoridation of Drinking Water, Crit. Rev. Environ. Sci. Technol., 38 (2008) 401 – 470.
  30. Iyengar, L., 22 Technologies for Fluoride Removal (1997) 500-513. removal.pdf (Date accessed 30th Aug. 2013)
  31. Modi, S. and Ranjeeta, S., Merits and Demerits of Different Technologies of Defluoridation for Drinking Water, J. Environ. Sci. Toxicol. Food Technol., 3 (2013) 24-27.
  32. Loganathan, P., Vigneswaran, S., Kandasamy, J. and Naidu, R.,Defluoridation of Drinking Water Using Adsorption Processes, J. Hazard. Mater., 248 (2013) 1–19.
  33. Suneetha, N., Rupa, K. P., Sabitha, V., Kumar, K. K., Mohanty, S., Kanagasabapathy, A. S. and Rao, A. S., Defluoridation of Water by a One Step Modification of the Nalgonda Technique, Ann. Trop. Med. Pub. Health., 1 (2008) 56-58.
  34. Larsen, M. J. and Pearce, E. I. F., Partial Defluoridation of Drinking Water Using Fluoroapatite Precipitation, Caries Res., 26 (1992) 22-28.
  35. Larsen, M. J., Pearce, E. I. F. and Jensen, S. J., Defluoridation of Water at High pH with Use of Brushite, Calcium Hydroxide and Bone Char, J. Dental Res., 72 (1992) 1519-1525.
  36. Dahi, E., Development of the Contact Precipitation Method for Appropriate Defluoridation of Water, Proceedings of the 2nd International Workshop on Fluorosis Prevention and Defluoridation of Water, Nazreth, Ethiopia, Ed. by Dahi, E. and Nielsen, J. M., 19-25th Nov. (1997) 128-137.
  37. Pamela and Okello, K., Investigation of Contact Precipitation as a Viable Water Defluoridation Technique, A Thesis Submitted to the Degree of Master of Science in Chemistry of Egerton University (2013).
  38. Wang, Y. and Reardon, E. J., Activation and Regeneration of a Soil Sorbent for Defluoridation of Drinking Water, Appl. Geo. Chem., 16 (2001) 531-539.
  39. Yadav, A. K., Kaushik, C. P., Kumar, A., Haritash, A. K. and Rani, N., Defluoridation of Groundwater Using Brick Powder as an Adsorbent, J. Hazard. Mater, 128 (2006) 289-293.
  40. Zevenbergen, C., Van Reeuwijk, L. P., Frapporti, G., Louws, R. J. and Schuiling, R. D., A Simple Method for Defluoridation of Drinking Water at Village Level by Adsorption on Ando Soil in Kenya, Sci. Total Environ., 188 (1996) 225-232.
  41. Soni, R. and Modi, S., Removal of Fluoride from Drinking Water using Red Mud, Int. J. Sci. Technol. Res., 10 (2013) 1-7.
  42. Tikariha, A. and Sahu, O., Low Cost Adsorbent for Defluoridation of Water, Int. J. Environ. Monitor. Analysis, 1 (2013) 65-70.
  43. Chidambaram, S., Manikandan, S., Ramanathan, A. L., Prasanna, M. V., Thivya, C., Karmegam, U., Thilagavathi, R. and Rajkumar, K., A Study on the Defluoridation in Water by Using Natural Soil, Appl. Water Sci., 3 (2013) 741–751.
  44. Sarkar, M., Banerjee, A., Pramanick, P. P. and Sarkar, A. R., Use of Laterite for the Removal of Fluoride from Contaminated Drinking Water, J. Colloid Interf. Sci., 302 (2006) 432-441.
  45. Padmasiri, J. P. and Peradeniya, Low Cost Domestic Defluoridation, Proceedings of the 2nd International Workshop on Fluorosis Prevention and Fluoridation of Water, Nazreth, Ethiopia Ed. by Dahi, E. and Nielsen J. M., 19-25th Feb. (1997) 146-150.
  46. Yadav, R. N., Dagar, N. K., Gupta, P., Singh, O. P. and Chandrawat, M. P. S., Removal of Fluoride in Drinking Water by Green Chemical Approach, J. Curr. Chem. Pharm. Sci., 2 (2012) 69-75.
  47. Coetzee, P. P., Coetzee, L. L., Puka, R. and Mubenga, S., Characterisation of Selected South African Clays for Defluoridation of Natural Waters, Water SA, 29 (2003) 331-338.
  48. Rao, S. M. and Mamatha, P., Water Quality in Sustainable Water Management, Curr. Sci., 87 (2007) 942-947.
  49. Mamatha, P. and Rao, S. M., Defluoridation of Ground Water using Magnesium Oxide, Environmentalist, 31 (2011) 39-53.
  50. Application Notes on IISc method of defluoridation, 1-11. http://civil.iisc. /files/ applicationIIScmethod.pd (Date accessed 15th Dec. 2013)
  51. Rao, S. M., Mamatha, P., Shantha, R. P., and Reddy, B. V. V., Encapsulation of Fluoride Sludge in Stabilised Mud Blocks, Proceedings Ins. Civil Eng., Waste Resour. Manage., 160 (2007) 167-174.
  52. Babu, C., Sujish, A., Murugappa, D., Mohan Krishnan, M. S., Kalyanasundaram, G., Raj, P., and Baldev, A Comprehensive Treatment Method for Defluoridation of Drinking Water, Indian J. Chem. Technol., 18 (2011) 314-318.
  53. Byoung, R. M., Alison, L. G. and William, N. G., A Note on Fluoride Removal by Reverse Osmosis, Desalination, 49 (1984) 89–93.
  54. Amor, Z., Malki, S., Taky, M., Bariou, B., Mameri, N. and Elmidaoui, A., Optimization of Fluoride Removal from Brackish Water by Electrodialysis, Desalination, 120 (1998) 263-271.
  55. Adhikary, S. K., Tipnis, U. K., Harkare, W. P. and Govindan, K. P., Defluoridation During Desalination of Brackish Water by Electrodialysis, Desalination,71 (1989) 301-312.
  56. Hichour, M., Persin, F., Sandeaux, J. and Gavach, C., Fluoride Removal from Waters by Donnan Dialysis, Sep. Purif. Technol., 18 (2000) 1-11.
  57. Elazhar, F., Tahaikt, M., Zouahri, A., Taky, M., Hafsi, M. and Elmidaoui, A., Defluoridation of Moroccan Groundwater by Nano-filtration and Electrodialysis: Performances and Cost Comparison, World Appl. Sci. J., 22 (2013) 844-850.
  58. Tahaikt, M., Achary, I., Menkouchi Sahli, M. A., Amor, Z., Taky, M., Alami, A., Boughriba, A., Hafsi, M. and Elmidaoui, A., Defluoridation ofMoroccanGroundWaterby Electrodialysis Continuous Operation, Desalination, 167 (2004) 215-220.
  59. Ali, M. B. S., Hamrouni, B. and Dhahbi, M., Electrodialytic Defluoridation of Brackish Water: Effect of Process Parameters and Water Characteristics, Clean Soil Air Water, 38 (2010) 623–629.
  60. Oke, S., Neumann, S. and Adams, B., Selective Fluoride Removal, Water Today, (2011) 76-80.
  61. Castel, C., Schweizer, M., Simonnot, M. O. and Sardin, M., Selective Removal of Fluoride Ions by a Two-Way Ion-Exchange Cyclic Process, Chem. Eng. Sci., 55 (2000) 3341-3352.
  62. Kumar, S., Ghanshyam, Chauhan, S., Gupta, R., Kant, S. and Sharma, R. K., Designing a Cost-Effective and Dual-Functional Muslin-Based Anion Exchanger for Defluoridation, Desalination Water Treat., 51 (2013) 1-10.
  63. Veeraputhiran, V. and Alagumuthu, G., Treatment of High Fluoride Drinking Water Using Bio-adsorbent, Res. J. Chem. Sci., 1 (2011) 49-54.
  64. Merugu, R., Garimella, S., RaoKudle, K., Ramesh, D. and Rudra, M. P., Optimization Studies for Defluoridation of Water Using Aspergillus Niger Fungal Bio-sorbent, Int. J. Chem. Tech Res., 4 (2012) 1089-1093.
  65. Maheshwari, R., Garg, A., Katyal, P., Kumar, M., Rani, B., Sharma, M., Prasad, M. and Gaur, M., Mitigating Fluoride Toxicity Occurring in Ground Water of Nagaur City (Rajasthan), Employing Various Bio-sorbents., Bull. Environ. Pharmacol. Life Sci., 1 (2012) 50-53.
  66. Mondal, N. K., Bhaumik, R., Baur, T., Das, B., Roy, P. and Datta, J. K., Studies on Defluoridation of Water by Tea Ash: An Unconventional Bio-sorbent, Chem. Sci. Trans., 1 (2012) 239-256.
  67. Mamilwar, B. M., Bhole, A. G. and Sudama, A. M., Removal of Fluoride From Ground Water by Using Adsorbent, Int. J. Eng. Res. Appl., 2 (2012) 334-338.
  68. Kamble, S. P., Jagtapa, S., Labhsetwara, N. K., Thakarea, D., Samuel, G., Devottaa, S. and Rayalua, S. S., Defluoridation of D rinking Water using Chitin, Chitosan and Lanthanum-Modified Chitosan, J. Chem. Eng., 129 (2007) 173-180.
  69. Kumar, S., Gupta, A., and Yadav, J. P., Removal of Fluoride by thermally Activated Carbon Prepared from Neem (Azadirachta Indica) and Kikar (Acacia Arabica) leaves, J. Environ. Bio. 29 (2008) 227-232.
  70. Patankar, G., Amruta, V., Tambe, S., Kulkarni, B. D. and Kamble, S. P., Defluoridation of Drinking Water Using PURAL® MG-20 Mixed Hydroxide Adsorbent, Water Air Soil Pollut., 224 (2013) 1-13.
  71. Mulugeta, E., Zewge, F., Johnson, C. A. and Singh, B., Chandravanshi, A High-Capacity Aluminum Hydroxide-Based Adsorbent for Water Defluoridation, Desalination Water Treat., 51 (2013) 1-8.
  72. Vazquez, R. T. and Petriciolet, A. B., An Adsorbent Prepared for Fluoride Removal from Water, Afinidad, 61 (2004) 116-119.
  73. Das, N., Patanaik, P. and Das, R., Defluoridation of Drinking Water Using Activated Titanium Rich Bauxite, J. Colloid Interf. Sci., 292 (2005) 1-10.
  74. Janardhana, C., Rao, G. N., Sathish, R. S. and Lakshman, V. S., Study on Defluoridation of Drinking Water by Impregnation of Metal Ions in Activated Charcoal, Indian J. Chem. Technol., 13 (2006) 414-416.
  75. Sivasamy, A., Singh, K. P., Mohan, D. and Maruthamuthu M., Studies on Defluoridation of Water by Coal-Based Sorbents, J. Chem. Tech. Biotech., 76 (2001) 717-722.
  76. Fan, X., Parker, D. J. and Smith, M. D., Adsorption Kinetics of Fluoride on Low Cost Materials, Water Res., 37 (2003) 4929-4937.
  77. Garmes, H., Persin, F., Sandeaux, J., Pourcelly, G. and Mountadar, M., Defluoridation of Groundwater by a Hybrid Process Combining Adsorption and Donnan Dialysis, Desalination, 145 (2002) 287-291.
  78. Haghighat, G. L., Dehghani, M. H., Nasseri, S., Hossein, A., Mahvi and Rastkan, N., Comparison of Carbon Nanotubes and Activated Alumina Efficiencies in Fluoride Removal from Drinking Water, Indian J. Sci. Technol., 5 (2012) 2432-2435.
  79. Kagne, S., Jagtap, S., Thakare, D., Devotta, S. and Rayalu, S. S., Bleaching Powder: A Versatile Adsorbent for the Removal of Fluoride from Aqueous Solution, J. Hazard. Mater., 243 (2009) 22-31.
  80. Zhua, J., Zhaoa, H. and Ni, J., Fluoride Distribution in Electrocoagulation Defluoridation Process, Sep. Purif. Technol., 56 (2007) 184-191.
  81. Li, Y. H., Wang, S., Zhang, X., Wei, J., Xu, C., Luan, Z. and Wu, D., Adsorption of Fluoride from Water by Aligned Carbon Nanotubes, Mater. Res. Bull., 38 (2003) 469-476.
  82. Lounici, H., Addour, L., Belhocine, D., Grib, H., Nicolas, S., Bariou, B. and Mameri, N., Study of a New Technique for Fluoride Removal from Water, Desalination, 114 (1997) 241-251.
  83. Srimurali, M., Pragathi A. and Karthikeyan, J., A Study on Removal of Fluorides from Drinking Water by Adsorption onto Low-Cost Materials, Environ. Pollut., 99 (1998) 285-289.
  84. George, S., Pandit, P. and Gupta, A. B., Residual Aluminium in Water Defluoridated Using Activated Alumina- Modelling and Simulation Studies, Water Res., 44 (2010) 3055-3064.
  85. Bulusu, K. R., Nawlakhe, W. G., Parker, C. L. and Fong, C. C., Defluoridation of Water with Activated Alumina-Batch Operation, Indian J. Environ. Health, 30 (1975) 262-299.
  86. Daw, R. K., Experience with Domestic Defluoridation in India, Proceedings of the 30th WEDC International Conference, Vientiane, Lao PDR, 25-29th Oct. (2004) 1-7. documents/ Domestic%20DeFluoridation%20in%20Lao%20(WEDC).pdf (Date accessed 2nd December, 2013)
  87. Draft Specifications for Domestic De-fluoridation Filter Unit and Activated Alumina for Defluoridation, 1-7. References/EH_KEY_REFERENCES/WATER/Water%20Quality/Fluoride/ Specifications%20for%20Domestic%20Defluoridation%20(UNICEF).pdf (Date accessed 2nd December, 2013)
  88. Iyenger, L., Defluoridation of Water Using Activated Alumina Technology: Studies at IIT Kanpur, A Report for UNICEF, New Delhi (2005) 1-11.
  89. Chauhan, V. S., Dwivedi, P. K. and Iyengar, L., Investigation on Activated Alumina Based Domestic Defluoridation Units, J. Hazard. Mater., B139 (2007) 103-107.
  90. Venkobachar, C., Iyengar, L. and Mudgal, A. K., Household Defluoridation of Drinking Water Using Activated Alumina, Proceedings of the 2nd International Workshop on Fluorosis Prevention and Defluoridation of Water, Nazreth, Ethiopia, Ed. by Dahi, E. and Nielsen, J. M., 19-25th Nov. (1997) 138-145.
  91. Stewart, T., Removal of Fluoride from Drinking Water: Analysis of Alumina Based Sorption, Term Paper, Ins. Biogeochem. Pollut. Dynamics, ETH Zurich, (2009) 1-24.
  92. Karthikeyan, G., Meenakshi, S. and Apparao, B. V., Defluoridation Properties of Activated Alumina, Proceedings of the 2nd International Workshop on Fluorosis Prevention and Defluoridation of Water, Nazreth, Ethiopia, Ed. by Dahi, E. and Nielsen, J. M., 19-25th Nov. (1997) 78-82.
  93. Vaish, A. K. and Vaish, P., A Case Study of Fluorosis Mitigation in Duangarpur District, Rajasthan, Proceedings of the 3rd International Workshop on Fluorosis Prevention and Defluoridation of Water, Chiang Mai, Thailand, 20-24th Nov. (2000) 97-104.
  94. Ramos, R. L., Medellin-Castillo, N. A., Azuara, A. J., Barron, J. M., Landlin-Rodriguez, L. E., Martinez-Rosales, J. M. and Pina, A. A, Fluoride Removal from Water Solution by Adsorption on Activated Alumina Prepared from Pseudo-Boehmite, J. Environ. Manage., 18 (2008) 301-309.
  95. Wu, Y. C. and Nitya, A., Water Defluoridation with Activated Alumina, J. Environ. Eng. Div., 105 (1979) 357-366.

Copyright @2019 | Designed by: Open Journal Systems Chile Logo Open Journal Systems Chile Support OJS, training, DOI, Indexing, Hosting OJS

Code under GNU license: OJS PKP