IIT-H team discovers way to remove fluoride from water using Jamun seeds

IIT-H team discovers way to remove fluoride from water using Jamun seeds
Jamun, one of the most commonly available fruits in India, may soon help serve the purpose of removing fluoride from groundwater sources if an IIT-Hyderabad study has its way.

A research team, comprising of Ramya Araga, Shantanu Soni and Chandra S Sharma, has discovered a way to turn the seeds of the Jamun (Syzygium cumini) into a carbon filter capable of significantly reducing fluoride levels in groundwater sources.

The paper, published in the Journal of Environmental Chemical Engineering, details how the team came across the solution.

The team converted the seeds into an 'activated' carbon source by means of a process called KOH treating and then subjecting the seeds pyrolysis (decomposing by subjecting objects to extreme heat) at 900 degrees Celsius, producing the activated carbon.

The team then segregated the filter into batches, which were tested with both laboratory-prepared fluoride water and groundwater sourced from Nalgonda, Telangana, which has some of the worst instances of fluoride concentration in groundwater in India.

The tests showed that the carbonised Jamun seeds absorbed and reduced the concentration of fluoride in the water sources to even less than the WHO-approved level of 1.5 mg/litre, making the water safer for consumption.

As many as 17 states of India currently face the problem of excess fluoride in groundwater sources, causing a major problem for water supply.

The success of the team in this experiment has led them to attempt to uncover means to remove other pollutants from groundwater by using Jamun seeds.

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