Remediation technologies for heavy metal contaminated groundwater

MA Hashim, Soumyadeep Mukhopadhyay, JN Sahu, Bhaskar Sen Gupta  

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    785 Citations (Scopus)


    The contamination of groundwater by heavy metal, originating either from natural soil sources or from anthropogenic sources is a matter of utmost concern to the public health. Remediation of contaminated groundwater is of highest priority since billions of people all over the world use it for drinking purpose. In this paper, thirty five approaches for groundwater treatment have been reviewed and classified under three large categories viz chemical, biochemical/biological/biosorption and physico-chemical treatment processes. Comparison tables have been provided at the end of each process for a better understanding of each category. Selection of a suitable technology for contamination remediation at a particular site is one of the most challenging job due to extremely complex soil chemistry and aquifer characteristics and no thumb-rule can be suggested regarding this issue. In the past decade, iron based technologies, microbial remediation, biological sulphate reduction and various adsorbents played versatile and efficient remediation roles. Keeping the sustainability issues and environmental ethics in mind, the technologies encompassing natural chemistry, bioremediation and biosorption are recommended to be adopted in appropriate cases. In many places, two or more techniques can work synergistically for better results. Processes such as chelate extraction and chemical soil washings are advisable only for recovery of valuable metals in highly contaminated industrial sites depending on economical feasibility.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)2355-2388
    Number of pages34
    JournalJournal of Environmental Management
    Issue number10
    Publication statusPublished - Oct 2011


    • Environmental Engineering
    • Waste Management and Disposal
    • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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