Bayoxide E33 from Bayer is a ferric oxide developed to separate arsenic from drinking water supplies. It has just been certified by according to ANSI/NSF Standard 61 for drinking water system components. The standard is recognised by nearly all the drinking water supply companies and opens the door to the US market.
Arsenic, in the form of a complex bound ion leaches out of natural resins and minerals, into groundwater, contaminating drinking water supplies. Medical research has shown that, long term contamination can lead to skin problems and occasionally can cause skin cancer and other types of cancer.
Bayer have been working on this project for some time as regulations will see regulations reduce the maximum allowable arsenic content from 50 to 10µg/L in 2006, in line with World Health Organisation (WHO) recommendations. Places like California are rumoured to be pushing this level as low as 5µg/L.
Bayoxide E33 has nano-sized surface structures that are able to absorb arsenic. The material is used in the form of a bed, through which water is passed/filtered. The material is already in use at 2 sites in England, with another 14 under construction.
Prior to this, the material was tested for 2 years in a pilot plant where it was found to out perform more conventional materials such as activated carbon and alumina. This leads to advantages of longer service life and greater efficiency. Other advantages are that it is easy to handle and does not need to be regenerated.