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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Defluoridation of water at high pH with use of brushite, calcium hydroxide, and bone char.

The aim of this study was to improve the efficiency of the bone-char method of water defluoridation by pre-treating the water with brushite and calcium hydroxide. Various amounts of brushite, calcium hydroxide, and bone char were suspended batchwise in 100 mL of distilled water containing 0.53 mmol/L fluoride for 24 h under gentle agitation. At suitable intervals, pH and the concentrations of fluoride, calcium, and phosphate in the water were determined and, when possible, the degrees of saturation with respect to brushite, hydroxyapatite, and fluorapatite calculated. Bone char used alone took up fluoride slowly and inefficiently. The addition of brushite and calcium hydroxide resulted in high concentrations of calcium and phosphate, making the solutions highly supersaturated with respect to fluorapatite, and led to a 20-fold increase in fluoride removal from the water. The combined use of all three salts left low concentrations of phosphate in solution and optimized the fluoride uptake capacity. Repeated use of the same bone char for 18 consecutive runs demonstrated that uptake of fluoride by the bone char was improved by repeated use, provided that brushite and calcium hydroxide were added. Therefore, addition of the two salts to the water may prolong the life of the bone char indefinitely, ensure the removal of fluoride, and thus avoid the problem of determining when the bone char is exhausted. In conclusion, we show that the bone-char defluoridation technique can be improved by addition of brushite and calcium hydroxide to the water. The problem of high terminal pH remains, however, and further work is required to improve potability.[1]


  1. Defluoridation of water at high pH with use of brushite, calcium hydroxide, and bone char. Larsen, M.J., Pearce, E.I., Jensen, S.J. J. Dent. Res. (1993) [Pubmed]
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