Technologies Rural Technologies – CSIR 800

Specific polymeric ion exchangers based drinking water purification domestic units for Arsenic and fluoride removal

Application / use:

Arsenic and Fluoride present in drinking water in certain locations of the country are highly toxic and health hazardous. CSMCRI has developed specific polymeric Ion Exchangers, useful for the selective removal of Arsenic and Fluoride from drinking water.

Brief description and salient features of the technology / product:

Macroporous specific polymeric ion exchangers are prepared by the copolymerization of different monomers and functionalized to introduce complex forming groups on the polymer matrices. The groups are further converted to their respective active forms which have potential to form complex either with Arsenic or Fluoride in the presence of other ions present in water, thereby making the drinking water Arsenic/Fluoride free. The specific polymeric ion exchangers have excellent operating life and can be reused repeatedly after regeneration once they get exhausted. The process is cost effective and safe drinking water can be produced at a cost of Rs. 10/- per 1000 liter of Arsenic free water and Rs. 6/- per 1000 liter of Fluoride free water. The process doesn’t require any additional infra structure and the domestic units can be installed in the households. On large scale community units can be installed which will benefit the people at large.

Novelty / innovation those differentiate us from others :

Specific polymeric ion exchangers remove Arsenic/Fluoride selectively from drinking water up to the prescribed WHO permissible limits. Arsenic specific polymeric ion exchanger removes both the forms of Arsenic (<10 ppb) and works over a wide pH range without affecting water quality. 

Major raw materials or resources to be utilized:

Different types of commercially available monomers like Methyl methacrylate, Methacrylic acid, Ethyleneglycol dimethacrylate, Divinyl benzene, aliphatic amines, Formaldehyde, Phosphorous acid, Aluminium sulphate, Ferric chloride, Hydrochloric acid and Caustic alkali etc.

Infrastructure and manpower requirement (for preparation of 100 liters of resin per day):

  • Infrastructure: 5000-8000 sq. feet factory shed, Glass lined reactors, Filtration unit, Cooling & Heating facilities, Cold room for storing chemicals.
  • Man power: 1 Chemical Engineer, 2 Chemists, 8 Casual workers, 3 Clerks, 2 Sales men.

Status of the technology:

Specific polymeric ion exchangers for selective removal of Arsenic/Fluoride have been successfully prepared in 20 liter round bottom flask and their potential use for the removal of Arsenic/Fluoride in the form of domestic units have been successfully tested in the field where Arsenic/Fluoride problems are prevalent. We have also tested commercially available copolymers which on further functionalization can be a good substitute for indigenously synthesized resins. 65 domestic dearsenificating units are already installed in Arsenic affected area of 24 (N) Parganas, W.B. 8 domestic defluoridation units are installed in Fluoride affected villages of Gujarat.

Minimum economic unit size and cost:

A unit producing 100 liters resin per day will be minimum economic unit size and the cost of the unit will be Rs. 90 lac. To 1 Crore

A Domestic Unit containing 6 liters of specific polymeric ion exchangers (Height-72 cm, Diameter-11 cm) can produce 25 liter of Arsenic/Fluoride free water per hour and each unit costs about Rs.10,000/-.

Total investment:

Approximately Rs. 90 Lac. To 1 Crore.

Technology transfer methodology:

As per CSIR/CSMCRI norms.

Product acceptability:

The product has been tested in the laboratory as well as in Arsenic/Fluoride affected villages and found to be within WHO limits.  The water is acceptable for drinking purpose. The unit containing specific polymeric ion exchangers is easy to operate and can be handled by any person.


In India many parts of the country have the problem of excessive Arsenic/Fluoride in drinking water, so there is good market potential for the product.

Is this technology is location specific? If so give details:

Preparation of specific polymeric ion exchangers is not location specific, but the use of specific polymeric ion exchangers in the forms of domestic as well as community scale are location specific, as they can be used at the places where excessive Arsenic/Fluoride have been reported in drinking water.


The masses/ locations where the problem of excess Arsenic/Fluoride in drinking water has been identified.

Any other important information:

65 domestic dearsenificating units are already installed in Arsenic affected area of 24 (N) Parganas, W.B. 8 domestic defluoridation units are installed in Fluoride affected villages of Gujarat and working well till date

Contact person and address:

  1. Dr. K.M. Popat, Scientist, CSMCRI, Bhavnagar
    E-mail: Dr. K.M. Popat


Technology licensed to: