Comparison of a plant based natural surfactant with SDS for washing of As(V) from Fe rich soil

Soumyadeep Mukhopadhyay, Mohd. Ali Hashim, Jaya Narayan Sahu, Ismail Yusoff, Bhaskar Sen Gupta

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28 Citations (Scopus)


This study explores the possible application of a biodegradable plant based surfactant, obtained from Sapindus mukorossi, for washing low levels of arsenic (As) from an iron (Fe) rich soil. Natural association of As(V) with Fe(III) makes the process difficult. Soapnut solution was compared to anionic surfactant sodium dodecyl sulfate (SDS) in down-flow and a newly introduced suction mode for soil
column washing. It was observed that soapnut attained up to 86% efficiency with respect to SDS in removing As. Full factorial design of experiment revealed a very good fit of data. The suction mode generated up to 83 kPa pressure inside column whilst down-flow mode generated a much higher pressure of 214 kPa, thus making the suction mode more efficient. Micellar solubilisation was found to
be responsible for As desorption from the soil and it followed 1st order kinetics. Desorption rate coefficient of suction mode was found to be in the range of 0.005 to 0.01, much higher than down-flow mode values. Analysis of the FT-IR data suggested that the soapnut solution did not interact chemically with As, offering an option for reusing the surfactant. Soapnut can be considered as a soil washing
agent for removing As even from soil with high Fe content.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2247-2256
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Environmental Sciences
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 15 Nov 2013


  • soil washing; soapnut; Sapindus mukorossi; arsenic; plant based surfactant

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Environmental Chemistry


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