Several water defluoridation techniques are currently known. The most relevant ones are listed below:

  • Ion Exchange Systems
  • Precipitation of iron
  • Activated alumina
  • Slum sludge
  • Reverse osmosis
  • Electrocoagulation

Many of these methods can not be used on a large scale due to several unfavorable factors, such as the high costs of investment and subsequent operation and maintenance, as well as toxic byproducts generation (pollution) and the use of energy that is not always available. Complexity of the treatment also requires unattainable skills in countries with low social and economic development.


Coagulation process is effective, but in practice the fluoride concentration reduction does not always achieve the desired results, narrowed by the treatable water conditions.


Membranes are techniques that require high investment and operation costs. They are easily soiled, affecting their performance. In addition, energy supply is essential, as well as qualified personnel to deliver facility management.


Electrochemistry is not a popular technique due to the high costs of its installation and maintenance.


In some African countries (Kenya, Senegal and Tanzania) this technique is widespread but unreliable. Worst part is the high concentration of residual aluminum in treated water (2-7 mg/L, far exceeding the 0,2 mg/L limit established by WHO).

Summary of the determinants of the fluoride removal techniques:

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