THWRC Awarded Proposal 513LUB0025H

Project number:           513LUB0025H

Title:                             Removal of Some Emerging Water Pollutants by L-3 Class Biosorbents

Lead PI:                         Shyam Shukla

Awarded amount:        $20,000


Project Abstract

Problem to Solve: With technological development, and increased industrial, agricultural and domestic activities, such as the use of personal care products, pharmaceuticals, and herbicides/pesticides in our daily life, the soil and water are getting contaminated with chemicals emerging from these sources. They need to be removed efficiently, and in environment-friendly way. Low cost, Locally available, and Low technologically prepared and used (L-3 class) biosorbents can be one of the best choices.

Research Objectives: The objectives of this proposal are: first, to investigate and optimize the removal efficiency of biosorbents prepared from biowaste for selected phenols, pharmaceuticals, and herbicides/pesticides in water by changing the parameters, such as equilibration time, pH, temperature, and ratio between adsorbate and adsorbent. Second, to study the kinetics and mechanism of the contaminant removal processes. Third, to make tea-bags filled with optimal amount of biosorbents so that they can be used in remote areas for water treatment.

Methodology: We plan to use mainly citrus types of biowaste for making the biosorbents. This includes peels of different types of fruits, such as oranges, grapefruits, lime, lemon, and banana (non-citrus fruit). These fruit peels are loaded with principally pectin, which is responsible for removal of water pollutants. We will use these biosorbents to treat water containing phenols (cresol, and 2,4-dinitrophenol), pharmaceuticals (tylenol, ibuprofen, amoxicillin, and testosterone), and herbicides/pesticides (tebuthiron, and imidaclorprid). We will find the optimum removal efficiency by changing equilibration time, pH, temperature, and the amount ratio between pollutants and biosorbents. In the second year, we plan to work on kinetics and mechanism proposition for the pollutant removal processes. We also plan to make tea bags filled with optimal biosorbents so that they can be used for water treatment simply by stirring the tea-bags in contaminated water. This might be very convenient biofilters for water treatment for militaries, and people living in arid and remote areas.

The proposed project is for two years involving two PIs from Lamar University.