COMPARATIVE STUDIES OF THE PERFORMANCE OF FILTER MEDIA MADE USING BIOCHAR AND ACTIVATED CARBON IN GREYWATER REMEDIATION

ABSTRACT
The problem of water Scarcity, water pollution and cost of accessing water for domestic needs have become growing concerns to the ever increasing global population. Waterwaterremediation has long been accepted as a viable option to mitigate water scarcity. This research examines the potentials of an environmentally friendly technique of using local but modified tropical plant materials in remediation of greywater for re-use. Column adsorption experiment was conducted using synthesized and characterized Biochar and Activated Carbon made from Shea tree (Vitellariaparadoxa), African Mahogany tree (KhayaSenegalenses) and the Fig tree (FicusSycomous) as filter media in constructed filter columns made from polyvinyl chloride pipes. Greywater Samples from Ahmadu Bello University Zaria‘s student hostel were passed through these filters at a hydraulic loading rate of 0.033m3/m2/day for a period of 21 days. The parameters assessed in this experiment were Electrical Conductivity (EC), Biological and Chemical Oxygen Demand (BOD and COD), Ammonium Nitrogen (NH4-N), Nitrate Nitrogen (NO3-N), Total Nitrogen (Tot-N), available Phosphate (PO4-P), Total Phosphorus (Tot-P) and pH. The results obtained showed high treatment efficiencies for both Activated Carbon and Biochar on all tested parameters except for NH4-N in which AC had a low efficiency of 49% at one instance. Activated Carbon had (85 – 95%) in remediating organic matter, (61 -81%) in remediating EC, (39 – 89%) in remediating NH4-N, (93 – 100%) for NO3-N, 92 – 99% for Total Phosphorus. Biochar showed 88 – 92% efficiency in remediating Total Phosphorus, 91 – 99% for NO3-N, 68 – 89% for NH4-N, 85 – 90% for EC and 76 – 90% for organic matter removal. The factors of time, particle size, activation status and parent material used in the filters were used to determine the efficiency of the filters and the results showed that time, parent material used, and activated status of the filters had significant effect on the performance of the filters while differences in particle sizes had little effect on the performance. It could be concluded therefore that biochar compared favourably with activated carbon in the remediation of greywater, which is more complex to synthesize and cost more to produce. In addition, because of the ease of production and availability of raw materials in the tropics, biochar can be used to remediate greywater and replace Activated Carbon in some water treatment systems.

CHAPTER ONE
INTRODUCTION
1.1       Background of the study
With the continuous annual increase in the world population (lowest increase being 1.1%) there is need to manage our natural resources. Water, which is one of these basic resources for human survival and socioeconomic development, needs to be managed efficiently. The United Nations has estimated that the use of water has increased six fold in the 20th century and that by the year 2025, about 1.8 billion people will have absolute water scarcity conditions (with an annual water supply of less than 500m3 per capita) and also that two third (2/3) of the world population will live under water stress (with an annual water supply of less than 1700m3 per capita) (U.N-Water Report, 2006). This population increase will have adverse effects on developing countries where 82% of the world live and experience water scarcity (Dalahmeh, 2013). There is therefore need to properly manage and utilize existing water resources especially in the developing countries.

The reality of water scarcity, coupled with the increased potential health risk posed by greywater pollution necessitates a swift solution hence the idea of using locally available materials like biochar as a means of improving water quality, sanitation and reducing environmental problems has become attractive.This study seeks to find simple inexpensive and locally available materials like charcoal and sand to solve environmental problems posed by water scarcity and water pollution.

Wood from locally available tropical trees waspyrolyzed at a temperature of 650oC and the biochar derived wascharacterized and treated. Its ability to adsorb certain major pollutants from the collected greywater was determined.

Greywater or sullage is defined as wastewater generated from kitchens and wash-hand basins, showers and baths, which, because it is nearly as clean as potable water, can be recycled onsite for uses such as toilet flushing, landscape irrigation and constructed wetlands (Barker and English, 2011).Biochar refers to biomass-derived char product most often used as cooking fuel (Kearnset al, 2014). It is a name for charcoal when it is used for a particular purpose such as soil amendment, water treatment, etc. (Kearns, 2012).Pyrolysis is a thermochemical decomposition of organic materials at elevated temperature in the absence of oxygen. It involves the simultaneous change in both chemical and physical compositions of the organic materials. The process is irreversible. Pyrolysis produces gas, liquids and a solid product rich in carbon.

1.2       Statement of the research Problem
Greywater, which accounts for approximately 50-80% of total household wastewater mostly ends up in receiving water bodies (Li et al., 2009). The provision of inadequate sanitation and wastewater disposal facilities leads to environmental and public health problems which is responsible for 1.8 million deaths annually (Corcoran et al., 2010; WHO Report, 2009). Although centralized wastewater systems are common in industrialized countries, they are complex and expensive to construct and operate. This however is not a viable option for most communities in developing countries. There is therefore the need to source for simple and affordable environment friendly techniques to treat greywater.

1.3       Justification of the Study
Previous studies and designs utilize activated carbon as adsorbents in water treatment systems. Recent studies however showed that biochar especially those with high lignin

content when pyrolyzed at temperatures above 450oC show similar molecular structure like that of activated carbon and can therefore be a possible replacement to Activated Carbon (McLaughlin et al., 2009; Kearns, 2012). This study aims to experimentally determine the effectiveness of biochar in greywater remediation. Biochar is cheaper, available and more environmentally friendly when compared to activated carbon, ion exchange resins, membrane filtration, reverse osmosis and nano filtration (Kearns, 2012). Biochar production techniques are also cheap and easy for local communities and so, this might be a better treatment option for community wastewater remediation especially in developing countries.

1.4       Aim and Objectives
This research aims to determine the effectiveness and efficiency of biochar derived from different lignin containing trees; Vitellariaparadoxa (Shea Tree), Khayasenegalenses (Mahogany), Ficussycomous(Fig) in remediating greywater.

The research has these following specific objectives.

i. To produce biochar and activated carbon from different parent material

ii. To use the biochar and activated carbon to make filters with physical properties like those of sand filters.

iii. To determine the efficiency of the prepared filters in remediating chemical and 
physical parameters; pH, Electronic Conductivity (EC), Ammonium Nitrogen (NH4-N), Total Nitrogen (Tot-N), Phosphate Phosphorus (PO4 -P), Nitrate Nitrogen (NO3-N), Biological Oxygen Demand and Chemical Oxygen Demand
(COD) from greywater.

iv. To compare the performance of the biochar with activated carbon made from same parent materials in greywater remediation.

v. To determine the effect of particle size, time and parent material in adsorbing the stated parameters.

1.5       Scope and Limitation of the study

This studywas to determine the effectiveness of biochar from three specifically identified tropical lignin containing trees (Vitellariaparadoxa, Khayasenegalenses, Ficussycomous) in remediating greywater fromSuleiman Hostel of Ahmadu Bello University Zaria (A.B.U). Physical and chemical parameters tested were: pH, Electrical Conductivity (EC), Amonium Nitrogen (NH4-N), Total Nitrogen (Tot-N), Phosphate-Phosphorus(PO4-P), Total Nitrogen, Nitrate Nitrogen (NO3-N), Chemical Oxygen Demand (COD) and(BOD)Biological Oxygen Demand. The constant mass of Carbon used throughout the experiment and the variation in daily concentration of pollutants in the greywater source however served as limitations in this study. It was addresses by adding an extra column which served as control to monitor changes in the greywater. This research was limited to Greywater and not industrial or other domestic wasterwater.

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Item Type: Postgraduate Material  |  Attribute: 103 pages  |  Chapters: 1-5
Format: MS Word  |  Price: N3,000  |  Delivery: Within 30Mins.
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