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Title: Activated unsaturated sand filter as an alternative technology to remove copper, manganese, zinc and nickel from waters
Author: Djembarmanah, Rachmawati Sugihhartati
Awarding Body: Swansea University
Current Institution: Swansea University
Date of Award: 2012
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An activated unsaturated sand filter (AUSF) is one of only a few of the filtration technologies utilized to treat waters and wastewaters that use unsaturated filter media. AUSF employs sand coated with potassium permanganate and operates with an open chamber allowing free air flow into the column of sand. The AUSF also benefits from operation without the need for a sedimentation unit. Previous studies have demonstrated the efficient removal of iron and manganese using an AUSF, however, to date there are still very limited studies available that use AUSF technology for the removal of metals from waters and wastewaters. Thus, there is an urgent need and opportunity to exploit this technology further. This research was conducted in order to develop and study the characteristics and subsequent operational performance of a novel AUSF media. The study focuses on the removal of copper, manganese, zinc and nickel from a synthetic wastewater and extends current knowledge to a passive aeration process rather than the active aeration used in the previous study by Lee et. al. (2004). The characterisation involved the use of sieving, Brunauer- Fmmett-Teller (BET) analysis, water evaporation studies and scanning electron microscopy (SEM) for structural analysis such as particle size, surface area, porosity and topography. Energy dispersive X-ray analysis (EDX), acid/alkali resistance, isoelectric point determination and acid digestion analysis were used to determine the chemical constituency, chemical stability, electrical charge properties and the binding efficiency of the media. Finally, tracer studies were employed to determine the flow characteristics through the particle media. The manganese coated sand was proven effective for the removal of copper in both agitated tank batch studies and continuous column studies. The batch studies showed that the equilibrium sorption of copper followed a Langmuir isotherm and the sorption rate was best modelled using the pseudo-second-order kinetic model. This suggests that adsorption is taking place as a single homogeneous layer on the surface of the sand particle via the chemisorption method. The Weber-Morris and Bangham models were used to determine the rate-controlling mechanism and this was found to be predominantly intra-particle diffusion. This was confirmed for column studies using the Bohart-Adams model that demonstrated that liquid-film mass transfer was not significant. Several mechanisms of metal removal are proposed and these include precipitation, electrostatic attraction, adsorption, ion exchange and complex ion formation. The column studies demonstrated that dispersion was low under the operating conditions and plug flow performance could be inferred, thus justifying the use of the AUSF model employed. Copper was best removed when operating as an unsaturated particle bed and the removal capacity was increased by approximately 100% when compared to a saturated particle bed. Moreover, the pH increase that occurs on exposure of the process water to the unsaturated column further improves removal capacity. Thus, there is no requirement for an expensive pH adjustment as a pre-treatment process prior to this unit operation. In addition, the removal capacity of the AUSF was demonstrated to increase with lower metal concentrations, lower water flow rates, smaller sand particles, an increase in manganese to sand ratio and an increase in particle bed height. The AUSF performance in removing metals followed the order Cu > Mn > Zn > Ni for individual and mixed component solutions and Cu > Ni > Zn > Mn for a synthetic wastewater typical of the electroplating industries. In conclusion, the novel manganese coated AUSF developed is effective in the removal of metals from solution and offers the potential of a sustainable low cost treatment method for the purification of waters and wastewaters.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Filters and filtration ; Water--Purification--Filtration ; Drinking water--Purification