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Process Biochemistry 41 (2006) 730–733 www.elsevier.com/locate/procbio Short communication A preliminary study on cactus

Process Biochemistry 41 (2006) 730–733

Process Biochemistry 41 (2006) 730–733 www.elsevier.com/locate/procbio Short communication A preliminary study on cactus

www.elsevier.com/locate/procbio

Short communication

A preliminary study on cactus as coagulant in water treatment

Jingdong Zhang * , Fang Zhang, Yuhong Luo, Hong Yang

Department of Environmental Engineering, College of Resources and Environmental Science, Wuhan University, Wuhan 430079, PR China

Received 21 June 2005; received in revised form 24 August 2005; accepted 26 August 2005

Abstract

The coagulation performance of cactus to act as natural macromolecular coagulant was studied by the jar test. The cactus coagulation attained comparatively high turbidity removal efficiency, and water with turbidity less than 5NTU could be obtained with initial turbidities from 20 to 200. When used to treat the same water sample, the optimum dosage of cactus coagulant was found similar to that of AlCl 3 6H 2 O. Effects of factors such as pH, temperature, alkalinity on cactus coagulation were also studied. High removal efficiency of turbidity and COD could be obtained when cactus solids were used to treat sewage water, potable water source (taken from Changjiang, Wuhan) and high turbidity seawater. When cactus was used with AlCl 3 6H 2 O synchronously to treat sewage water, the removal efficiency of turbidity and COD were higher than that of cactus or AlCl 3 6H 2 O was used solely. # 2005 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Keywords: Natural coagulants; Cactus; Coagulation performance; Turbidity removal efficiency; COD removal efficiency; Surface water treatment

1. Introduction

Coagulant plays an important part in areas of water treatment and sewage reuse. But some kinds of inorganic coagulant that are used widely have disadvantages such as large dosage, low effect and harmful to human body, and synthetic organic coagulant has disadvantages of high price and toxicity, so their application was limited [1] . Natural macromolecular coagulants show bright future and are concerned by many researchers because their abundant source, low price, innocuity, multifunction and biodegradation [2] . Aqueous extracts of dry seeds of Moringa oleifera are one kind of natural macro- molecular coagulants [3,4] . Studies have shown that the water extract of M. oleifera seeds has a similar function with alum, and it has been recommended as a water treatment coagulant [5] . Cactus used in the current test is cactaceous opuntia. The original producing areas of this kind of plant are Torrid Zone and subtropics [6] . In China, it distributes mainly on the southern sand beach of the country [7] . Cactus has received great degree of attention in recent years because it contains many nutritious and medicinal components such as protein,

* Corresponding author. Tel.: +86 27 68775699; fax: +86 27 68773516. E-mail address: jdzhang@whu.edu.cn (J. Zhang).

1359-5113/$ – see front matter # 2005 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

doi:10.1016/j.procbio.2005.08.016

amylose, malic acid, resin, vitamin and cellulose [8] . Studies indicated that cactus has similar properties to seeds of M. oleifera [5] , so it has potential as a coagulant.

2. Materials and methods

Cactuses were collected from the suburb of Wuhan and processed at Wuhan University. They were washed and dried at 80 8C and then were milled and sieved to obtain the solids with the diameter of 0.45–1.25 mm. The solids were then used as raw coagulant to treat surface water. Synthetic water with pH of about 7.0 was prepared with kaolin and deionized water to provide turbidity of 20–200NTU. A standard jar test apparatus (DBJ621) was used in the coagulation test refers to [9] . Synthetic water samples (600 ml) were stirred at 125 rpm for 2 min and coagulants were added into the samples during this time. Then the samples were stirred at 70 rpm for 30 min. After the agitation, the samples would stand for 30 min and then the turbidity of the supernatant liquors was measured using a turbidometer (HACH 2100P). Then sewage water (taken from a sewage farm of Wuhan), potable water source (taken from Changjiang, Wuhan), and high turbidity seawater (taken from a bay on the southeast of China) was treated with cactus coagulant. The method was the same as synthetic water sample was treated. Numbers of samples that were taken and measured for tests about effect of cactus coagulant dosage and alkalinity on coagulation effect were 5 and 3, respectively. Seven samples were taken and measured for test about removal efficiency of turbidity when cactus coagulant and PFS were used to treat high turbidity seawater, and six samples were taken and measured for all other tests.

J. Zhang et al. / Process Biochemistry 41 (2006) 730–733

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Zhang et al. / Process Biochemistry 41 (2006) 730–733 731 Fig. 1. Effects of different physicochemical

Fig. 1. Effects of different physicochemical parameters on turbidity removal efficiency when cactus coagulant was used to treat synthetic water: (a) raw cactus coagulant of different dosage to treat synthetic water with different initial turbidity; (b) raw cactus coagulant of 30 and 50 mg/L to treat synthetic water with initial turbidity of 176NTU and with different pH; (c) raw cactus coagulant of different dosage to treat synthetic water with initial turbidity of 176NTU and u nder different temperature; (d) raw cactus coagulant of 50 mg/L to treat synthetic water with initial turbidity of 176NTU and with different alkalinity).

PH was measured by OAKTON pH meter (Made in Singapore) and alkalinity was measured by the method of hydrochloric acid titration refer to [10].

3. Results and discussion

3.1. Effects of cactus dosage, pH, temperature and alkalinity on turbidity removal efficiency when cactus coagulant was used to treat synthetic water

Fig. 1 shows effects of different physico-chemical para- meters on the coagulation effect when cactus coagulant was used to treat synthetic water, such as raw cactus coagulant dosage, pH, temperature and alkalinity. From Fig. 1 (a), it could be seen that the optimum dosage of cactus coagulation was about 50 mg/L, and turbidity removal efficiency could reach 94%, so cactus deserves further evaluation as a coagulant. Of course, the effect of cactus should be compared with other coagulants that have been used widely. Ndabigengesere and Narasiah [4] treated synthetic water with the initial turbidity of 105NTU with an extract of M. oleifera seeds. Compare the result with the current study, the two materials are similar in coagulation performance and cactus deserves evaluation as a coagulant. Earlier work has shown that the use of M. oleifera does not alter pH [5] and it is not easy to confirm the optimum pH [4] . Fig. 1 (b) shows the effect of pH changes on the coagulation behavior of cactus. It indicates that the variation of pH do alter the final turbidity. Though it cannot be explained amply at present, the result shows that the optimum pH was about 10, and the worst effect appeared at about pH 6. Temperature is also an important factor that affects coagulation effect. The relationship between cactus dosage and the turbidity removal efficiency with different temperatures

is also shown in Fig. 1 (c). It shows that the coagulation effect at 10 8 C was a little worse than that at 20 and 35 8 C and turbidity removal efficiency increased with the increase of temperature. But the turbidity removal efficiencies had no obvious differences among the samples at these three different temperatures. This indicates that temperature has slight influence on the coagulation effect of cactus. According to the work reported by Ndabigengesere and Narasiah [4] , the concentration of cations had little effect on the final turbidity of the treated water, but the concentration of anions had a slight effect on the final turbidity. The alkalinity was varied and the coagulation effect of cactus coagulation was tested on water samples with an initial turbidity of 176NTU but with different alkalinity values of 40.4, 165 and 265 mg CaCO 3 /liter ( Fig. 1 (d)). The result was that the turbidity removal efficiency did decrease in some sort as the alkalinity increased, this indicated the concentration of some ions more or less have influence on coagulation effect. Muyibi and Okuofu [11] used the extract of M. oleifera seeds to treat waters obtained from three surface water sources in Nigeria, the result was that turbidity removal efficiency could

the result was that turbidity removal efficiency could Fig. 2. A comparison of coagulation effect when

Fig. 2. A comparison of coagulation effect when cactus coagulant, AlCl 3 6H 2 O and PFS were used to treat synthetic water (initial turbidity = 56NTU).

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J. Zhang et al. / Process Biochemistry 41 (2006) 730–733

J. Zhang et al. / Process Biochemistry 41 (2006) 730–733 Fig. 3. Removal efficiencies of turbidity

Fig. 3. Removal efficiencies of turbidity and COD when cactus, AlCl 3 6H 2 O and cactus with AlCl 3 6H 2 O were used to treat sewage water (initial turbidity = 70NTU, initial COD = 359 mg/L).

reach 50%. The optimum dosage of the seeds of M. oleifera was comparable to that of alum. The coagulation effects comparison of cactus and AlCl 3 6H 2 O and PFS in Fig. 2 demonstrate that the natural coagulant gave a better performance than alum. At the point of the optimum dosage, the effect of PFS was a little better than that of cactus, but the final water has an obvious chroma of yellowy.

3.2. Comparison of coagulation effect when cactus

coagulant, AlCl 3 6H 2 O and PFS were used to treat sewage water

Cactus coagulant was used to treat sewage water taken from a sewage farm of Wuhan. The initial turbidity of the sewage water was 70NTU, COD cr was 359 mg/l, pH was about 7, alkalinity was 456 mg/l CaCO 3 and temperature was 23 8C. Samples of sewage water (400 ml) were stirred at 125 rpm for 2 min and coagulants were added into the samples during this time, then samples were stirred at 70 rpm for 20 min and stand for 20 min. Fig. 3 shows removal efficiency of turbidities and COD of the sewage water that treated by cactus, AlCl 3 6H 2 O and cactus with AlCl 3 6H 2 O. The result was that when cactus and AlCl 3 6H 2 O were used solely to treat sewage water, the maximal removal efficiency of turbidity and COD could be obtained by AlCl 3 6H 2 O and cactus, respectively, and when cactus and AlCl 3 6H 2 O were used synchronously, the removal efficiency of turbidity and COD were higher than that of cactus or AlCl 3 6H 2 O was used solely.

3.3. Coagulation effect of cactus coagulant, AlCl 3 6H 2 O

and PFS on potable water source

Cactus coagulant was then used to treat potable water source taken from Changjiang, Wuhan. The initial turbidity was 50NTU, COD cr was 14 mg/l, pH was 8.15, water temperature was 16.8 8 C. The operation of the coagulation was the same as that of the treatment of sewage water. The quality of the potable water source was comparatively good, so only turbidity removal efficiency was examined. Fig. 4 shows turbidity removal efficiency when cactus, AlCl 3 6H 2 O and PFS were used to treat potable water source. The result was that the

maximum turbidity removal efficiency could be obtained by AlCl 3 6H 2 O, then PFS, the removal efficiency that cactus could obtain was the minimum. But all these three coagulants could reach fairly high turbidity removal efficiency, all the maximum removal efficiency of them were more than 93% and the difference was inconspicuous, so cactus could be used as substitute of AlCl 3 6H 2 O and PFS when it is used to treat potable water resource.

3.4. Coagulation effect of cactus coagulant, AlCl 3 6H 2 O and PFS on high turbidity seawater

Cactus was also used to treat high turbidity seawater that taken from a bay on the southeast of China. The initial turbidity of the seawater was 980NTU, pH was 8.12 and COD was 5.40 mg/L. The quality of the seawater was comparatively good except the high turbidity which was caused by inorganic granule. So only the turbidity removal efficiency of the seawater was examined to test the coagulation behavior of cactus. PFS was used synchronously for contrast. The turbidity removal efficiency obtained by cactus and PFS were shown in Fig. 5 . The result was that both optimum dosage of cactus and PFS to treat the seawater were 60 mg/L, and the turbidity removal efficiency obtained by PFS was a little higher than that of cactus, but all of the removal efficiency could reach 0.98, and the difference of turbidity removal efficiency between cactus

difference of turbidity removal efficiency between cactus Fig. 4. Removal efficiencies of turbidity when cactus, AlCl

Fig. 4. Removal efficiencies of turbidity when cactus, AlCl 3 6H 2 O and PFS were used to treat potable water resource taken from Changjiang, Wuhan (initial turbidity = 50NTU).

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Zhang et al. / Process Biochemistry 41 (2006) 730–733 733 Fig. 5. Removal efficiency of turbidity

Fig. 5. Removal efficiency of turbidity when cactus and PFS were used to treat high turbidity seawater taken from a bay on the south east of China (initial turbidity = 980NTU).

and PFS was not obvious. So cactus was adapted to treat high turbidity seawater ( Fig. 5 ).

4. Conclusions

Cactus coagulant has its optimum dosage and pH when used to treat given water sample, and the coagulation effect was slightly influenced by temperature and alkalinity. When cactus was used to treat synthetic water and potable water resource, the effect was just a little worse than that of AlCl 3 6H 2 O and PFS. The effect that cactus used with AlCl 3 6H 2 O synchronously to treat sewage water was better than that of cactus or AlCl 3 6H 2 O was used solely. When it was used to treat high turbidity seawater, the effect was close to that of PFS. So cactus could be used as a substitute of AlCl 3 6H 2 O and PFS in water treatment.

Cactus has bright future of large-scale application, but the development of cactus application is now still limited in laboratory.

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