Evaluation of bio-coagulants for colour removal from dye synthetic wastewater: characterization, adsorption kinetics, and modelling approach

  • IA Obiora-Okafo Department of Chemical Engineering, Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, Nigeria
  • OD Onukwuli Department of Chemical Engineering, Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, Nigeria
  • NC Eli-Chukwu Department of Electrical Engineering, Alex Ekwueme-Federal University, Ndufu-Alike, Ikwo, Nigeria
Keywords: coagulation-flocculation, spectrometry colour removal, coagulation kinetics, polymer adsorption kinetics, mass transfer modelling


Dye usage for industrial applications has been on the increase and these activities generate large amounts of dye-constituted wastewater that should be treated before environmental discharge or reuse. Various studies have shown the application of natural organic polymer (NOP) coagulants in dye removal from industrial wastewater. In this research, the coagulation performances of Vigna unguiculata (VU) and Telfairia occidentalis (TO) for colour removal from crystal Ponceau 6R dye synthetic wastewater was studied. The proximate compositions, structure, and surface morphologies of the coagulants were investigated using standard methods, i.e. Fourier-Transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy, and scanning electron microscopy (SEM). Colour removal was evaluated through the time-dependent decrease in particle concentration and thus growth of flocs. Effects of the process parameters, including pH, coagulant dosage, dye concentration (DC), settling time, and temperature were preliminarily tested and the best range experimentally determined. The optimal operating conditions established were pH 2, 800 mg∙L−1 coagulant dosage, 100 mg∙L−1 dye concentration, 300 min, and 303 K. The order of greatest removal was VUC > TOC with optimum efficiency of 93.5% and 90.7%, respectively. The values of K and α obtained for VUC and TOC were 8.09 x 10−4 L∙mg−1∙min−1, 1.7 and 9.89 x 10-4 L∙mg−1∙min−1, 1.6, respectively. Coagulation time, Tag, calculated and deduced from the particle distribution plot, showed a rapid coagulation process. Coagulation-adsorption kinetics indicated agreement with the pseudo-second-order model deducing that chemisorption is the rate-controlling step. It further indicates that particle adsorption on the polymer surfaces occurred mostly as a mono-molecular layer and according to the chemisorption mechanism. Cross-validation showed good prediction of the experimental data. The selected coagulants have the potential for application as efficient coagulants while also showing significant adsorption characteristics. The application of kinetics and modelling in separation processes involving particle transfer is especially required in wastewater treatment.

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