Fabrication of spirulina based activated carbons for wastewater treatment

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Rakib, Mustafa
Baddam, Yeshaswini
Subeshan, Balakrishnan
Sengul, Ayse B.
Asmatulu, Eylem

Mustafa Rakib, Yeshaswini Baddam, Balakrishnan Subeshan, Ayse B. Sengul & Eylem Asmatulu (2022) Fabrication of spirulina based activated carbons for wastewater treatment, Environmental Technology, DOI: 10.1080/09593330.2022.2138557


The lack of safe drinking water is among the main problems to be faced by many areas of the world due to climate change, unrestrained population increases, and unsustainable usage of water sources. Therefore, research projects focusing on water quality, pollution, and control for sustainable water sources are in high demand to manage any unexpected changes in water sources. Drinking water sources may be contaminated with organic and inorganic chemicals, disinfection by-products, and microorganisms. Different treatment processes to remove these contaminants from water may be limited because of their high costs and time-consuming or require a multiple-barrier approach to improving performance. Therefore, there is a great need to develop an effective process for removing impurities. The primary objective of this study is to assess the effectiveness of algae-based activated carbons and develop a unique, low-cost sustainable process for wastewater treatment. Activated carbons were produced from pelletised algae powder using carbonisation and chemical activation. Chemical activation was carried out with calcium chloride (CaCl) and zinc chloride (ZnCl) as chemical agents. Furthermore, Brunauer–Emmett–Teller (BET) along with scanning electron microscopy (SEM) techniques were used to analyse the morphology, surface area, as well as the porosity of the prepared activated carbons to build a water column filter. Based on the results, algae-based carbon with CaCl activation provided a better surface area (197.7486 m/g) and cumulative pore volume (0.105284 cm/g). The filtration process using algae-based activated carbon can be a promising technique for water treatment with some further improvement and modifications.

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