Influence of silica-based nanoparticles amendment in sand bed filtration for cleaning-up industrial wastewater
Publication Type
Conference Paper
  • Afif Hethnawi
  • Gerardo Vitale
  • Nashaat N. Nassar
  • Marwan Shamel
  • Amjad El-Qanni
  • Suraj Gurung

Sand filtration technology is widely used to remove the suspended solids and colloids from the industrial wastewater effluent. However, such standalone technology cannot remove the soluble organic compounds from the industrial wastewater. In the current application, we are targeting to improve not only the removal of suspended solids but also increase the removal efficiency of total organic carbons (TOC) by enhancing the sand surface area via integrating it with functionalized silica-based nanoparticles. These kinds of nanoparticles are environmentally friendly and naturally occurring materials at the macro-level.

In this study, different types of functionalized silica-based nanoparticles were successfully prepared, characterized, and tested for TOC adsorptive removal within batch and continuous adsorption processes. Briefly, the Brunauer–Emmett–Teller (BET) surface area, X-ray diffraction (XRD), Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy and high resolution transmition electron microscopy (HRTEM) were used to confirm the surface area, crystalline domain size, functionality, and structural topology, respectively. The characterization results showed that the prepared nanoparticles are spherical in shape with a crystalline diameter of 10 nm and BET surface area around 180 m2/g. Adsorption experiments were conducted in a batch mode to investigate the adsorption affinity and capacity of nanoparticles toward TOC removal from a locally supplied industrial wastewater sample. The results indicated that the TOC removal efficiency was improved significantly by 50% using the functionalized sand with nanoparticles at low mass fraction (<10 wt%). Afterwards, the filter bed column, continuous mode, was conducted using the functionalized and the un-functionalized sands. Interestingly enough, the functionalized sand with in-house prepared silica-based nanoparticles showed prolonger breakthrough time (>50 times) in comparison with the un-functionalized sand. These promising results are believed to help the current conventional wastewater treatment methods not only on a lab scale but also on an industrial level.

Conference Title
2016 AIChE Annual Meeting (ISBN: 978-0-8169-1097-7)
Conference Country
United States of America
Conference Date
Nov. 13, 2016 - Nov. 18, 2016
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