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Decolourization of Melanoidin Containing Wastewater Using South African Coal Fly Ash

Authors: V.O. Ojijo, M.S. Onyango, Aoyi Ochieng, F.A.O. Otieno


Batch adsorption of recalcitrant melanoidin using the abundantly available coal fly ash was carried out. It had low specific surface area (SBET) of 1.7287 m2/g and pore volume of 0.002245 cm3/g while qualitative evaluation of the predominant phases in it was done by XRD analysis. Colour removal efficiency was found to be dependent on various factors studied. Maximum colour removal was achieved around pH 6, whereas increasing sorbent mass from 10g/L to 200 g/L enhanced colour reduction from 25% to 86% at 298 K. Spontaneity of the process was suggested by negative Gibbs free energy while positive values for enthalpy change showed endothermic nature of the process. Non-linear optimization of error functions resulted in Freundlich and Redlich-Peterson isotherms describing sorption equilibrium data best. The coal fly ash had maximum sorption capacity of 53 mg/g and could thus be used as a low cost adsorbent in melanoidin removal.

Keywords: Adsorption, Isotherms, Melanoidin, South African coal fly ash.

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