Cost-Effective Remediation of Petroleum-Contaminated Waters Using Locally Sourced Wood Sawdust
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Agrarian and Membrane Technologies Institute, Batumi Shota Rustaveli State University, Batumi, 6010, Georgia
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Nino Mkheidze   

Agrarian and Membrane Technologies Institute, Batumi Shota Rustaveli State University, Batumi, 6010, Georgia
J. Ecol. Eng. 2024; 25(5):208-218
The increasing environmental pollution resulting from oil transportation, especially through pipelines such as the Baku-Supsa in Georgia, calls for the development of advanced wastewater purification technologies. This study investigates the use of wooden sawdust for the purification of oil-contaminated waters, aiming to utilize locally available residual natural materials for cost-effective environmental remediation. A comprehensive experimental methodology was adopted, involving thirteen types of plant-derived sawdust as sorbents to evaluate their oil sorption capacities under static and dynamic conditions. The effectiveness of these sorbents was assessed by their ability to lower the concentration of petroleum hydrocarbons in contaminated water, focusing specifically on the influence of sorbent particle size, contact duration, and the initial concentration of oil contaminants. The physicochemical characteristics of Azeri Light Crude Oil were detailed, and the sorption mechanism was scrutinized using gas-liquid chromatography to ascertain the fractional composition of the oil absorbed by the sawdust. Sawdust from Cryptomeria exhibited the highest oil sorption capacity, successfully absorbing 31.6 grams of oil per 100 milliliters of sorbent. Sawdust from Eucalyptus and Oak also displayed considerable sorption capabilities. The findings indicate that decreasing the particle size of the sawdust significantly enhances its capacity to sorb crude oil. Furthermore, steam-contact pre-treatment of the sawdust markedly increased its oil sorption capacity by 11% and tripled its efficacy in purifying oil-contaminated water. The results highlight the potential of employing locally sourced wooden sawdust, especially from Cryptomeria, as an efficient, sustainable, and cost-effective sorbent for cleaning oil-contaminated waters. The improved sorption capacity achieved through steam-contact pre-treatment presents a viable strategy for enhancing the performance of sawdust sorbents. This research contributes to the advancement of eco-friendly and economically feasible solutions for reducing water pollution caused by oil and its derivatives, emphasizing the critical role of sorbent selection and pre-treatment in refining purification processes.
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