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Polyurethane Loaded with Vegetable Activated Carbon for Heavy Metals Removal from Water
Wassim El Malti 1  
,   Mostafa Hamieh 2  
,   Amer Noaman 3  
,   Rim Nasser El-Dine 2  
,   Akram Hijazi 2  
,   Wassef Al-Khatib 2  
 
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1
College of Engineering and Technology, American University of the Middle East, Kuwait
2
Research Platform for Environmental Science (PRASE), Doctoral School of Science and Technology, Lebanese University, Beirut, Lebanon
3
Baghdad University, College of Science, Biotechnology Department, Baghdad, Iraq
CORRESPONDING AUTHOR
Wassim El Malti   

College of Engineering and Technology, American University of the Middle East, Kuwait
Publication date: 2021-10-01
 
J. Ecol. Eng. 2021; 22(9):99–110
 
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ABSTRACT
The heavy metals pollutants resulting from industrial wastewater are a major environmental problem due to their toxicity and non-biodegradability. Their removal became a trending environmental subject. The preparation of low-cost and eco-friendly adsorbents for industrial wastewater treatment has been widely investigated. Furthermore, the use of polymeric material for this purpose is highly increasing. In this study, banana stem agro-waste was valorized by preparing and characterizing its derived activated carbon used as a filler to improve the adsorption performance of polyurethane foams. The loaded polyurethane was synthesized in the shape of pellets, characterized by SEM, and tested in removing Pb2+ and Cu2+ from aqueous solutions. The effects of AC filler concentration, number of filtering passes, and pH were examined. The loaded polyurethane demonstrated a good adsorption capacity that was enormously improved compared to the unloaded polymer. 77 % Pb2+ and 40 % Cu2+ removal were reached after one filtering pass only. The optimum pH was determined to be 4. After the 10th pass, and at any pH, almost 100% of the studied metals were eliminated. Rapid and straightforward selectivity and seawater deionization tests were carried out and confirmed the capacity performance of the prepared pellets in removing different aqueous ions.