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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College of Engineering and Technology, American University of the Middle East, Kuwait
Research Platform for Environmental Science (PRASE), Doctoral School of Science and Technology, Lebanese University, Beirut, Lebanon
Baghdad University, College of Science, Biotechnology Department, Baghdad, Iraq
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
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.