Oil spills are environmental disasters, but current methods like in-situ burning are harmful to the marine ecosystem. This study proposes an innovative, low-cost ferrofluid developed using orange peel (OP) extract as the surfactant, instead of the conventional oleic acid which is expensive to purify. OP-ferrofluid has a higher oil removal capacity than commercial sorbents such as polypropylene and can be reused for at least 5 cycles without a significant drop in effectiveness. A novel prototype was constructed to easily retrieve used OP-ferrofluid via a magnet for regeneration, facilitating the use of OP-ferrofluid to clean up oil spills in the ocean.
Adsorption by activated carbon is conventionally used for wastewater treatment but is inefficient for pharmaceutical wastewater purification. This study investigates a novel, low-cost electrochemical enhancement of activated carbon fibre (ACF). With 1.0V applied, ACF’s effectiveness in removing acetone, a common pollutant in pharmaceutical waste, was increased by 107%. Over three cycles of adsorption and regeneration, the original effectiveness of unenhanced ACF plunged by 39.2%, while that of electrochemically enhanced ACF remained over 90%, demonstrating its increased reusability. A self-constructed prototype integrated electro-sorption and regeneration into one central chamber, allowing wastewater to be continuously purified as part of a cyclic process.
Research on adsorbent has been intensively studied to remove pollutants from wastewater, and layered double hydroxide (LDH) has shown remarkable performance. However, regeneration of exhausted LDH, being the most difficult part of adsorption technology, is often overlooked. This project developed an innovative method, electrochemical (EC) regeneration, to regenerate LDH and adsorbed products. It has very low energy expenditure and can be done on-site with simple setup. It was discovered that LDH activated through calcination has a remarkable adsorption capacity which is 60 times than that of activated carbon. Capacity of LDH can be fully recovered for 6 cycles consecutively. This project successfully developed effective regeneration methods, thus turning wastewater and adsorbed products into resources again.
The conventional method of synthesizing reduced graphene oxide (rGO), a promising material for water purification, is expensive and produces toxic gases. In this study, rGO was synthesized from durian rind and sugarcane bagasse using a novel, eco-friendly, simple and low-cost process. The rGO synthesized from durian rind was comparable to commercial activated carbon in removing methylene blue, a toxic dye, and is 32% more effective than commercial activated carbon in adsorbing copper(II) ions. The rGO synthesized can be incorporated into filters for the removal of dyes and metal ions.