REMOVAL OF SURFACTANTS USING RUBBER GRANULES AS AN ADSORBENT
BABITHA RANI H, SRUTHY SUNIL, GAUTHAM KRISHNA
Anionic surfactant, Linear Alkylbenzene Sulfonate, rubber granule
Surfactants are regarded as one of the major and most undesirable pollutants detected in the aquatic and terrestrial environment. Massive quantities of surfactants are being used in daily life and most of them end up dispersed in different environmental compartments greatly affecting the ecosystem. Surfactant toxicity has aroused worldwide attempts to reduce the after effects of these silent toxicants. In the present study, an attempt was made to find the efficiency of using rubber granules in the removal of anionic surfactant (AS) from water. Linear Alkylbenzene Sulfonate (LAS) was selected as a representative member of AS as it is the most commonly used constituent seen in detergents and soaps . The removal efficiency, maximum adsorption capacity and cost were the guiding parameters for the selection of the adsorbent in the present study. Considering all the factors, waste tire rubber granules were chosen as the best adsorbent for AS removal. A series of laboratory batch and column studies were conducted to determine the effects of various parameters such as contact time, adsorbent size and dosage, initial concentration and pH on surfactant removal. The highest efficiency obtained was 97.55 % for an adsorbent size of 75 m at a dosage rate of 10g/l with contact time of 6 hours. With increase in initial concentration of surfactant ions, adsorption efficiency decreases. The results show that rubber granules is an efficient adsorbent for the remediation of surfactant contaminated water.