Clarification of colloidal and suspended material in water using triethanolamine modified maize tassels
Kinyua, Esther Mbuci
Mwangi, Isaac W.
Wanjau, Ruth N.
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Suspended particles in water are a major concern in global pollution management. They affect the appreciation of water due to clarity, photosynthesis, and poor oxygen environment rendering water unsuitable for aquatic animals. Some suspended materials contain functional groups capable of forming complex compounds with metals making them available for poisoning. Such material promotes the growth of bacteria and fouling that give rise to unpleasant taste and odor of the water and thus requires removal. Removal of suspended solids is normally achieved through sedimentation or filtration. However, some suspended colloidal particles are very stable in water and cannot settle while others are able to pass through the filter due to small size, hence difficult to remove. This study investigated the use of triethanolamine-modified maize tassels to form a flocculent for their removal. The modified maize tassels were characterized using Fourier transform infrared (FTIR), and it was found that the triethanolamine was anchored within the cellulose structure of the maize tassels. Clarification parameters such as settling time, reagent dosage, and pH were investigated. The best clarification was at a pH of 6.0 with clearance being less than in 30 min. The optimal flocculent dosage was found to be 3.5 ml of the material, showing that the material has a potential of enhancing clarity in polluted water