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RMIT University (2017)

Low cost drinking water treatment using indigenous materials for remote communities in developing countries

Nur Adila Ab Aziz

Titre : Low cost drinking water treatment using indigenous materials for remote communities in developing countries

Auteur : Nur Adila Ab Aziz

Université de soutenance : RMIT University

Grade : Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) 2017

Résumé partiel
Groundwater in many remote areas in developing countries was polluted with various harmful contaminants such as heavy metals and fluoride. The existence of these contaminants in polluted groundwater usually exceeds the standard limit recommended by the World Health Organisation (WHO) for drinking water quality. The primary objective of this study was to examine the use of indigenous natural products that are locally available, non-toxic, easy to prepare and biodegradable. It was expected that natural material can be an alternative to the expensive and harmful chemicals used for drinking water treatment. Based on previous studies, Moringa oleifera (Moringa seeds), Cicer arietinum (chickpeas), Musa Cavendish (banana peel), Cocos nucifera (coconut’s solid endosperm) and Lentinus edodes (Shiitake mushroom) were selected as natural water purification agents to examine their potential of removing various contaminants from polluted groundwater. However, it is important to realise that the effectiveness of each biomass tends to vary, depending on the contaminant. For this study, coagulation was selected as the key treatment process due to its practicality and simplicity to be used by non-skilled remote communities with small-scale water treatment systems. This research focused on groundwater as it is a major source of drinking water supply especially for many remote areas in the developing countries such as Pakistan, India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. It was documented in the literature that arsenic (As) and fluoride were the most concerned water contaminants due to their excessive level in groundwater, followed by other heavy metals such as lead (Pb), nickel (Ni) and cadmium (Cd). These harmful chemicals will lead to long-term effects on human health. Turbidity is generally not an issue for groundwater quality because the underground water has been filtered through the natural soil filtration system. Only in certain cases, groundwater was found turbid and aesthetically unpleasant due to the improper groundwater abstraction. In this study, the effectiveness of plant-based materials for the removal of low concentrations of As, Pb, Cd, Ni, fluoride and turbidity were investigated. Batch tests with individual biomass and their combinations were conducted at a pH of 7. Synthetic groundwater samples with known concentration of As, Pb, Ni, Cd, fluoride and turbidity was prepared, each with different biomass dosages ranging from 100 mg/L to 600 mg/L and different biomass dosing methods (single, combination and sequential manners) were attempted. Based on the preliminary screening, Moringa oleifera (MO) and Musa cavendish (MC) have been chosen to be used for the study based on their efficiency in removing target contaminants.

Mots clés : Low cost Drinking water treatment Groundwater Coagulation Developing countries Plant-based materials Adsorption Biomass Heavy metal Flouride Turbidity Jar test Langmuir Freundlich Moringa oleifera Musa cavendish Indigenous materials Water Treatment Processes Water Quality Engineering

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