Treating waste with waste: the potential of synthesized alum from bauxite waste for treating car wash wastewater for reuse
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This study assessed the contaminant removal potential of a low-cost alum synthesized from bauxite slime waste compared to industrial grade alum [Al2(SO4)3.18H2O] in treating car wash wastewater using standard jar tests. The synthesized alum was subsequently applied as a coagulant to test the short-term performance of a bench scale flocculation–flotation system for treating car wash wastewater. Coagulant dosages and mixing intensities were optimized for both coagulants and differences were analyzed with R using two-way ANOVA with Tukey’s (HSD) post hoc testing. Per the jar tests, percentage removal of up to 99%, 34%, and 75% of turbidity, anionic surfactants (AS), and COD, respectively, was achieved with 90 mg/L of the synthesized alum compared to 100%, 37%, and 74% for industrial grade alum. Contaminant removal efficiencies of both coagulants were comparable (p > 0.05). However, coagulant dosage strongly influenced the removal of turbidity, AS, and COD (p < 0.05) while mixing intensity influenced all but COD. The bench-scale flocculation–flotation system completely removed turbidity (100%) and reduced AS and COD by up to 92% and 99% respectively. The results of this study demonstrate the potential of alum synthesized from bauxite slime waste as a cheaper alternative for industrial grade alum in wastewater recycling for the car wash industry.
KeywordsCar wash Wastewater Bauxite Reuse Alum Ghana
This research was funded by the Netherlands Government (VIA Water Project No. L15050 and NICHE 195) and the Regional Water and Environmental Sanitation Centre, Kumasi with funding from the Government of Ghana and the World Bank under the African Centers of Excellence project.
Compliance with ethical standards
The views expressed in this paper, however, do not reflect those of the funders.
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