Experimental study and dynamic simulation of melanoidin adsorption from distillery effluent

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This work aims to utilize fly ash from a thermal power station for melanoidin reduction from distillery effluent by adsorption. To accomplish this, coal fly ash was modified through chemical treatment and was then tested for melanoidin adsorption as a function of various melanoidin concentrations, contact time, and pH. The specific novelty of this study is the evaluation of coal fly ash as a low-cost adsorbent for melanoidin removal. Furthermore, the simulation study was carried out using Aspen ADSIM software in order to optimize the commercial usage of the prepared adsorbent. The main results achieved include the maximum removal efficiency of 84% which was reached at initial melanoidin concentration of 1100 mg L−1 (5% dilution), pH 6, and a contact time of 120 min. The Langmuir and Freundlich isotherm models were used to evaluate adsorption isotherms. The maximum adsorption capacity of 281.34 mg/g was observed using the Langmuir isotherm. Furthermore, pseudo-first- and pseudo-second-order and intra-particle diffusion models were used to fit adsorption kinetic data. The pseudo-second-order was best describing the adsorption kinetic with a faster kinetic rate of 0.142 mg g–1 min−1. CFA (coal fly ash) after acidic activation resulted in a slightly higher surface area, average pore volume, and pore size. The maximum breakthrough time and adsorbent saturation time were achieved at initial melanoidin concentration of 1 mol/lit, bed height of 2.5 m, and flow rate of 50 lit/min.

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The authors are thankful to U.S.-Pakistan Center for Advanced Studies in Water (USPCASW), USAID, the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department of the University of Utah, and the Chemical and Environmental Engineering Department of Mehran UET, Jamshoro. Additionally, the authors are also thankful to Dr. Rick Bereit, Professor University of Utah, for editing this paper.

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Correspondence to Shoaib Ahmed.

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•Strong acid-treated fly ash adsorbent is presented for melanoidin uptake.

•Langmuir isotherm and pseudo-second-order kinetic model describe the melanoidin adsorption.

•The dynamic column performance is modeled in Aspen Adsim® simulation software.

•Developed model is presented for breakthrough curves of different process conditions.

•Treated fly ash adsorbent is excellent for melanoidin uptake from real distillery effluent.

Responsible editor: Tito Roberto Cadaval Jr

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Ahmed, S., Unar, I.N., Khan, H.A. et al. Experimental study and dynamic simulation of melanoidin adsorption from distillery effluent. Environ Sci Pollut Res (2020).

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  • Melanoidins
  • Fly ash
  • Adsorption
  • Isotherms
  • Kinetics
  • Aspen Adsim
  • Simulation