Algerian Journal of Engineering Research
Volume 1, Numéro 1, Pages 11-17

Synthesis And Application Of A New Biomaterial Based On Opuntia Ficus Indica (cactus) In Water Treatment

Authors : Amira Asnam . Ali Aouabed . Omar Bouras .

Abstract

This present study deals with the preparation and application of a new biodegradable, non-polluting and economical bioflocculant based on available natural cactus cladodes (Opuntia Ficus Indica) for water clarification. The main objective of this work is to replace conventional commercial products such as chemical coagulants (FeCl3, Al2(SO4)3), synthetic organic polymers(anionic, cationic or non ionic) proving inadequate, unsuccessful or expensive to apply and to be able to meet increasingly stringent standards. The use of this new generation of biomaterials should reduce the cost of water treatment in a health, environmental and sustainable development context. The efficiency of this new gelled product is evaluated through several Jar Test tests, both for synthetic and real water samples, by examining some parameters deemed useful in eliminating turbidity. These parameters are turbidity, pH, bioflocculant concentration and conductivity of water. The present results showed overall and clearly that the maximum reduction in the turbidity of synthetic water is obtained for a very low volumetric ratio (gelled flocculant / water sample) .Throughout all the pH range studied, very high reduction rates were obtained with a residual turbidity meeting the standards and without affecting the pH and conductivity of treated samples. The application of this biomaterial towards some surface water samples from the river of Hammam Melouan (Oued El Harrach) has given encouraging results where the obtained turbidity abatement rate seems to be important for all the pH range studied. The Flocculation studies proved the cactus gel to be the most effective flocculating agent when compared to conventional commercial products and to other bioflocculants. According to the results obtained this Ecofriendly biomaterial can be attributed as an alternative solution to problems associated with the environmental performance of chemical coagulants.

Keywords

bioflocculant, biomaterial, cactus, clarification, coagulation-flocculation

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