BU research offers hope for Vrushabhavathi

BU research offers hope for Vrushabhavathi

The technology, developed by BU researcher Sucharitha Tandon, makes use of activated carbon made of bagasse, an agro waste, at an affordable cost.

The Vrushabhavathi water, which passes through the campus, was made to go through two channels of activated carbon prepared in the Department’s laboratory.

“After the black coloured water was made to pass through the carbon column, we could extract colourless, odourless water within five minutes,” explains Sucharitha. Sucharitha, who is researching on activated carbon under the guidance of Dr Nandini, adds that apart from removing odour and colour, that activated  carbon also extracts heavy metal like Copper, Chromium and Zinc.

Microbial colony reduced

“We have found that even microbial colony can be reduced by 50 per cent,” she says. She said that the biological oxygen demand (BOD) which was 952 microgram per litre (mg/ ltr) was reduced to eight. Water hardness which was 400 mg/ltr was reduced to 250 mg/ltr.

Elaborating further, she says 20 kg of activated carbon is sufficient for treating one thousand litres of water. And to prepare 20 kg of activated carbon, about 40 kg of agro waste is needed. The metals that are extracted by the carbon column can be used by electroplating industries and the carbon can be decomposed and used as manure, Sucharitha explains.

Activated carbon prepared using bagasse has lignite content and 60 per cent more carbon. It is more effective than activated carbon obtained from other products like coconut shell, rice husk, almond seeds and maize cob. It is also found to be better equipped to remove metal content. A proposal has been submitted to construct a treatment plant in the varsity to treat Vrushabhavathi water.


Activated carbon from waste

Sucharitha, who is working on activated carbon for her PhD on Industrial Waste Treatment, says that activated carbon can be extracted from any domestic waste, which is rich in carbon content. Carbon obtained thus can be used for industrial effluent treatment too.

“I used orange peels, used tea leaves and other agro waste products before finalising on bagasse,” she adds.

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