Textile industry is one of the most predominant and
important industrial sector in the world. However, it accounts to the
consumption of large volumes of water and chemicals for the production of its
finished goods. Among the variety of reagents used dyes are the most vital compounds
required for the processing of textiles. Dyes adhere to the surface of the
substrate through covalent bonds, metal complex formation and physical adsorption. Hence impart desired color on the substrate.
According to their structural variations they are classified as acidic, basic, disperse, azo, diazo, anthroquinone based
and metal complex dyes (Farah Maria Drumond Chequer et al.,2013). Studies have shown that there are over 10000 dyes
available commercially and over 7 x 105 tonnes of dye is produced in
a year (Zollinger,1987). A significant amount
of this dye is discarded and discharged into the water bodies. Most of these dyes
exhibit high toxicity and are carcinogenic in nature. They do not readily
degrade biologically as they have a high half-life time. Hence, releasing these
effluents into marine ecosystem is detrimental for the aquatic life and leads
to water pollution.
The most commonly used organic dyes such as Congo Red,
belong to the azo dye group. 60 to 70 % of the dyes manufactured globally
belong to this class. They are extensively used as they are cheaper than the
natural dyes. These dyes decrease the photosynthesis efficiency and reduce the
dissolved oxygen in water. Like the other dyes they are highly toxic to the fishes,
crustaceans and other marine forms. A Toxicological study shows that the micro
algae Chlorella Vulgaris has
sensitivity of 5.19 mg/L to Congo Red dye. Therefore, even the release of small
quantities of such dyes is damaging to the ecosystem (Miriam
Hernández-Zamora et al., 2016).
The current methods available to remove dyes from
wastewater are physical treatments such as, adsorption, silica gel, membrane filtration,
ion exchange, activated carbon, fly ash and NaOCl. Advanced oxidation methods
such as oxidation by ozone, hydrogen peroxide, fenton process, and
photocatalysis are also employed for effective removal of dyes. The main draw
back of these methods is their high cost and hence there is a dire need to develop
low cost methods for treatment of wastewater (Tim Robinson et al., 2001).This
can be potentially achieved by the use of low cost adsorbants derived from soil,
ore and sea materials, agriculture, household and industrial waste products,
for which further research is to be done (Sabino De Gisi et al., 2016).
In this project we are preparing activated carbon
from the flower of male palm tree (Borassus
flabellifer) through chemical and thermal methods. Even though, the trunk,
fruits and leaves of the palm tree have commercial uses the flower of palm tree
has no economic importance.
However, it can be used to create activated carbon, that
can be used as an adsorbant to remove effluents from wastewater. Here we are
studying the application of Borassus Flabellier flower in the removal of Congo Red
dye through adsorption and UV method. The performance would be analysed through
absorbance experiments using
a UV spectrophotometer, Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM), Fourier transform infrared
spectrometer (FTIR), kinetics and thermodynamics analysis.