REMOVAL OF PHENOL FROM PHARMACEUTICAL EFFLUENTS USING LOCUST BEAN POD AND BENTONITE CLAY
The pharmaceutical industry uses large volumes of fresh water in the process of producing pharmaceutical products and this leads to the generation of large volumes of wastewater. This wastewater is usually profiled for contaminants such as hydrocarbons, dissolved solids and aromatic alcohols such as phenolic compounds which are hazardous to humans. Previous investigations have revealed that the wastewater could be treated by either conventional treatment technologies or biomass treatment systems. However, most of these conventional treatment technologies have higher energy consumption and capital requirement compared to the use of biomass treatment systems. Hence, the current study has employed the use of adsorbents derived from the hybridization of locust bean pod represented as category A, and clay represented as category B for the reduction of phenol from pharmaceutical industry wastewater. The best adsorbent (A3:B3) combination in ratio 1:1, reduced the phenol content to a permissible concentration level of 0.2662 mg/L. This was subjected to an optimization process using Box-Behnken of RSM and lower phenolic concentration of 0.211 mg/L was attained at operating conditions of 45 ºC of temperature, 70 min of contact time, and adsorbent loading of 0.1 g. This study has established that the combination of locust bean pod and clay adsorbent is promising for pharmaceutical wastewater treatment.