Adsorption of crude and engine oils from water using raw rice husk

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The raw rice husk (RRH) was used as a low cost adsorbent to remove three oil compounds with different viscosities (crude oil, engine oil and spent engine oil) from an aqueous environment. Some of the sorbent specifications were characterized using a CHNSO analyzer, Fourier transform infrared, scanning electron microscope and inductively coupled plasma spectroscopy. With decreasing RRH particles size, the oil adsorption percentage was reduced for crude, spent and engine oils from 50 to 30%, 65 to 20% and 70 to 0.01%, respectively. This was probably due to damage of the microcavities. The removal percentage by sorbent at optimized conditions was 88, 80 and 55% for engine, spent and crude oils, respectively, corresponding to their descending viscosity. The adsorption of crude and spent oils on rice husk followed the Freundlich isotherm model, while the adsorption of engine oil was fitted by the Langmuir model. The maximum adsorption capacity (qmax), calculated from the Langmuir model for the adsorption of engine oil on RRH, was 1,250 mg/g.

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