Use of Acorn Leaves as a Natural Coagulant in a Drinking Water Treatment Plant
Laboratory LIPE, Faculty Process Engineering, University of Constantine 3, Ali Mendjeli Nouvelle Ville, 25000 Constantine, Algeria
National Polytechnic School of Constantine, Ali Mendjeli Nouvelle Ville, 25000 Constantine, Algeria
Telematic University Pegaso, 80148 Naples, Italy
Department of Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering, University of Naples Federico II, 80125 Naples, Italy
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Water 2019, 11(1), 57; https://doi.org/10.3390/w11010057
Received: 5 December 2018 / Revised: 18 December 2018 / Accepted: 21 December 2018 / Published: 31 December 2018
(This article belongs to the Section Wastewater Treatment and Reuse)
In this study, the use of acorn leaves as a natural coagulant to reduce raw water turbidity and globally improve drinking water quality was investigated. The raw water was collected from a drinking water treatment plant located in Mila (Algeria) with an initial turbidity of 13.0 ± 0.1 NTU. To obtain acorn leaf powder as a coagulant, the acorn leaves were previously cleaned, washed with tap water, dried, ground and then finely sieved. To improve the coagulant activity and, consequently, the turbidity removal efficiency, the fine powder was also preliminarily treated with different solvents, as follows, in order to extract the coagulant agent: (i) distilled water; (ii) solutions of NaCl (0.25; 0.5 and 1 M); (iii) solutions of NaOH (0.025; 0.05 and 0.1 M); and (iv) solutions of HCl (0.025; 0.05 and 0.1 M). Standard Jar Test assays were conducted to evaluate the performance of the coagulant in the different considered operational conditions. Results of the study indicated that at low turbidity (e.g., 13.0 ± 0.1 NTU), the raw acorn leaf powder and those treated with distilled water (DW) were able to decrease the turbidity to 3.69 ± 0.06 and 1.97 ± 0.03 NTU, respectively. The use of sodium chloride solution (AC-NaCl) at 0.5 M resulted in a high turbidity removal efficiency (91.07%) compared to solutions with different concentrations (0.25 and 1 M). Concerning solutions of sodium hydroxide (AC-NaOH) and hydrogen chloride (AC-HCl), the lowest final turbidities of 1.83 ± 0.13 and 0.92 ± 0.02 NTU were obtained when the concentrations of the solutions were set at 0.05 and 0.1 M, respectively. Finally, in this study, other water quality parameters, such as total alkalinity hardness, pH, electrical conductivity and organic matters content, were measured to assess the coagulant performance on drinking water treatment.