Coconut endocarp and mesocarp as both biosorbents of dissolved hydrocarbons in fuel spills and as a power source when exhausted
Luis Zarate, Víctor Hugo
Rodríguez Hernández, Mayra Cecilia
Alatriste Mondragón, Felipe
Cházaro Ruiz, Luis Felipe
Rangel Méndez, José René
"Health and environmental problems associated with the presence of toxic aromatic compounds in water from oil spills have motivated research to develop effective and economically viable strategies to remove these pollutants. In this work, coconut shell (endocarp), coconut fiber (mesocarp) and coconut shell with fiber (endocarp and mesocarp) obtained from coconut (Cocos nucifera) waste were evaluated as biosorbents of benzene, toluene and naphthalene from water, considering the effect of the solution pH (6-9) and the presence of dissolved organic matter (DOM) in natural water (14?mg/L). In addition, the heat capacity of saturated biosorbents was determined to evaluate their potential as an alternative power source to conventional fossil fuels. Tests of N2 physisorption, SEM, elemental and fiber analysis, ATR-FTIR and acid-based titrations were performed in order to understand the materials' characteristics, and to elucidate the biosorbents' hydrocarbon adsorption mechanism. Coconut fiber showed the highest adsorption capacities (222, 96 and 5.85?mg/g for benzene, toluene and naphthalene, respectively), which was attributed to its morphologic characteristics and to its high concentration of phenolic groups, associated with the lignin structure. The pH of the solution did not have a significant influence on the removal of the contaminants, and the presence of DOM improved the adsorption capacities of aromatic hydrocarbons. The adsorption studies showed biphasic isotherms, which highlighted the strong affinity between the molecules adsorbed on the biosorbents and the aromatic compounds remaining in the solution. Finally, combustion heat analysis of coconut waste saturated with soluble hydrocarbons showed that the heat capacity increased from 4407.79?cal/g to 5064.43?-?11.6?cal/g, which is comparable with that of woody biomass (3400-4000?cal/g): this waste biomass with added value could be a promising biofuel."
Knowledge areaCIENCIAS AGROPECUARIAS Y BIOTECNOLOGÍA