Study on optimum conditions for diesel spill removal application by a natural resource - peat

Jiang, Xiao (2011) Study on optimum conditions for diesel spill removal application by a natural resource - peat. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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The balance between energy demand and the conservation of natural resources is a worldwide issue that people have been confronted with for over a thousand years and will continue to be an issue for future generations. Consequently the environment has been more or less destroyed by human activities with the boom of industrialization and modernization especially for non-renewable natural resources. Environmental problems such as increasing global population, water resource shortage, greenhouse gas emission and oil spills have persisted due to the unlimited human demands on obviously limited natural resources. -- Contamination due to discharges from various manufacturing outfits and environmental degradation due to exploration and other associated highly economic human activities have resulted in consistent pollution problems requiring urgent attention. Many oil clean-up treatments have been developed and proved to be effective both in the laboratory and real situations, but the factorial analysis of diesel removal application under different weather and water environments might be a new research field. This study is based on the ide of using peat as an environmentally friendly material with easy application to clean up diesel-contaminated water from freshwater bodies especially lakes and rivers with low water turbulence. -- An experimental water environment was simulated using varied impact factors such as water temperature, water turbulence and added diesel volume. A 200mL beaker was placed in a 2L cuboid tank which was filled with ice cubes to realize the simulation (for those combinations with 4°C). A 75mL sample of lake water and diesel was added to the beaker to simulate the water body, the 2L cuboid tank was filled with ice cubes and a thermometer was inserted to adjust the environmental temperature under selected combinations. Two types of peat (poorly humified and highly humified) were applied on simulated contaminated water with different combinations of factors that could have an effect on the remaining Total Petroleum Hydrocarbons (TPHs) n the water. TPH analysis was conducted in the laboratory of Maxxam Analytic Inc., St. John’s. Optimum external conditions and both floating and dissolved oil removal efficiency were analyzed and obtained. -- Peat showed a high adsorbing ability as it could adsorb diesel at least 2.6 times its weight in water, and the diesel removal efficiency could be as high as 99.99% with optimum treatment conditions. Experimental results and statistical analysis using Design Expert 7.0® and Minitab15® showed the optimum condition for high removal efficiency was to apply fine horticultural peat for 0.25 h which could remove 99.99% of floating diesel and 82.03% of dissolved diesel. The average remaining TPHs in the treated contaminated water under different external conditions was Short-time application, lower water turbulence and lower water temperature were suggested to obtain lower remaining TPHs. -- This study analyzed the optimal conditions for applying peat on the surface of diesel-contaminated water. Experimental results and analyses showed that lower water turbulence and lower water temperature were appropriate conditions for the removal of diesel by using peat and shorter reaction time between the peat and diesel was preferred to obtain less remaining TPH in the water -- The reaction mechanisms between functional groups n peat particle surface and oil droplets were not investigated. Other meteorological factors such as wind and marine water were not included in the current experiment.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Item ID: 10742
Additional Information: Includes bibliographical references (leaves 93-100).
Department(s): Engineering and Applied Science, Faculty of
Date: 2011
Date Type: Submission
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Oil spills--Cleanup; Oil pollution of water; Water--Purification--Filtration; Peat--Industrial applications.

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