Olive Pomace as an Abundant, Low-cost Adsorbent for Nitrate Removal from Aqueous Solution

Abdounasser Albasher Omar, Maali Mahmoud Saed, Maha Mohamed Abdalkarim, Huwaydah Ahmed Iedeelah, Wafa Beaj


Many methods have been applied in order to reduce nitrate concentration in aqueous solutions, among them is the adsorption onto the surface of agricultural wastes. In this study, batch experiments were carried out to investigate the adsorption of nitrate onto olive pomace (OP), a solid by-product of olive oil industry. To achieve this, six parameters were studied by varying only one parameter at a time. These parameters were the effect of: pH, contact time, temperature, adsorbent weight, agitation speed and nitrate concentration. The optimum pH was found to be 5, while the optimum time was 75 minutes. Nitrate removal percentage was found to increase with increasing adsorbent weight or temperature, with 92.5% of nitrate removed by using 2 g of OP and 48% of nitrate was removed at 60ºC. Generally, agitation speed increased the nitrate removal percentage, while high initial concentration of nitrate was found to decrease its removal percentage. These findings, combined with the low cost of OP and its abundance, suggest that OP is a potential adsorbent for nitrate removal provided that the optimum conditions are applied. Applying this method for nitrate removal will make drinking water safer to drink and wastewater safer to discharge.

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