Attenuation of Heavy Metals from Waste Oil-Based Drilling Mud using Locally Produced Coconut Shell-based Activated Carbon
Most toxic heavy metals (HM) persist in oil-based mud and ecosystem for many decades after the application of mud for drilling oil and gas wells. This study assessed the attenuation of such heavy metals from waste oil-based mud using activated carbon produced locally. According to literature, oil-based mud analysed presented variable levels of available Cadmium (Cd), Chromium (Cr), Zinc (Zn), Lead (Pb), Copper (Cu), Nickel (Ni), Calcium (Ca) and Manganese (Mn). Adsorption is a highly effective means of separation to remove a wide range of pollutants in waste streams. Coconut shell activated carbon (CS-AC) was locally produced to remove heavy metals from the waste oil-based mud to encourage value addition to waste. This study therefore assessed the suitability of CS-AC for use in removing heavy metals from the waste mud. CS-AC indicated good adsorption characteristics for Zn and Cr with HM loadings more than half of the initial concentration after 15 minutes with Zn having the faster adsorption rate. At an optimum dosage of 125 g/l, the derived activated carbon (CS-AC) has the potential for attenuation of heavy metals from waste oil-based mud at equilibrium time of 15 minutes for Zn, Cr, Mn, Ni, Cu and Ca, and 60 minutes for (Iron) Fe. CS-AC is a viable and economical product for the removal of toxic heavy metals from waste oil-based mud before disposal.
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