Publications by authors named "K Rambabu"

36 Publications

Recent developments in porous ceramic membranes for wastewater treatment and desalination: A review.

J Environ Manage 2021 Sep 7;293:112925. Epub 2021 Jun 7.

Department of Chemical Engineering, Khalifa University, 127788, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. Electronic address:

The development of membrane technology has proved vital in providing a sustainable and affordable supply of clean water to address the ever-increasing demand. Though liquid separation applications have been still dominated by polymeric membranes, porous ceramic membranes have gained a commercial foothold in microfiltration (MF) and ultrafiltration (UF) applications due to their hydrophilic nature, lower fouling, ease of cleaning, reliable performance, robust performance with harsh feeds, relative insensitivity to temperature and pH, and stable long-term flux. The enrichment of research and development on porous ceramic membranes extends its focus into advanced membrane separation technologies. The latest emerging nanofiltration (NF) and membrane distillation (MD) applications have witnessed special interests in constructing porous membrane with hydrophilic/functional/hydrophobic properties. However, NF and MD are relatively new, and many shortcomings must be addressed to compete with their polymeric counterparts. For the last three years (2018-2020), state-of-the-art literature on porous ceramic membranes has been collected and critically reviewed. This review highlights the efficiency (permeability, selectivity, and antifouling) of hydrophilic porous ceramic membranes in a wide variety of wastewater treatment applications and hydrophobic porous ceramic membranes in membrane distillation-based desalination applications. A significant focus on pores characteristics, pore sieving phenomenon, nano functionalization, and synergic effect on fouling, the hydrophilic porous ceramic membrane has been discussed. In another part of this review, the role of surface hydrophobicity, water contact angle, liquid entry pressure (LEP), thermal properties, surface micro-roughness, etc., has been discussed for different types of hydrophobic porous ceramic membranes -(a) metal-based, (b) silica-based, (c) other ceramics. Also, this review highlights the potential benefits, drawbacks, and limitations of the porous membrane in applications. Moreover, the prospects are emphasized to overcome the challenges in the field.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jenvman.2021.112925DOI Listing
September 2021

Valorization of groundnut shell via pyrolysis: Product distribution, thermodynamic analysis, kinetic estimation, and artificial neural network modeling.

Chemosphere 2021 Jun 15;283:131162. Epub 2021 Jun 15.

Department of Chemical Engineering, Khalifa University, P.O. Box 127788, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. Electronic address:

Pyrolysis of agricultural biomass is a promising technique for producing renewable energy and effectively managing solid waste. In this study, groundnut shell (GNS) was processed at 500 °C in an inert gas atmosphere with a gas flow rate and a heating rate of 10 mL/min and 10 °C/min, respectively, in a custom-designed fluidized bed pyrolytic-reactor. Under optimal operating conditions, the GNS-derived pyrolytic-oil yield was 62.8 wt.%, with the corresponding biochar (19.5 wt.%) and biogas yields (17.7 wt.%). The GC-MS analysis of the GNS-based bio-oil confirmed the presence of (trifluoromethyl)pyridin-2-amine (18.814%), 2-Fluoroformyl-3,3,4,4-tetrafluoro-1,2-oxazetidine (16.23%), 5,7-dimethyl-1H-Indazole (11.613%), N-methyl-N-nitropropan-2-amine (6.5%) and butyl piperidino sulfone (5.668%) as major components, which are used as building blocks in the biofuel, pharmaceutical, and food industries. Furthermore, a 2 × 5 × 1 artificial neural network (ANN) architecture was developed to predict the decomposition behavior of GNS at heating rates of 5, 10, and 20 °C/min, while the thermodynamic and kinetic parameters were estimated using a non-isothermal model-free method. The Popescu method predicted activation energy (E) of GNS biomass ranging from 111 kJ/mol to 260 kJ/mol, with changes in enthalpy (ΔH), Gibbs-free energy (ΔG), and entropy (ΔS) ranging from 106 to 254 kJ/mol, 162-241 kJ/mol, and -0.0937 to 0.0598 kJ/mol/K, respectively. The extraction of high-quality precursors from GNS pyrolysis was demonstrated in this study, as well as the usefulness of the ANN technique for thermogravimetric analysis of biomass.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.chemosphere.2021.131162DOI Listing
June 2021

Nano-activated carbon derived from date palm coir waste for efficient sequestration of noxious 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid herbicide.

Chemosphere 2021 Jun 5;282:131103. Epub 2021 Jun 5.

Department of Chemical Engineering, Khalifa University, P.O. Box 127788, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. Electronic address:

Alarming water contamination rates by toxic herbicides have drawn attention to treat these pollutants using efficient, easy, and economic techniques. In this work, date-palm coir (DPC) waste-based nano-activated carbon (DPC-AC) was successfully prepared and examined for adsorptive removal of toxic 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4-DPA) herbicide from synthetic wastewater. The DPC-AC was synthesized via a single-step carbonization-KOH activation approach. The nanosorbent displayed a flaky morphology with graphitic structure and oxygen-rich surface functionalities. The nanocarbon with a mean particle size of 163 nm possessed a high specific surface area of 947 m/g with an average pore size of 2.28 nm. High 2,4-DPA removal efficiency of 98.6% was obtained for the optimal adsorption conditions of pH 2, dosage 0.15 g, rotational speed 100 rpm, time 90 min, and initial 2,4-DPA concentration of 100 mg/L. Langmuir isotherm best described the equilibrium behavior with a theoretical maximum of 50.25 mg/g adsorption capacity for the system. Pseudo-second order model was more appropriate in quantifying the kinetics for all initial feed concentrations. Thermodynamically, the adsorption process was spontaneous, endothermic, and involved low activation energy. A plausible mechanism for the adsorption-desorption of 2,4-DPA onto DPC-AC is also discussed. Cost analysis and regenerability studies proved the economic value ($3/kg) and reusable nature of DPC-AC without any significant loss in its performance. Overall, this study highlights the advantages of DPC waste valorization into efficient nanoadsorbent and the sequestration of noxious 2,4-DPA herbicide from its aqueous streams using this nanosorbent.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.chemosphere.2021.131103DOI Listing
June 2021

Adsorptive removal of noxious atrazine using graphene oxide nanosheets: Insights to process optimization, equilibrium, kinetics, and density functional theory calculations.

Environ Res 2021 Jun 6;200:111428. Epub 2021 Jun 6.

Department of Chemical Engineering, Khalifa University, P.O. Box 127788, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.

Atrazine is a toxic herbicide whose alarming rate of contamination in the drinking water and wastewater poses a severe threat to the environment and human health. Here in this study, the graphene oxide (GO) nanosheets were prepared using Hummers' method with minor modification and studied as a potential adsorbent for atrazine removal from simulated wastewater. The spectroscopy and microscopic analysis confirmed the successful formation of GO with a multilayer structure resembling the crumpled sheets with random stacking. The Response Surface Methodology (RSM) employing Box Behnken design (BBD) was successfully developed to predict the optimal conditions for maximal atrazine removal as adsorbent dosage 121.45 mg/L; initial feed concentration 27.03 mg/L; temperature 27.69 °C, pH 5.37, and time 180 min. The atrazine adsorption onto GO was found to be higher in acidic pH and lower temperature. Density functional theory (DFT) calculation of adsorbent-adsorbate complex in the implicit solvent medium suggests adsorption affinity energy of -24.4 kcal/mol for atrazine. A careful observation of the molecules configuration and binding energy showed that the π-π interactions and hydrogen bonds played a significant role in the adsorption phenomena. Langmuir isotherm suited well to the adsorption process with a maximum adsorption capacity of 138.19 mg/g, at 318 K. The fitness of kinetic models for atrazine adsorption onto GO nanosheets were in following order Ho < Sobkowsk-Czerwi < Avrami model based on their correlation coefficient (R) values. Reusability analysis showed that GO nanosheets could be effectively recycled using 0.01 N NaOH up to six cycles of atrazine removal. Thus, this study provided a theoretical and experimental basis for the potential application of GO nanosheets as a novel adsorbent for the removal of hazardous atrazine.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.envres.2021.111428DOI Listing
June 2021

Hybrid capacitive deionization of NaCl and toxic heavy metal ions using faradic electrodes of silver nanospheres decorated pomegranate peel-derived activated carbon.

Environ Res 2021 06 14;197:111110. Epub 2021 Apr 14.

Department of Chemical Engineering, Khalifa University, P.O. Box 127788, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. Electronic address:

Capacitive deionization (CDI) is an evolving technology for eradicating salt and toxic heavy metal ions from brackish wastewater. However, traditional CDI electrodes have lower salt adsorption capacity and inadequate adsorption of selective metal ions for long-term operations. Herein, Ag nanospheres incorporated pomegranate peel-derived activated carbon (Ag/P-AC) was prepared and implied to the CDI process for removing NaCl, toxic mono-, di-, and trivalent metal ions. Morphological analysis revealed that the 80-100 nm-sized Ag nanospheres were uniformly decorated on the surfaces of P-AC nanosheets. The Ag/P-AC has a higher specific surface area (640 m g), superior specific capacitance (180 F g at 50 mV s) and a lower charge transfer resistance (0.5 Ω cm). CDI device was fabricated by Ag/P-AC as an anode, which adsorbed anions and P-AC as cathode for adsorption of positively charged ions at 1.2 V in an initial salt concentration of 1000 mg L. An asymmetric Ag/P-AC//P-AC exhibited a maximum NaCl adsorption capacity of 36 mg g than symmetric P-AC//P-AC electrodes (22.7 mg g). Furthermore, Pb(II), Cd(II), F, and As(III) ions were successfully removed from simulated wastewater by using Ag/P-AC//P-AC based CDI system. These asymmetric CDI-electrodes have an excellent prospect for the removal of salt and toxic contaminants in industrial wastewater.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.envres.2021.111110DOI Listing
June 2021
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