Experts assess biogas production with carbon and natural zeolite media

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Illustration by Feri Fenoria

UNAIR NEWS – The development of wastewater treatment technology is still being developed to produce simple technology, as well as to produce renewable energy. Anaerobic wastewater treatment, much developed by researchers because it has both functions.

“Anaerobic treatment also has weaknesses. Among other things, the long startup, the smell, the unstable effluent and the anaerobic microbe condition that are susceptible to interference, “said Nur Indradewi Oktavitri, Lecturer of Faculty of Science and Technology (FST) UNAIR.

The addition of media in anaerobic reactors can provide several advantages, including increasing the degradation of organic material, because adsorption of inhibitor components such as ammonia occurs in the media.

Activated carbon is one of the adsorbents that is widely used in wastewater treatment to remove heavy metals or ammonia or organic materials. The manufacturing process, consisting of stages of carbonization and activation.

“The carbonization process is used to remove non-carbon elements such as hydrogen and oxygen. While activation is carried out by chemical and or physical, “she explained.

Activated carbon, has a low absorption capacity of polar components, such as ammonia. Therefore, the use of activated carbon in wastewater can be used to remove ammonia.

“Beside (activated carbon), Zeolite is also an adsorbent that is often used to remove pollutants,” she said.

In addition to wastewater treatment, zeolite is also beneficial for medical and agro-industrial needs. The zeolite structure makes zeolite suitable for the adsorbent medium for ammonia because of its adsorption ability in the zeolite pore.

According to Nur, when activated carbon and zeolite, when combined, will be able to optimize wastewater treatment. Activated carbon and zeolite have different material properties. Among the active carbon properties is the tendency to absorb organic matter, so it is more effective to set aside COD content in synthetic wastewater. In contrast to activated carbon, zeolites tend to be more active in absorbing polar components and less effective in absorbing organic matter.

“The combination of activated carbon and zeolite as a media is suitable to be developed so that both the advantages and disadvantages can support each other to set aside ammonia and COD levels in synthetic wastewater,” she said.

Not only that, he also said, the exact composition of the use of activated carbon and zeolites depends on the pollutants to be set aside. In research on the use of activated carbon and zeolite, to eliminate Total Ammonia Nitrogen (TAN), the best combination for the use of activated carbon and zeolite is 50:50.

Allowance for TAN content in an anaerobic treatment reactor, using synthetic milk wastewater added with activated carbon and zeolite, TAN value decreased to 55%.

“The decline in the value of TAN also has an impact on increasing biogas resulting from the processing up to twice the volume of biogas produced by anaerobic processing without the two media,” he concluded.

Author: Fariz Ilham Rosyidi

Editor: Nuri Hermawan

Link :

Nur Indradewi Oktavitri, Eko Prasetyo Kuncoro, Mufrihatul Hayati, and Hery Purnobasuki, Enhance Biogas Production From Anaerobic Reactor Using Combination Activated Carbon and Zeolite As Media For Ammonia Removal, EM International, Vol.25, Issue 24-31.

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