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Journal of Chemistry
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 230860, 7 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2013/230860
Research Article

Dragon Fruit Foliage Plant-Based Coagulant for Treatment of Concentrated Latex Effluent: Comparison of Treatment with Ferric Sulfate

1Faculty of Chemical Engineering, Universiti Teknologi MARA, Sarawak Campus, 94300 Kota Samarahan, Sarawak, Malaysia
2Faculty of Chemical Engineering, Universiti Teknologi MARA, 40450 Shah Alam, Selangor, Sarawak, Malaysia
3Faculty of Applied Sciences, Universiti Teknologi MARA, Sarawak Campus, 94300 Kota Samarahan, Sarawak, Malaysia

Received 24 May 2012; Revised 13 September 2012; Accepted 13 September 2012

Academic Editor: Darren Sun

Copyright © 2013 Juferi Idris et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

The effectiveness of dragon fruit foliage as a natural coagulant for treatment of concentrated latex effluent was investigated and compared with ferric sulfate, a chemical coagulant. Dragon fruit is a round and often red-colored fruit with scales-like texture and is native to south American countries which is also cultivated and heavily marketed in southeast Asian countries. Its foliage represents a part of its overall plant system. Latex effluent is one of the main byproduct from rubber processing factories in Malaysia. Three main parameters investigated were chemical oxygen demand (COD), suspended solids (SS), and turbidity of effluent. Coagulation experiments using jar test were performed with a flocculation system where the effects of latex effluent pH as well as coagulation dosage on coagulation effectiveness were examined. The highest recorded COD, SS, and turbidity removal percentages for foliage were observed for effluent pH 10 at 94.7, 88.9, and 99.7%, respectively. It is concluded that the foliage showed tremendous potential as a natural coagulant for water treatment purposes. The foliage could be used in the pretreatment stage of Malaysian latex effluent prior to secondary treatment.