Bleaching of olive oil using a suitable clay (37.45% SiO2 and 8.01% Al2O3) sorbent is a part of refining process to remove contaminants that adversely impact its appearance. With an annual global production of olive oil of more than 3.60 million tons, a huge amount of spent bleaching sorbent (SBS), contains approximately 26.99% retained oil, is generated per year in olive oil refineries and if not utilized, will be disposed into the surrounding environment.
In a research conducted by Prof. Bassim H. Hameed and his team Dr. Fatma Marrakchi from Jiangsu University, China and Dr. Esam Hummadi from University of Diyala, Iraq, the generated SBS is utilized to treat water contaminated textile dyes.
Together with SBS, chitosan (CS), a deacetylated derivative of chitin, can be obtained by deacetylation of chitin (CT) is used for this purpose. CT is the structural material of crustaceans, insects, and fungi. CS, a biopolymer containing hydroxyl (–OH) and amino (−NH2) functional groups, can be easily obtained from seafood waste.
The research team composite both materials (SBS and CS) to produce an effective mesoporous biohybrid adsorbent for effective methylene blue and acid blue 29 (AB29) dyes.
Prof. Bassim stated that “the purpose of the conducted research is two-fold, first, to utilize the industrial by-product SBS and seafood waste to produce an effective mesoporous biohybrid adsorbent. Second, to apply the produced adsorbent to remove textile dyes from an aqueous solution.”
He added “I believe this is an innovative and sustainable solution to one of the major environmental problems.”
The results of the research are published in the International Journal of Biological Macromolecules published (Q1, Impact Factor 5.162) by Elsevier.
F. Marrakchi, B. H. Hameed, E. H. Hummadi, Mesoporous biohybrid epichlorohydrin crosslinked chitosan/carbon–clay adsorbent for effective cationic and anionic dyes adsorption, International Journal of Biological Macromolecules 16315 (2020) 1079-1086