Exploration of Organic Wastes and Problematic Weeds as Absorbents for the Removal of Oil and Grease from Greywater

IJEP 42(5): 631-636 : Vol. 42 Issue. 5 (May 2022)

Tasneem Abbasi*, P. K. Mishra, R. Shreevidhya and S. A. Abbasi

Pondicherry University, Centre for Pollution Control and Environmental Engineering, Chinakalapet – 605 014, Puducherry, India


Inexpensive, rapid and effective removal of oil and grease from biodegradable wastewaters, such as sewage and greywater has been an enduring challenge. In an attempt to find absorbents that can accomplish this task, we have explored two aquatic weeds Salvinia (Salvinia molesta) and water hyacinth (Eichhornia crassipes), three terrestrial plants purple milkweed (Asclepiaspur purascens), cogon grass (Imperatacy lindrica), kenaf (Hibiscus cannabinus) and four forms of organic waste that are known to be very hard to biodegrade – banana trunk fibre, rice husk, coir pith and discarded jute bags. It is seen that Salvinia is the most efficient remover of oil and grease, followed by water hyacinth and kenaf. Considering that both Salvinia and water hyacinth are not only abundantly available, but their removal is in the interest of protecting the wetlands, the present work opens a possibility of utilization of the weeds to the benefit of the environment. Efforts were also made to identify the fungal species present in the greywater and to see whether their cultures could degrade oil or ghee. But the attempts did not lead to any utilizable process and the use of the biosorbents reported in this study appears to be the preferred option for the removal of oil and grease.


Sewage, greywater, oil and grease, biosorption, salvinia


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