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Alexandria Engineering Journal (2018) 57, 2061–2068

H O S T E D BY
Alexandria University

Alexandria Engineering Journal


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REVIEW

Study on the use of banana peels for oil spill


removal
G. Alaa El-Din a,*, A.A. Amer b, G. Malsh a, M. Hussein a

a
Alexandria University, Faculty of Engineering, Chemical Department, Alexandria, Egypt
b
Alexandria Petroleum Company, Alexandria, Egypt

Received 12 March 2017; revised 24 April 2017; accepted 13 May 2017


Available online 3 June 2017

KEYWORDS Abstract Nowadays, oil spill is one of the most serious pollutants that have negative effects on the
Banana peel; ecosystem and marine life. Environmentalists face major challenges in the treatment of spills and in
Oil spill; developing an alternative product with low cost. Among all different sorbents, agriculture waste is
Adsorption; preferred as an oil cleanup technology due to its biodegradation and buoyancy. This study investi-
Sorption capacity; gates the oil sorption capacity of crude and gas oils, using banana peel as a substitutional material
Sorbent from local fruit wastes. The research detected that the capacity of this sorbent to clean up crude oil
from produced water toward different factors is associated with surface characteristics, oil type, oil
film thickness, sorption time, temperature, in addition to the salinity of crude oil. Analytical tech-
niques of banana peel, such as microstructure and morphology using FTIR spectrometry and scan-
ning electron microscopy (SEM) are also studied. Banana peel is tested using gas oil, 1- and 7-day
weathered Almein crude oil. The results explain that the best conditions were established at
0.3625 mm particle size and temperature at 25 °C for 15 min.
Ó 2017 Faculty of Engineering, Alexandria University. Production and hosting by Elsevier B.V. This is an
open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/).

Contents

1. Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2062
2. Materials and methods . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2063
2.1. Materials . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2063
2.1.1. Sorbent materials . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2063
2.1.2. Tested oil . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2063
2.2. Experimental procedure. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2063
3. Results and discussions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2065
3.1. Scanning Electron Microscope of banana peel . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2065
3.2. FTIR spectroscopy of banana peel . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2065

* Corresponding author.
E-mail address: gehad.alaa90@yahoo.com (G. Alaa El-Din).
Peer review under responsibility of Faculty of Engineering, Alexandria University.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.aej.2017.05.020
1110-0168 Ó 2017 Faculty of Engineering, Alexandria University. Production and hosting by Elsevier B.V.
This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/).
2062 G. Alaa El-Din et al.

3.3. Effect of particle size. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2065


3.4. Effect of sorption time . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2065
3.5. Effect of temperature . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2065
3.6. Effect of film thickness . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2065
3.7. Effect of salinity . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2067
3.8. Effect of sorbent weighs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2067
3.9. Effect of reusability. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2067
3.10. Comparison between banana peel and Current oil spill cleanup sorbents . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2067
4. Conclusion . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2068
References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2068

1. Introduction cessing of the oil spill removal, there are different methods that
can be used separately or with each other. These technologies
Oil spill is now considered one of the most important concerns are classified into three groups: first, chemical methods, such as
of the world, because it causes a great risk for the environmen- solidifiers, dispersion and in-situ burning, second, biological
tal and marine life. Spills have many sources, such as oil trans- methods, finally, mechanical methods, such as booms, skim-
port, energy sources, waste disposal, accidents and the mers and adsorbent [5]. Mechanical and chemical treatment
production of oil. These sources are linked to human activities. commonly used to remove oil spill, the main limitation of these
More than 5 million tons of crude oil are transported annually methods are their high cost and inefficient trace level adsorp-
around the world by the sea, putting the ecosystem in danger. tion. Mechanical treatment can’t be applied under rough sea
Subsequently, the environmental and marine lives are affected waves and high wind velocity but it suitable for completely
by spills, particularly birds, shorelines, shell fishes, mosses and oil removal. As for the chemical treatment such as dispersion
sea creatures. On the other hand, a chemical dispersant is one to be effective must be applied soon after a spill and can affect
of the most common techniques used to remove oil spill. How- marine organism due to high toxicity [6]. Adsorption is consid-
ever, these methods may be harmful and a reason for killing ered the most preferred technique for oil spill clean-up,
fishes [1,2]. because it is an easy method, environmentally-friendly and
Crude oil consists of a wide range of hydrocarbons from of low cost. In recent years, the interest of many researchers
very light oil to heavy oil, where hydrocarbons proportions is drawn to using agriculture wastes or by-products materials.
range from 50 to 98%. When oil is spilled into the sea, it leads It offers many advantages, including being a low cost alterna-
to several processes which are known as weathering processes tive material and the ability to biodegrade [7,8]. It is important
that include evaporation, dissolution, oxidation, emulsifica- to note that cleaning-up with a sorbent is one of the most effec-
tion, sedimentation, spreading, dispersion and finally tive technologies among all oil removal methods that give
biodegradation. The evaporation process changes the physical good results in oil removal from contaminated water [9].
characteristics of oil and leads to an alteration of its density Table 1 shows the classification of sorbents such as inorganic
and pour point due to the loss of volatile components. In addi- mineral, organic synthetic and organic vegetable [10,11].
tion, emulsification affects oil composition and cause a Despite the fact that polymer products (polypropylene, poly-
decrease in oil density and an increase in pour point. Spreading ethylene and polyurethane) are the most widely used, one of
occurs at varying rates according to the oil properties as light their main disadvantage is their non-biodegradability [12].
oil spreads faster than heavy oil. Among all factors affecting Nowadays, there is a growing interest in sorbent production
spreading, water temperature and wind speed have an intense from natural organic sorbents for oil spills removal, such as
effect on pollutants. In the case of a motionless surface, oil barley straw, rice straw, rice husk, pith bagasse, banana trunk,
spreading may occur, but in the case of rivers, spills are moved garlic and onion peel. The direction of interest in developing
along the stream. Tidal currents have an intense impact on pol- alternative materials, such as agriculture wastes, is the result
lutants in the sea, especially in open seas and in parts. All these of the restrictions of other types of sorbent products [13,14].
processes help in the choice of an appropriate way for oil spill Sorbents can remove oil from produced water by using a
treatment [3]. suitable method without oil draining out because it can collect
Environmental scientists face a serious challenge in oil spill and transform liquids to the semi-solid or solid phase. With
treatment from produced water [4]. With regards to the pro- regards to the advantages of the sorbent material produced
from agriculture wastes, besides being biodegradable and of
low cost, it is a high oil sorption, with low water pickup, high
buoyancy and good reusability [15,16]. Sorbents are most com-
monly used for final stage to remove oil from marine environ-
Table 1 Types of oil spill sorbents.
ment. Sorbents may be applied to an oil spill manually or
Categories Inorganic Organic Organic vegetable chemically by using blowers and fans. The selection of sorbents
mineral synthetic application method various according to location and size of
Sorbent Glass-Wool- Polypropylene- Cotton fiber- the spill. Also sorbents can be used in different forms such
types Sand- Polyurethane Straw-Feathers- as loose, roll, sheet, pad, allow and booms, these forms various
Graphite- Sawdust-Wood with their composition. The disposal options available for
Silica-Zeolites fiber oiled sorbent materials are disposal by certain routes for
Study on the use of banana peels 2063

example, incineration by burning contaminated sorbent, dis- cm3 at 15 °C (ASTMD-1298), API gravity 41.38 and kinematic
posal of oiled sorbents as landfill and biodegradation [17]. viscosity 2.29 CST at 40 °C.
The focus of the present study is to assess the ability of With regards to more volatile components, they evaporated
banana peel as natural sorbents, of low cost and a commonly quickly after spreading oil spill. At the beginning of an oil spill,
available waste material for oil spill removal water across var- less volatile fractions evaporate and, as a result, the oil viscos-
ious factors. The effect of variable parameters, such as surface ity increases. So, in order to simulate the same situation of an
properties, oil type, oil film thickness, sorption time, tempera- oil spill and to reduce sorption procedure, the crude oils were
ture, salinity and the morphology of banana peel surface, are put on trays for one and seven days in open air [18].
also studied.
2.2. Experimental procedure
2. Materials and methods
By apply a common method for oil sorption capacity that
2.1. Materials
related to the American Society for Testing Materials ASTM
standard [19].
2.1.1. Sorbent materials Five hundred milliliters of seawater (3.5% NaCl) were
Banana peel was obtained from an available local fruit market placed in a 1 L beaker filled with a 5 mm layer of oil to form
as solid waste. Then, banana peel was cleaned with water to a specific layer of oil and a mesh screen was depressed at the
remove undesired materials. Banana peel was next left to dry bottom of the beaker before adding the oil sample. One gram
under sun light for 7-days, then it was dried in a drying oven of dried sorbent banana peel was put in a pad, then spread
at 70 °C for 4 h. Big particles were crushed in a willy mill over the surface of the system.
and sieved into particles with an average size of 0.225, The beaker content was set up in a Digital Precise Shaking
0.3625, 0.5125 and 0.725 mm. water bath for 15 min at 115 cycle/min and temperature was
kept constant at 25 ± 1 °C. After 15 min, the sorbent was
2.1.1.1. Characterization techniques of banana peel. For study- taken away with the mesh screen and the sorbent was left to
ing the morphology of banana peel surface, a scanning elec- drain for 5 min. The weight of the sorbent was determined
tron microscope (SEM) model (JEOL JSM-5300, Japan) was and recorded, after that the sorbent was transferred to the pis-
used. The sample was prepared by coating double sided con- ton to extract the oil.
ductive adhesive tapes with gold. SEM recorded an accelerat- During the pressing stage, a small amount of n-hexane (10–
ing voltage at 20 KV and a magnification of 2000. 20 mL) was added to the mechanical stage to help in the
FTIR Spectroscopy: Fourier Transformation Infrared extraction of the oil in order to separate it from the water.
Spectroscopy (FTIR) was recorded to identify a number of After the oil was collected in a graduated centrifuge tube,
peaks and an organic functional group on the surface of the the centrifuge tubes were placed in a water bath at 60 °C for
banana peel. The sample was mixed at a ratio of 1/100 and 20–30 min to break any emulsion presence. The final stage
the wave numbers ranged from 4000 to 400 cm1. for water content was determined by the centrifuge technique
described in ASTM D4007-81 (ASTM, 1998). The final sorp-
2.1.2. Tested oil tion capacity of the adsorbent was determined by the following
Three types of crude oil were investigated to represent a wide equation:
variation in the ability of banana peel in oil spill cleanup. The
SO ¼ ST  SW  SI
oils employed in this study, namely: gas oil, were obtained
from a benzene station and (1-day & 7 day) Almein crude oil where ST is the total weight (g/g sorbent) of oil water and sor-
was obtained from Amreya Petroleum Refining Company. bent material, SW is the water weight (g/g sorbent), and SI is
The gas oil was used without modification; it had a specific the initial sorbent material weight (g/g sorbent) and SO is the
gravity of 0.82 at 15 °C, viscosity of 4.8Cs at 25 °C and flash oil sorption capacity of the fiber which is calculated as grams
point at 55 °C. While crude oil had a density equal 0.8180 g/ of oil per grams of sorbent.

Fig. 1 Scanning Electron Microscope of banana peel surface.


2064 G. Alaa El-Din et al.

Fig. 2 FTIR spectrum of banana peel.

Fig. 3 Effect of particle size on oil sorption capacity and water pickup.

Fig. 4 Effect of sorption time on oil sorption capacity and water pickup.
Study on the use of banana peels 2065

3. Results and discussions 3.4. Effect of sorption time

3.1. Scanning Electron Microscope of banana peel Fig. 4 shows the effect of sorption time on the oil sorption
capacity of banana peel at different times of 5, 10, 15, 30, 45
The SEM images of banana peel are shown in Fig. 1. It was and 60 min. The Figure shows that oil sorption increases grad-
found that it has an irregular morphology and a porous ually as sorption time increases from 5 up to 15 min, when the
surface. These pores can make oil entrance into the maximum value is reached at 15 min, its might be due to
internal parts of the material easier and helpful in the sorption adsorption of crude oil on the surface of the sorbent before
process. the oil beginning to break through the inside microscopic voids
[21]. Then, these values decrease, regardless of soaking time for
3.2. FTIR spectroscopy of banana peel 1-day and 7-day weathered crude oil and for gas oil. These
result may be due to formation of water in oil emulsion that
cause increases in water pickup and decreases in oil sorption
As shown in Fig. 2, this is the FTIR spectrum of a natural
capacity [21].
banana peel. The bands in the region of 3400.49 cm1 indicate
the presence of a stretching of strong hydroxyl groups. The
3.5. Effect of temperature
band at 2925.34 cm1 is assigned to CAH stretching. Also,
the band at 1735.83 cm1 corresponds to the stretching of a
carbonyl group C‚O (hemicellulose band). The band at The result of different temperatures at 20, 25, 30, 35, 40 and
1633.14 cm1 represents absorbed water and the band at 45 °C on the oil sorption capacity of banana peel was
1385.21 cm1 assigned to –CAH bending. In addition, the investigated.
band at 1258.75 cm1 corresponds to CAO stretching (lignin As shown in Fig. 5, it is immediately apparent that adsorp-
band) and the band at 1063.28 cm1 represents C-OR tion capacity decreases gradually with the temperature
stretching. increase. With regards to the maximum sorption capacities,
they are 4.33, 7.94 and 7.14 g/g sorbent of gas oil, 1-day and
3.3. Effect of particle size 7-day weathered at 20 °C respectively. This result may be
due to the solubility of crude oil which increases in water
and its decreasing viscosity, making it drain off the sorbent’s
The effect of different particle sizes on the oil sorption capacity
surface easily.
is illustrated in Fig. 3. It can be seen that there is a gradual
Some researchers have noticed that with the temperature
increase in oil sorption capacity with a decrease in particle size
increase, the Brownian motion of oil particle is accelerated
till it reaches a maximum value at 0.3625 mm. A 5.31, 6.35,
and increased, therefore the energy required attaching oil par-
6.63 g/g sorbent for gas oil, 1-day and 7-day weathered respec-
ticle to the sorbent surface increases [22–24].
tively. Then, it declines with the particle size decrease. The
increase in the oil sorption capacity, with the decreasing parti-
3.6. Effect of film thickness
cle size, may be due to the increase in surface area which allows
the increase in sorption capacity.
On the other hand, with the decrease in particle size, the oil The graph in Fig. 6 illustrates changes in the oil sorption
sorption decreases. The reason for that might be due to the capacity at different film thickness 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 mm. Over
accumulation of small particles on each other, which results all, it can be seen that oil sorption rose gradually with film
in plugging the pores and capillaries present between fibers thickness increasing in all three oil types.
and the reverse [20]. There was a moderate rise over the period. It is observed
that the maximum oil sorption of gas oil, 1-day and 7-day

Fig. 5 Effect of temperature on oil sorption capacity and water pickup.


2066 G. Alaa El-Din et al.

Fig. 6 Effect of film thickness on oil sorption capacity and water pickup.

Fig. 7 Effect of salinity on oil sorption capacity and water pickup.

Fig. 8 Effect of sorbent weight on oil sorption capacity and water pickup.

weathered are about 5.31, 5.83 and 6.63 g/g sorbent at 5 mm at zero, but it increased gradually with the rise of the film
film thickness respectively. The capacity of the crude oil thickness.
removal is related to the chemical composition and surface These results indicates that with increasing oil film thick-
properties of the fibers. In contrast, it is clearly observed that ness, large amount of oil are removed as predictable and
for gas oil, 1-day weathered water pick up remained constant may be related to the chemical composition and surface prop-
Study on the use of banana peels 2067

erties of the fibers as well as the concentration, specific gravity


Table 2 Comparison between banana peel and other organic
and temperature of the crude oil [25].
sorbent.
3.7. Effect of salinity Sorbents Sorption capacity (g/g) Reference
Cotton 37.9 ± 2.6 Hussein et al. [25]
The result of salinity on the sorption capacity was experimen- Barley Straw (7–12) Hussein et al. [18]
tally investigated. Fig. 7 illustrates that the oil sorption capac- Rice Husk (6–10) Galblaub et al. [10]
Waste Paper (8–9.5) Galblaub et al. [10]
ity of banana peel firstly increases with increasing salinity, till it
Saw Dust (4.5–8.5) Galblaub et al. [10]
reaches its maximum values at 3.5% salinity, then it declines Banana Peel (5–7) Measured in this study
with the salinity rising. Corn Cobs (5–7) Galblaub et al. [10]
The reason for increasing sorption capacity with increasing Bagasse (3–6) Bayat et al. [5]
salinity might be due to the effect of electrostatic interaction Clays (3.4–4) Sayed and Zayedb [29]
and salting out, the oil sorption capacity of banana peel Wheat Straw (2–4) Sidiras et al. [4]
becomes large and more hydrophobic. In contrast, the decline Onion peels 0.455 Sayed and Zayedb [29]
with the salinity rise is due to the decrease in the solubility of Garlic peels 0.385 Sayed and Zayedb [29]
crude oil and physical and the chemical properties of fiber
which were influenced by higher salinity [23].
bent by mechanical action and n-hexane extraction to reuse
3.8. Effect of sorbent weighs sorbent for several times.
Firstly, for gas oil sorption capacity, it is observed that in
As shown as in Fig. 8, this graph illustrates that sorption Fig. 9, the sorbent is reused by a mechanical action to remove
capacity for gas oil, 1-day and 7-day weathered increased stea- oil 20 times. Also, approximately 90% of the initial sorption
dily with sorbent weigh rising from (0.5 to 2.5 g). For gas oil capacity remained after 10 cycles. Then, about 1-day weath-
and 7-day weathered, the sorption capacity continues to ered crude oil sorption capacity, fluctuated, then declined
increase while increasing sorbent dose, whereas for 1-day gradually from 9.25 to 4.25 g/g sorbent after 15 times. Finally,
weathered, the sorption capacity is approximately constant. the figure illustrates the varying values of sorption capacity of
On the other hand, for water pick up, it is observed that 7-day weathered crude oil that showed a slight decrease in
water pick up remained constant for solar and 1-day weath- sorption capacity, before falling significantly till it reached less
ered which approach to zero, that means sorbent weigh does than 50% of the initial sorption capacity after 10 cycles in
not affect water pick up. While for 7-day weathered crude which the sorbed amount was 6.63 g/g sorbent before it
oil with increasing sorbent weight, water sorption capacity declined to 3.13 g/g sorbent.
increases. Some research found that hexane extraction did not effect
These results indicate that while increasing the amount of the chemical composition and stability of the fiber [26]. While
sorbent, large amounts of oil are removed. Thus, the interface the decreased oil sorption capacity was considered to be a con-
between oil and water nearly disappeared allowing the sorbent sequence of the irreversible deformation of sorbent by press-
to absorb high values of water [18]. ing, particularly during initial cycles [27,28].

3.10. Comparison between banana peel and Current oil spill


3.9. Effect of reusability cleanup sorbents

The reusability is one of the major factors for selection fibers To determine the performance of banana peel for oil spill
materials. The graphs below give information about the num- cleanup, a comparison between banana peel and other organic
ber of cycles for banana peel reused by removing oil from sor- sorbent was studied as shown in Table 2.

Fig. 9 Effect of reusability on oil sorption capacity of gas oil and 1 & 7 day weathered crude oil.
2068 G. Alaa El-Din et al.

4. Conclusion by Selective Sorption on Hydrophobic Cotton Fibers. 1. Study


of Sorption Properties and Comparison with Other Cotton
Fiber-Based Sorbents, Environ. Sci. Technol. 37 (2003) 1013–
It was found that surface properties, oil type, oil film thickness, 1015.
sorption time, temperature, as well as salinity, all affect oil [13] I.M. Muhammad, U.A. El-Nafaty, S. Abdulsalam, Y.I.
sorption capacity. The above experiments results showed that Makarfi, Removal of oil from oil produced water using
the best condition is at an average particle size of 0.3625 mm at Eggshell, Civil Environ. Res. 2 (8) (2012).
25 °C, 15 min sorption time, 3.5% artificial seawater and [14] Kudaybergenov Kenes, Ongarbayev Yerdos, Mansurov
finally 5 mm oil film thickness. This condition gives maximum Zulkhair, Doszhanov Yerlan, Study on the effectiveness of
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[15] M. Husseien, A.A. Amer, Azza El-Maghraby, Neama
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Hamedallah, A comprehensive characterization of corn stalk
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peel gives a good result as a new and low cost agriculture waste [16] Teik-Thye Lim, Xiaofeng Huang, Evaluation of kapok (Ceiba
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(ITPOF), Country Profiles: Use of Sorbent Materials in Oil
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