Laundry wastewater treatment using a combination of sand filter, bio-char and teff straw media

Sci Rep. 2019 Dec 10;9(1):18709. doi: 10.1038/s41598-019-54888-3.


Numerous researchers have expressed concern over the emerging water scarcity issues around the globe. Economic water scarcity is severe in the developing countries; thus, the use of inexpensive wastewater treatment strategies can help minimize this issue. An abundant amount of laundry wastewater (LWW) is generated daily and various wastewater treatment researches have been performed to achieve suitable techniques. This study addressed this issue by considering the economic perspective of the treatment technique through the selection of easily available materials. The proposed technique is a combination of locally available absorbent materials such as sand, biochar, and teff straw in a media. Biochar was prepared from eucalyptus wood, teff straw was derived from teff stem, and sand was obtained from indigenous crushed stones. In this study, the range of laundry wastewater flow rate was calculated as 6.23-17.58 m3/day; also studied were the efficiency of the media in terms of the removal percentage of contamination and the flux rate. The performances of biochar and teff straw were assessed based on the operation parameters and the percentage removal efficiency at different flux rates; the assessment showed 0.4 L/min flux rate to exhibit the maximum removal efficiency. Chemical oxygen demand, biological oxygen demand, and total alkalinity removal rate varied from 79% to ≥83%; total solids and total suspended solids showed 92% to ≥99% removal efficiency, while dissolved oxygen, total dissolved solids, pH, and electrical conductivity showed 22% to ≥62% removal efficiency. The optimum range of pH was evaluated between 5.8-7.1. The statistical analysis for finding the correlated matrix of laundry wastewater parameters showed the following correlations: COD (r = -0.84), TS (r = -0.83), and BOD (r = -0.81), while DO exhibited highest negative correlation. This study demonstrated the prospective of LWW treatment using inexpensive materials. The proposed treatment process involved low-cost materials and exhibited efficiency in the removal of contaminants; its operation is simple and can be reproduced in different scenarios.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't