Settling/Sedimentation Followed by Sorption with Pinus sylvestris Sawdust as “Green” Sorbent: On-Site Treatment of a Real Industrial Wastewater


Whereas the pulp and paper industrial sector—considered the second highest consumer of freshwater in Europe—has already been provided with sufficient wastewater characterization and treatment technologies, other wood-based industries (e.g. furniture, floor production), which do not use water for manufacturing processes, generate different wastewater streams after: 1) cleaning/washing of machinery that applies adhesives and coatings onto wood surfaces; 2) cleaning/washing of machinery that applies specific products for the curing phase of adhesives; 3) cleaning/washing of sharp planar blades used for the sawn process and to prepare wood surfaces for the adhesive application; 4) cleaning/washing of the floor; 5) cleaning/washing of trucks and vehicles. The dilution of low-volumes of highly polluted wastewater is not acceptable any longer since conventional treatment plants are not designed for these types of industrial wastewater. There is a need for proper characterization, treatability studies, designing and testing alternative small size and cost-effective treatment systems for on-site implementation. Treatment systems based on sorption mechanisms are flexible, easy to operate and generate less sludge and several low-cost sorbents generated by forestry activities have advantageous physico-chemical characteristics. The current paper presents the preliminary results from a pilot treatment system consisting of an equalization tank, settling/sedimentation and two sorption reactors in parallel using Pinus sylvestris sawdust as sorbent implemented as part of an integrated water management plan in a wood-floor industry. The simple to operate and cost-effective pilot treatment system performs satisfactorily during an initial period of operation. The study shows an average 39% - 54% reduction of TPH; 17% - 38% reduction of oil; 2% - 15% of reduction of COD and; 11% - 74% reduction of most toxic metals but for Co, Ni and Zn in the system B. Based on these results, Pinus sylvestris sawdust is a potential low-cost and abundant material to be considered for industrial wastewater treatment plants.

Share and Cite:

Kaczala, F. , Marques, M. and Hogland, W. (2014) Settling/Sedimentation Followed by Sorption with Pinus sylvestris Sawdust as “Green” Sorbent: On-Site Treatment of a Real Industrial Wastewater. Journal of Environmental Protection, 5, 368-375. doi: 10.4236/jep.2014.55040.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


[1] Lacorte, S., Latorre, A., Barcelo, D., Rigol, A., Malmqvist, A. and Welander, T. (2003) Organic Compounds in Paper-Mill Process Waters and Effluents. Trends in Analytical Chemistry, 22, 725-737.
[2] Rintala, J.A. and Puhakka, A. (1994) Anaerobic Treatment in Pulp- and Paper-Mill Waste Management: A Review. Bioresource Technology, 47, 1-18.
[3] Kostamo, A., Holmbom, B. and Kukkonen, J.V.K. (2004) Fate of Wood Extractives in Wastewater Treatment Plants at Kraft Pulp Mills and Mechanical Pulp Mills. Water Research, 38, 972-982.
[4] Mobius, C.H. (1999) Wastewater Biofilters Used for Advanced Treatment Of Papermill Effluent. Water Science & Technology, 40, 101-108.
[5] Schnell, A., Sabourin, M.J., Skog, S. and Garvie, M. (1997) Chemical Characterization and Biotreatability of Effluents From an Integrated Alkaline-Peroxide Mechanical Pulping/Machine Finish Coated Paper Mill. Water Science and Technology, 235, 7-14.
[6] Werker A.G. and Hall, E.R. (1999) Limitations for Biological Removal of Resin Acids from Pulp Mill Effluent. Water Science and Technology, 40, 281-288.
[7] Helble, A., Schlayer, W., Liechti, P-A., Jenny, R. and Mobius, C.H. (1999) Advanced Effluent Treatment in the Pulp and Paper Industry with a Combined Process of Ozonation and Fixed Bed Biofilm Reactors. Water Science & Technology, 40, 343-350.
[8] Kaczala, F., Marques, M. and Hogland, W. (2009) Lead and Vanadium Removal from a Real Industrial Wastewater by Gravitation Settling/Sedimentation and Sorption onto Pinus sylvestris Sawdust. Bioresource Technology, 100, 235-243.
[9] Ayyappan, R., Sophia, A. C., Swaminathan K. and Sandhya, S. (2005) Removal of Pb(II) from Aqueous Solution Using Carbon Derived from Agricultural Wastes. Process Biochemistry, 40, 1293-1299.
[10] Li, Q., Zhai, J., Zhang, W., Wang, M. and Zhou, J. (2007) Kinetics Studies of Sorption of Pb(II), Cr(III) and Cu(II) from Aqueous Solution by Sawdust and Modified Peanut Husk. Journal of Hazardous Materials, 141, 163-167.
[11] Shukla, A., Zhang, Y.H., Dubey, P., Margrave, J.L. and Shukla, S.S. (2002) The Role of Sawdust in the Removal of Unwanted Materials from Water. Journal of Hazardous Materials, 95, 137-152.
[12] Vásquez, G., Antorrena, G., González, J. andDoval, M.D. (1994) Sorption of Heavy Metal Ions by Chemically Modified Pinus pinaster Bark. Bioresource Technology, 48, 251-255.
[13] Al-Qodah, Z. (2006) Biosorption of Heavy Metal Ions from Aqueous Solutions by Activated Sludge. Desalination, 196, 164-176.
[14] Chang, W.C., Hsu, G.S., Chiang, S.M. and Su, M.C. (2006) Heavy Metal Removal from Aqueous Solution by Wasted Biomass from a Combined AS-Biofilm Process. Bioresource Technology, 97, 1503-1508.
[15] Ozsoy, H.D. and Kumbur, H. (2006) Sorption of Cu (II) Ions on Cotton Boll. Journal of Hazardous Materials, 136, 911-916.
[16] Ucun, H., Bahyan, Y.K., Kaya, Y., Cakici, A. and Algur, O.F. (2003) Biosorption of Lead(II) from Aqueous Solution by Cone Biomass of Pinus sylvestris. Desalination, 154, 233-238.
[17] King, P., Srinivas, P., Kumar, Y. P. and Prasad, V.S.R.K. (2006) Sorption of Copper (II) Ions from Aqueous Solution by Tectonagrandis L.F. (Teak Leaves Powder). Journal of Hazardous Materials, 136, 560-566.
[18] Saeed, A. and Iqbal, M. (2003) Bioremoval of Cadmium from Aqueous Solution by Black Gram Husk (Cicerarientinum). Water Research, 37, 3472-3480.
[19] Martínez, M., Miralles, N., Hidalgo, S., Fiol, N., Villaescusa, I. and Poch, J. (2006) Removal of Lead (II) from Aqueous Solutions Using Grape Stalk Waste. Journal of Hazardous Materials, 136, 203-211.
[20] Kangsepp, P. (2008) Development and Evaluation of a Filter-Bed-Based System for Full Scale Treatment of Industrial Landfill Leachate. Ph.D. Dissertation, Department of Analytical Chemistry, Lund University, Lund.
[21] Wang, S. and Wu, H. (2006) Environmental-Benign Utilization of Fly Ash as Low-Cost Adsorbents. Journal of Hazardous Materials, 136, 482-501.
[22] Genc-Fuhrman, H., Mikkelsen, P.S. and Ledin, A. (2007) Simultaneous Removal of As, Cd, Cr, Cu, Ni and Zn from Stormwater: Experimental Comparison of 11 Different Sorbents. Water Research, 41, 591-602.
[23] Shin, E.W., Karthikeyan, K.G. and Tshabalala, M.A. (2007) Adsorption Mechanism of Cadmium on Juniper Bark and Wood. Bioresource Technology, 98, 588-594.
[24] Rivas, F.J., Garcia de laCalle, R., Alvarez, P. and Acedo, B. (2008) Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons Sorption on Soils: Some Anomalous Isotherms. Journal of Hazardous Materials, 158, 375-383.
[25] Lemic, J., Tomasevic-Canovic, M., Adamovic, M., Kovacevic, D. and Milicevic, S. (2007) Competitive Adsorption of Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons on Organo-Zeolites. Microporous and Mesoporous Materials, 105, 317-323.
[26] Deschamps, G., Caruel, H., Borredon, M.E., Bonnin, C. and Vignoles, C. (2003) Oil Removal from Water by Selective Sorption on Hydrophobic Cotton Fibres. 1. Study of Sorption Properties and Comparison with Other Cotton Fibre-Based Sorbents. Environmental Science and Technology, 37, 1013-1015.
[27] Srinivasan, A. and Viraraghavan, T. (2008) Removal of Oil by Walnut Shell Media. Bioresource Technology, 99, 8217-8220.
[28] Gammoun, A., Tahiri, S., Albizane, A., Azzi, M., Moros, J., Garrigues, S. and de laGuardia, M. (2007) Separation of Motor Oils, Oily Wastes and Hydrocarbons from Contaminated Water by Sorption on Chrome Shavings. Journal of Hazardous Materials, 145, 148-153.
[29] Valderrama, C., Gamisans, X., de lasHerras, X., Farran, A. and Cortina, J.L. (2008) Sorption Kinetics of Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons Removal Using Granular Activated Carbon: Intraparticle Diffusion Coefficients. Journal of Hazardous Materials, 157, 386-396.
[30] Memon, S.Q., Memon, N., Shah, S.W., Khuhawar, M.Y. and Bhanger, M.I. (2007) Sawdust—A Green and Economical Sorbent for the Removal of Cadmium (II) Ions. Journal of Hazardous Materials, 139, 116-121.
[31] International Organization of Standardization (2004) Water Quality. Application of Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry (ICP-MS)-Part 1: General Guidelines. ISO 17294-1.
[32] Nederlands Normalisatie-Instituut (2008) Soil Quality-Quantitative Determination of the Content of Mineral Oil by Using Gas Chromatography, NEN 6978 (nl), Delft.

Copyright © 2022 by authors and Scientific Research Publishing Inc.

Creative Commons License

This work and the related PDF file are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.