Don't Meddle With Metal
Mohammed Alseragi
R C Palmer Secondary
Floor Location : M 108 N

Lead is a naturally occurring, cumulative toxin capable of affecting multiple body systems, primarily the central nervous system. Thus, cheap and effective novel techniques regarding the removal of heavy metals from contaminated water are crucial for mitigating this dire situation. Many pipeline systems in the world bear materials that corrode lead. Because pipeline renovations can reach upwards of $10 000, a pipeline extension device was created from chemically-processed orange peel and general eggshells to avoid the complications of economical adversity.

The developed filtration media’s performances were measured under batch and continuous modes, where important parameters such as contact time and pH levels were considered. A novel filter where orange peels were treated with formaldehyde and coupled with eggshells were created. The efficiency of the treated orange peel (TOP) and eggshell composite was compared against the natural biomasses composing the media (orange peel, eggshell, and TOP); extraction rates were also measured at different time intervals (10 minutes, 45 mins, 2 hours, 24 hours). Moreover, the performances of the novel composite were also observed under different alkaline and acidic conditions. Finally, the filtration media was installed into different PVC coupler compression devices to note the extraction rates under continuous mode in relativity to a generic Brita water quality filter. Morphological modifications of TOP were analyzed under scanning electron microscopy, where electron microphotographs captured topographical features at x250 and x1000 magnifications.

The formaldehyde augmentation of orange peel was, as suggested by the data, absolutely necessary to avoid organic leaching which prohibits lead from latching onto the orange peel (secondary pollution). Optimal pH conditions were found at pH 9, where either extreme of the pH range decreased the lead extraction rate. Moreover, it was found that extraction in basic extremes was slightly greater than in acidic extremes. Three filtration systems were created, a singular coupler extension, a series coupler extension, and a larger coupler extension. Devices during continuous flow reached 95-97% lead extraction efficiency in contaminated wastewater. It was also found that adjuncting multiple compression couplers in series resulted in greater extraction rates. In fact, the series extension device rivalled a commercially used Brita filter for ⅓ the price. The larger PVC filter managed a 90% extraction in unconventionally oversaturated wastewater. Using the adsorption capacity equation, it was determined that the larger device can theoretically extract over 6 000 000 ug/L of lead which suggests long-term resilience with little needed maintenance. Applications include home pipelines containing lead corrode, water fountain systems containing lead alloy, and industrial pipelines carrying electroplating discharge.