Batch Study on COD and Ammonia Nitrogen Removal Using Granular Activated Carbon and Cockle Shells


1 Centre of Advanced Research for Integrated Solid Waste Management (CARISMA), Faculty of Civil and Environment Engineering, Universiti Tun Hussein Onn Malaysia

2 Department of Civil Engineering, Modibbo Adama University of Technology Yola, Nigeria

3 Faculty of Technical and Vocational Education, Universiti Tun Hussein Onn Malaysia

4 School of Environmental and Natural Resources Sciences, Faculty of Science and Technology, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia

5 Faculty of Civil Engineering, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia


Landfills generate leachate that contains elevated concentration of contaminants and is hazardous to human health and the ecosystem. In this study, the mixture of granular activated carbon and cockle shells was investigated for remediation of COD and ammonia from stabilized landfill leachate. All adsorbent media were sieved to a particle size between 2.00 and 3.35 mm. The optimum mixing ratio, shaking speed, shaking time, pH, and dosage were determined. Characterization results show that the leachate had a high concentration of COD (1763 mg/L), ammonia nitrogen (573 mg/L), and BOD5/COD ratio (0.09). The optimum mixing ratio of granular activated carbon and cockle shells was 20:20, shaking speed 150 rpm, pH level 6, shaking time 120 min, and dosage 32 g. The adsorption isotherm analysis reveals that the Langmuir isotherm yielded the best fit to experimental data as compared with the Freundlich isotherm. The media produce encouraging results and can be used as a good and economical adsorbent.


1.     Saat, S.A., "Solid waste management in malaysia and ecological modernization theory perspective", Journal of Sustainability Science and Management,  Vol. 8, No. 2, (2013), 268-275.

2.     Kerdsuwan, S., Laohalidanond, K. and Jangsawang, W., "Sustainable development and eco-friendly waste disposal technology for the local community", Energy Procedia,  Vol. 79, (2015), 119-124.

3.     Mohajerani, A., Kadir, A.A. and Larobina, L., "A practical proposal for solving the world’s cigarette butt problem: Recycling in fired clay bricks", Waste Management,  Vol. 52, (2016), 228-244.

4.     Najafpour, G., "Biochemical engineering and biotechnology, Elsevier,  (2015).

5.     Othman, N., Kueh, Y., Azizul-Rahman, F. and Hamdan, R., "Watermelon rind: A potential adsorbent for zinc removal", Applied Mechanics and Materials,  Vol. 680, (2014), 146-149.

6.     Nakano, T., "Potential uses of stable isotope ratios of Sr, Nd, and Pb in geological materials for environmental studies", Proceedings of the Japan Academy, Series B,  Vol. 92, No. 6, (2016), 167-184.

7.     Khashij, M., Mousavi, S., Mehralianc, M. and Massoudinejad, M., "Removal of Fe2+ from aqueous solution using manganese oxide coated zeolite and iron oxide coated zeolite", International Journal of Engineering-Transactions B: Applications,  Vol. 29, No. 11, (2016), 1587.

8.     Taghavi, K., Naghipour, D., Mohagheghian, A. and Moslemzadeh, M., "Photochemical degradation of 2,4-dichlorophenol in aqueous solutions by Fe2+/ peroxydisulfate/ uv process", International Journal of Engineering, Transactions A: Basics,  Vol. 30, No. 1, (2017), 15-22.

9.     Adeleke, A.R.O., Latiff, A., Aziz, A., Daud, Z., Ridzuan, B., Daud, M. and Falilah, N., "Remediation of raw wastewater of palm oil mill using activated cow bone powder through batch adsorption", in Key Engineering Materials, Trans Tech Publ. Vol. 705, (2016), 380-384.

10.   Adeleke, A., Al-Gheethi, A. and Daud, Z., "Optimization of operating parameters of novel composite adsorbent for organic pollutants removal from pome using response surface methodology", Chemosphere,  Vol. 174, (2017), 232-242.

11.   Daud, Z., Abubakar, M.H., Kadir, A.A., Latiff, A.A.A., Awang, H., Halim, A.A. and Marto, A., "Adsorption studies of leachate on cockle shells", International Journal of Geomate,  Vol. 12, No. 29, (2017), 46-52.

12.   Daud, Z., Abubakar, M.H., Kadir, A.A., Latiff, A.A., Awang, H., Halim, A.A. and Marto, A., "Optimization of leachate treatment with granular biomedia: Feldspar and zeolite", Indian Journal of Science and Technology,  Vol. 9, No. 37, (2016).

13.   Kamaruddin, M.A., Yusoff, M.S., Aziz, H.A. and Basri, N.K., "Removal of cod, ammoniacal nitrogen and colour from stabilized landfill leachate by anaerobic organism", Applied Water Science,  Vol. 3, No. 2, (2013), 359-366.

14.   Davarnejad, R., Arpanahzadeh, S., Karimi, A. and Pirhadi, M., "Landfill leachate treatment using an electrochemical technique: An optimized process (research note)", International Journal of Engineering-Transactions A: Basics,  Vol. 28, No. 1, (2014), 7-15.

15.   Ramya, R., Sankar, P., Anbalagan, S. and Sudha, P., "Adsorption of Cu (ii) and Ni (ii) ions from metal solution using crosslinked chitosan-g-acrylonitrile copolymer", International Journal of Environmental Sciences,  Vol. 1, No. 6, (2011), 1323-1330.

16.   Barakat, M., "New trends in removing heavy metals from industrial wastewater", Arabian Journal of Chemistry,  Vol. 4, No. 4, (2011), 361-377.

17.   Zuo, Y., Zhan, J. and Costa, N., "Use of shell chitin extracted from seafood processing waste in recycling of industrial wastewater", in Proceedings of SPIE, the International Society for Optical Engineering, Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers. Vol. 4193, (2001), 403-412.

18.   Yao, Z., Xia, M., Li, H., Chen, T., Ye, Y. and Zheng, H., "Bivalve shell: Not an abundant useless waste but a functional and versatile biomaterial", Critical Reviews in Environmental Science and Technology,  Vol. 44, No. 22, (2014), 2502-2530.

19.   Daud, Z., Fatihah, N., Hanafi, M. and Awang, H., "Optimization of cod and colour removal from landfill leachate by electro-fenton method", Australian Journal of Basic and Applied Science,  Vol. 7, No. 8, (2013), 263-268.

20.   Halim, A.A., Aziz, H.A., Johari, M.A.M., Ariffin, K.S. and Bashir, M.J., "Semi-aerobic landfill leachate treatment using carbon–minerals composite adsorbent", Environmental Engineering Science,  Vol. 29, No. 5, (2012), 306-312.

21.   Foo, K. and Hameed, B., "Detoxification of pesticide waste via activated carbon adsorption process", Journal of Hazardous Materials,  Vol. 175, No. 1, (2010), 1-11.

22.   Mishra, A., Bajpai, M. and Pandey, S., "Removal of dyes by biodegradable flocculants: A lab scale investigation", Separation Science and Technology,  Vol. 41, No. 3, (2006), 583-593.

23.   Manzoor, Q., Nadeem, R., Iqbal, M., Saeed, R. and Ansari, T.M., "Organic acids pretreatment effect on rosa bourbonia phyto-biomass for removal of Pb (ii) and Cu (ii) from aqueous media", Bioresource Technology,  Vol. 132, (2013), 446-452.

24.   Bakas, I., Elatmani, K., Qourzal, S., Barka, N., Assabbane, A. and Aît-Ichou, I., "A comparative adsorption for the removal of p-cresol from aqueous solution onto granular activated charcoal and granular activated alumina", J. Mater. Environ. Sci,  Vol. 5, No. 3, (2014), 675-682.

25.   Guo, J., Yang, C. and Zeng, G., "Treatment of swine wastewater using chemically modified zeolite and bioflocculant from activated sludge", Bioresource Technology,  Vol. 143, (2013), 289-297.

26.   Latiff, A., Aziz, A., Adeleke AbdulRahman, O., Daud, Z., Ridzuan, M.B., Daud, M. and Falilah, N., "Batch adsorption of manganese from palm oil mill effluent onto activated cow bone powder",  (2015).

27.   Moideen, S.N.F., Md Din, M.F., Ponraj, M., Mohd Yusof, M.B., Ismail, Z., Songip, A.R. and Chelliapan, S., "Wasted cockle shell (anadara granosa) as a natural adsorbent for treating polluted river water in the fabricated column model (FCM)", Desalination and Water Treatment,  Vol. 57, No. 35, (2016), 16395-16403.

28.   Masomi, M., Ghoreyshi, A., Najafpour, G. and Mohamed, A., "Adsorption of phenolic compounds onto the activated carbon synthesized from pulp and paper mill sludge: Equilibrium isotherm, kinetics, thermodynamics and mechanism studies", International Journal of Engineering-Transactions A: Basics,  Vol. 27, No. 10, (2014), 1485-1494.

29.   Chowdhury, S. and Saha, P., "Sea shell powder as a new adsorbent to remove basic green 4 (malachite green) from aqueous solutions: Equilibrium, kinetic and thermodynamic studies", Chemical Engineering Journal,  Vol. 164, No. 1, (2010), 168-177.

30.   Chaithra, P., Hemashree, K. and Bhat, J.I., "Acid adsorption on the activated charcoal synthesized from low cost agricultural waste under varying condition", Iranica Journal of Energy and Environment,  Vol. 8, No. 1, (2017), 36-43.

31.   Jawad, Jaafar, R., Halim, M., Shah Ismail and Siajam, S.I., "Removal of residual oil from palm oil mill effluent by novel adsorbent of alginate and mangrove composite beads coated by chitosan", Iranica Journal of Energy and Environment,  Vol. 7, No. 4, (2016), 393-400.