Aarhus University Seal

Remediation and recovery of Kariba weed as emerging contaminant in freshwater and shellfish aquaculture system via solvothermal liquefaction

New publication by Azwar E, Mahari WAW, Liew RK et al.


Fast growing Kariba weed causes major problems and pollution on freshwater and shellfish aquaculture systems by interfering with nutrient uptake of crops, restricting sunlight penetration, and decreasing water quality due to massive biomass of Kariba weed remnants. Solvothermal liquefaction is considered an emerging thermochemical technique to convert waste into high yield of value-added products. Solvothermal liquefaction (STL) of Kariba weed as an emerging contaminant was performed to investigate the effects of different types of solvents (ethanol and methanol) and Kariba weed mass loadings (2.5–10 % w/v) on treating and reducing the weed via conversion into potentially useful crude oil product and char. Up to 92.53 % of Kariba weed has been reduced via this technique. The optimal conditions for crude oil production were found to be at 5 % w/v of mass loading in methanol medium, resulting in a high heating value (HHV) of 34.66 MJ/kg and yield of 20.86 wt%, whereas the biochar production was found to be optimum at 7.5 % w/v of mass loading in methanol medium, resulting in 29.92 MJ/kg of HHV and 25.38 wt% of yield. The crude oil consisted of beneficial chemical compounds for biofuel production such as hexadecanoic acid, methyl ester (65.02 peak area %) and the biochar showed high carbon content (72.83 %). In conclusion, STL as a remediation for emerging Kariba weed is a feasible process for shellfish aquaculture waste treatment and biofuels production.