Surfactants are one of the major components (10- 18%) of detergents and household cleaning products and are used in high volumes in developed countries. In the present research work, the ability of rice husk as a low cost adsorbent for anionic and nonionic surfactants in wastewater has been studied.
The maximum removal efficiency for anionic surfactants was 97%, in an aqueous solution that contains 10mg/lit sodium linear alkyl benzene sulphonate in pH 2 and for nonionic surfactants was up to 75% in an aqueous solution that contains 20mg/lit nonyl phenol ethoxylate in pH 6-7.
The mechanism of surfactant removal by rice husk was attributed to the physicochemical characteristics of rice husk. In addition, the size of micelles and critical micelle concentration are two important factors in the removal yield.