Mushroom Waste Efficiently Cleans Pesticides from Water

Jenn Hoskins
1st March, 2024

Mushroom Waste Efficiently Cleans Pesticides from Water

Image Source: Natural Science News, 2024

Key Findings

  • Researchers in Addis Ababa used oyster mushroom waste to remove the herbicide atrazine from water
  • The mushroom byproduct effectively cleaned water when conditions like acidity and time were optimized
  • The study suggests this method is low-cost and environmentally friendly for water purification
The quest for clean water is a pivotal challenge in today's world, where pollutants from agricultural and industrial activities frequently find their way into our water sources. Among these pollutants, atrazine, a common herbicide, is of particular concern due to its potential harmful effects on human health, including reproductive and developmental issues, as well as its possible carcinogenicity[2]. Addressing this issue, researchers from Addis Ababa University have conducted a study[1] exploring a novel method for the removal of atrazine and its derivatives from water using a material that is both sustainable and cost-effective—the non-edible parts of oyster mushrooms. This recent study is significant as it offers a potential solution to a problem that has been the subject of various research efforts. For instance, previous studies have developed activated carbon for pesticide adsorption[3] and composites for heavy metal removal[4], highlighting the continuous search for effective and economical adsorbents. The Addis Ababa University research builds on these efforts by repurposing agricultural waste, specifically mushroom byproducts, which are typically discarded, into a valuable resource for water purification. The study meticulously investigated the conditions under which the mushroom-based adsorbent could most effectively remove atrazine and its breakdown products from water. Factors such as the acidity of the water, the amount of adsorbent used, the duration of the adsorption process, the initial concentration of the herbicide, and the speed of agitation were all optimized. The results showed that the oyster mushroom byproduct achieved maximum removal efficiency under specific conditions, demonstrating its capability as a biosorbent. The researchers used Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy (FTIR) to analyze the functional groups on the mushroom material that are responsible for adsorption. FTIR is a technique that provides information about the chemical bonds and molecular structure of materials. Through this analysis, they were able to understand how the mushroom byproduct interacted with the herbicide molecules. To describe the adsorption process, the study employed isotherm models—equations that represent how adsorbates interact with adsorbents. The Langmuir isotherm model, which assumes that adsorption occurs on a uniform surface forming a single layer, was found to fit the data well. This suggests that the mushroom material provides a consistent surface for the atrazine and its derivatives to adhere to. Furthermore, the adsorption kinetics followed a pseudo-second order model, indicating that the process was likely chemisorption, where a chemical bond is formed between the adsorbent and adsorbate. The study's findings are promising for several reasons. First, they offer an environmentally friendly solution to water pollution by repurposing agricultural waste. Second, the method described is not only effective but also low-cost, which is crucial for its implementation in large-scale water treatment facilities. This approach aligns well with previous research[3][4] that has emphasized the need for affordable and efficient methods of pollutant removal. In conclusion, the study from Addis Ababa University contributes to the growing body of research seeking sustainable methods to purify water. By harnessing the natural adsorption properties of oyster mushroom byproducts, this research provides an innovative and eco-friendly approach to mitigating the impact of harmful herbicides like atrazine on our water systems. As the world grapples with increasing pollution, such studies are vital in developing the next generation of water treatment technologies that are both effective and aligned with the principles of sustainability.



Main Study

1) The non-edible and disposable parts of oyster mushroom, as novel adsorbent for quantitative removal of atrazine and its degradation products from synthetic wastewater.

Published 29th February, 2024

Related Studies

2) Degradation of Residual Herbicide Atrazine in Agri-Food and Washing Water.

3) Development of activated carbon for removal of pesticides from water: case study.

4) Kinetic and Isothermal Investigations on the Use of Low Cost Coconut Fiber-Polyaniline Composites for the Removal of Chromium from Wastewater.

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