Thursday, June 11, 2009

Long Days Of Batch Experiment

Author: Hong Ting (Sam) Chiu

This week, we are actually running the batch experiment to analyze the affect of calcium and pH on arsenic removal with granular ferric hydroxide. The batch experiment didn't sound too difficult to run. We have 24 different conditions, which are broken down into 4 days (as we are unable to manage so many of them when fixing the pH). We have been doing this since Monday (June 8) and it has become kind of a routine - weights out the adsorbents; mixes 6 solutions with different chemical concentrations (already weighted out last week) and pH; puts each solution and its adsrobent in a bottle; places them on a platform shaker; collects samples one hour, every two-hour (for the first eight hours), and twenty four hours after pH fixation; and cleans up before leaving. As we have been doing the same thing so far this week, I didn't write a blog on the same routine everyday to make you (and me) bored :P

The bottles on a shaker with two pH probes for monitoring.

And more bottles.

The cart with what we needed.

Samples from Monday and Tuesday.

Samples from Wednesday and today.
There are more coming in the next few hours.
(Should be 156 samples in total).

Although the works are routine, it is tedious to run these batches. First of all, it isn't easy to maintain the pH over time. I don't know if the pH doesn't like me or what, but it doesn't really stay constant on me. I have to adjust the pH every now and then. Yes, there have been some down time in bewtween (like this one which I am writing this blog :D ); but to ensure the pH doesn't go beyond the tolerance, I am almost always in the shaker room monitoring the pH. Furthermore, the duration of the day is long... We have to be here at 7:30 AM for preparation and wouldn't be able to leave until 7:30 PM after cleaning up.

I would have thought that someone would develop a computer system/equipment to do all these. All you need to do is just put in the solution, enter the pH/conditions, and push the start button. But I guess not (at least not in UNESCO-IHE), otherwise, I would have been using it.

Anyways, we will do something different tomorrow. We would run all our samples thru the AAS for arsenic and calcium. Hope to have some good results and can conclude something out of this experiment.

1 comment:

  1. Actually i will do the same thing like what you did, plus another experiment (column experiment) i know exactly what was your feeling, and good luck for your research :)