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In an experiment, I used plantain peels (with a very high starch content and very little cellulose) and grapefruit peels (with a very high cellulose content and no starch) as coagulants (ensuring that I used equal masses of each peel) to improve the turbidity of water contaminated with wood chips and kaolin. Although the grapefruit was able to remove turbidity, I found that the plantain worked better. By the way, the same amount of cellulose was present (50%) in the grapefruit peels as starch present (50%) in the plantain peels. However, I can't work out why a coagulant concentrated with starch is more effective at lowering the turbidity of water compared to a coagulant concentrated with cellulose? Essentially, I don't know why starch helps more than cellulose with coagulation. Help would be much appreciated :)

If you use this link, you will find the method I used under "Preparation of Bio-flocculant" to turn the peels into coagulants: akademiabaru.com/doc/progeeV1_P47_56.pdf. To summarize, I dried them in an oven and turned them into very fine powder.

Search this up and you'll find previous experiments using polysaccharides (i.e. starch and cellulose) for coagulation: Chapter 2 Mechanistic Insight into the Coagulation Efficiency of Polysaccharide-based Coagulants

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  • $\begingroup$ Did you use equal mass of each peel? If you didn't account for differences in content it could be that the plantain peels contained more starch per kg than the grapfruit peels contained cellulose per kg. Were the peels just tossed in or macerated, how were they pre-treated? Starch from the plantain peels may dissociate into the water faster than the grapefruit peels, for example. $\endgroup$ – CKM Apr 20 '18 at 11:49
  • $\begingroup$ Yes, I used equal mass of each peel. If you use this link, you will find the method I used under "Preparation of Bio-flocculant": akademiabaru.com/doc/progeeV1_P47_56.pdf. To summarize, I dried them in an oven and turned them into very fine powder. The same amount of cellulose was present (50%) in the grapefruit peels as starch present (50%) in the plantain peels. $\endgroup$ – Julie Apr 20 '18 at 12:05
  • $\begingroup$ @Julie please edit the question to add all necessary details instead of answering in comment. Also, please add a link to the reference that you cite. $\endgroup$ – WYSIWYG Apr 20 '18 at 12:30
  • $\begingroup$ Sorry long work day, what's your sample size? Does n=1? $\endgroup$ – CKM Apr 20 '18 at 21:11
  • $\begingroup$ What do you mean by sample size? I repeated the experiment three times, adding the same mass (4g) of each peel into the solution. $\endgroup$ – Julie Apr 21 '18 at 0:15

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