Al Said Al Shafey, principal investigator of a project at the chemistry department of Sultan Qaboos University in Muscat, has started a research with an objective to establish a physico-chemical unit for the treatment of hospital waste water. Al Shafey said they could extract dehydrated and activated carbons from date palm leaves, which is a cheap and sustainable resource in Oman.
The chemists also examined the removal of heavy metals and dyes.
The results showed that cheap dehydrated carbon from date palm leaves were as efficient as activated carbon for removing pharmaceuticals and dyes.
The findings of the research would be soon utilised in a pilot project in hospital waste water treatment. As per researchers, hospitals consume water ranging from 400 to 1,200 litres per day per bed, and generate waste water loaded with microorganisms, heavy metals, hormones, radioactive isotopes, pharmaceuticals, disinfectants, pigments, dyes and drug components.