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Predicting Cu and Zn sorption capacity of biochar from feedstock C/N ratio and pyrolysis temperature

Rodríguez-Vila, A., Selwyn-Smith, H., Enunwa, L., Smail, I., Covelo, E. F. and Sizmur, T. (2018) Predicting Cu and Zn sorption capacity of biochar from feedstock C/N ratio and pyrolysis temperature. Environmental Science and Pollution Research, 25 (8). pp. 7730-7739. ISSN 0944-1344

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1007/s11356-017-1047-2

Abstract/Summary

Biochars have been proposed for remediation of metal-contaminated water due to their low cost, high surface area and high sorption capacity for metals. However, there is a lack of understanding over how feedstock material and pyrolysis conditions contribute to the metal sorption capacity of biochar. We produced biochars from 10 different organic materials by pyrolysing at 450 °C and a further 10 biochars from cedar wood by pyrolysing at 50 °C intervals (250–700 °C). Batch sorption experiments were conducted to derive the maximum Cu and Zn sorption capacity of each biochar. The results revealed an exponential relationship between Cu and Zn sorption capacity and the feedstock C/N ratio and a sigmoidal relationship between the pyrolysis temperature and the maximum Cu and Zn sorption capacity. FTIR analysis revealed that as temperature increased, the abundance of functional groups reduced. We conclude that the high sorption capacity of high temperature biochars is due to an electrostatic attraction between positively charged Cu and Zn ions and delocalised pi-electrons on the greater surface area of these biochars. These findings demonstrate a method for predicting the maximum sorption capacity of a biochar based on the feedstock C/N ratio and the pyrolysis temperature.

Item Type:Article
Refereed:Yes
Divisions:Faculty of Science > School of Archaeology, Geography and Environmental Science > Earth Systems Science
Faculty of Science > School of Archaeology, Geography and Environmental Science > Department of Geography and Environmental Science
Interdisciplinary centres and themes > Soil Research Centre
Interdisciplinary centres and themes > Chemical Analysis Facility (CAF) > Spectrometry (CAF)
ID Code:74645
Publisher:Springer Berlin Heidelberg

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