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Value of biochars from Miscanthus x giganteus cultivated on contaminated soils to decrease the availability of metals in multicontaminated aqueous solutions

Janus, Adeline, Pelfrêne, Aurélie, Sahmer, Karin, Heymans, Sophie, Deboffe, Christophe, Douay, Francis, Waterlot, Christophe
Environmental science and pollution research international 2017 v.24 no.22 pp. 18204-18217
Miscanthus giganteus, agricultural soils, aqueous solutions, biochar, cadmium, cation exchange capacity, commercialization, desorption, lead, pH, polluted soils, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, pyrolysis, sorbents, surface area, temperature, wood, zinc
The objective of this study was to evaluate the sorption efficiency of eight biochars, made from Miscanthus x giganteus cultivated on contaminated agricultural soil, in aqueous solutions contaminated with metals alone or mixed with polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons. These biochars were produced in different pyrolysis conditions (temperature, 400/600 °C; heating rate, 5/10 °C min⁻¹; duration, 45/90 min) and compared with an uncontaminated commercialized biochar made of wood. The physicochemical characterization of the Miscanthus biochars confirmed the impact of the pyrolysis on the biochar parameters with substantial differences between the biochars in terms of pH, cation exchange capacity, and specific surface area. The sorption experiment showed higher sorption efficiency of Cd, Pb, and Zn for the Miscanthus biochars produced at 600 °C compared with the biochars produced at 400 °C when the aqueous solutions were mono- or multicontaminated. Furthermore, the desorption study showed that the sorption process was largely irreversible. Therefore, the high sorption capacity of Miscanthus biochars and the low sorption reversibility confirmed that these biochars are a suitable sorbent for metals.