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Factors affecting the sorption of halogenated phenols onto polymer/biomass-derived biochar: Effects of pH, hydrophobicity, and deprotonation

Oh, Seok-Young, Seo, Yong-Deuk
Journal of environmental management 2019 v.232 pp. 145-152
2,4-dichlorophenol, biochar, biomass, copper, deprotonation, hydrophobicity, models, pH, pyrolysis, rice straw, sorbents, sorption, sorption isotherms, temperature, thermoplastics, wastes, zinc
High-performance biochar synthesized via co-pyrolysis of a polymer and rice straw (RS) was evaluated as a sorbent for ionizable halogenated phenols. Compared with RS-derived biochar, the sorption of 2,4-dichlorophenol (DCP), 2,4-dibromophenol (DBP), and 2,4-difluorophenol (DFP) onto polymer/RS-derived biochar was significantly enhanced by the properties of biochar changing due to polymer residues. According to Langmuir sorption isotherm model maximum sorption capacities for DCP, DBP, and DFP were 25.5–27.8, 22.1–26.5, and 11.5–13.3 mg/g, respectively, 3–5 times higher than those of RS-derived biochar. The removal of the polymer residues and increasing aromaticity of polymer/RS-derived biochar at elevated pyrolysis temperatures affected the sorption capacity of halogenated phenols. The surface charge of biochar and deprotonation of the halogenated phenols according to the solution pH were other factors responsible for sorption onto polymer/RS-derived biochar. Competition with other halogenated phenols, Zn2+, and Cu2+ implied that similar sorption mechanisms existed and that surface complexation and electron donor-acceptor interactions were involved in sorption onto polymer/RS-derived biochar. Our results suggest that co-disposal of thermoplastic and biomass wastes through pyrolysis may be an effective option to produce high-performance upgraded biochar as a sorbent for various types of contaminants.