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Combining bulk characterization and benzene polycarboxylic acid molecular markers to describe biochar properties

Chang, Zhaofeng, Tian, Luping, Zhang, Jun, Zhao, Qing, Li, Fangfang, Wu, Min, Pan, Bo
Chemosphere 2019 v.227 pp. 381-388
benzene, biochar, bisphenol A, carboxylic acids, genetic markers, peanut hulls, physicochemical properties, pyrolysis, regression analysis, sorption, temperature
The physicochemical properties of biochar determined its sorption of organic contaminations, and the environmental aging process changed the biochar properties. However, the correlation between biochar heterogeneous properties and their sorption characteristics is unclear. In this study, peanut shell biochars were produced at 200–700 °C, and HNO3/H2SO4 was used to oxidize 400 °C biochar for 2–10 h to simulate the enhanced aging process of biochar in the environment. Benzene polycarboxylic acid (BPCA) molecular markers, and bulk characterization were analyzed to describe biochar physicochemical properties and to further predict the sorption characteristics to bisphenol A (BPA). For pristine biochars, the mellitic acid/BPCAs (B6CA/BPCAs) increased with the raise of pyrolysis temperature and the H/C atomic ratio was positively correlated with benzenepentacarboxylic acid/B6CA (B5CA/B6CA) (P < 0.01), which indicated the increased aromatic condensation. After HNO3/H2SO4 treatment, the aromaticity (H/C ratio) decreased while the highly condensed components in biochars were enriched (increased B6CA/BPCAs values). Multiple regression models were adopted to establish a quantitative relationship between biochar heterogeneous properties and their sorption of BPA. Both nonlinearity coefficient N values (N = 0.08 + 0.103 B5CA/B6CA + 0.721 (O + N)/C, R2 = 0.985) and single-point sorption coefficients log Kd (log Kd = 1.236 + 0.006 BPCAs + 1.449 (O + N)/C, R2 = 0.936) could be estimated combining molecular markers and polarity parameters for biochars.