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Sorption mechanisms of chlorinated hydrocarbons on biochar produced from different feedstocks: Conclusions from single- and bi-solute experiments

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Schmidt,  Wolfgang
Research Group Schmidt, Max-Planck-Institut für Kohlenforschung, Max Planck Society;

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Citation

Schreiter, I. J., Schmidt, W., & Schüth, C. (2018). Sorption mechanisms of chlorinated hydrocarbons on biochar produced from different feedstocks: Conclusions from single- and bi-solute experiments. Chemosphere, 203, 34-43. doi:10.1016/j.chemosphere.2018.03.173.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0001-9DAE-B
Abstract
Biochar is increasingly deemed a potential sorbent for contaminants in soil and water remediation. We tested three biochars from different feedstocks (cattle manure, grain husk, and wood chips) produced at relatively low pyrolysis temperature (450 °C), for their sorption behavior towards trichloroethylene (TCE) and tetrachloroethylene (PCE) in single- and bi-solute systems. In single-solute experiments, all biochars show stronger sorption for TCE (about 50% based on solubility-normalized Freundlich coefficients). The lower sorption of PCE is attributed to steric effects, e.g. size exclusion in small micropores and specific interactions. Plant-derived, carbon-rich biochars with high specific surface area and microporosity predominantly sorb via pore-filling, as also observed in activated carbon. Biochar produced from manure, with higher ash content and polarity, and smaller total pore volume (PVtot), shows significant contribution of partitioning. These findings also apply to bi-solute systems. TCE and PCE show different competition behavior depending on biochar properties. Plant-based biochars are pore-filling-dominated and show strong competition. However, competition behavior in microporous biochars depends on the concentration range. Manure biochar with high polarity and low PVtot shows significant partitioning and therefore less competition. Compared to the plant-based chars competition in manure biochar is not concentration-dependent. These results indicate that biochars with a large fraction of non-carbonized phase facilitate non-competitive sorption and might be a valuable sorbent in mixed contaminant systems.