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Production and use of biochar from buffalo-weed (Ambrosia trifida L.) for trichloroethylene removal from water

Authors

  • Mahtab Ahmad,

    1. Korea Biochar Research Center & Department of Biological Environment, Kangwon National University, Chuncheon, Republic of Korea
    2. University Institute of Biochemistry and Biotechnology, PMAS Arid Agriculture University, Rawalpindi, Pakistan
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  • Deok Hyun Moon,

    1. Department of Environmental Engineering, Chosun University, Gwangju, Republic of Korea
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  • Meththika Vithanage,

    1. Chemical and Environmental Systems Modeling Research Group, Institute of Fundamental Studies, Kandy, Sri Lanka
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  • Agamemnon Koutsospyros,

    1. Mechanical, Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of New Haven, West Haven, CT, USA
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  • Sang Soo Lee,

    1. Korea Biochar Research Center & Department of Biological Environment, Kangwon National University, Chuncheon, Republic of Korea
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  • Jae E Yang,

    1. Korea Biochar Research Center & Department of Biological Environment, Kangwon National University, Chuncheon, Republic of Korea
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  • Sung Eun Lee,

    1. School of Applied Biosciences, Kyungpook National University, Daegu, Republic of Korea
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  • Choong Jeon,

    1. Department of Biochemical Engineering, Gangneung-Wonju National University, Gangneung, Republic of Korea
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  • Yong Sik Ok

    Corresponding author
    1. Korea Biochar Research Center & Department of Biological Environment, Kangwon National University, Chuncheon, Republic of Korea
    2. Department of Environmental Engineering, China Jiliang University, Hangzhou, Zhejiang, P.R. China
    • Correspondence to: Yong Sik Ok, Korea Biochar Research Center & Department of Biological Environment, Kangwon National University, Chuncheon 200-701, Republic of Korea. E-mail: soilok@kangwon.ac.kr

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Abstract

BACKGROUND

Ambrosia trifida L. (buffalo-weed) is a ubiquitous invasive plant species in Korea, causing severe allergy problems to humans and reduction in crop yields. Converting buffalo-weed biomass to biochar and its use as an adsorbent for the depuration of trichloroethylene (TCE) contaminated water could help resolve two existing environmental issues simultaneously.

RESULTS

The plant biomass was converted to biochar at 300 °C (BC300) and 700 °C (BC700). The pyrolysis temperature strongly influenced the properties of resulting biochars. The higher temperature resulted in a higher degree of C-enrichment. The loss of H- and O-containing functional groups shifted the BC700 composition towards a less polar, more aromatic carbon structure evidenced by lower O/C (0.06) and H/C (0.15) values compared with those of BC300 (0.07 and 0.65, respectively). These properties of BC700 further highlighted its greater efficiency of TCE removal (88.47%) from water, compared with that of BC300 (69.07%). The TCE adsorption data was well described by the Hill isotherm model indicating the mechanism of adsorption to be cooperative interaction. Linear correlations between model parameters and biochar properties were also observed.

CONCLUSIONS

Buffalo-weed can be converted to value-added biochar that can be used as an effective adsorbent for the treatment of TCE contaminated groundwater. © 2013 Society of Chemical Industry

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