Comparative sorption of Pb and Cd by biochars and its implication for metal immobilization in soils

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Park, JH, Choppala, G, Lee, SJ, Bolan, N, Chung, JW & Edraki, M 2013, 'Comparative sorption of Pb and Cd by biochars and its implication for metal immobilization in soils', Water, Air & Soil Pollution, vol. 224, art. 1711.

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Biochar has great potential as a soil amendment to immobilize heavy metals, thereby reducing their bioavailability. In this study, biochars derived from chicken manure and green waste were compared with commercial activated carbon (AC) and laboratory produced black carbon (BC) for the sorption of Pb and Cd. Sorption kinetics and equilibrium sorption isotherms for Pb and Cd were obtained for the char materials and the data were fitted to kinetic and sorption isotherm models.. Chicken manure-derived biochar (CM) showed the highest sorption capacity for both Pb and Cd, and the Pb sorption by biochars was higher than the Cd sorption because of the precipitation of Pb with various ions released from the biochars such as carbonate, phosphate, and sulfate. The sorption data for both Pb and Cd were better represented by the pseudo-second order kinetic model than the pseudo-first order kinetic model, which indicates chemical sorption between biochar and metals. For the isotherm studies, char materials was mixed with various amount of Pb or Cd solutions and the remaining metal concentration was measured. The equilibrium sorption data followed a Langmuir isotherm with a maximum sorption capacity of 6.8–11 and 1.7–8.0 mg/g by biochars for Pb and Cd, respectively. Furthermore, CM immobilized Pb and Cd up to 93.5 and 88.4 %, respectively, while BC was not effective in the immobilization of Pb in soil. Overall, the sorption experiments in solution and the immobilization experiment in soil showed that biochars are more effective than AC in the sorption of Pb and Cd, and that they have the potential to be used as a soil amendment to remediate metal-contaminated soil.

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