Biochar, a natural sourced carbon-rich material, has been used commonly in particle shape for carbon sequestration, soil fertility and environmental remediation. Here, we report a facile approach to fabricate freestanding biochar composite membranes for the first time. Wood biochars pyrolyzed at 300 °C and 700 °C were blended with polyvinylidene fluoride (PVdF) in three percentages (10%, 30% and 50%) to construct membranes through thermal phase inversion process. The resultant biochar composite membranes possess high mechanical strength and porous structure with uniform distribution of biochar particles throughout the membrane surface and cross-section. The membrane pure water flux was increased with B300 content (4825–5411 ± 21 L m−2 h−1) and B700 content (5823–6895 ± 72 L m−2 h−1). The membranes with B300 were more hydrophilic with higher surface free energy (58.84–60.31 mJ m−2) in comparison to B700 (56.32–51.91 mJ m−2). The biochar composite membranes indicated promising adsorption capacities (47–187 mg g−1) to Rhodamine B (RhB) dye. The biochar membranes also exhibited high retention (74–93%) for E. coli bacterial suspensions through filtration. After simple physical cleaning, both the adsorption and sieving capabilities of the biochar composite membranes could be effectively recovered. Synergistic mechanisms of biochar/PVdF in the composite membrane are proposed to elucidate the high performance of the membrane in pollutant management. The multifunctional biochar composite membrane not only effectively prevent the problems caused by directly using biochar particle as sorbent but also can be produced in large scale, indicating great potential for practical applications.
Environmental Pollution – Elsevier
Published: Feb 1, 2018
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