Sorption of organic compounds on fresh black carbons (BCs) can be greatly attenuated in soil over time. We examined herein the changes in surface properties of maize straw-derived BCs (biochars) after aged in a black soil and their effects on the sorptive behaviors of naphthalene, phenanthrene and 1,3-dinitrobenzene. Dissolved fulvic and humic acids extracted from the soil were used to explore the role of dissolved organic carbon (DOC) in the aging of biochars. Chromatography analysis indicated that DOC molecules with relatively large molecular weight were preferentially adsorbed on the biochars during the aging processes. DOC sorption led to blockage of the biochar's micropores according to N2 and CO2 adsorption analyses. Surface chemistry of the biochars was also substantially modified, with more O-rich functional groups on the aged biochars compared to the original biochars, as evidenced by Near-edge X-ray absorption fine structure (NEXAFS) spectroscopy and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) analyses. The changes in both the physical and chemical surface properties of biochars by DOC led to significant attenuation of the sorption capacity and nonlinearity of the nonionic organic compounds on the aged biochars. Among the tested organic compounds, phenanthrene was the most attenuated in its sorption by the aging treatments, possibly because of its relatively large molecular size and hydrophobicity. The information can help gain a mechanistic understanding of interactions between BCs and organic compounds in soil environment.
Environmental Pollution – Elsevier
Published: Dec 1, 2017
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