Because of their physicochemical properties, biochars can be used as sorption materials for removal of toxic substances. The purpose of the present study was to determine whether biochar obtained from cones of larch (Larix decidua Mill. subsp. decidua) and spruce (Picea abies L. H. Karst) could be used as a sorbent for Cd2+, Pb2+ and Co2+ in aqueous solutions. So far, this feedstock had not been tested in this respect. The material was subjected to pyrolysis at 500 and 600 °C for the duration of 5, 10 and 15 min. The obtained pyrolysates were found to differ in terms of pH and the contents of the essential macroelements. The different values of these parameters were determined for varying temperature, duration of the pyrolysis process and type of feedstock. Sorption capacities of the biochars for removal of Cd2+, Pb2+ and Co2+ were examined using simulated contamination of aqueous solutions with salts of these metals. The findings showed the highest, nearly complete, removal for Pb2+ were maximum 99.7%, and almost three times lower value for Cd2+ and Co2+ (respectively, 35.7 and 24.8%). It was demonstrated that pyrolysis of conifer cones produced optimum sorption capacities when the process was conducted at a temperature of 500 °C for the duration of 5 min. It was shown that products of spruce cone pyrolysis were characterized by better sorption capacity in comparison with products of larch cone pyrolysis. The properties of conifer cone biochar create the possibility of using it as an adsorbent in water and wastewater treatment as well as in production of filters and activated carbon.
Environmental Earth Sciences – Springer Journals
Published: Aug 21, 2017
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