Modification of sludge-based biochar and its application to phosphorus adsorption from aqueous solution

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Sludge-based biochar was first modified for the adsorption of phosphorus from aqueous solution. This study is to modify sludge-based biochar (SBC) via peroxidation with nitric acid and impregnation with ferrous ions to obtain a high adsorption capacity for phosphorus (P). The P adsorption capacity of the modified sludge biochar (M-SBC) was increased to 9.79 mg/g, a value almost 40 times higher than that of the original biochar. Among the adsorption parameters studied, pH was found to be particularly important to P adsorption. After modification, the point of zero charge of the M-SBC occurred at pH 6. The isotherms of P adsorption on M-SBC obeyed the Freundlich equation. An analysis of the adsorption thermodynamics indicated that the process of P adsorption on M-SBC was spontaneous and endothermic, increased the degree of disorder, and involved chemisorption. The main mechanisms of P adsorption were surface precipitation and electrostatic attraction.

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This work was supported by the China–Japan Research Cooperative Program [Grant No. 2016YFE0118000], the Scientific and Technological Major Special Project of Tianjin City [Grant No. 16YFXTSF00420], and Frontier projects in the field of young talents, Institute of Urban Environment, Chinese Academy of Sciences [Grant No. IUEQN201501].

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Correspondence to Yin Wang.

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Li, Z., Liu, X. & Wang, Y. Modification of sludge-based biochar and its application to phosphorus adsorption from aqueous solution. J Mater Cycles Waste Manag 22, 123–132 (2020).

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  • Sewage sludge
  • Biochar
  • Modification
  • Phosphorus
  • Adsorption