Production of Biochar from Food Waste and its Application for Phenol Removal from Aqueous Solution

  • Chang-Gu Lee
  • Seung-Hee Hong
  • Seong-Gu Hong
  • Jae-Woo Choi
  • Seong-Jik ParkEmail author


Deriving biochar from biowaste facilitates its reuse and application for environmental protection. This study addresses the adsorption of phenol onto food waste–based biochar (FWC). Phenol adsorption on FWC was affected by pyrolysis temperature, and the highest adsorption capacity was found at a temperature of 700 °C (FWC700). The characteristics of the biochar including morphology, surface area, functional groups, and elemental composition were analyzed. Additional batch experiments were performed to evaluate the phenol adsorption on FWC700 under various experimental conditions such as contact time, initial concentration, reaction temperature, solution pH, adsorbent dose, and presence of competing ions. The adsorption capacity of phenol decreased gradually from 9.79 ± 0.04 to 8.86 ± 0.06 mg/g between solution pH of 3 and 11. Copper sulfate showed the greatest interference on phenol adsorption to FWC in aqueous solution. Phenol removal at different contact times followed pseudo-second-order kinetics, and the Langmuir isotherm model provided the best fit of the equilibrium data with a maximum adsorption capacity of 14.61 ± 1.38 mg/g. Adsorption of phenol increased with increasing temperature from 15 to 35 °C, and thermodynamic analysis indicated an endothermic and spontaneous nature of the adsorption process. Biochar derived from food waste can be used as bio-adsorbent for the removal of phenol from aqueous solution.


Food waste Biochar Pyrolysis temperature Phenol removal Adsorption 


Funding Information

This research was supported by the New Faculty Research Fund of Ajou University and the National Research Foundation (NRF) of Korea (NRF-2018R1C1B5044937).

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Environmental and Safety EngineeringAjou UniversitySuwonSouth Korea
  2. 2.Department of Bioresources and Rural System EngineeringHankyong National UniversityAnseongSouth Korea
  3. 3.Center for Water Resource Cycle ResearchKorea Institute of Science and TechnologySeoulSouth Korea

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