Environmental Science and Pollution Research

, Volume 25, Issue 31, pp 31346–31357 | Cite as

The potential adsorption mechanism of the biochars with different modification processes to Cr(VI)

  • Qiang AnEmail author
  • Xue-Qin Li
  • Hong-Yan Nan
  • Yang Yu
  • Jun-Nan Jiang
Research Article


Modified biochar has attracted wide attention due to its advantageous adsorption performance. However, the influence of modification process of biochar on adsorption capacity was seldom studied. In this study, biochar derived from corn stalks was modified through two kinds of modification processes: pre-pyrolysis (MBCpre) and post-pyrolysis (MBCpost) modification with citric acid, sodium hydroxide, ferric chloride, respectively. The results showed that the biochar modified by ferric chloride (MBC) provided better adsorption capacity for Cr(VI), and the pre-pyrolysis offered more favorable adsorption capacity for biochar than post-pyrolysis. By means of instrumental analysis, it was found that MBCpre owned highly dispersed Fe3O4 particles and larger surface area, which could be the critical role for enhancing the adsorption capacity of MBCpre. Meanwhile, MBCpost appeared more protonated oxygen-rich functional groups(C=O, –OH, etc.) and adsorbed Cr(VI) by electrostatic attraction and complexation. This study will offer a novel idea for the treatment of chromium-containing wastewater by selecting the modification processes of biochar.

Graphical abstract


Modified biochar Pre-pyrolysis Post-pyrolysis Hexavalent chromium Adsorption mechanism 



This work was supported in part by the Technology innovation and application demonstration of Chongqing science and technology planning project (Project No. cstc2018jscx-msybX0308).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.

Supplementary material

11356_2018_3107_MOESM1_ESM.docx (21 kb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 20 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Qiang An
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Xue-Qin Li
    • 1
  • Hong-Yan Nan
    • 1
    • 3
  • Yang Yu
    • 1
  • Jun-Nan Jiang
    • 1
  1. 1.Key Laboratory of the Three Gorges Reservoir Region’s Eco-Environment, Ministry of EducationChongqing UniversityChongqingPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.National Centre for International Research of Low-carbon and Green BuildingsChongqing UniversityChongqingPeople’s Republic of China
  3. 3.School of Environmental Science and EngineeringShanghai Jiao Tong UniversityShanghaiChina

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