Environmental Science and Pollution Research

, Volume 26, Issue 4, pp 3751–3761 | Cite as

Hydrothermal carbonization of arecanut husk biomass: fuel properties and sorption of metals

  • Shalini RameshEmail author
  • Pugalendhi Sundararaju
  • Kamaludeen Sara Parwin Banu
  • Subburamu Karthikeyan
  • Uma Doraiswamy
  • Kamaraj Soundarapandian
Research Article


In this study, hydrothermal carbonization of arecanut husk and its potential application as an alternate solid fuel and heavy metal sorption (adsorbent) was attempted. Arecanut husk (AH) treated with citric acid for 9 h resulted in the hydrochar yield of 58.7% with increased fixed carbon from 17 to 39.7% and HHV from 16.98 to 21.14 MJ kg−1 compared to the parent biomass. The arecanut husk hydrochar (AHH) had H/C of 1.27, O/C ratio of 0.59 with an energy yield of 72.81%, and energy densification ratio of 1.24, and the values have the similar fuel characteristics of lignite. The pH, zeta potential, and surface of the hydrochar were 5.56, − 22.60 mV, and 0.98 m2 g−1 respectively. Hydrochar with a dosage of 0.1% showed a maximum rate of adsorption for Pb2+ (79.86 mg g−1) at the initial concentration of 100 mg L−1 in the aqueous solution compared to Zn2+, Cr6+, and Ni2+. SEM with EDAX and FT-IR spectroscopy results confirmed the presence of Pb2+ and changes in functional groups in arecanut husk hydrochar after adsorption of heavy metals in the aqueous solution.


Arecanut husk Hydrothermal carbonization Hydrochar Fuel properties Metal sorption 



The authors gratefully acknowledge the Department of Bioenergy and Department of Environmental Sciences, Tamil Nadu Agricultural University, DRDO, Center for Life Sciences, Bharathiar University and Department of Environmental Sciences and Nanotechnology, Government College of Technology, Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu, India. The first author extends the acknowledgement to GOI-DST-INSPIRE Scheme, New Delhi, India, for providing Ph.D. scholarship to carry out the research.


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Copyright information

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

Authors and Affiliations

  • Shalini Ramesh
    • 1
    Email author
  • Pugalendhi Sundararaju
    • 1
  • Kamaludeen Sara Parwin Banu
    • 2
  • Subburamu Karthikeyan
    • 1
  • Uma Doraiswamy
    • 3
  • Kamaraj Soundarapandian
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of BioenergyTamil Nadu Agricultural UniversityCoimbatoreIndia
  2. 2.Department of Environmental SciencesTamil Nadu Agricultural UniversityCoimbatoreIndia
  3. 3.Department of BiochemistryTamil Nadu Agricultural UniversityCoimbatoreIndia

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