Environmental Science and Pollution Research

, Volume 26, Issue 18, pp 18624–18635 | Cite as

Comparative efficiency of peanut shell and peanut shell biochar for removal of arsenic from water

  • Muhammad Sohail Sattar
  • Muhammad Bilal ShakoorEmail author
  • Shafaqat Ali
  • Muhammad Rizwan
  • Nabeel Khan Niazi
  • Asim Jilani
Research Article


Contamination of surface water and groundwater streams with carcinogenic chemicals such as arsenic (As) has been a major environmental issue worldwide, and requires significant attention to develop new and low-cost sorbents to treat As-polluted water. In the current study, arsenite (As(III)) and arsenate (As(V)) removal efficiency of peanut shell biochar (PSB) was compared with peanut shell (PS) in aqueous solutions. Sorption experiments showed that PSB possessed relatively higher As removal efficiency than PS, with 95% As(III) (at pH 7.2) and 99% As(V) (at pH 6.2) with 0.6 g L−1 sorbent dose, 5 mg L−1 initial As concentration, and 2 h equilibrium time. Experimental data followed a pseudo-second-order model for sorption kinetics showing the dominance of chemical interactions (surface complexation) between As and surface functional groups. The Langmuir model for sorption isotherm indicated that As was sorbed via a monolayer sorption process. The X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) and Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy analyses revealed that the hydroxyl (–OH) and aromatic surface functional (C=O, C=C–C, and –C–H) groups contributed significantly in the sorption of both As species from aqueous solutions through surface complexation and/or electrostatic reactions. We demonstrate that the pyrolysis of abandoned PS yields a novel, low-cost, and efficient biochar which provides dual benefits of As-rich water treatment and a value-added sustainable strategy for solid waste disposal.


Arsenic Biochar Sorption Peanut shell XPS Speciation 



The authors thank the Center of Nanotechnology, King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, for providing the analytical facility.

Funding information

The study received financial support from the Higher Education Commission (HEC), Pakistan (Project No. 1430/SRGP/R&D/HEC/2016) and Government College University Faisalabad, Pakistan. Dr Nabeel Khan Niazi is thankful to the University of Agriculture Faisalabad and University of Southern Queensland, Australia.

Supplementary material

11356_2019_5185_MOESM1_ESM.docx (465 kb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 464 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Environmental Sciences and EngineeringGovernment College University FaisalabadFaisalabadPakistan
  2. 2.Institute of Soil and Environmental SciencesUniversity of Agriculture FaisalabadFaisalabadPakistan
  3. 3.School of Civil Engineering and SurveyingUniversity of Southern QueenslandToowoombaAustralia
  4. 4.Center of NanotechnologyKing Abdulaziz UniversityJeddahSaudi Arabia

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