Volatile organic compounds analysis and characterization on activated biochar prepared from rice husk

  • J. Li
  • Q. LiEmail author
  • C. Qian
  • X. Wang
  • Y. Lan
  • B. Wang
  • W. Yin
Original Paper


Activated biochar has been used in various areas, i.e., wastewater treatment. However, biochar contains volatile organic compounds, some of which are toxic organic pollutants that pose health risks to human. In this study, activated biochar was prepared by pyrolysis method using rice husks as raw materials and H2O as the activator. The volatile organic compound concentration of biochar before and after activation, as well as the adsorption characteristics of activated biochar, was investigated. The structure of the biochar was characterized by FTIR, SEM, and specific surface area analyzer. The results showed that activated biochar surface was mainly composed of carboxyl groups, and no phenolic hydroxyl or lactone groups formed during the process. In total, 54 volatile organic compounds were analyzed by a gas chromatography–mass spectrometer. The detection frequency of 45 volatile organic compounds reached 100%. The concentration of sum of these compounds was 93.26 and 110.62 μg/g in the biochar before and after activation, respectively. Results of adsorption experiments showed that the adsorption and resolution of activated biochar to n-hexane were 29.33 and 5.4 mg/g, respectively. Compared to the biochar sample without activation, the activated biochar with the ratio of charcoal to water of 3:1 showed the best adsorption to n-hexane, whose surface area reached 351.23 m2/g.


Rice husk Pyrolysis Activation Volatile organic compounds Adsorption 



This work was supported by the National Nature Science Foundation of China (41371448), the Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities (3132016326), and the National Key Research and Development Program of China (2018YFC1406405).

Supplementary material

13762_2019_2219_MOESM1_ESM.docx (66 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 66 kb)


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Copyright information

© Islamic Azad University (IAU) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. Li
    • 1
  • Q. Li
    • 1
    Email author
  • C. Qian
    • 1
  • X. Wang
    • 1
  • Y. Lan
    • 1
  • B. Wang
    • 1
  • W. Yin
    • 1
  1. 1.College of Environmental Science and EngineeringDalian Maritime UniversityDalianChina

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