Environmental Science and Pollution Research

, Volume 25, Issue 10, pp 9887–9895 | Cite as

Preparation and characterization of Na2S-modified biochar for nickel removal

  • Xiaolan Hu
  • Yingwen Xue
  • Lina Liu
  • Yifan Zeng
  • Li Long
Research Article


Biochar has good adsorption ability to various contaminants. In this work, peanut shell, corncob, cotton stalks, and crayfish shell were pyrolyzed under three temperatures (300, 450, 600 °C) to obtain biochars for the removal of Ni2+. The biochars were further modified with 2 mol/L Na2S solution. Characterization results showed that the specific surface area and total pore volume of the modified biochars increased substantially. Among all the adsorbents, the modified corncob biochar (450 °C) showed the best Ni2+ adsorption. The adsorption kinetics followed the Elovich model with an equilibrium time of 24 h. The maximum capacity of the modified biochar reached 15.40 mg/g. The adsorption process was affected by pH, temperature, and coexisting ions. Increasing pH (under 7) provided more adsorption sites which enhanced adsorption capacity. Experimental results also indicated that the main adsorption mechanism of Ni2+ was ion exchange. Findings from this work suggest that modified biochar can be used as an effective adsorbent for the removal of Ni2+ from wastewater.

Graphical abstract


Biochar Ni2+ Modification Adsorption mechanism 



This work was partially supported by the National “Twelfth Five-Year” Plan for the Science & Technology Pillar Program (grant numbers 2014BAL04B04 and 2015BAL01B02), the Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities (no. 2042016kf0173), and the Wuhan Water Engineering & Technology Co., Ltd. The authors also thank the anonymous reviewers for their invaluable insight and helpful suggestions.


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Copyright information

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

Authors and Affiliations

  • Xiaolan Hu
    • 1
  • Yingwen Xue
    • 1
  • Lina Liu
    • 2
  • Yifan Zeng
    • 1
  • Li Long
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Civil EngineeringWuhan UniversityWuhanChina
  2. 2.College of Environmental Science and EngineeringTongji UniversityShanghaiChina

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