Competitive adsorption of heavy metals in aqueous solution onto biochar derived from anaerobically digested sludge.Chemosphere. 2019 Mar; 219:351-357.C
Heavy metals often coexist in contaminated wastewater systems and their competitive behavior could affect the adsorption capacity of biochar. Till now, the competitive adsorption of heavy metals by biochar derived from anaerobically digested sludge has never been reported. In this work, biochar from anaerobically digested sludge was synthesized and characterized to explore the competitive behavior of widely co-existed Pb(II) and Cd(II). The mutual effects and inner mechanisms of their adsorption on studied biochar were systematically investigated via single-metal and binary-metals systems. In single-metal system, the biochar exhibited much higher adsorption capacity for Pb(II) compared to that for Cd(II). The maximum adsorption capacities of Pb(II) and Cd(II) based on single-component adsorption isotherm were 0.75 and 0.55 mmoL/g, respectively, which were much higher than those reported biochars from different materials. In binary-metals system, the Cd(II) adsorption on biochar was severely inhibited, while the uptake of Pb(II) was not affected significantly. The results of binary-components adsorption isotherm clearly demonstrated the competitive adsorption between two metals occurred as well as the preference of biochar for Pb(II) compared to Cd(II). FTIR and metal characteristics analysis results revealed that Pb(II) had exactly the same adsorption sites with Cd(II), but Pb(II) has a greater affinity than Cd(II), thereby exhibiting a competitive advantage in the coexisting system.