The Response of Artificial Aging to Sorption Properties of Biochar for Potentially Toxic Heavy Metals

Vladimír Frišták 1 , Wolfgang Friesl-Hanl 1 , Martin Pipíška 2 , Barbora Richveisová Micháleková 2 , and Gerhard Soja 1
  • 1 Department of Health & Environment, AIT Austrian Institute of Technology GmbH, Tulln, 3430, Austria
  • 2 Department of Ecochemistry and Radioecology, University of SS. Cyril and Methodius, J. Herdu 2, Trnava, SK-917 01, Slovak Republic


This paper evaluates the effect of simulated conditions of artificial aging on sorption capacity of two types of biochar. These were produced by slow pyrolysis from different feedstock - beech wood chips (BC A) and garden green waste residues (BC B). Cadmium served as a model for potentially toxic metals. Twenty freeze-thaw cycles were used to simulate physical aging. The determination of biochar physicochemical properties showed main changes in CEC and SA values of aged sorbents. The maximum sorption capacities of aged BC A sorbent were higher by about 26 % and aged BC B sorbent by about 20% compared to Qmax of non-aged biochar. Qmax of aged BC B peaked at 9.4 mg g-1 whereas BC A sorbed significantly less Cd. FT-IR analyses confirmed the changes in structural composition and content of functional groups on biochar surfaces. The artificial physical aging model was assessed as an efficient tool for investigation of natural weathering conditions.

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