See more from this Session: General Soil and Environmental Quality Posters: I
Tuesday, October 18, 2011
Henry Gonzalez Convention Center, Hall C, Street Level
Biochar converted from agricultural residues or other carbon-rich wastes may provide new methods and materials for environmental management, particularly with respect to carbon sequestration and contaminant remediation. In this study, two biochars were produced from anaerobically digested (DSTC) and undigested sugar beet tailings (STC) through slow-pyrolysis at 600 oC in a N2 environment. Laboratory adsorption experiments were conducted to assess the phosphate removal ability of the two biochars, an activated carbon (AC), and three Fe-modified biochar/AC adsorbents. The DSTC showed the highest phosphate removal ability with a removal rate around 73%. Batch adsorption kinetic and equilibrium isotherm experiments and post-adsorption characterizations suggested that colloidal and nano-sized MgO (periclase) particles on DSTC surface were the main adsorption sites for aqueous phosphate. Batch adsorption experiments also showed that both initial solution pH and coexisting anions could affect the adsorption of phosphate onto the DSTC biochar. Our results suggest that biochar converted from anaerobically digested sugar beet tailings is a promising alternative adsorbent, which can be used to reclaim phosphate from water or reduce phosphate leaching from fertilized soils. In addition, there is no need to regenerate the exhausted biochar because the phosphate-laden biochar contains abundance of valuable nutrients, which may be used as a slow-release fertilizer to enhance soil fertility and to sequester carbon.