Adsorptive Removal of Heavy Metal from Acidic Wastewater with Biochar Produced from Anaerobically Digested Residues: Kinetics and Surface Complexation Modeling

Youchi Zhang, Wensui Luo


In this study, the adsorptive characteristics of biochar generated from anaerobically digested garden wastes (AD-char) were investigated. Metal adsorption onto AD-chars reached equilibrium in 48 h; the adsorption capacity of Cu2+ by AD-char was 182 μmol g-1, which was higher than that of Zn2+ (35.3 μmol g-1) and Mn2+ (60.7 μmol g-1). The metal adsorption was well described by the pseudo second-order kinetic and Langmuir isotherm models. pKinta1, pKinta2, and pkCu for AD-char, which described surface protonation reactions and complexation with Cu2+, were 5.75, -10.20, and -4.70, respectively, as optimized by the surface complexation model. Cu2+ adsorption onto AD-char increased with increasing pH to < 8.6, which suggests that the presence of surface alkaline functional groups can be attributed to the metal adsorption capacity of biochar. This study concluded that converting anaerobically digested food and garden wastes into biochar could be an efficient method of treating municipal solid waste and producing metal adsorbents for environmental remediation.


Biochar; Metal adsorbent; Anaerobic digestion residue; Copper removal; Surface complexation model

Full Text: PDF

Welcome to BioResources! This online, peer-reviewed journal is devoted to the science and engineering of biomaterials and chemicals from lignocellulosic sources for new end uses and new capabilities. The editors of BioResources would be very happy to assist you during the process of submitting or reviewing articles. Please note that logging in is required in order to submit or review articles. Martin A. Hubbe, (919) 513-3022,; Lucian A. Lucia, (919) 515-7707, URLs:; ISSN: 1930-2126