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Characteristics and mechanisms of nickel adsorption on biochars produced from wheat straw pellets and rice husk

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McMillan, O 
Al-Tabbaa, A 


The adsorption characteristics and mechanisms of Ni(2+) on four-standard biochars produced from wheat straw pellets (WSP550, WSP700) and rice husk (RH550, RH700) at 550 and 700 °C, respectively, were investigated. The kinetic results show that the adsorption of Ni(2+) on the biochars reached an equilibrium within 5 min. The increase of the solid to liquid ratio resulted in an increase of Ni(2+) removal percentage but a decrease of the adsorbed amount of Ni(2+) per weight unit of biochar. The Ni(2+) removal percentage increased with the increasing of initial solution pH values at the range of 2-4, was relatively constant at the pH range of 4-8, and significantly increased to ≥98% at pH 9 and stayed constantly at the pH range of 9-10. The calculated maximum adsorption capacities of Ni(2+) for the biochars follow the order of WSP700 > WSP550 > RH700 > RH550. Both cation exchange capacity and pH of biochar can be a good indicator of the maximum adsorption capacity for Ni(2+) showing a positively linear and exponential relationship, respectively. This study also suggests that a carefully controlled standardised production procedure can make it reliable to compare the adsorption capacities between different biochars and investigate the mechanisms involved.



biochar, adsorption studies, adsorption capacity, standardised production, adsorption mechanisms, nickel

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Environmental Science and Pollution Research

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Springer Verlag