Adsorption of 17β-estradiol from aqueous solution by raw and direct/pre/post-KOH treated lotus seedpod biochar

Zhihong Yin , Ni Liu , Yunguo Liu , Guangming Zeng , Jilai Gong , Xiaofei Tan , Shaobo Liu , Luhua Jiang , Meifang Li


Received November 11, 2018,Revised , Accepted May 22, 2019, Available online June 11, 2019

Volume 32,2020,Pages 10-23

Five biochars derived from lotus seedpod (LSP) were applied to examine and compare the adsorption capacity of 17β-estradiol (E2) from aqueous solution. The effect of KOH activation and the order of activation steps on material properties were discussed. The effect of contact time, initial concentration, pH, ionic strength and humic acid on E2 adsorption were investigated in a batch adsorption process. Experimental results demonstrated that the pseudo second-order model fitted the experimental data best and that adsorption equilibrium was reached within 20 hr. The efficiency of E2 removal increased with increasing E2 concentration and decreased with the increase of ionic strength. E2 adsorption on LSP-derived biochar (BCs) was influenced little by humic acid, and slightly affected by the solution pH when its value ranged from 4.0 to 9.0, but considerably affected at pH 10.0. Low environmental temperature is favorable for E2 adsorption. Chemisorption, π–π interactions, monolayer adsorption and electrostatic interaction are the possible adsorption mechanisms. Comparative studies indicated that KOH activation and the order of activation steps had significant impacts on the material. Post-treated biochar exhibited better adsorption capacity for E2 than direct treated, pre-treated, and raw LSP biochar. Pyrolyzed biochar at higher temperature improved E2 removal. The excellent performance of BCs in removing E2 suggested that BCs have potential in E2 treatment and that the biochar directly treated by KOH would be a good choice for the treatment of E2 in aqueous solution, with its advantages of good efficiency and simple technology.

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