The manufacture and characterisation of rosid angiosperm-derived biochars applied to water treatment

Idowu, Gideon A. and Fletcher, Ashleigh J. (2019) The manufacture and characterisation of rosid angiosperm-derived biochars applied to water treatment. Bioresource Technology. ISSN 0960-8524

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    Abstract

    Marabu (Dichrostachys cinerea) from Cuba and aspen (Populus tremula) from Britain are two rosid angiosperms that grow easily, as a weed and as a phytoremediator, respectively. As part of scientific efforts to valorise these species, their barks and woods were pyrolysed at 350, 450, 550 and 650 °C, and the resulting biochars were characterised to determine the potential of the products for particular applications. Percentage carbon composition of the biochars generally increased with pyrolysis temperature, giving biochars with highest carbon contents at 650 °C. Biochars produced from the core marabu and aspen wood sections had higher carbon contents (up to 85%) and BET surface areas (up to 381 m 2 g −1) than those produced from the barks. The biochar porous structures were predominantly mesoporous, while micropores were developed in marabu biochars produced at 650 °C and aspen biochars produced above 550 °C. Chemical and thermal activation of marabu carbon greatly enhanced its adsorption capacity for metaldehyde, a molluscicide that has been detected frequently in UK natural waters above the recommended EU limit.