Feedstock type drives surface property, demineralization and element leaching of nitric acid-activated biochars more than pyrolysis temperature

Christopher Nzediegwu, M. Anne Naeth, Scott X. Chang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations

Abstract

Nitric acid activation (NA-A) effects on the surface properties, mineral phases and element compositions of biochars produced from four feedstocks at three temperatures were evaluated. NA-A increased biochar thermal stability, but its effect on ash content and surface area was feedstock-dependent, with ash content in manure pellet biochars less affected due to a high quartz content. Apart from the manure pellet biochars and the sawdust biochar produced at 400 °C, NA-A decreased the surface area of biochars by up to 100% due to reduced pore volume. Nitric acid significantly leached elements such as potassium from biochars due to protonation and their reactions with several mineral phases, such as sylvite, on the biochars (p < 0.05). This study shows that mineral phases and element compositions of nitric acid-activated biochars were driven more by the feedstock type than the pyrolysis temperature and the derived biochars would be poor adsorbents.

Original languageEnglish
Article number126316
JournalBioresource Technology
Volume344
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2022
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Biochar
  • Element
  • Mineral phase
  • Nitric acid activation
  • Surface area

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • Environmental Engineering
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Waste Management and Disposal

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