Simultaneous biosorption of selenium, arsenic and molybdenum with modified algal-based biochars

Johansson, Charlotte L., Paul, Nicholas A., de Nys, Rocky, and Roberts, David A. (2016) Simultaneous biosorption of selenium, arsenic and molybdenum with modified algal-based biochars. Journal of Environmental Management, 165. pp. 117-123.

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Ash disposal waters from coal-fired power stations present a challenging water treatment scenario as they contain high concentrations of the oxyanions Se, As and Mo which are difficult to remove through conventional techniques. In an innovative process, macroalgae can be treated with Fe and processed through slow pyrolysis into Fe-biochar which has a high affinity for oxyanions. However, the effect of production conditions on the efficacy of Fe-biochar is poorly understood. We produced Fe-biochar from two algal sources; "Gracilaria waste" (organic remnants after agar is extracted from cultivated Gracilaria) and the freshwater macroalgae Oedogonium. Pyrolysis experiments tested the effects of the concentration of Fe3+ in pre-treatment, and pyrolysis temperatures, on the efficacy of the Fe-biochar. The efficacy of Fe-biochar increased with increasing concentrations of Fe3+ in the pre-treatment solutions, and decreased with increasing pyrolysis temperatures. The optimized Fe-biochar for each biomass was produced by treatment with a 12.5% w/v Fe3+ solution, followed by slow pyrolysis at 300 degC. The Fe-biochar produced in this way had higher a biosorption capacity for As and Mo (62.5-80.7 and 67.4-78.5 mg/g respectively) than Se (14.9e38.8 mg/g) in single-element mock effluents, and the Fe-biochar produced from Oedogonium had a higher capacity for all elements than the Fe-biochar produced from Gracilaria waste. Regardless, the optimal Fe-biochars from both biomass sources were able to effectively treat Se, As and Mo simultaneously in an ash disposal effluent from a power station. The production of Fe-biochar from macroalgae is a promising technique for treatment of complex effluents containing oxyanions.

Item ID: 40755
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1095-8630
Keywords: biosorption; gracilaria; oedogonium; macroalgae; biochar; bioremediation; pyrolysis
Funders: Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA), Advanced Manufacturing Co-operative Research Centre (AMCRC), MBD Energy
Projects and Grants: MBD Energy Research and Development program
Date Deposited: 12 Nov 2015 03:27
FoR Codes: 30 AGRICULTURAL, VETERINARY AND FOOD SCIENCES > 3005 Fisheries sciences > 300501 Aquaculture @ 50%
41 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 4103 Environmental biotechnology > 410303 Bioremediation @ 50%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9609 Land and Water Management > 960908 Mining Land and Water Management @ 100%
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