An iron-biochar composite from co-pyrolysis of incinerated sewage sludge ash and peanut shell for arsenic removal: Role of silica

Qiming Wang, Jiang shan Li, Chi Sun Poon

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Modification of biochar by low-cost iron sources has gained increasing attention to improve pollutants removal performance and reduce production costs compared to conventional chemical modifications. While such iron sources generally have complex compositions, their effects on properties of the iron-biochar composite are not well investigated. This study produced an iron-biochar (RBC) composite from co-pyrolysis of incinerated sewage sludge ash (ISSA) and peanut shell, and examined the role of silica with widespread existence in ISSA and other low-cost iron sources on properties of the iron-biochar composite relevant to As(III)/As(V) removal. Silica was found to react with iron during the pyrolysis process at 850 °C and formed iron silicon at the expense of producing zero valent iron and Fe3O4 which resulted in a poorer removal efficacy for As(III) and As(V) compared to the iron-biochar (FBC) made from pure Fe2O3 and peanut shell. Moreover, a high leaching of reactive silica from RBC was observed which affected the formation of corrosion products of ZVI and competed with arsenic for active adsorption sites. Despite this, RBC still exhibited a maximum adsorption capacity of 17.44 and 57.56 mg/g towards As(III) and As(V) respectively at pH 3.0. Overall, this study provides an interesting insight into upcycling ISSA into useful media for sorptive removal of arsenic from aqueous solutions.

Original languageEnglish
Article number120115
JournalEnvironmental Pollution
Volume313
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 15 Nov 2022

Keywords

  • Arsenic removal
  • Incinerated sewage sludge ash
  • Iron-biochar
  • Waste management

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Toxicology
  • Pollution
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis

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