Simultaneous adsorption of Cr(VI) and phenol by biochar-based iron oxide composites in water: Performance, kinetics and mechanism

Fu Xin Dong, Liu Yan, Xin Hua Zhou, Shi Ting Huang, Jing Yi Liang, Wen Xuan Zhang, Zi Wei Guo, Peng Ran Guo, Wei Qian, Ling Jun Kong, Wei Chu, Zeng Hui Diao

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

158 Citations (Scopus)


The pollution of heavy metals and organic compounds has received increased attention in recent years. In the current study, a novel biochar-based iron oxide composite (FeYBC) was successfully synthesized using pomelo peel and ferric chloride solution through one-step process at moderate temperature. Results clearly demonstrate that FeYBC exhibited more efficient removal of Cr(VI) and/or phenol compared with the pristine biochar, and the maximum adsorption amounts of Cr(VI) and phenol by FeYBC could reach 24.37 and 39.32 mg g−1, respectively. A series of characterization data suggests that several iron oxides such as Fe2O3, Fe0, FeOOH and Fe3O4 were formed on the FeYBC surface as well as oxygen-containing groups. Thermodynamics study indicates that Cr(VI) and phenol adsorption by FeYBC were endothermic and exothermic processes, respectively. Langmuir adsorption isotherm and pseudo-second order models could better explain the Cr(VI) and phenol adsorption behaviors over FeYBC. The Cr(VI) adsorption might be primarily achieved through the ion exchange and surface complexation and reduction, whereas the π–π interaction and electron donor–acceptor complex mainly contributed to phenol adsorption. The findings indicate that the biochar-based iron oxide composites material was an efficient adsorbent for the remediation of industrial effluents containing Cr(VI) and phenol.

Original languageEnglish
Article number125930
JournalJournal of Hazardous Materials
Publication statusPublished - 15 Aug 2021


  • Biochar
  • Cr(VI)
  • Heavy metal
  • Organic pollutant
  • Phenol

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Pollution
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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