Synthesis of functionalised biochar using red mud, lignin, and carbon dioxide as raw materials

Kwangsuk Yoon, Dong Wan Cho, Yiu Fai Tsang, Daniel C.W. Tsang, Eilhann E. Kwon, Hocheol Song

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

58 Citations (Scopus)


The massive generation of red mud has been considered as a serious environmental burden because of its toxicity, alkaline nature, and complex compositional matrix. Accordingly, diverse technical approaches for red mud utilization have been extensively developed, but their practical implementation has not been fully established because of technical incompleteness. In these respects, establishing reliable strategies for disposing red mud is of great importance. To enhance the technical viability of red mud valorisation, utilizing an existing disposal platform for solid wastes can be an alternative option. Therefore, co-pyrolysis of red mud and lignin was conducted in this study. Furthermore, the possible utilization of CO 2 during the co-pyrolysis was explored to valorise the end-product (biochar), which enhanced its porosity. In addition to the enhanced porosity, CO 2 utilization during the co-pyrolysis of red mud and lignin led to surplus generation of CO by shifting the carbon distribution from pyrolytic oil to CO. In detail, CO generation in the CO 2 environment was enhanced 24 times more than that in the N 2 environment. Thus, the surplus CO in the CO 2 environment was used to transform iron oxides in the red mud into zero-valent iron. In sum, two functionalities (enhanced porosity and zero-valent iron content) were leveraged by the CO 2 , which synergistically enhanced the reduction capability of the biochar. Reduction of p-nitrophenol and Cr(VI) was successfully completed using biochar, of which removal efficiency by reduction reached up to 99 and 69.7%, respectively. Therefore, the experimental findings provide a breakthrough for valorising two widespread waste materials, red mud and lignin.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1597-1604
Number of pages8
JournalChemical Engineering Journal
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2019


  • Carbon dioxide
  • Functionalised biochar
  • Lignin
  • Red mud
  • Valorisation
  • Zero-valent iron

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Chemical Engineering(all)
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


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