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Cui, L., Yan, J., Li, L., Quan, G., Ding, C., Chen, T., Yin, C., Gao, J., and Hussain, Q. (2015). "Does biochar alter the speciation of Cd and Pb in aqueous solution?" BioRes. 10(1), 88-104.


Cadmium and lead contamination in bodies of water has been a serious concern because of risk to the environment. A laboratory experiment was initiated to investigate the efficacy of biochar (BC) in removing cadmium and lead (Cd and Pb, respectively) from solution. After absorption by BC, the fractions of Cd and Pb at different solution temperatures were measured. The adsorption data were described by Langmuir isotherm with maximum adsorption capacities of 6.36, 6.47, and 6.74 mg Cd g-1 and 50.05, 55.86, and 63.09 mg Pb g-1 at 25, 35, and 45 °C, respectively. The adsorption capacities were affected by Cd/Pb initial concentration, pH, BC particle size, BC dosage, and reaction time. Biochar adsorbed the Cd and Pb mainly as species bound with carbonate (> 50%) and organic compounds (~40%). Exchangeable and residual fractions of Cd and Pb were less than 10%. Results from this study indicate that BC is highly effective in the adsorption of the heavy metals Cd and Pb through binding with carbonates.
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