High-efficiency removal of lead from wastewater by biochar derived from anaerobic digestion sludge

Shih Hsin Ho, Yi di Chen, Zhong kai Yang, Dillirani Nagarajan, Jo Shu Chang, Nan qi Ren

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

180 Citations (Scopus)


The properties of biochar derived from waste activated sludge and anaerobic digestion sludge under pyrolysis temperature varying from 400 °C to 800 °C were investigated. The heavy metals adsorption efficiency of the sludge-derived biochar was also examined. Among the biochar samples tested, ADSBC600 possessing highly porous structure, special surface chemical behaviors and high thermal stability was found to remove Pb2+ from aqueous solutions efficiently with an adsorption capacity of 51.20 mg/g. The Pb2+ adsorption kinetics and isotherm for ADSBC600 can be described using the pseudo second-order model and Langmuir isotherm, respectively. Analysis of the characteristics of biochar before and after metal treatment suggests that electrostatic attraction, precipitation, surface complexation and ion exchange are the possible Pb2+ removal mechanisms. This study demonstrates a successful example of waste refinery by converting anaerobic digestion sludge to feasible heavy metal adsorbents to implement the concept of circular economy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)142-149
Number of pages8
JournalBioresource technology
Publication statusPublished - 2017 Dec

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Bioengineering
  • Environmental Engineering
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Waste Management and Disposal


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