One-step synthesis of a core-shell structured biochar using algae (Chlorella) powder and ferric sulfate for immobilizing Hg(II)

Yiming Ge, Shishu Zhu, Ke Wang, Feiyu Liu, Shiyu Zhang, Rupeng Wang, Shih Hsin Ho, Jo Shu Chang

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1 Citation (Scopus)


Mercury (Hg) pollution poses a significant environmental challenge. One promising method for its removal is the sorption of mercuric ions using biochar. FeS-doped biochar (FBC) exhibits effective mercury adsorption, however may release excess iron into the surrounding water. To address this issue, a novel magnetic pyrrhotite/magnetite-doped biochar with a core-shell structure was synthesized for the adsorption of 2-valent mercury (Hg(II)). The proposed synthesis process involved the use of algae powder and ferric sulfate in a one-step method. By varying the ratio of ferric sulfate and alga powder (within the range of 0.18 - 2.5) had a notable impact on the composition of FBC. As the ferric sulfate content increased, the FBC exhibited a higher concentration of oxygen-containing groups. To assess the adsorption capacity, Langmuir and Freundlich adsorption models were applied to the experimental data. The most effective adsorption was achieved with FBC-4, reaching a maximum capacity (Qm) of 95.51 mg/g. In particular, at low Hg(II) concentrations, FBC-5 demonstrated the ability to reduce Hg(II) concentrations to less than 0.05 mg/L within 30 min. Additionally, the stability of FBC was confirmed within the pH range of 3.8 - 7.2. The study also introduced a model to analyze the adsorption preference for different Hg(II) species. Calomel was identified in the mercury saturated FBC, whereas the core-shell structure exhibited excellent conductivity, which most likely contributed to the minimal release of iron. In summary, this research presents a novel and promising method for synthesizing core-shell structured biochar and provides a novel approach to explore the adsorption contribution of different metal species.

Original languageEnglish
Article number133991
JournalJournal of Hazardous Materials
Publication statusPublished - 2024 May 5

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

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


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