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Water 2018, 10(1), 55; doi:10.3390/w10010055

Assessment of the Binding of Protons, Al and Fe to Biochar at Different pH Values and Soluble Metal Concentrations

Acid Sulfate Soils Centre, The University of Adelaide, Adelaide, SA 5005, Australia
School of Agriculture, Food and Wine, The University of Adelaide, Adelaide, SA 5005, Australia
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 12 December 2017 / Revised: 3 January 2018 / Accepted: 7 January 2018 / Published: 10 January 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biochar Based Soil Water Treatment)
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Biochar can retain large amounts of protons and metals in the drainage water from acid sulfate soils and mine sites. Metal sorption can, however, be influenced by many factors, such as pH and metal composition. This study investigated proton, Al, and Fe retention capacity of eucalyptus biochar (1% w/v) at different pH and metal concentrations. In the absence of metals, the biochar had a high proton binding capacity, (up to 0.035 mmol of H+), whereas its capacity to retain hydroxide ions was limited. A batch experiment was carried out at pH 4 and pH 7 with 10−6, 10−5, 10−4, 10−3, and 10−2 M of added Fe or Al. Added metals precipitated considerably prior to addition of the biochar except that Al remained highly soluble at pH 4. The biochar had a high retention capacity for Al and Fe; at high (>1 mM) concentrations, over 80% of soluble metals were retained. Metal competition for binding sites of both Al and Fe at different ratios was investigated, but increasing concentrations of one metal did not reduce retention of the other. The results confirmed that biochar has high metal binding capacity under both acidic and neutral conditions. View Full-Text
Keywords: biochar; acid sulfate soil; proton; metal binding biochar; acid sulfate soil; proton; metal binding

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Dang, T.; Marschner, P.; Fitzpatrick, R.; Mosley, L.M. Assessment of the Binding of Protons, Al and Fe to Biochar at Different pH Values and Soluble Metal Concentrations. Water 2018, 10, 55.

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