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Agriculture 2015, 5(3), 806-825; doi:10.3390/agriculture5030806

Efficacy of Chicken Litter and Wood Biochars and Their Activated Counterparts in Heavy Metal Clean up from Wastewater

1
USDA, ARS, Southern Regional Research Center, 1100 Robert E. Lee Blvd., New Orleans, LA 70124, USA
2
USDA, ARS, Costal Plains Soil, Water and Plant Research Center, 2611 W. Lucas St., Florence, SC 29501, USA
3
Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Design, North Carolina A & T State University, 1601 E. Market St., Greensboro, NC 27411, USA
4
USDA, ARS, Jamie Whitten Delta States Research Center, 141 Experiment Station Road, Stoneville, MS 38776, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Bin Gao
Received: 30 June 2015 / Revised: 8 September 2015 / Accepted: 10 September 2015 / Published: 16 September 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Effects of Biochar on Soil Fertility and Crop Production)
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Abstract

It is known that properties of activated biochars are tightly associated with those of the original feedstock as well as pyrolysis and activation conditions. This study examined two feedstock types, pine wood shavings and chicken litter, to produce biochars at two different pyrolysis temperatures and subsequently activated by steam, acid or base. In order to measure activation efficiency, all materials were characterized for their properties and ability to remediate two well-known heavy metals of concern: copper and arsenic. Base activated biochars were superior in arsenic adsorption, to acid or steam activated samples, but increase in adsorption was not significant to warrant use. For wood biochars, significant increases of surface functionality as related to oxygen bearing groups and surface charge were observed upon acid activation which led to increased copper ion adsorption. However, oxygen bearing functionalities were not sufficient to explain why chicken litter biochars and steam activated biochars appeared to be significantly superior to wood shavings in positively charged metal ion adsorption. For chicken litter, functionality of respective biochars could be related to phosphate containing groups inherited from feedstock composition, favorably positioning this feedstock in metal ion remediation applications. View Full-Text
Keywords: biochar; activated biochar; chicken litter; adsorption; copper; arsenic biochar; activated biochar; chicken litter; adsorption; copper; arsenic
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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MDPI and ACS Style

Lima, I.M.; Ro, K.S.; Reddy, G.B.; Boykin, D.L.; Klasson, K.T. Efficacy of Chicken Litter and Wood Biochars and Their Activated Counterparts in Heavy Metal Clean up from Wastewater. Agriculture 2015, 5, 806-825.

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