This study investigated if biochar, a low-cost carbon-rich material, can be modified with reactive materials for decolorization of dyeing wastewater. Two types of rice husk biochars were produced by using different processes of gasification and pyrolysis in limited air condition. The biochars were first magnetized and then modified with nano-scale zero-valent iron (nZVI) to achieve the final products of magnetic-nZVI biochars. Batch experiments were conducted to investigate the efficiency of the modified biochars for reducing color of the reactive dyes yellow (RY145), red (RR195), and blue (RB19) from dyeing solutions. Results showed that color removal efficiency of the modified biochars was significantly enhanced, achieving the values of 100% for RY145 and RR195 and ≥65% for RB19, while the effectiveness of the original biochar was significantly lower. In addition, with increasing dose of the modified biochars, the color removal efficiency increased accordingly. In contrast, when the dose of nZVI was increased beyond a certain value then its color removal efficiency decreased accordingly. It is reported that the magnetic-nZVI rice husk biochars effectively removed the reactive dyes. The impregnation of nZVI particles on the biochar surface spatially separates the nZVI particles, prevents its aggregation and therefore enhances the decolorization efficiency.
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