College of Environmental Science and Engineering/Ministry of Education Key Laboratory of Pollution Processes and Environmental Criteria/Tianjin Key Laboratory of Environmental Remediation and Pollution Control, Nankai University, Tong Yan Road 38, Tianjin, 300350, China. Electronic address: [Email]
Biochar (BC) is as an emerging and promising adsorbent for the removal of pollutants from aqueous solutions in water treatment given its porous structure, large surface area, and numerous O-functional groups. However, the effects of BC on the formation of disinfection byproducts (DBPs) during the disinfection process of water treatment remains largely unknown. This study investigated the influence of aqueous solution chemistry on DBP formation in the presence of BC during chlorination. BC samples prepared from different biomass precursors (wheat straw, peanut shells, and shaddock peel) with different pyrolysis temperatures were compared, and the effects of aqueous solution chemistry were systematically investigated. Results indicated that DBPs could be formed during disinfection with BC. Certain intermediate DBP products would undergo base catalysis to form trichloromethane (TCM) via hydrolysis as pH increased. This phenomenon would increase TCM content, as well as decrease chloral hydrate and 1,1-dichloro-2-propanone content. The increment in inorganic ion (NaCl) content showed negligible effects on DBP formation during BC chlorination. DBP formation was restrained in the presence of humic acid (HA) because the number of active sites on BC that participated in the reaction decreased when BC adsorbed HA.