Sorption of Selected Heavy Metals with Different Relative Concentrations in Industrial Effluent on Biochar from Human Faecal Products and Pine-Bark.


Soil Science Discipline, School of Agricultural, Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Private Bag X01, Scottsville 3209, South Africa. [Email]


The removal of heavy metals from effluents at source could reduce contamination of soil and water bodies. A batch sorption experiment was performed to determine the effects of feedstock of biochars pyrolysed at increasing temperature on sorption capacities of Cu, Cr and Zn from industrial effluent and aqueous solutions. Sewage sludge, latrine faecal waste and pine-bark biochars were used. The sorption data were fitted to the Langmuir isotherm. Maximum sorption capacities of latrine waste, sewage sludge and pine-bark biochar (350 °C) were, respectively, 313, 400 and 233 mg kg-1 for Zn, 102, 98.0 and 33.3 mg kg-1 for Cu, and 18.9, 13.8 and 67.1 mg kg-1 for Cr from industrial effluent. Conversely, sorption capacities from single metal solutions were 278, 227 and 104 mg Zn kg-1, 97.1, 137 and 21.3 mg Cu kg-1, 122, 106 and 147 mg Cr kg-1 on latrine waste, sewage sludge and pine-bark biochar, respectively. Step-wise regression analysis showed that the combined effects of ash, fixed C, pH influenced Zn sorption, ash and fixed C affected Cu sorption, and Cr sorption by ash and specific surface area of the biochar. The findings of the study imply that biochar from human faecal waste, particularly sewage sludge, has the potential to be utilized as sorbents of heavy metals from multiple metal effluent and that the sorption is affected by relative concentrations.


biochar,faeces,heavy metals,pyrolysis,sorption,

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