Mechanistic understanding of crystal violet dye sorption by woody biochar: implications for wastewater treatment

Awanthi Wathukarage, Indika Herath, M. C.M. Iqbal, Meththika Vithanage

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

111 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Dye-based industries, particularly small and medium scale, discharge their effluents into waterways without treatment due to cost considerations. We investigated the use of biochars produced from the woody tree Gliricidia sepium at 300 °C (GBC300) and 500 °C (GBC500) in the laboratory and at 700 °C from a dendro bioenergy industry (GBC700), to evaluate their potential for sorption of crystal violet (CV) dye. Experiments were conducted to assess the effect of pH reaction time and CV loading on the adsorption process. The equilibrium adsorption capacity was higher with GBC700 (7.9 mg g−1) than GBC500 (4.9 mg g−1) and GBC300 (4.4 mg g−1), at pH 8. The CV sorption process was dependent on the pH, surface area and pore volume of biochar (GBC). Both Freundlich and Hill isotherm models fitted best to the equilibrium isotherm data suggesting cooperative interactions via physisorption and chemisorption mechanisms for CV sorption. The highest Hill sorption capacity of 125.5 mg g−1 was given by GBC700 at pH 8. Kinetic data followed the pseudo-second-order model, suggesting that the sorption process is more inclined toward the chemisorption mechanism. Pore diffusion, π–π electron donor–acceptor interaction and H-bonding were postulated to be involved in physisorption, whereas electrostatic interactions of protonated amine group of CV and negatively charged GBC surface led to a chemisorption type of adsorption. Overall, GBC produced as a by-product of the dendro industry could be a promising remedy for CV removal from an aqueous environment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1647-1661
Number of pages15
JournalEnvironmental Geochemistry and Health
Volume41
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2019
Externally publishedYes

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