Amino-functionalized biochars for the detoxification and removal of hexavalent chromium in aqueous media.
The objectives of the study were to evaluate and compare the efficacy of hexavalent chromium (Cr(VI)) removal by amino-modified (HDA-MPBC) and pristine biochar (MPBC) derived from an invasive plant Mimosa pigra. Prepared biochars were characterized and batch experiments were conducted to check the performance and the mechanisms of Cr(VI) removal. FTIR spectra revealed that the surface of HDA-MPBC is abundant with amino functional groups which was further confirmed by XPS analysis. The highest Cr(VI) removal for both HDA-MPBC (76%) and MPBC (62%) was observed at pH 3.0. The batch sorption data were well fitted to the Freundlich isotherm model and pseudo-second-order kinetic model, suggesting the involvement of both physisorption and chemisorption mechanisms for Cr(VI) removal. X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy studies showed that both Cr(VI) and Cr(III) were presented at the modified biochar surface after adsorption. These results indicated that the electrostatic attraction of Cr(VI) coupled with reduction of Cr(VI) to Cr(III) and complexation of Cr(III) ions with functional groups on HDA-MPBC as the most plausible mechanism for removal of Cr(VI) by modified biochar. Regeneration experiment concluded that adsorbed Cr(VI) onto the surface of HDA-MPBC had the least tendency of being desorbed in basic conditions. HDA-MPBC showed a high performance in adsorptive removal of Cr(VI) compared to pristine biochar signifying the amino modification to enhance adsorption performance of biochar in Cr(VI) removal from wastewater.