Comparison of single and competitive metal adsorption by pepper stem biochar

Jong Hwan Park, Ju Sik Cho, Yong Sik Ok, Seong Heon Kim, Jong Soo Heo, Ronald D. Delaune, Dong Cheol Seo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

42 Citations (Scopus)


Carbon-based sorbents have been proven to be cost-effective in removing pollutants from wastewater. Biochar from plant residue and agricultural waste is an emerging treatment technology. However, there is a limited number of studies on the effects of various biochar sources on metal adsorption. The aim of this study was using batch experiment to evaluate the adsorption of heavy metals in single- and multi-metal conditions onto pepper stem biochar. The maximum adsorption capacities (mg g−1) of metals by pepper stem biochar were in the order of Pb (131) » Cr (76) > Cd (67) > Cu (48) > Zn (31) in the single-metal adsorption isotherm and Pb (91) » Cu (39) > Cr (29) > Zn (20) > Cd (13) in the multi-metal adsorption isotherm. Lead was the most retained cation, whereas Cr and Cd could be easily exchanged and substituted by other metals (Pb or Cu). For pepper stem biochar, the Langmuir model provided a slightly better fit than the Freundlich model. Results from the batch experiments show that competitive adsorption among metals increases the mobility of these metals. Particularly, Cd adsorption capacity in multi-metal conditions was significantly reduced. Overall, the results suggested that competitive adsorption studies are necessary for obtaining an accurate estimation of the metal retention capacity of pepper stem biochar in natural environments.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)617-632
Number of pages16
JournalArchives of Agronomy and Soil Science
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2016 Jan 1
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the National Research Foundation of Korea grant funded by the Korea Government (Ministry of Education, Science and Technology) [grant number 2012R1A2A2A01015706], [grant number NRF-2014R1A1A2007515]

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 Taylor & Francis.


  • Competitive adsorption
  • Freundlich isotherm
  • Langmuir isotherm
  • Pepper stem biochar

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Soil Science


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