Design and fabrication of exfoliated Mg/Al layered double hydroxides on biochar support

Yutao Peng, Yuqing Sun, Aamir Hanif, Jin Shang, Zhengtao Shen, Deyi Hou, Yaoyu Zhou, Qing Chen, Yong Sik Ok, Daniel C.W. Tsang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

62 Citations (Scopus)


Tailored design and fabrication of biochar-based adsorbents with high porosity and well dispersion is a critical process for enhancing their environmental applications. To elucidate the material structure-performance relationship, this study synthesized and compared corn straw biochar-supported Mg/Al layered double hydroxides composites (LDHs-BCs) using conventional co-precipitation or aqueous miscible organic solvent treatment (AMOST) methods under various pyrolysis temperatures (350, 550, 750, and 950 °C) and metal loadings (5 and 15 wt%). The comprehensive surface characterization demonstrated enlarged interlayer spacing, increased specific surface area, and smaller crystal size of LDHs as well as lowered intensities of O-containing functional groups in LDHs-BCs. These results suggested that, in comparison to conventional co-precipitation method, AMOST method can serve as a simple, cost-effective, and robust method to induce exfoliation, higher dispersion, and more stable attachment of LDHs on the biochar surface. The Langmuir adsorption isotherms further demonstrated that the AMOST-derived composites prepared at higher temperatures (i.e., 750 and 950 °C) and lower metal loading (i.e., 5 wt%) exhibited superior contaminant removal capacities (280.7–286.2 mg PO43−/g and 92.5–94.7 mg Cu(II)/g at pH 5.0–6.0). The synergistic effect was attributed to coupled functionalization of LDHs and biochar under customized synthesis conditions. These results provide valuable insights into fabricating high-performance and environmentally friendly LDHs-BCs for green remediation and sustainable development.

Original languageEnglish
Article number125142
JournalJournal of Cleaner Production
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Mar 20

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We gratefully acknowledge the financial support of the Hong Kong Environment and Conservation Fund (ECF Project 87/2017 ), Hong Kong Research Grants Council ( PolyU 15217818 ), and China Agriculture Research System ( CARS-23-B16 ).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 Elsevier Ltd


  • Copper removal
  • Engineered biochar
  • Layered double hydroxides
  • Phosphate adsorption
  • Sustainable waste management
  • Wastewater treatment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • General Environmental Science
  • Strategy and Management
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


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