Fe(III) loaded chitosan-biochar composite fibers for the removal of phosphate from water

Kumuduni Niroshika Palansooriya, Sok Kim, Avanthi Deshani Igalavithana, Yohey Hashimoto, Yoon E. Choi, Raj Mukhopadhyay, Binoy Sarkar, Yong Sik Ok

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78 Citations (Scopus)


Excess phosphorous (P) in aquatic systems causes adverse environmental impacts including eutrophication. This study fabricated Fe(III) loaded chitosan-biochar composite fibers (FBC-N and FBC-C) from paper mill sludge biochar produced under N2 (BC-N) and CO2 (BC-C) conditions at 600 °C for adsorptive removal of phosphate from water. Investigations using SEM/EDX, XPS, Raman spectroscopy, and specific surface area measurement revealed the morphological and physico-chemical characteristics of the adsorbent. The Freundlich isotherm model well described the phosphate adsorption on BC-N, while the Redlich–Peterson model best fitted the data of three other adsorbents. The maximum adsorption capacities were 9.63, 8.56, 16.43, and 19.24 mg P g−1 for BC-N, BC-C, FBC-N, and FBC-C, respectively, indicating better adsorption by Fe(III) loaded chitosan-biochar composite fibers (FBCs) than pristine biochars. The pseudo-first-order kinetic model suitably explained the phosphate adsorption on BC-C and BC-N, while data of FBC-N and FBC-C followed the pseudo-second-order and Elovich model, respectively. Molecular level observations of the P K-edge XANES spectra confirmed that phosphate associated with iron (Fe) minerals (Fe-P) were the primary species in all the adsorbents. This study suggests that FBCs hold high potential as inexpensive and green adsorbents for remediating phosphate in contaminated water, and encourage resource recovery via bio-based management of hazardous waste.

Original languageEnglish
Article number125464
JournalJournal of hazardous materials
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Aug 5


  • Charcoal
  • Chitosan
  • Clean water and sanitation
  • Eutrophication
  • Water quality

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Pollution
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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