Insights into aqueous carbofuran removal by modified and non-modified rice husk biochars

S. S. Mayakaduwa, Indika Herath, Yong Sik Ok, Dinesh Mohan, Meththika Vithanage

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

46 Citations (Scopus)


Biochar has been considered as a potential sorbent for removal of frequently detected pesticides in water. In the present study, modified and non-modified rice husk biochars were used for aqueous carbofuran removal. Rice husk biochars were produced at 300, 500, and 700 °C in slow pyrolysis and further exposed to steam activation. Biochars were physicochemically characterized using proximate, ultimate, FTIR methods and used to examine equilibrium and dynamic adsorption of carbofuran. Increasing pyrolysis temperature led to a decrease of biochar yield and increase of porosity, surface area, and adsorption capacities which were further enhanced by steam activation. Carbofuran adsorption was pH-dependant, and the maximum (161 mg g−1) occurred in the vicinity of pH 5, on steam-activated biochar produced at 700 °C. Freundlich model best fitted the sorption equilibrium data. Both chemisorption and physisorption interactions on heterogeneous adsorbent surface may involve in carbofuran adsorption. Langmuir kinetics could be applied to describe carbofuran adsorption in a fixed bed. A higher carbofuran volume was treated in a column bed by a steam-activated biochar versus non-activated biochars. Overall, steam-activated rice husk biochar can be highlighted as a promising low-cost sustainable material for aqueous carbofuran removal.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)22755-22763
Number of pages9
JournalEnvironmental Science and Pollution Research
Issue number29
Publication statusPublished - 2017 Oct 1
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016, Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.


  • Activated carbon
  • Agricultural by-product
  • Dynamic adsorption
  • Pesticide
  • Pyrolysis
  • Steam activation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Pollution
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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