Tailoring wood waste biochar as a reusable microwave absorbent for pollutant removal: Structure-property-performance relationship and iron-carbon interaction

Yuqing Sun, Qiaozhi Zhang, James H. Clark, Nigel J.D. Graham, Deyi Hou, Yong Sik Ok, Daniel C.W. Tsang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This study innovated the concept in designing an efficient and reusable microwave (MW) absorbent through concurrent exploitation of carbon graphitization, oxygen functionalization, and carbothermal iron reduction underpinned by an endothermic co-pyrolysis of wood waste and low-dosage iron. A powerful MW assimilation was accomplished from nanoscale amorphous magnetic particles as well as graphitized microporous carbon-iron skeleton in the biochar composites. Relative to a weak magnetic loss derived from the iron phase, the graphitic carbon architecture with abundant surface functionalities (i.e., C–O and C[dbnd]O) exhibited a strong dielectric loss, which was thus prioritized as major active sites during MW reuse. The MW-absorbing biochar demonstrated a fast, robust, and durable removal of a refractory herbicide (2,4-dichlorophenoxy acetic acid) under mild MW irradiation with zero chemical input, low electricity consumption, and negligible Fe dissolution. Overall, this study will foster carbon–neutral industrial wastewater treatment and wood waste valorization.

Original languageEnglish
Article number127838
JournalBioresource technology
Volume362
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2022 Oct

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors appreciate the financial support from the Hong Kong Research Grants Council (PolyU 15222020) and Hong Kong Green Tech Fund (GTF202020153) for this study. The authors also acknowledge the equipment support provided by the University Research Facility Chemical and Environmental Analysis (UCEA) of Hong Kong Polytechnic University.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 Elsevier Ltd

Keywords

  • Engineered biochar
  • Iron-biochar composite
  • Microwave absorption
  • Sustainable wastewater treatment
  • Wood waste recycling/management

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • Environmental Engineering
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Waste Management and Disposal

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