Thermal stability of biochar and its effects on cadmium sorption capacity

Fangjie Qi, Yubo Yan, Dane Lamb, Ravi Naidu, Nanthi S. Bolan, Yanju Liu, Yong Sik Ok, Scott W. Donne, Kirk T. Semple

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

69 Citations (Scopus)


In this study, the thermal stability of a wood shaving biochar (WS, 650 °C), a chicken litter biochar (CL, 550 °C) and an activated carbon (AC, 1100 °C) were evaluated by combustion at 375 °C for 24 h to remove the labile non-carbonized organic matter. Results showed that WS and CL biochars were not thermally stable and can lose most of the organic C during combustion. The combusted WS and CL biochars retained considerable amounts of negative charge and displayed higher sorption for Cd (from 5.46 to 68.9 mg/g for WS and from 48.5 to 60.9 mg/g for CL). The AC retained 76.5% of its original C and became more negatively chargely after combustion, but its sorption for Cd slightly decreased (from 18.5 to 14.9 mg/g). This study indicated that after potential burning in wildfires (200–500 °C), biochars could have higher sorption capacity for metals by remaining minerals.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)48-56
Number of pages9
JournalBioresource technology
Publication statusPublished - 2017 Dec

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 Elsevier Ltd


  • Biochar
  • Cadmium
  • Composition
  • Sorption
  • Stability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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