Trichloroethylene adsorption by pine needle biochars produced at various pyrolysis temperatures

Mahtab Ahmad, Sang Soo Lee, Anushka Upamali Rajapaksha, Meththika Vithanage, Ming Zhang, Ju Sik Cho, Sung Eun Lee, Yong Sik Ok

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

325 Citations (Scopus)


In this study, pine needles were converted to biochar (BC) at different pyrolysis temperatures of 300, 500, and 700°C to sorb trichloroethylene (TCE), and the changes in BC properties with each temperature were evaluated. Pyrolysis temperature showed a pronounced effect on BC properties. Decreases in molar H/C and O/C ratios resulted from removing O- and H-containing functional groups with increasing temperature, and produced high aromaticity and low polarity BCs. BCs produced at higher temperature showed greater TCE removal efficiency from water due to their high surface area, micro-porosity, and carbonized extent. The performance of various BCs for TCE removal was assessed by the Freundlich, Langmuir, Temkin, and Dubinin-Radushkevich adsorption models, among which the Temkin and Dubinin-Radushkevich models best described TCE adsorption onto various BCs, indicating prevailing sorption mechanism as pore-filling.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)615-622
Number of pages8
JournalBioresource technology
Publication statusPublished - 2013 Sept
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study was supported by the Ministry of Environment, Republic of Korea as “The GAIA Project (No. 173-092-010)”. Instrumental analysis was supported by the Korea Basic Science Institute, the Environmental Research Institute and the Central Laboratory of Kangwon National University, Korea. This research was also partly supported by Basic Science Research Foundation through the National Research Foundation (NRF) of Korea, funded by the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology (2012R1A1B3001409).


  • Black carbon
  • Carbon sequestration
  • Charcoal
  • Slow pyrolysis
  • Waste management

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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