Investigating the cadmium adsorption capacities of crop straw biochars produced using various feedstocks and pyrolysis temperatures

Publication Name

Environmental Science and Pollution Research


Cadmium pollution in the environment is ubiquitous and can be a serious health issue. Crop straw-based biochar is a promising adsorbent, yet few studies have systematically examined the effects of both feedstock and pyrolysis temperature on biochar efficacy for cadmium (Cd) sorption. Sorption-desorption experiments were conducted to explore the mechanisms of Cd sorption for biochars derived from wheat straw (WSB), rape straw (RASB), soybean straw (SSB), and peanut straw (PSB) feedstocks, which were produced by pyrolysis at 450 °C and 650 °C. For biochars pyrolyzed at 450 °C, the sorption capacities varied as PSB>SSB>RASB≈WSB, while the order changed as RASB≈WSB>PSB>SSB for 650 °C biochars. With the increase in pyrolysis temperature, for wheat straw biochar and rape straw biochars, Cd sorption capacities increased by 72% and 63%, while there were 61% and 63% decreases for peanut straw biochar and soybean straw biochar, respectively. Compared to the non-legume straw biochars (WSB and RASB), legume straw biochars (SSB and PSB) have higher sorption capacities for Cd. Peanut straw biochar (PSB) produced at 450 °C was found to be the most promising adsorbent for cadmium. Examination of the sorbed biochars using a range of analytical techniques indicated that 450 °C PSB immobilized cadmium by precipitation with non-electrostatic adsorption. The precipitation of Cd on 450 °C PSB was mainly induced by cation exchange between Cd with mineral cations, which caused Cd complexation with carboxyl functional groups.

Open Access Status

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Funding Number


Funding Sponsor

Australian Research Council



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