Sorption of copper(II) from synthetic oil sands process-affected water (OSPW) by pine sawdust biochars: effects of pyrolysis temperature and steam activation

Kangyi Lou, Anushka Upamali Rajapaksha, Yong Sik Ok, Scott X. Chang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

12 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Purpose: Remediate metal contamination is a fundamental step prior to reclaim oil sands tailing ponds, and copper (Cu(II)) is the most abundant metal in the tailings water or oil sands process-affected water (OSPW). Biochars produced at four pyrolysis conditions were evaluated for sorption of Cu(II) in synthetic OSPW to explore different biochar potentials in removing Cu(II) from the contaminated water. Materials and methods: Pine sawdust biochars pyrolyzed at 300 and 550 °C with and without steam activation were investigated by batch sorption experiments. Isotherm and kinetic studies were conducted to compare the sorption capacities of the four biochars and to examine potential mechanisms involved. Results and discussion: For all the biochars, Langmuir and pseudo-second order models were the best-fit for isotherm and kinetic studies, respectively. According to the Langmuir parameters, the maximum adsorption capacities of the biochars produced at 550 °C were around 2.5 mg Cu(II) g−1, which were 30-folds higher than those produced at 300 °C. However, steam activation did not cause any significant difference in the biochars’ sorption performance. The kinetic study suggested that chemisorption involving valence forces was the limiting factor of the sorption. In addition, ion exchange and precipitation were likely the primary mechanisms for Cu(II) sorption which outweigh complexation with functional groups on the biochars’ surface. Conclusions: Pine sawdust biochar produced at 550 °C without steam activation could be utilized as a sustainable and cost-effective material to remove Cu(II) from the OSPW.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2081-2089
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Soils and Sediments
Volume16
Issue number8
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2016 Aug 1
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

oil sand
pyrolysis
sorption
copper
temperature
kinetics
isotherm
metal
complexation
tailings
limiting factor
functional group
process water
effect
sawdust
ion exchange
fold
adsorption
water
cost

Keywords

  • Adsorption isotherm
  • Adsorption kinetics
  • Black carbon
  • Metal
  • Oil sands process-affected water
  • Steam activation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Earth-Surface Processes
  • Stratigraphy

Cite this

Sorption of copper(II) from synthetic oil sands process-affected water (OSPW) by pine sawdust biochars : effects of pyrolysis temperature and steam activation. / Lou, Kangyi; Rajapaksha, Anushka Upamali; Ok, Yong Sik; Chang, Scott X.

In: Journal of Soils and Sediments, Vol. 16, No. 8, 01.08.2016, p. 2081-2089.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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abstract = "Purpose: Remediate metal contamination is a fundamental step prior to reclaim oil sands tailing ponds, and copper (Cu(II)) is the most abundant metal in the tailings water or oil sands process-affected water (OSPW). Biochars produced at four pyrolysis conditions were evaluated for sorption of Cu(II) in synthetic OSPW to explore different biochar potentials in removing Cu(II) from the contaminated water. Materials and methods: Pine sawdust biochars pyrolyzed at 300 and 550 °C with and without steam activation were investigated by batch sorption experiments. Isotherm and kinetic studies were conducted to compare the sorption capacities of the four biochars and to examine potential mechanisms involved. Results and discussion: For all the biochars, Langmuir and pseudo-second order models were the best-fit for isotherm and kinetic studies, respectively. According to the Langmuir parameters, the maximum adsorption capacities of the biochars produced at 550 °C were around 2.5 mg Cu(II) g−1, which were 30-folds higher than those produced at 300 °C. However, steam activation did not cause any significant difference in the biochars’ sorption performance. The kinetic study suggested that chemisorption involving valence forces was the limiting factor of the sorption. In addition, ion exchange and precipitation were likely the primary mechanisms for Cu(II) sorption which outweigh complexation with functional groups on the biochars’ surface. Conclusions: Pine sawdust biochar produced at 550 °C without steam activation could be utilized as a sustainable and cost-effective material to remove Cu(II) from the OSPW.",
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