Sorption of sulfathiazole in the soil treated with giant Miscanthus-derived biochar: effect of biochar pyrolysis temperature, soil pH, and aging period

Hyunjung Kim, Juhee Kim, Minhee Kim, Seunghun Hyun, Deok Hyun Moon

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Agricultural soil was treated with biochar (5% w/w) produced from two pyrolysis temperatures (400 and 700 °C) of giant Miscanthus (GMC-400 and GMC-700, respectively), and the subsequent sorption of sulfathiazole (STZ) was evaluated as a function of pH (2, 5, and 7) and aging period (0, 3, and 6 months). Because sorption was nonlinear, with 0.51 < N < 0.75, the linearized sorption coefficient (Kd *) was used for the comparison across samples. The Kd * of GMC-400 treatment (3.96–9.96 L kg−1) was higher than that of GMC-700 treatment (1.27–3.38 L kg−1). In laps of aging period over 6 months, the sorption of GMC-400-treated soil had gradually increased to be 3.3 times higher than that of untreated soil, whereas there was no statistical difference for GMC-700 treatment. Results of FTIR and SEM analyses revealed that the number of O-containing functional groups in the GMC-400 treatment increases and the micropores of GMC-700 are deformed over time. Sorption was also pH-dependent in the order of pH 2 > pH 5 > pH 7. The sorption hysteresis (H) index for the GMC-400 treatment was higher at pH 7 (3.99) than at pH 5(2.53), and both values had increased after 6 months (4.18 and 3.17, respectively). The results of this study clearly demonstrate that the sorption of STZ on GMC-treated soils is greatly enhanced, mainly through the greater micropore surfaces, the abundance of hydrophilic functional groups over time, and π+-π electron donor-acceptor interaction at low pH.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-9
Number of pages9
JournalEnvironmental Science and Pollution Research
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2017 Apr 28



  • Aging
  • Biochar
  • Pyrolysis temperature
  • Sorption
  • Sulfathiazole

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Pollution
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis

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