Agricultural waste biochar after potassium hydroxide activation: Its adsorbent evaluation and potential mechanism

Jian Guan, Mingxin Zhu, Jun Zhou, Liwen Luo, Luiz Fernando Romanholo Ferreira, Xueying Zhang, Jiayang Liu*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


The agricultural waste (Goji branch) was pyrolyzed into biochars with one-step potassium hydroxide (KOH) activation under different processing conditions. The biochars were first characterized in structural features and functional groups and then evaluated for adsorptive performance with methylene blue as a model pollutant. Different adsorption models were applied to fit the adsorption process and reveal the possible mechanisms. The adsorption capacity was found to strongly correlate (R2 = 0.9642) with the surface area of the biochars, among which biochar K50%W29%C-700 (pyrolysis at 700 °C in the presence of 50 % KOH and 29 % water) possessed the largest surface area (1378 m2/g) and exhibited the highest adsorption capacity (769 mg/g) compared to its homologous products. Biochar K50%W29%C-700 also showed excellent recyclability and potent adsorption capacity toward other common organic pollutants. The results suggest that traces of water in agricultural wastes could significantly intensify the KOH-involved activation efficiency of producing porous biochar.

Original languageEnglish
Article number129793
Number of pages11
JournalBioresource Technology
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2023

Scopus Subject Areas

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

User-Defined Keywords

  • Adsorption
  • Goji branch
  • Hydroxide
  • Methylene blue
  • Pyrolysis


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