THE EVALUATION OF THE EFFICIENCY OF BIOCHARS IN REMOVAL OF ENVIRONMENTAL CONTAMINANTS
Pine, Oak, and Mixed origin from different companies who mass produce these products were examined. Out of these three substances, oak contained the least amount of contaminants such as lead, cadmium, arsenic. Rigorous examination of the “contaminated biochar”, which is easily available, must be made because it has the ability to release its hazardous components into soil where it is being used to help assist plant growth. Three types of soil and beach sand were also bought and tested for their elemental composition. The soil and beach sand were used as a housing material for the biochar. After this, a leaching experiment began where nano-pure water was used to rinse the column at a 0.5 ml/min rate using a peristaltic pump top-down. After 100ppm nitrate/phosphate solutions were run through the sand and different soils which were packed in four chromatography columns. The eluate was collected and tested via Ion Chromatography.
The results show that biochar does in fact hold the nutrients in its pores. The final graphs produced by the nutrient analyzer shows a change in ppm where the low concentration of nutrients were contained in the eluate. In future studies, various types of heavy metals such as copper, lead, cadmium and arsenic will be tested in the same manner as the nutrients via Cathodic Stripping Voltammetry.