Excessive phosphate run-off with total phosphorus concentration greater than 20 μg P L−1 triggers the growth of harmful algal species in waterbodies and potentially leads to eutrophication. This has severe negative implications on aquatic environment and impacts human health. The annual economic impact of harmful algal blooms is reported to be as high as $25 million for public health and commercial fishery sector, $29 million for recreation/tourism sector and $2 million for monitoring and management. Adsorption is widely considered as an effective and economic strategy to achieve extremely low concentration of phosphorus. The char produced by valorizing various waste biomasses have been gaining attention in phosphorus remediation owing to their availability, their ability to regenerate and reuse. This review paper exclusively focuses on utilizing hydrochar and biochar synthesized from waste biomass, respectively, through hydrothermal carbonization and slow pyrolysis to mitigate phosphorus concentration and potential strategies for handling the spent char. The key mechanisms involved in phosphate adsorption are electrostatic interaction, ion exchange and complexation. The maximum adsorption capacity of hydrochar and biochar ranges from 14–386 mg g−1 and 3–887 mg g−1, respectively. Hydrochar and biochar are cost-effective alternative to commercial activated carbon and spent char can be used for multiple adsorption cycles. Furthermore, extensive research studies on optimizing the feedstock, reaction and activation conditions coupled with technoeconomic analysis and life cycle assessment could pave way for commercialization of char-based adsorption technology.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Environmental Chemistry