Nitrogen doped char from anaerobically digested fiber for phosphate removal in aqueous solutions
Abstract This study explores the use of an engineered char produced from the pyrolysis of anaerobically digested fiber (ADF) to adsorb phosphate from aqueous solutions. Two series of engineered chars were produced. The first series was a CO2 activated (CA) char produced via slow pyrolysis between 350 and 750 °C. The second series was a nitrogen doped (ND) char activated in the presence of ammonia at comparable temperatures. Proximate analysis, elemental composition, gas physisorption, Inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS), X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), scanning electron microscope (SEM), energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDS), Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy (FTIR) and X-ray powder diffraction (XRD) techniques were used to characterize properties of resulting products. The surface area of the carbon product increased after nitrogen doping through ammonization (166.6–463.1 m2/g) compared to CO2 activated chars (156.5–413.1 m2/g). Phosphate adsorption isotherms for both CO2 activated and nitrogen doped chars can be described by the Langmuir- Freundlich and Redlich Peterson adsorption models. Nitrogen doped carbon phosphate sorption capacity in aqueous solutions was twice compared to CO2 activated carbons. As carbonization/activation temperature increased the sorption capacity increased from 3.4 to 33.3 mg g-1 for CA char and 6.3–63.1 mg g-1 for nitrogen doped char.