Environmental Science and Pollution Research

, Volume 22, Issue 21, pp 16791–16802 | Cite as

The stabilization of tannery sludge and the character of humic acid-like during low temperature pyrolysis

  • Hongrui Ma
  • Mao GaoEmail author
  • Li Hua
  • Hao Chao
  • Jing Xu
Research Article


Tannery sludge contained plenty of organic matter, and the organic substance stability had direct impact on its derived chars’ utilization. In this paper, the stabilization of tannery sludge and the variation of humic acid-like (HAL) extracted by different methods were investigated in a magnetic stirring reactor under low temperature pyrolysis of 100–400 °C. Results showed that the aromatic structure of pyrolysis chars increased with the increase of temperature and time. The char contained highly aromatic structure and relatively small dissolved organic matters (DOM) at 300 °C. The similar behaviors appeared in two HAL series by different extraction methods. The N content, H/C value, and aliphatic structures of HAL decreased with the increase of pyrolysis temperature, while the C/N value and aromatic structures increased with the rise of pyrolysis temperature. The composition and functional groups of HAL were similar with the purchased humic acid (HA). The fluorescence spectra revealed that two main peaks were found at Ex/Em = 239/363–368 nm and 283/359–368 nm in each HAL series from raw and 100 °C pyrolysis tannery sludge, representing a protein-like matter. The new peak appeared at Ex/Em = 263–283/388 nm in each HAL series from 200 °C pyrolysis tannery sludge-represented humic acid-like matter. The fluorescence intensity increased strongly compared to the other two peak intensity. Therefore, the humification of organic matter was increased by pyrolyzing. Notably, the HAL from 200 °C pyrolysis tannery sludge contained simple molecular structure, and the polycondensation increased but with a relative lower humification degree compared to soil HAL and purchased HA. Therefore, the sludge needs further oxidation. The humic substance was negligible by direct extraction when the temperature was 300 and 400 °C.


Tannery sludge Low temperature pyrolysis Char Humic acid-like Stability 



This project was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (21177079).


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.College of Resources & EnvironmentShaanxi University of Science & TechnologyXi’anPeople’s Republic of China

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