Environmental Science and Pollution Research

, Volume 24, Issue 22, pp 18168–18178 | Cite as

Arsenic sorption by red mud-modified biochar produced from rice straw

  • Chuan Wu
  • Liu Huang
  • Sheng-Guo XueEmail author
  • Yu-Ying Huang
  • William Hartley
  • Meng-qian Cui
  • Ming-Hung Wong
Research Article


Red mud-modified biochar (RM-BC) has been produced to be utilized as a novel adsorbent to remove As because it can effectively combine the beneficial features of red mud (rich metal oxide composition and porous structure) and biochar (large surface area and porous structure properties). SEM-EDS and XRD analyses demonstrated that red mud had loaded successfully on the surface of biochar. With the increasing of pH in solution, arsenate (As(V)) adsorption on RM-BC decreased while arsenite (As(III)) increased. Arsenate adsorption kinetics process on RM-BC fitted the pseudo-second-order model, while that of As(III) favored the Elovich model. All sorption isotherms produced superior fits with the Langmuir model. RM-BC exhibited improved As removal capabilities, with a maximum adsorption capacity (Qmax) for As(V) of 5923 μg g−1, approximately ten times greater than that of the untreated BC (552.0 μg g−1). Furthermore, it has been indicated that the adsorption of As(V) on RM-BC may be strongly associated with iron oxides (hematite and magnetite) and aluminum oxides (gibbsite) by X-ray absorption near-edge spectroscopy (XANES), which was possibly because of surface complexation and electrostatic interactions. RM-BC may be used as a valuable adsorbent for removing As in the environment due to the waste materials being relatively abundant.


Red mud Biochar Arsenate Hematite Magnetite Gibbsite 



Financial supports from China Postdoctoral Science Foundation (Project No.2016M590755) and Natural Science Foundation of Hunan, China (Project No. 2015JJ3142) and Teacher’s Research Foundation of Central South University (2015JSJJ7) are gratefully acknowledged. The authors thank beamline BL14W1 (Shanghai Synchrotron Radiation Facility) for providing the beam time.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Chuan Wu
    • 1
  • Liu Huang
    • 1
  • Sheng-Guo Xue
    • 1
    Email author
  • Yu-Ying Huang
    • 2
  • William Hartley
    • 3
  • Meng-qian Cui
    • 1
  • Ming-Hung Wong
    • 4
  1. 1.School of Metallurgy and EnvironmentCentral South UniversityChangshaPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.Shanghai Synchrotron Radiation Facility (SSRF), Shanghai Institute of Applied PhysicsChinese Academy of SciencesShanghaiPeople’s Republic of China
  3. 3.Crop and Environment Sciences DepartmentHarper Adams UniversityNewportUK
  4. 4.Consortium on Health, Environment, Education and Research (CHEER)The Education University of Hong KongHong Kong Special Administrative RegionPeople’s Republic of China

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