Macroalgae and coal-based biochar as a sustainable bioresource reuse for treatment of textile wastewater


Conventional wastewater treatment technologies are energy-intensive and environmentally un-friendly due to the use of synthetic and expensive chemicals. This study investigates the potential of macroalgae and coal-based biochar (control) to remove methylene blue from simulated wastewater as well as real textile wastewater. The macroalgae and coal-based biochars adsorb more than 90% of methylene blue from simulated wastewater in only 10 min on their active surface sites. The distinct feature of the current study is that macroalgae-based biochar shows high dye removal efficiency (75%) even in real textile wastewater. Macroalgae-based biochar also shows 67% dye removal efficiency for second regeneration cycle. Langmuir isotherm (> R2 = 0.954) and pseudo-second-order models (R2 = 0.999) are well fitted to describe the monolayer homogenous biosorption and process kinetics, respectively. Thermodynamic analysis indicates that methylene blue biosorption on macroalgae and coal-based biochars is a spontaneous and endothermic process following physiosorption. The maximum biosorption capacity with macroalgae-based biochar is 353.9 mg g−1 at 303 K, which is approximately 27% higher than any previous biochar study on the treatment of methylene blue. It demonstrates that macroalgae-based biochars can be used as a promising alternative adsorbent to activated carbon for textile wastewater treatment.

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Simple dry macroalgae


Macroalgae-based biochars


Macroalgae pyrolized at 450 °C


Macroalgae pyrolized at 550 °C


Macroalgae pyrolized at 650 °C


Coal-based biochars


Coal pyrolized at 450 °C


Coal pyrolized at 550 °C


Coal pyrolized at 650 °C


Methylene Blue


Real textile wastewater


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This work has been performed in CUI, Lahore Campus, Pakistan. MSU Rehman, F Rehman, and T Fazal acknowledge research grant under NRPU (2014) Project No. 4547 and F Javed and N Rashid acknowledge NRPU (2016) Project No. 3982 by Higher Education Commission (HEC), Pakistan.

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Correspondence to Muhammad Saif Ur Rehman or Fahad Rehman.

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Fazal, T., Faisal, A., Mushtaq, A. et al. Macroalgae and coal-based biochar as a sustainable bioresource reuse for treatment of textile wastewater. Biomass Conv. Bioref. (2019).

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  • Macroalgae
  • Biochar
  • Adsorption
  • Textile wastewater treatment
  • Sustainable bioresource