Raw, torrefied, and alkaline-treated biomass as a sorbent for lead in water

Daniel Ciolkosz, Jennifer Desplat, Katelyn Schiffer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Two dedicated biomass crops, shrub willow (Salix sp.) and miscanthus (Miscanthus giganteus), were evaluated for their ability to remove lead from contaminated water, both in raw ground form and after pretreatment by torrefaction or alkaline treatment. Sorption capacity experiments were conducted using a contaminant concentration that ranged from 1 mg to 15 mg per L and a biomass loading rate of 0.05 g biomass per mL. The results indicated that sorption capacities for the two feedstocks ranged from 0.15 mg to 0.26 mg of lead removed per gram of biomass, and the percentage of removal ranged from 54.3% to 93.6%. The sorption capacity of willow tended to decrease as particle size increased. Increasing torrefaction severity increased the sorption capacity of miscanthus, and alkaline treatment also increased the sorption capacity of miscanthus. The Langmuir isotherm, when fitted to measured data, characterized the samples' sorption performance with a Mean Absolute Error (MAE) of 0.0014 mmol g-1.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)8530-8542
Number of pages13
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Bioengineering
  • Waste Management and Disposal


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