2022 journal article
Effect of Surface Modification by Oxygen-Enriched Chemicals on the Surface Properties of Pine Bark Biochars
Sustainable waste utilization techniques are needed to combat the environmental and economic challenges faced worldwide due to the rising population. Biochars, due to their unique surface properties, offer opportunities to modify their surface to prepare application-specific materials. The aim of this research is to study the effects of biochar surface modification by oxidizing chemicals on biochar properties. Pine bark biochar was modified with sulfuric acid, nitric acid, hydrogen peroxide, ozone, and ammonium persulfate. The resulting biochars’ pH, pH at the point of zero charges, and concentration of acidic and basic sites were determined using laboratory experimentation. Instrumental techniques, such as infrared and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, were also obtained for all biochar samples. X-ray photoelectron spectra showed that oxygen content increased to 44.5%, 42.2%, 33.8%, 30.5%, and 14.6% from 13.4% for sulfuric acid, ozone, nitric acid, hydrogen peroxide, and ammonium persulfate, respectively. The pH at the point of zero charges was negatively correlated with the difference in concentration of acidic and basic sites in biochar samples, as well as the summation of peak components representing C=O double bonds and carboxylic groups. The results suggest that designer biochars can be prepared by understanding the interaction of oxygenated chemicals with biochar surfaces.