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Shubiao Wu

Evaluation of ammonium adsorption in biochar-fixed beds for treatment of anaerobically digested swine slurry: Experimental optimization and modeling

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  • Simon Kizito, China Agricultural University, Makerere University
  • ,
  • Shubiao Wu
  • Simon Mdondo Wandera, China Agricultural University
  • ,
  • Luchen Guo, China Agricultural University
  • ,
  • Renjie Dong, China Agricultural University

Fixed-bed column experiments were performed to investigate the effect of influent concentration, flow rate, and adsorbent bed depth on ammonium adsorption from anaerobically digested swine slurry using three types of biochar made from corncobs (MCB), hardwood (WB), and mixed sawdust pellets (MSB). WB performed better than the other two biochar types with a maximum sorption capacity of 67–114 mg/g due to its superior surface area and larger pore volume. Ammonium adsorption kinetics and dynamics depended on the influent NH4 +-N concentration, applied inflow flow rate, and the depth of the fixed bed. Maximum sorption capacities under influent NH4 +-N concentration of 500 mg/L, were identified to be 114.2 mg/g, 108.9 mg/g, and 24.7 mg/g at inflow rate of 15 mL/min for WB, MCB, and MSB, respectively. The data shows that using deeper beds and applying lower flow rates could be a better strategy to increase ammonium adsorption in biochar-fixed beds. Moreover, three kinetic models (Thomas, Adams–Bohart (BDST), and Yoon–Nelson) were applied to the experimental data to predict breakthrough curves and determine characteristic adsorption parameters for process design. The applied models fitted data in the order: Thomas (R2 = 0.971) > BDST (R2 = 0.960) > Yoon-Nelson (R2 = 0.940). It was concluded that ammonium adsorption in biochar-fixed beds could be an effective method for routine cyclic treatment of slurry. However, further effluent polishing is required to meet discharge requirements.

TidsskriftScience of the Total Environment
Sider (fra-til)1095-1104
Antal sider10
StatusUdgivet - 1 sep. 2016
Eksternt udgivetJa

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