To develop low-cost adsorbents for aqueous nitrate, biochars were prepared from three types of agricultural residuals at different pyrolysis temperatures (300 °C, 450 °C, and 600 °C). The corncob biochar produced at 600 °C (CC600) was the best nitrate adsorbent of all the tested biochars. Characterization results showed that CC600 had good thermal stability, porous structure, and abundant surface functional groups. Findings from batch adsorption experiments demonstrated that CC600 showed relatively fast adsorption kinetics to nitrate in aqueous solutions. In addition, the Langmuir adsorption capacity of CC600 to nitrate was 14.46 mg/g, comparable to that of other biochar-based adsorbents. Therefore, CC600 showed promising potential to be used as a low-cost adsorbent for the treatment of nitrate in water.

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