Abstract

A biochar material made from corncobs was tested for its capability in BTEX adsorption/interception in stormwater filtration systems. Batch experiments were conducted to examine the adsorption kinetics, adsorption isotherms, and adsorption thermodynamics of BTEX onto this biochar. The feasibility of applying this biochar in stormwater filtration was studied by dynamic transport experiments and model simulations. The result showed that this biochar can adsorb BTEX and the adsorption is a thermodynamically spontaneous, and endothermic process. The BTEX adsorption kinetic experiment and adsorption retarded BTEX transport experiment indicated that the BTEX adsorption kinetics can be changed by the driving force between the BTEX concentrations and the active adsorption site as well as the contact time between BTEX and the biochar. In terms of applying this biochar in stormwater filtration, the Monte Carlo uncertainty analysis indicated that the BTEX interception is sensitive to the hydraulic conductivity of the biochar filter and the adsorption kinetics of the biochar material. Although this corncob-made biochar demonstrated effective pollutant adsorption capability, the biochar adsorption capability should be utilized to retain the pollutant long enough for biodegradation to take effect for ultimate pollutant attenuation.

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