Treatment of refractory contaminants by sludge-derived biochar/persulfate system via both adsorption and advanced oxidation process

Jia Wang, Zhuwei Liao, Jerosha Ifthikar, Lerong Shi, Yunan Du, Jingyi Zhu, Shuang Xi, Zhuqi Chen, Zhulei Chen

Research output: Journal PublicationArticlepeer-review

181 Citations (Scopus)


A novel strategy for the removal of refractory organic contaminants was realized through sludge-derived biochar (SDBC)/persulfate (PS) system via both adsorption and advanced oxidation process under ambient conditions. SDBC was prepared by one single step of slow pyrolysis of municipal sewage sludge, appeared a porous structure, and contained abundant oxygen-containing functional groups as well as amorphous Fe species. Large surface area and porous structure of SDBC benefitted the adsorption and enrichment of contaminants, while oxygen-containing functional groups and Fe species on the surface were considered as reactive components for the activation of PS. Under conditions of [PS]0 = 1.85 mM, [4-chlorophenol]0 = 0.039 mM, [SDBC]0 = 1 g L−1, pH0 = 6.30 and temperature = 25 °C, the removal of model compound of 4-chlorophenol achieved 92.3%, and this significant performance of SDBC/PS system was consistent in a broad pH window. Radical scavengers and electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) studies suggested that SDBC successfully activated PS to produce various oxidative radicals. Meanwhile, recycle experiments and Fe3+ leaching tests further demonstrated the stability of SDBC during the activation of PS. Municipal landfill leachate effluent through a membrane bio-reactor was testified as the refractory real wastewater, in which both the removal of total organic carbon and ammonia was significant. Thus, SDBC showed certain advantages in PS activation such as feasible preparation method, remarkable efficiency and stability. These advantages proved SDBC/PS system as an effective strategy of controlling waste by waste, and implicated its potential application in full-scale for the treatment of refractory organic contaminants.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)754-763
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • 4-ChloroPhenol
  • Adsorption
  • Catalytic oxidation
  • Municipal landfill leachate
  • Persulfate
  • Sludge-derived biochar

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • General Chemistry
  • Pollution
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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