Effect of pyrolysis temperature on copper aqueous removal capability of biochar derived from the kelp macrocystis pyrifera

Matías Araya, Jorge Rivas, Graciela Sepúlveda, Camila Espinoza-González, Sebastián Lira, Andrés Meynard, Elodie Blanco, Nestor Escalona, Rosanna Ginocchio, Elizabeth Garrido-Ramírez, Loretto Contreras-Porcia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Seaweed biochar is an efficient alternative bioadsorbent for Cu2+ removal due to its low cost and heavy metal removal capacity. Using the slow pyrolysis process, we produced biochars from Macrocystis pyrifera at 300 (BC300), 450 (BC450), and 600C (BC600). The physicochemical and structural properties of the biochar samples improved with increasing pyrolysis temperature from 300 to 450C, whereas no significant differences were observed with further increases in temperature to 600C. The yield ranged between 49% and 62% and had a high ash content (57.5–71.1%). BC450 and BC600 presented the highest surface areas and higher porosities. The FTIR spectra indicated that an increase of temperature decreased the acidic functional groups due to depolymerization and the dehydration processes, increasing the aromatic structures and the presence of calcium carbonate. The fittings of the kinetic models were different for the BCs: for the BC450 and BC600 samples, the Cu2+ adsorption was well-represented by a pseudo-first-order model; for BC300, a better fit was obtained with the pseudo-second-order model. The rate-limiting step of Cu2+ adsorption on BCs was represented by both models, liquid film diffusion and intraparticle diffusion, with surface diffusion being more important in BC300 and BC600, and intraparticle diffusion in BC450, in agreement with the pore size of the biochar samples. The adsorption isotherms of all BCs showed Langmuir behavior, representative of a chemisorption process, which was corroborated by the energy adsorption values determined by the D–R model. The maximum monolayer Cu2+ adsorption capacities were 93.55 and 58.0 mg g−1 for BC600 and BC450, respectively, whereas BC450 presented the highest affinity. Other mechanisms involved in controlling heavy metal removal from aqueous suspensions using these seaweed biochars remain to be explored. We conclude that BC450 and BC600 from M. pyrifera are the most efficient adsorbents for Cu2+ aqueous removal and are thus an appropriate alternative for bioremediation.

Original languageEnglish
Article number9223
JournalApplied Sciences (Switzerland)
Issue number19
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2021


  • Adsorption
  • Copper
  • Langmuir isotherm
  • Macrocystis pyrifera
  • Pyrolysis
  • Seaweeds

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Materials Science
  • Instrumentation
  • General Engineering
  • Process Chemistry and Technology
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Fluid Flow and Transfer Processes


Dive into the research topics of 'Effect of pyrolysis temperature on copper aqueous removal capability of biochar derived from the kelp macrocystis pyrifera'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this