Civil and Environmental Engineering


Document Type


Date of this Version



Chen, Q.; Zhang, T.C.; Ouyang, L.; Yuan, S. Single-Step Hydrothermal Synthesis of Biochar from H3PO4-Activated LettuceWaste for Efficient Adsorption of Cd(II) in Aqueous Solution. Molecules 2022, 27, 269. molecules27010269


© 2022 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (https:// 4.0/).


Developing an ideal and cheap adsorbent for adsorbing heavy metals from aqueous solution has been urgently need. In this study, a novel, effective and low-cost method was developed to prepare the biochar from lettuce waste with H3PO4 as an acidic activation agent at a low-temperature (circa 200°C) hydrothermal carbonization process. A batch adsorption experiment demonstrated that the biochar reaches the adsorption equilibrium within 30 min, and the optimal adsorption capacity of Cd(II) is 195.8 mg⋅g-1at solution pH 6.0, which is significantly improved from circa 20.5 mg⋅g-1 of the original biochar without activator. The fitting results of the prepared biochar adsorption data conform to the pseudo-second-order kinetic model (PSO) and the Sips isotherm model, and the Cd(II) adsorption is a spontaneous and exothermic process. The hypothetical adsorption mechanism is mainly composed of ion exchange, electrostatic attraction, and surface complexation. This work offers a novel and low-temperature strategy to produce cheap and promising carbon-based adsorbents from organic vegetation wastes for removing heavy metals in aquatic environment efficiently.