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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2022

Overcoming biochar limitations to remediate pentachlorophenol in soil by modifying its electrochemical properties

Chacón, Francisco J.; Cayuela, Maria L.; Cederlund, Harald; Sánchez-Monedero, Miguel A.


In this study, we produced modified biochars with enhanced electrochemical properties to increase PCP remediation in soil. Although all biochars enhanced PCP remediation in aerobic conditions, only a few did in anaerobic soil. The most successful modifications were (i) the preloading of biomass with 10% w/w FeCl3, to obtain a biochar rich in redox-active metals (B-Fe); (ii) the oxidation of a conductive biochar pyrolyzed at 1000 ºC with 0.025 M KMnO4, to produce a biochar with both moderate conductivity and redox capacity (B-1000-KMnO4); and (iii) KMnO4 oxidation of an amorphous biochar pyrolyzed at 400 ºC to obtain a biochar with very high redox capacity (B-KMnO4). B-Fe reduced extractable PCP to almost zero after 50 days in both incubations, but showed slow kinetics of remediation in aerobic soil. B-1000-KMnO4 had the highest rate of remediation under aerobic conditions, but no significant effect under anaerobic conditions. B-KMnO4, however, presented high rates of remediation and high removal of extractable PCP under both conditions, which made it the recommended modification strategy for increased PCP remediation. We found that the degree of remediation primarily depends on the redox capacity, while the rate of remediation was determined by both the conductivity and redox capacity of biochar.


Designer biochar; Pentachlorophenol; Soil remediation; Redox properties; Conductivity

Published in

Journal of Hazardous Materials
2022, volume: 426, article number: 127805

Authors' information

Chacón, Francisco J.
Spanish National Research Council
Cayuela, Maria L.
Spanish National Research Council
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Molecular Sciences
Sánchez-Monedero, Miguel A.
Spanish National Research Council

UKÄ Subject classification

Soil Science

Publication Identifiers


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