Browsing by Subject "Acidity"

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  • Kinnunen, Niko; Laurén, Annamari (Ari); Pumpanen, Jukka; Nieminen, Tiina M.; Palviainen, Marjo (2021)
    A 96-h laboratory experiment was conducted to assess the potential of biochar as a water protection tool for acid sulfate soil runoff. Acid sulfate soils pose a risk to water bodies due to acid, metal-rich runoff, especially in drained peatland forests. New water protection methods, such as adsorption with biochar, are needed. We investigated the capability of spruce and birch biochar to adsorb metals and reduce acidity in the water. Water from an acid sulfate site was stirred with biochar, biochar with lime, and biochar with ash. We determined water Al, S, Fe, Cu, Co, Cd, Ni, and Zn concentrations periodically, as well as pH and total organic carbon at the beginning and the end of the experiment. The studied substances are considered the most abundant and environmentally harmful elements in the acid sulfate soils in Finland. Biochar surface characteristics were analyzed with FTIR spectroscopy. Concentration changes were used to parametrize adsorption kinetics models. Biochar adsorbed metals and increased pH, but lime and ash additives did not always improve the adsorption. Spruce biochar and ash addition had generally higher adsorption than birch biochar and lime addition. The adsorption was dominated by Al and Fe at lower pH, while increasing pH improved the adsorption of Cd and Zn. The results show that biochar can increase the water pH, as well as adsorb Al, Fe, Co, Cd, Ni, and Zn. Further work could include an actual-scale biochar reactor in a laboratory and field conditions.