Evaluation of the adsorption potential of biochars prepared from forest and agri-food wastes for the removal of fluoxetine

Maria João Fernandes, Manuela M. Moreira, Paula Paíga, Diogo Dias, Maria Bernardo, Manuela Carvalho, Nuno Lapa, Isabel Fonseca, Simone Morais, Sónia Figueiredo, Cristina Delerue-Matos

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Twelve biochars from forest and agri-food wastes (pruning of Quercus ilex, Eucalyptus grandis, Pinus pinaster, Quercus suber, Malus pumila, Prunus spinosa, Cydonia oblonga, Eriobotrya japonica, Juglans regia, Actinidia deliciosa, Citrus sinensis and Vitis vinifera) were investigated as potential low-cost and renewable adsorbents for removal of a commonly used pharmaceutical, fluoxetine. Preliminary adsorption experiments allowed to select the most promising adsorbents, Quercus ilex, Cydonia oblonga, Eucalyptus, Juglans regia and Vitis vinifera pruning material. They were characterized by proximate, elemental and mineral analysis, thermogravimetric analysis, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, determination of specific surface area and pH at the point of zero charge. Batch and equilibrium studies were performed, and the influence of pH was evaluated. The equilibrium was reached in less than 15 min in all systems. The maximum adsorption capacity obtained was 6.41 mg/g for the Eucalyptus biochar, which also demonstrated a good behavior in continuous mode (packed column).

Original languageEnglish
Article number121973
JournalBioresource Technology
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2019



  • Anti-depressant pharmaceutical
  • Biochar
  • Column experiments
  • Kinetics and equilibrium
  • Waste valorization

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