H/C atomic ratio as a smart linkage between pyrolytic temperatures, aromatic clusters and sorption properties of biochars derived from diverse precursory materials

Scientific Reports
Xin XiaoBaoliang Chen


Biochar is increasingly gaining attention due to multifunctional roles in soil amelioration, pollution mitigation and carbon sequestration. It is a significant challenge to compare the reported results from world-wide labs regarding the structure and sorption of biochars derived from various precursors under different pyrolytic conditions due to a lack of a simple linkage. By combining the published works on various biochars, we established a quantitative relationship between H/C atomic ratio and pyrolytic temperature (T), aromatic structure, and sorption properties for naphthalene and phenanthrene. A reverse sigmoid shape between T and the H/C ratio was observed, which was independent of the precursors of biochars, including the ash contents. Linear correlations of Freundlich parameters (N, log Kf) and sorption amount (log Qe, log QA) with H/C ratios were found. A rectangle-like model was proposed to predict the aromatic cluster sizes of biochars from their H/C ratios, and then a good structure-sorption relationship was derived. These quantitative relationships indicate that the H/C atomic ratio is a universal linkage to predict pyrolytic temperatures, aromatic cluster sizes, and sorption characteristics. This study would guid...Continue Reading


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Methods Mentioned

nuclear magnetic resonance
transmission electron microscopy

Software Mentioned


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