Improving the sustainability and cost-effectiveness of biochar production is crucial to meet increased global market demand. Here, we developed a single-step microwave steam activation (STMSA) as a simplified yet efficient method to produce microwave activated biochar (MAB) from waste palm shell (WPS). The STMSA recorded a higher heating rate (70 °C/min) and higher conversion (45 wt%) of WPS into highly microporous MAB (micropore surface area of 679.22 m2/g) in contrast with the conventional heating approach (≤ 12-17 wt%). The MAB was then applied as biosorbent for hazardous landfill leachate (LL) treatment and the adsorption performance was compared with commercial activated carbon under different pH, adsorbent quantity, adsorbate concentrations, and contact times. The MAB demonstrated high adsorption capacity, achieving maximum adsorption efficiency at 595 mg/g and 65 % removal of chemical oxygen demand (COD) with 0.4 g/L of adsorbent amount under optimal acidic conditions (pH ≈ 2-3) after 24 h of contact time. The Freundlich isotherm and pseudo second-order kinetic models were well-fitted to explain the equilibrium adsorption and kinetics. The results indicate the viability of STMSA as a fast and efficient approach to produce activated biochar as a biosorbent for the treatment of hazardous landfill leachate.
* Title and MeSH Headings from MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine.