The present study investigated adsorptive removal of toluene and ethylbenzene from the aqueous media via using biochar derived from municipal solid waste (termed "MSW-BC") in a single and binary contaminant system at 25-45 °C. The adsorption was evaluated at different pH (3-10), experimental time (up to 24 h), and initial adsorbate concentrations (10-600 μg/L) in single and binary contaminant system. A fixed-bed column experiment was also conducted using MSW-BC (0.25%) and influent concentration of toluene and ethylbenzene (4 mg/L) at 2 mL/min of flow rate. The adsorption of toluene and ethylbenzene on the MSW-BC was mildly dependent on the pH, and the peak adsorption ability (44-47 μg/g) was recorded at a baseline pH of ~8 in mono and dual contaminant system. Langmuir and Hill are the models that match the isotherm results in a single contaminant environment for both toluene (R2 of 0.97 and 0.99, respectively) and ethylbenzene (R2 of 0.99 and 0.99, respectively) adsorption. In the binary system, the isotherm models matched in the order of Langmuir > Hill > Freundlich for toluene, whereas Hill > Freundlich > Langmuir for ethylbenzene. The adsorption in the batch experiment was likely to take place via cooperative and multilayer adsorption onto MSW-BC involving hydrophobic, π- π and n- π attractions, specific interaction such as hydrogen-π and cation-π interactions, and van der Waals interactions. The thermodynamic results indicate exothermic adsorption occurred by physical attractions between toluene and ethylbenzene, and MSW-BC. The breakthrough behavior of toluene and ethylbenzene was successfully described with Yoon-Nelson and Thomas models. The data demonstrate that the low-cost adsorbent derived from the municipal solid waste can be utilized to remove toluene and ethylbenzene in landfill leachate.
* Title and MeSH Headings from MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine.