Hugh McLaughlin, PhD, PE, Alterna Biocarbon Inc.

As the world of biochar expands, the need for definitive research to answer core questions grows. One such question is “What is the role of adsorption and when does it make a pivotal difference in growing situations?” Answering those questions has been hampered by the historical absence of adsorption as a monitored property in soils and soil components (as compared to CEC) and the lack of a reliable method to create low and high adsorption biochars. While there is little that can be done about the former situation, the later may have a fairly facile solution, which will be presented here.

Sorption Hysteresis of Benzene in Charcoal Particles
Washington J. Braida,Joseph J. Pignatello, Yuefeng Lu,Peter I. Ravikovitch,Alexander V. Neimark,and Baoshan Xing, Environ. Sci. Technol., 2003

Charcoal is found in water, soil, and sediment where it may act as a sorbent of organic pollutants. The sorption of organic compounds to natural solids often shows hysteresis. The purpose of this study was to determine the source of pronounced hysteresis that we found in the sorption of a hydrophobic compound (benzene) in water to a maple-wood charcoal prepared by oxygen-limited pyrolysis at 673 K. Gas adsorption (N2, Ar, CO2), 13C NMR, and FTIR show the charcoal to be a microporous solid composed primarily of elemental (aromatic) C and secondarily of carboxyl and phenolic C. Nonlocal density functional theory (N2, Ar) and Monte Carlo (CO2) calculations reveal a porosity of 0.15 cm3/g, specific surface area of 400 m2/g, and appreciable porosity in ultramicropores

Characteristics and sorption properties of charcoal in soil with a specific study of the charcoal in an arid region soil of Western Australia
Claire Louise McMahon, University of Western Australia,Thesis, 2006

Optimization of Stormwater Filtration at the Urban/Watershed Interface
Hipp, J. A.; Ogunseitan, O. A.; Lejano, R.; Smith, C. S.
Urban Water Research Center, UC Irvine, CA

Tests of charcoal in polybags for storm water filtration.

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