Modification of biochars to enable the recovery of P

Patrick Melia*1, Peter Hooda1, Andrew Cundy2, Saran Sohi3, Rosa Busquets1

1Faculty of Science, Engineering and Computing, Kingston University London.

2School of Ocean and Earth Science, University of Southampton

3UK Biochar Research Centre


Dependence on inorganic P fertilisers derived from limited geological sources of P is creating a need to recover P from wastewater, in agriculturally effective and safe forms. Adsorption of P with suitable materials may provide a cheap and widely applicable approach. The use of chemically modified biochars is attractive as the relative low cost of biochar production and the flexibility to tailor its critical characteristics gives potential for it to become part of a technology for recovering P. Here, work is presented that investigates the use of biochar as a macro porous scaffold to hold a variety of crystalline species with affinity for P. The ability of various biochar composites to achieve removal of P from wastewater-relevant concentrations is >90%. Further developments are underway to enhance the efficiency for removing P and make it viable as a solution to improve the health of aquatic ecosystems and contribute towards P sustainability.

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