ACS Omega. 2022 Dec 22;8(1):879-892. doi: 10.1021/acsomega.2c06234. eCollection 2023 Jan 10.
Conventional biochar has limited effectiveness in the adsorption of sulfonamide antibiotics, while modified biochar exhibits greater adsorption potential. Residues of sulfamethoxazole (SMX) in the aquatic environment can threaten the safety of microbial populations as well as humans. In this study, iron-nitrogen co-doped modified biochar (Fe-N-BC) was prepared from palm fibers and doped with Fe and urea via synthesis at 500 °C. Fe-N-BC has a richer surface functional group based on elemental content, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, X-ray diffraction, and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy. The Brunauer-Emmett-Teller (BET) specific surface area test exhibited Fe-N-BC, which possessed a greater surface area (318.203 m2/g) and a better developed pore structure (0.149 cm3/g). The results of the hysteresis loop and the Raman spectrum show that Fe-N-BC has a higher degree of magnetization and graphitization. Fe-N-BC showed a remarkable adsorption capacity for SMX (42.9 mg/g), which could maintain 93.4% adsorption effect after four cycles, and 82.8% adsorption capacity in simulated piggery wastewater. The adsorption mechanism involves pore filling, surface complexation, electrostatic interactions, hydrogen bonding, and π-π EDA interactions. The results of this study show that Fe-N-BC prepared from palm fibers can be a stable, excellent adsorbent for SMX removal from wastewater and has promise in terms of practical applications.