The removal efficiency of copper (Cu(II)) from an actual acidic electroplating effluent by biochars generated from canola, rice, soybean and peanut straws was investigated. The biochars simultaneously removed Cu(II) from the effluent, mainly through the mechanisms of adsorption and precipitation, and neutralized its acidity. The removal efficiency of Cu(II) by the biochars followed the order: peanut straw char > soybean straw char > canola straw char > rice straw char > a commercial activated carbonaceous material, which is consistent with the alkalinity of the biochars. The pH of the effluent was a key factor determining the removal efficiency of Cu(II) by biochars. Raising the initial pH of the effluent enhanced the removal of Cu(II) from it. The optimum pyrolysis temperature was 400 degrees C for producing biochar from crop straws for acidic wastewater treatment, and the optimum reaction time was 8 hr.
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