Treatment of aqueous per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances: A review of biochar adsorbent preparation methods

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


  • Fulltext

    Final published version, 4.13 MB, PDF document

  • Ali Behnami
  • Mojtaba Pourakbar
  • Anand Sharadha Ravi Ayyar
  • Lee, Jiwoong
  • Graham Gagnon
  • Khaled Zoroufchi Benis

Per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are synthetic chemicals widely used in everyday products, causing elevated concentrations in drinking water and posing a global challenge. While adsorption methods are commonly employed for PFAS removal, the substantial cost and environmental footprint of commercial adsorbents highlight the need for more cost-effective alternatives. Additionally, existing adsorbents exhibit limited effectiveness, particularly against diverse PFAS types, such as short-chain PFAS, necessitating modifications to enhance adsorption capacity. Biochar can be considered a cost-effective and eco-friendly alternative to conventional adsorbents. With abundant feedstocks and favorable physicochemical properties, biochar shows significant potential to be applied as an adsorbent for removing contaminants from water. Despite its effectiveness in adsorbing different inorganic and organic contaminants from water environments, some factors restrict its effective application for PFAS adsorption. These factors are related to the biochar properties, and characteristics of PFAS, as well as water chemistry. Therefore, some modifications have been introduced to overcome these limitations and improve biochar's adsorption capacity. This review explores the preparation conditions, including the pyrolysis process, activation, and modification techniques applied to biochar to enhance its adsorption capacity for different types of PFAS. It addresses critical questions about the adsorption performance of biochar and its composites, mechanisms governing PFAS adsorption, challenges, and future perspectives in this field. The surge in research on biochar for PFAS adsorption indicates a growing interest, making this timely review a valuable resource for future research and an in-depth exploration of biochar's potential in PFAS remediation.

Original languageEnglish
Article number142088
Number of pages19
Publication statusPublished - 2024

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2024 The Authors

    Research areas

  • Adsorption, Biochar, Biochar activation, Biochar composites, Per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances, PFAS

ID: 391314034