A study of the performance of biochar as adsorbing agent in o‐DGT devices

University essay from Högskolan i Borås/Akademin för textil, teknik och ekonomi

Abstract: A new complex aspect in the matter of water quality is the occurrence of emerging organic pollutants and contaminants in waste water. The currently low extent to which treatment of waste water is performed in Brazil, and in the world as a whole, there is a considerable need for development of cheap and accurate in-situ sampling methods for far-reaching studies of surface water quality. The lack of such methods today makes the maintenance and establishing of sanitary safety difficult. This diploma work gives a brief introduction to the basic principles of the passive sampling method known as Diffusive Gradient in Thin-films (DGT). A method that could be useful for such monitoring of quality in water bodies world wide. The aim of this study is to develop a method, for the detection of organic emerging pollutants and contaminants – i.e. compounds, which usually are present at very low concentrations when found in the environment as a result of human activity. More specifically, this work investigates the potential and usefulness of the application of DGT devices in detection of organic compounds that can affect human health and ecosystems, even at low concentrations, however, their effects still are in need of further investigations. This study focuses on both purely technical as well as practical points of views. The efficiency of organic DGT (o-DGT) with biochar as the adsorbing agent is examined targeting the detection of organic pollutants and contaminants in surface water. In this sense, the specific aim of the work is to evaluate the performance of biochar as adsorbing agent. This work showed that the performance of biochar as the adsorbing agent in binding layers in o-DGT sample devices can be considered as satisfactory since all compounds of interest in this study was successfully detected, quantified an identified. Further investigations in the future are needed to determine the effects of varying pH, temperature and ion concentration in the deployment media, as well as the properties of the binding layer in relation to concentration of biochar and the thickness of the layer. These in order to optimize the method for in-situ water sampling, aiming conventional use of biochar as the adsorbing agent in the future.

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