Characterization of Dissolved Organic Carbon and Disinfection By-Products in Biochar Filter Leachate Using Orbitrap Mass Spectrometry

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Journal of Hazardous Materials




Biochar is a low-cost adsorbent with considerable potential for utilization as a water filtration medium; however, organic matter leaching from biochar can lead to the formation of disinfection by-products (DBPs). This study investigated the leaching of dissolved organic carbon (DOC) from eucalyptus-derived biochar and the formation of DBPs generated by chlorination and chloramination. Column experiments with empty bed contact times (EBCTs) of 10 and 30 min were conducted for 200 bed volumes (BVs). The highest DOC concentration (3.5 µg-C/g-biochar) was detected with an EBCT of 30 min. Chloroform (49 µg/L) and dichloroacetonitrile (7 µg/L) because of chlorination were found during the first five BVs, but were reduced thereafter. During the first 10 BVs, unknown chlorinated DBPs generated (CHOCl) by chlorination and chloramination (193 and 152 formulae, respectively) were tentatively identified via an unknown screening analysis. The release of DBP precursors from biochar tentatively identified in this study will impact water filtration applications.


Biochar; Natural organic matter; Non-regulated dbps; Non-target analysis; Orbitrap mass spectrometry


Environmental Sciences

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