Optimization of magnetized biochars synthesis using culms obtained from selected species of woody bamboos (Poaceae, Bambusoideae, Bambuseae) and its evaluation as remedial material for arsenic contaminated water

Jacinta Alchouron

Mississippi State University

Bamboo culms are suitable for charcoal production, being a potential energy producer for domestic and industrial uses, as well as for environment remediation. Arsenic is a pollutant metalloid naturally present in great part of the planet. Its presence is a serious environmental problem for humans and other living organisms due to its high toxicity. Low-cost techniques should be urgently investigated to remove arsenic in drinking water in both poor disperse rural and urban populations. Biochar magnetization with ferric materials has showed to be a favourable material to remove As from water. Considering that bamboo biochar has five times more small holes and eight times more microelements than wood charcoal which would presumably increase its remediation capacity we will attempt to develop an economic, viable, and sustainable material that will be able to provide safe arsenic-free water. To accomplish this general objective I need to: (1) optimize the bamboo biochar magnetization as to accomplish high arsenic remediation capacity with the least resources spend (economical, material and time consuming) and (2) carry out arsenic column adsorption/regeneration experiments and consequent measurements of the remaining arsenic in water. For this, we count with samples of biochar produced from culms of three bamboo species: Guadua chacoensis, a native species from Northeastern Argentina, Bambusa tuldoides and Phyllostachys aurea, two exotic species successfully introduced in Argentina. Among each species, we have biochar produced from mature culms and discarded culms. Moreover, among each type of culm from each species, we have biochar which has been activated with phosphoric acid and biochar which has not been activated.