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Water contaminated with diesel oil represents one of the greatest challenges in waste water management. Water soluble fraction (WSF) is of particular interest because of its toxicity to aquatic organisms and discharge regulations set by environmental authorities. Biochar sorbents have attracted great attention, due to their low cost origin and advantageous properties as well as high sorption capacities in sorption processes. In this study, we have reported the synthesis and characteristics of novel biochar sorbent made from waste lignocellulosic biomass (peach stones (PS)) and evaluated its possible application in removal of diesel WSF from synthetic water. Physiochemical characteristics of the biochar sample were analysed by scanning electron microscopy (SEM), Brunauer–Emmett–Teller (BET) method, and Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), along with the elemental analysis. Characterisation of PS biochar (PS-B) indicated high multi porous surface area (159.1 m2 g-1) with the average pore diameter 2.7 nm. FTIR results indicated higher presence of aromatic compounds in PS-B as compared to PS. The sorption experiments performed in a batch system using PS-B resulted in more than 95 % removal of diesel WSF, reaching equilibrium after 5 h. Equilibrium data were well fitted by Freundlich isotherm, while the pseudo-second order equation fitted well the kinetic data, indicating chemisorption involving valency forces through the sharing/exchange of electrons between the sorbent and PS-B. Applications of ecotoxicology tests based on a microbial biosensor (Aliivibrio fischeri) have shown a significant toxicity reduction of water sample after the treatment with biochar.
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