Toggle Main Menu Toggle Search

Open Access padlockePrints

The Potential of Biochar as N Carrier to Recover N from Wastewater for Reuse in Planting Soil: Adsorption Capacity and Bioavailability Analysis

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Evangelos Petropoulos



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).


© 2022 by the authors.Recovering nitrogen (N) from agricultural wastewater for reuse in planting fields is a more sustainable and economical strategy to limit N pollution than using conventional treatments. Hereby, regular biochar produced by wheat straw pyrolysis and Mg-modified biochar were used as the N carriers to assess inorganic-N adsorption from simulated agricultural wastewater and the potential for reuse of the carried N in a planting system. The results showed that biochar materials have different affinities towards inorganic-N types. The amount of biochar carried-N increased with the increase in inorganic-N concentration and reached 4.44 mg/g as the maximum. The biochar carried ~4 mg/g of inorganic N substituting nearly 40% of N fertilizer following a 1% w/w addition rate for vegetable planting. After a trial season, 34.7–42.7% of the carried N from biochar was assimilated by the plant, 45.9–53.7% was retained by the soil, and only about 10% was lost. In comparison to the condition with all N inputs from chemical fertilizer, the addition of part of N by the N–biochar matrix significantly reduced the N loss by improving the plant N uptake or increasing the N content in the soil. This study demonstrates that biochar materials could be used as N carriers to recover N from wastewater for reuse in soil, carrier stability, and bioavailability preservation.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Yu Y, Yang B, Petropoulos E, Duan J, Yang L, Xue L

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Separations

Year: 2022

Volume: 9

Issue: 11

Print publication date: 01/11/2022

Online publication date: 02/11/2022

Acceptance date: 27/10/2022

Date deposited: 22/03/2023

ISSN (electronic): 2297-8739

Publisher: MDPI


DOI: 10.3390/separations9110337


Altmetrics provided by Altmetric


Funder referenceFunder name