Chemically-Activated Biochar from Ricinus communis L. Cake and Their Potential Applications for the Voltammetric Assessment of Some Relevant Environmental Pollutants


J. Braz. Chem. Soc.




Biochar is a rich-carbon material highly functionalized, which allows the use as electrodes modifier for preconcentration and voltammetric determination of several species. This work describes a castor cake biochar production and chemical activation with different reaction conditions using HNO3 and/or H2O2. Biochar samples were characterized using scanning electron microscopy, energy dispersive spectroscopy, thermogravimetric analysis, Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy, Raman and zeta potential. Carbon paste modified electrodes (CPME) have been constructed using different biochar samples to evaluate the adsorptive capacity for the spontaneous preconcentration and voltammetric determination of Pb2+, Cd2+, Cu2+ and Ni2+ ions, paraquat and methyl parathion pesticides. The activation treatments promoted modifications in the elemental, morphological and structural biochar characteristics. Activated biochar CPMEs showed increase in the current signal around 15 and 2.5 times higher than unmodified and precursor biochar electrode, respectively. N2 sample (HNO3, 60 °C for 3.0 h) presented the better response signals for all compounds. This was attributed to the more effective surface oxidation, promoting a high porosity, acid character and amount of acid functional groups. Besides that, this greater analytical response allows the CPME-N2 application as a passive sampler for the voltammetric determination of inorganic and organic contaminants for environmental management in aqueous matrices.

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