Pyrolysis of heavy metal contaminated biomass pre-treated with ferric salts

product characterisation and heavy metal deportment

Jing He*, Vladimir Strezov, Xiaoteng Zhou, Ravinder Kumar, Tao Kan

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

4 Citations (Scopus)


[Graphical abstract presents]
The metal(loid)-enriched Avicennia marina biomass obtained from phytoremediation was impregnated with two ferric salts (FeCl3 and Fe(NO3)3) prior to pyrolysis at 300–700 °C, aiming to study the influence on pyrolytic product properties and heavy metal(loid) deportment. Results showed that the impregnated ferric salts increased the fixed carbon content of biochars, hydrocarbon fractions in bio-oils, and the evolution of CO and H2 in gases. Cd in biomass could be effectively removed from the biomass by FeCl3 impregnation. During pyrolysis, the ferric salts enhanced the elemental recovery of As, Cr, Ni and Pb in the biochars and decreased their distribution in gases. Notably, the ferric salt pre-treatment inhibited the mobility and bio-availability of most elements in the biochars. This study indicated that ferric salt impregnation catalysed the pyrolysis process of metal(loid) contaminated biomass, enabled the operation temperature at 500–700 °C with minimal environmental risks, providing a safe and value-added way to the phytoremediation-pyrolysis scheme.
Original languageEnglish
Article number123641
Pages (from-to)1-9
Number of pages9
JournalBioresource Technology
Early online date8 Jun 2020
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2020


  • Heavy metal
  • Pyrolysis
  • Biomass
  • Ferric salt pre-treatment
  • Leaching

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