Enhancing solid-phase extraction of tetracyclines with a hybrid biochar sorbent: A comparative study of chlorella and bamboo biochars

J Chromatogr A. 2024 Jun 20:1730:465092. doi: 10.1016/j.chroma.2024.465092. Online ahead of print.


Biochar, a sustainable sorbent derived from pyrolyzed biomass, has garnered attention for its efficacy in solid-phase extraction (SPE) of antibiotics, with a particular focus on tetracyclines (TCs). Despite its recognized potential, the intricate separation mechanisms operative in biochar-based SPE systems have not been fully deciphered. This investigation contrasts chlorella biochar against commercial bamboo biochar, harnessing an array of analytical methodologies-microstructure characterization, adsorption thermodynamics, competitive adsorption kinetics, H+ back titration, and selectivity adsorption studies-complemented by a Box-Behnken design for the optimization of chlorella/bamboo-SPE and subsequent application in the analysis of animal-derived foodstuffs. The study unveils that a hybrid sorbent, integrating nitrogen-doped microporous chlorella biochar with mesoporous bamboo biochar in a 95/5 mass ratio, markedly diminishes irreversible adsorption while enhancing selectivity, surpassing the performance of single biochar SPE systems. The elucidated separation mechanisms implicate a partition model, propelled by oxygen-rich functional groups on chlorella biochar and the rapid adsorption kinetics of bamboo biochar, all orchestrated by electrostatic interactions within the mixed biochar framework. Moreover, the synergy of mixed biochar-SPE with high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) demonstrates exceptional proficiency in detecting TCs in animal viscera, evidenced by recovery rates spanning 80.80 % to 106.98 % and RSDs ranging from 0.24 % to 14.69 %. In essence, this research not only sheds light on the multifaceted factors influencing SPE efficiency but also propels the use of biochar towards new horizons in environmental monitoring and food safety assurance.

Keywords: Animal viscera; Biochar; Separation mechanism; Solid-phase extraction; Tetracyclines.