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Predicting the sorption efficiency of heavy metal based on the biochar characteristics, metal sources, and environmental conditions using various novel hybrid machine learning models

Authors: 

Bo Ke, Hoang Nguyen, Xuan-Nam Bui, Hoang-Bac Bui, Yosoon Choi, Jian Zhou, Hossein Moayedi, Romulus Costache, Thao Nguyen-Trang

Source title: 
Chemosphere, 276: 130204, 2021 (ISI)
Academic year of acceptance: 
2021-2022
Abstract: 

Heavy metals in water and wastewater are taken into account as one of the most hazardous environmental issues that significantly impact human health. The use of biochar systems with different materials helped significantly remove heavy metals in the water, especially wastewater treatment systems. Nevertheless, heavy metal’s sorption efficiency on the biochar systems is highly dependent on the biochar characteristics, metal sources, and environmental conditions. Therefore, this study implicates the feasibility of biochar systems in the heavy metal sorption in water/wastewater and the use of artificial intelligence (AI) models in investigating efficiency sorption of heavy metal on biochar. Accordingly, this work investigated and proposed 20 artificial intelligent models for forecasting the sorption efficiency of heavy metal onto biochar based on five machine learning algorithms and bagging technique (BA). Accordingly, support vector machine (SVM), random forest (RF), artificial neural network (ANN), M5Tree, and Gaussian process (GP) algorithms were used as the key algorithms for the aim of this study. Subsequently, the individual models were bagged with each other to generate new ensemble models. Finally, 20 intelligent models were developed and evaluated, including SVM, RF, M5Tree, GP, ANN, BA-SVM, BA-RF, BA-M5Tree, BA-GP, BA-ANN, SVM-RF, SVM-M5Tree, SVM-GP, SVM-ANN, RF-M5Tree, RF-GP, RF-ANN, M5Tree-GP, M5Tree-ANN, GP-ANN. Of those, the hybrid models (i.e., BA-SVM, BA-RF, BA-M5Tree, BA-GP, BA-ANN, SVM-RF, SVM-M5Tree, SVM-GP, SVM-ANN, RF-M5Tree, RF-GP, RF-ANN, M5Tree-GP, M5Tree-ANN, GP-ANN) are introduced as the novelty of this study for estimating the heavy metal’s sorption efficiency on the biochar systems. Also, the biochar characteristics, metal sources, and environmental conditions were comprehensively assessed and used, and they are considered as a novelty of the study as well. For this aim, a dataset of sorption efficiency of heavy metal was collected and processed with 353 experimental tests. Various performance indexes were applied to evaluate the models, such as RMSE, R2, MAE, color intensity, Taylor diagram, box and whiskers plots. This study’s findings revealed that AI models could predict heavy metal’s sorption efficiency onto biochar with high reliability, and the efficiency of the ensemble models is higher than those of individual models. The results also reported that the SVM-ANN ensemble model is the most superior model among 20 developed models. The predictive model proposed that heavy metal’s efficiency sorption on biochar can be accurately forecasted and early warning for the water pollution by heavy metal.