Plant and Soil

, 348:439

Biochar reduces the bioavailability and phytotoxicity of heavy metals

Authors

  • Jin Hee Park
    • Centre for Environmental Risk Assessment and Remediation, Building XUniversity of South Australia
    • Cooperative Research Centre for Contamination Assessment and Remediation of the Environment
    • Centre for Mined Land RehabilitationUniversity of Queensland
  • Girish Kumar Choppala
    • Centre for Environmental Risk Assessment and Remediation, Building XUniversity of South Australia
    • Cooperative Research Centre for Contamination Assessment and Remediation of the Environment
    • Centre for Environmental Risk Assessment and Remediation, Building XUniversity of South Australia
    • Cooperative Research Centre for Contamination Assessment and Remediation of the Environment
  • Jae Woo Chung
    • Department of Environmental EngineeringGyeongnam National University of Science and Technology
  • Thammared Chuasavathi
    • Centre for Environmental Risk Assessment and Remediation, Building XUniversity of South Australia
    • Cooperative Research Centre for Contamination Assessment and Remediation of the Environment
Regular Article

DOI: 10.1007/s11104-011-0948-y

Cite this article as:
Park, J.H., Choppala, G.K., Bolan, N.S. et al. Plant Soil (2011) 348: 439. doi:10.1007/s11104-011-0948-y

Abstract

Background and aims

Biochar has attracted research interest due to its ability to increase the soil carbon pool and improve crop productivity. The objective of this study was to evaluate the metal immobilizing impact of chicken manure- and green waste-derived biochars, and their effectiveness in promoting plant growth.

Methods

The immobilization and phytoavailability of Cd, Cu and Pb was examined using naturally contaminated shooting range and spiked soils. Biochar samples prepared from chicken manure and green waste were used as soil amendments.

Results

Application of biochar significantly reduced NH4NO3 extractable Cd, Cu and Pb concentrations of soils, indicating the immobilization of these metals. Chicken manure-derived biochar increased plant dry biomass by 353 and 572% for shoot and root, respectively with 1% of biochar addition. This might be attributed to reduced toxicity of metals and increased availability of nutrients such as P and K. Both biochars significantly reduced Cd, Cu and Pb accumulation by Indian mustard (Brassica juncea), and the reduction increased with increasing amount of biochar application except Cu concentration. Metal sequential fractionation data indicated that biochar treatments substantially modified the partitioning of Cd, Cu and Pb from the easily exchangeable phase to less bioavailable organic bound fraction.

Conclusions

The results clearly showed that biochar application was effective in metal immobilization, thereby reducing the bioavailability and phytotoxicity of heavy metals.

Keywords

Chicken manure-derived biocharGreen waste-derived biocharHeavy metalImmobilizationBioavailability

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011