Eco-restoration of a mine technosol according to biochar particle size and dose application: study of soil physico-chemical properties and phytostabilization capacities of Salix viminalis
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Anthropic activities induce severe metal(loid)s contamination of many sites, which is a threat to the environment and to public health. Indeed metal(loid)s cannot be degraded, and thus accumulate in soils. Furthermore, they can contaminate surrounding ecosystems through run-off or wind erosion. This study aims to evaluate the phytostabilization capacity of Salix viminalis to remediate As and Pb highly contaminated mine site, in a biochar-assisted phytoremediation context and to assess biochar particle size and dose application effects.
Materials and methods
To achieve this, mesocosm experiments were conducted using the contaminated technosol and four different size fraction of one biochar as amendment, at two application rates (2 and 5%). Non-rooted cuttings of Salix viminalis were planted in the different mixtures. In order to characterize the mixtures, soil pore waters were sampled at the beginning and at the end of the experiment and analyzed for pH, electrical conductivity, and metal(loid) concentrations. After 46 days of Salix growth, roots, stems, and leaves were harvested and weighed, and As and Pb concentrations and distributions were measured.
Results and discussion
Soil fertility improved (acidity decrease, electrical conductivity increase) following biochar addition, whatever the particle size, and the Pb concentration in soil pore water decreased. Salix viminalis did not grow on the non-amended contaminated soil while the biochar amendment permitted its growth, with a better growth with the finest biochars. The metal(loid)s accumulated preferentially in roots.
Fine biochar particles allowed S. viminalis growth on the contaminated soil, allowing this species to be used for technosol phytostabilization.
KeywordsAmendment Biochar Metal(loid)s Particle size Phytostabilisation Salix viminalis
The authors are grateful to JC Léger (La Carbonerie, Crissey, France) for sourcing biochars, and F. Cottard (BRGM, France). The authors wish to thank Sullivan Renouard and Jean-Philippe Blondeau for their technical support.
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