Effectiveness of low-temperature biochar in controlling the release and leaching of herbicides in soil
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Biochars, being good sorbents of organic compounds, can reduce the mobility of pesticides in soil and subsequent pollution to groundwater, but may also impact on the efficacy of soil-applied herbicides. The aim of this study is to seek a potential solution to this problem.
We prepared a wood biochar at a relatively low heat treatment temperature (350 °C), and used it as an adsorptive carrier for incorporating the herbicides 2,4-D and acetochlor, and also as a soil amendment. Release experiment through a thin soil layer and leaching experiment through a soil column were used to evaluate the effectiveness of the biochar for controlling the release and leaching of herbicides in soil.
The release experiments demonstrated that the low-temperature biochar could control the release of herbicides in soil, and the leaching experiments showed that this biochar significantly reduced the leached amount of herbicides by 1/2 ~ 3/4, depending on the depth (5 ~ 15 cm) of biochar-amended topsoil. High retention of herbicides in the biochar-amended topsoil was observed.
The results suggest that the low temperature biochar, if applied properly in soil, may be useful for extending the efficacy of herbicides while controlling their potential pollution.
KeywordsBiochar Pesticide Controlled release Leaching Sorption
This research was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (41271475) and Research Project for Public Welfare of Zhejiang Province, China (2010C32086).
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