Potential of Biochar as a Measure for Decreasing Bioavailability of 137Cs in Soil

  • Aleksander Nikolaevich Nikitin
  • Olga Aleksandrovna Shurankova
  • Olga Il’inichna Popova
  • Ihar Anatol’evich Cheshyk
  • Ruslan Kovsarovich Spirov


The aim of the research was an assessment of the possibility of use of biochar (the biomass which has undergone pyrolysis processing) and soil-improving additives on its basis for decrease in the transfer of cesium-137 to crop production. The objects of the research were the peat soil polluted by 137Cs, biochar from the wood of hard-wood broadleaved tree, compost, mineral sorbent bergmeal and mangold. Influence of biochar on decrease the stock in soils 137Cs in the dissolved and exchange forms, which determine its mobility and biological availability, was noted. Two mechanisms of influence of biochar on transfer of 137Cs in plants are revealed: the former is connected with essential increase in concentration of available potassium in the soil, and the latter, a slower one – with the transformation of 137Cs to physical and chemical forms which are inaccessible for absorption by the root systems of plants.


Mangold Peat soil Cesium-137 Biochar Compost Bergmeal 


  1. Ageets VY (2001) The system of radioecological measures in agrosphere of Belarus. Institute of Radiology, MinskGoogle Scholar
  2. Ageets VY, Averin VS, Zuchenko YM, Timofeev SF, Tsygvintsev PN, Avtushko MI, Zhdanovich VP, Podolyak AG, Nenashev RA, Gvozdik AF, Naumchik AV, Tsarenok AA, Mashkov IA, Teshkovskij AV, Timofeev AS, Tsurankov EN, Staraseko EG (2003) Recommendations for the safe living and keeping of personal subsidiary plots in the conditions of radioactive contamination of the territory. Institute of Radiology, MinskGoogle Scholar
  3. Azarenko YV (2012) The influence of a new polymer-sorbent on the behavior of cesium-137 in soil. In: Proceedings of the international scientific and practical conference of young scientists, graduate students, undergraduates and students Innovations in technologies of cultivation of agricultural crops. Belarussian State Agricultural Academy, Gorki, pp 3–5Google Scholar
  4. Bakunov NA, Archipov NP (1994) Binding of 137Cs in organic soils with minerals and clays fixing 137Cs. In: Proceedings of the international conference Radioecology of peat soils. St. Petersburg State Agricultural University, Saint Petersburg, pp 3–4Google Scholar
  5. Beesley L, Moreno-Jiménez E, Gomez-Eyles JL, Harris E, Robinson B, Sizmur T (2011) A review of biochars, potential role in the remediation, revegetation and restoration of contaminated soils. Environ Pollut 159:3269–3282CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Brennan JK, Bandosz TJ, Thomson KT, Gubbins KE (2001) Water in porous carbons. Collid Surf A Physicochem Eng Aspect 187–188:539–568CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Bridle TR, Pritchard D (2004) Energy and nutrient recovery from sewage sludge via pyrolysis. Water Sci Technol 50:169–175CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Burdakov VA, Majakov EA, Torubarova AA, Kalinin NF, Gelis VM, Mil’utin VV, Penzin RA (1994) The method for reducing the transition of cesium radionuclides from soil to plants. Russian Federation Patent 2013913Google Scholar
  9. Chan KY, Van Zwieten L, Meszaros I, Downie A, Joseph S (2007) Agronomic values of green waste biochar as a soil amendment. Austral J Soil Res 45:629–634CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Cheng CH, Lehmann J, Thies JE, Burton SD (2008) Stability of black carbon in soils across a climatic radient. J Geophy Res 113:20–27Google Scholar
  11. Emmerich FG, Luengo CA (1996) Babassu charcoal: a sulfur less renewable thermo-reducing feedstock for steelmaking. Biomass Bioenergy 10:41–44CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Fukuyama K, Kasahara Y, Kasahara N, Oya A, Nishikawa K (2001) Small-angle Xray scattering study of the pore structure of carbon fibers prepared from a polymer blend of phenolic resin and polystyrene. Carbon 39:287–290CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Glaser B, Haumaier L, Guggenberger G, Zech W (2001) The Terra Preta phenomenon: a model for sustainable agriculture in the humid tropics. Naturwissenschaften 88:37–41CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Hamilton TF, Martinelli RE, Kehl SR, Hayes MHB, Smith IJ, Peters SKG, Tamblin MW, Schmitt CL, Hawk D (2016) A preliminary assessment on the use of biochar as a soil additive for reducing soil-to-plant uptake of cesium isotopes in radioactively contaminated environments. J Radioanalyt Nucl Chem 307:2015–2020CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Harris P (1999) On charcoal. Interdiscip Sci Rev 24:301–306CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Israel YA, Bogdevich IM (2009) Atlas of modern and predictive aspects of the consequences of the Chernobyl accident in the affected territories of Russia and Belarus. Priroda, MoscowGoogle Scholar
  17. Kishimoto S, Sugiura G (1980) Introduction to charcoal making on Sunday. Sougou Kagaku Shuppan, TokyoGoogle Scholar
  18. Kishimoto S, Sugiura G (1985) Charcoal as a soil conditioner. In: Symposium on forest products research, international achievements for the future, vol 5, pp 12–23Google Scholar
  19. Krugliakov SV, Anisimov VS, Anisimova LN, Aleksahin RM (2008) The specific sorption capacity of soils and mineral sorbents for 137Cs. Pedology 6:693–703Google Scholar
  20. Kunovskij VM, Maister AA, Perepel’atnikova LV (1996) Impact of sapropel on accumulation of cesium-137 by potato tubers, In: Proceedings of II International Scientific Conference ‘The problems of agricultural radioecology - ten years after the accident at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant’, State Agricultural Academy of Ukraine, Zitomir, pp 24–25Google Scholar
  21. Martínez ML, Torres MM, Guzmán CA, Maestri DM (2006) Preparation and characteristics of activated carbon from olive stones and walnut shells. Indus Crops Prod 23:23–28CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Morley J (1927) Following through with grass seeds. Nat Greenkeep 1:15Google Scholar
  23. Parr JF (2006) Effect of fire on phytolith coloration. Geoarch Int J 21:171–185CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Perepel’atnikova LV, Prister BC, Omel’anenko NP (1993) Assessment of the effectiveness of the application of sapropels in the Ukrainian Polissye for crop production according to the level of radioactive contamination. Probl Agric Radiol Inst Agric Radiol Kiev 3:139–143Google Scholar
  25. Petersen JB, Neves E, Heckenberger MJ (2001) Gift from the past: Terra Preta and prehistoric Amerindian occupation in Amazonia. In: McEwan C, Barreto C, Neves E (eds) Unknown Amazonia. British Museum Press, London, pp 86–105Google Scholar
  26. Ratnikov AN, Popova GI, Petrov KV, Aleksakhin RM, Zhigareva TL, Vasil'ev AV (1996) Fundamental principles for obtaining agricultural produce of standard purity in those parts of the Russian Federation which were radioactively contaminated as a result of the Chernobyl accident, and the effectiveness of the measures being taken. In: One decade after Chernobyl: summing up the consequences of the accident. IAEA, Vienna, pp 233–236Google Scholar
  27. Retan GA (1915) Charcoal as a means of solving some nursery problems. Forest Quart 13:25–30Google Scholar
  28. Rondon MA, Lehmann J, Ramirez J, Hurtado M (2007) Biological nitrogen fixation by common beans (Phaseolus vulgaris L.) increases with bio-char additions. Biol Fert Soil 43:699–708CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Santiago A, Santiago L (1989) Charcoal chips as a practical substrate for container horticulture in the humid tropics. Acta Hortic 238:141–147CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Schmidt MW, Noack AG (2000) Black carbon in soils and sediments: analysis, distribution, implications, and current challenges. Glob Biogeochem Cycl 14:777–793CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Schnitzer MI, Monreal CM, Facey GA, Fransham PB (2007) The conversion of chicken manure to bio oil by fast pyrolysis I. Analyses of chicken manure, bio oils and char by C-13 and H-1 NMR and FTIR spectrophotometry. Environ Sci Health 42:71–77CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Shindo H (1991) Elementary composition, humus composition, and decomposition in soil of charred grassland plants. Soil Sci Plant Nut 37:651–657CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Swiatkowski A, Pakula B, Biniak S, Walczyk M (2004) Influence of the surface chemistry of modified activated carbon on its electrochemical behaviour in the presence of lead(II) ions. Carbon 42:3057–3069CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Trimble WH (1851) On charring wood. Plough, the Loom and the Anvil 3:513–516Google Scholar
  35. Trompowsky PM, Benites VD, Madari BE, Pimenta AS, Hockaday WC, Hatcher PG (2005) Characterization of humic like substances obtained by chemical oxidation of eucalyptus charcoal. Org Geochem 36:1480–1489CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Tryon EH (1948) Effect of charcoal on certain physical, chemical, and biological properties of forest soils. Ecol Monogr 18:81–115CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Ure AM, Davidson CM (2002) Chemical speciation in the environment, 2nd edn. Wiley, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  38. Woods WI, Teixeira W, Lehmann J, Steiner C, Winkler A (2009) Where to from here? A Tribute to Wim. Sombroek, Springer, Terra Preta Nova, pp 473–486Google Scholar
  39. Wornat MJ, Hurt RH, Yang NC, Headley T (1995) Structural and compositional transformations of biomass hars during combustion. Comb Flame 100:131–143CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Zhang X, Wang H, He L, Lu K, Sarmah A, Li J, Bolan NS, Pei J, Huang H (2013) Using biochar for remediation of soils contaminated with heavy metals and organic pollutants. Environ Sci Pollut Res 20:8472–8483CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Zhu YG (2000) Plant uptake of radiocaesium: a review of mechanisms, regulation and application. J Exp Bot 51:1635–1645CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Aleksander Nikolaevich Nikitin
    • 1
  • Olga Aleksandrovna Shurankova
    • 1
  • Olga Il’inichna Popova
    • 1
  • Ihar Anatol’evich Cheshyk
    • 1
  • Ruslan Kovsarovich Spirov
    • 1
  1. 1.State Scientific InstitutionInstitute of Radiobiology of the National Academy of Sciences of BelarusGomelRepublic of Belarus

Personalised recommendations