Nanotechnology for Improved Carbon Management in Soil

  • Pragati Pramanik
  • Prasenjit Ray
  • Aniruddha Maity
  • Shrila Das
  • Srinivasan Ramakrishnan
  • Pooja Dixit


Agriculture today is at crossroads facing challenge of efficient food production due to a growing population burden and a shrinking arable land base and water resources. Current important challenges of agriculture include, but not limited to, food security, sustainability of natural resources, improving nutrient use efficiency, production of nutrient-enriched agriculture for maintaining human health and healthy life, and climate change. In the era of climate change, nanotechnology could be useful in mitigating climate change by trapping C in terrestrial pools. The nanomaterials due to their unique properties at nanoscale are reported to enhance carbon stabilization and its possible sequestration in soil. However, contradictory reports on the potential impact of nanomaterials on soil microorganisms are one of the major reasons to limit the adoption of this technology at large scale for mitigating climate change. Nevertheless, continuous efforts are needed to explore the possibility of nanotechnology in C sequestration without compromising ecosystem productivity for developing a climate smart agriculture. This chapter aimed at highlighting the potential of nanomaterials for improved C management in soil and the future research prospects in nanotechnology research pertaining to soil carbon study.


Carbon nanotubes Carbon sequestration Greenhouse gases Nanoparticles Soil structure 


  1. Aaron D, Tsouris C (2005) Separation of CO2 from flue gas: a review. Sep Sci Technol 40:321–348CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Alsharef JMA, Taha MR, Firoozi AK, Govindasamy P (2016) Potential of using nanocarbons to stabilize weak soils. Appl Environ Soil Sci. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Aminiyan MM, Safari Sinegani AA, Sheklabadi M (2015) Aggregation stability and organic carbon fraction in a soil amended with some plant residues, nanozeolite, and natural zeolite. Inter J Recycl Organ Waste Agric 4:11–22CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Babu S, Joseph S (2016) Effect of Nano materials on properties of soft soil. Inter J Sci Res 5(8):634–637Google Scholar
  5. Barré P, Fernandez-Ugalde O, Virto I, Velde B, Chenu C (2014) Impact of phyllosilicate mineralogy on organic carbon stabilization in soils: incomplete knowledge and exciting prospects. Geoderma 235–236:382–395CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Bayat H, Kolahchi Z, Valaey S, Rastgou M, Mahdavi S (2017) Novel impacts of nanoparticles on soil properties: tensile strength of aggregates and compression characteristics of soil. Arch Agron Soil Sci. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Bhagiyalakshmi M, Lee JY, Jang HT (2010) Synthesis of mesoporous magnesium oxide: its application to CO2 chemisorption. Inter J Green Gas Con 4(1):51–56CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Bhattacharyya R, Prakash V, Kundu S, Srivastva AK, Gupta HS (2009) Soil aggregation and organic matter in a sandy clay loam soil of the Indian Himalayas under different tillage and crop regimes. Agric Ecosyst Environ 132:126–134CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Bhattacharyya R, Tuti MD, Kundu S, Bisht JK, Bhatt JC (2012) Conservation tillage impacts on soil aggregation and carbon pools in a sandy clay loam soil of the Indian Himalayas. Soil Sci Soc Am J. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Biswas A, Tokoly T, Wang T, Ramidi P, Ghosh A, Dervishi E, Norton MG (2011) Design and synthesis of sprayable nanocomposite coatings for carbon capture and direct conversion into environmentally safe stable carbonates. Chem Phys Lett 508(4):276–280CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Calabi-Floody M, Bendall JS, Jara AA, Welland ME, Theng BKG, Rumpel C, Mora ML (2011) Nanoclays from an Andisol: extraction, properties and carbon stabilization. Geoderma 161:159–167CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Calabi-Floody M, Rumpel C, Velásquez G, Violante A, Bol R, Condron LM, Mora ML (2015) Role of Nanoclays in carbon stabilization in Andisols and Cambisols. J Soil Sci Plant Nutr 15(3):587–604Google Scholar
  13. Chen KL, Elimelech M (2007) Influence of humic acid on the aggregation kinetics of fullerene (C60) nanoparticles in monovalent and divalent electrolyte solutions. J Colloid Interface Sci 309:126–134CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Chevallier T, Woignier T, Toucet J, Blanchart E (2010) Organic carbon stabilization in the fractal pore structure of Andosols. Geoderma 159:182–188CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Chung H, Son Y, Yoon TK, Kim S, Kim W (2011) The effect of multi-walled carbon nanotubes on soil microbial activity. Ecotox Environ Safe 74:569–575CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Correia AAS, Casaleiroa PDF, Rasteiro MGBV (2015) Applying multiwall carbon nanotubes for soil stabilization. Procedia Eng 102:1766–1775CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Dinesh R, Anandaraj M, Srinivasan V, Hamza S (2012) Engineered nanoparticles in the soil and their potential implications to microbial activity. Geoderma 173–174:19–27CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Elliott ET (1986) Aggregate structure and carbon, nitrogen and phosphorus in native and cultivated soils. Soil Sci Soc Am J 50:627–633CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Filimonova S, Kaufhold S, Wagner FE, Häusler W, Kögel-Knabner I (2016) The role of allophanenano-structure and Fe oxide speciation for hosting soil organic matter in an allophanic Andosol. Geoch Cosmochim Acta. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Florin NH, Harris AT (2009) Reactivity of CaO derived from nano-sized CaCO3 particles through multiple CO2 capture-and-release cycles. Chem Eng Sci 64(2):187–191CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Ge Y, Priester JH, Van De Werfhorst LC, Walker SL, Nisbet RM, An YJ, Schimel JP, Gardea-Torresdey JL, Holden PA (2014) Soybean plants modify metal oxide nanoparticle effects on soil bacterial communities. Environ Sci Technol 48(22):13489–13496CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Govindasamy P, Taha MR, Alsharef J, Ramalingam K (2017) Influence of nanolime and curing period on unconfined compressive strength of soil. Appl Environ Soil Sci. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Gupta VVSR, Germida JJ (1988) Distribution of microbial biomass and its activity in different soil aggregate size fractions as affected by cultivation. Soil Biol Biochem 20:777–786CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Hareesh P, Vinothkumar R (2016) Assessment of nano materials on Geotechnical properties of Clayey soils. Proceeding International conference on engineering innovations and solutions held at CMS College of Engineering, Tamil Nadu, India on 22nd April, 2016Google Scholar
  25. He S, Feng Y, Ni J, Sun Y, Xue Y, Feng Y, Lin YX, Yang L (2016) Different responses of soil microbial metabolic activity to silver and iron oxide nanoparticles. Chemosphere 147:195–202CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Hsu SC, Lu C, Su F, Zeng W, Chen W (2010) Thermodynamics and regeneration studies of CO 2 adsorption on multiwalled carbon nanotubes. Chem Eng Sci 65(4):1354–1361CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Kashyap PL, Rai P, Kumar R, Sharma S, Jasrotia P, Srivastava A, Kumar S (2017) Microbial nanotechnology for climate resilient agriculture. Microbes for climate resilient agriculture. Wiley-Blackwell, HobokenGoogle Scholar
  28. Kaur M (2016) Synthesis and characterization of nanosilica particles from rice husk and its effect on soil microbes and vegetative growth in tomato. A thesis submitted to Punjab Agricultural University, Ludhiana, IndiaGoogle Scholar
  29. Keita K, Okafor F, Nyochembeng L, Overton A, Sripathi VR (2018) Plant and microbial growth responses to multi-walled carbon nanotubes. J Nanosci Curr Res 3:123. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Khomane RB, Sharma BK, Saha S, Kulkarni BD (2006) Reverse microemulsion mediated sol–gel synthesis of lithium silicate nanoparticles under ambient conditions: scope for CO2 sequestration. Chem Eng Sci 61(10):3415–3418CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Kim BJ, Cho KS, Park SJ (2010) Copper oxide-decorated porous carbons for carbon dioxide adsorption behaviors. J Colloid Interface Sci 342(2):575–578CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Lal R (2004) Soil carbon sequestration impact on global climate change and food security. Science 304:1623–1627CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Lal R (2009) Challenges and opportunities in soil organic matter research. Euro J Soil Sci. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Li L, King DL, Nie Z, Li XS, Howard C (2010) MgAl2O4 spinel-stabilized calcium oxide absorbents with improved durability for high-temperature CO2 capture. Energy Fuel 24(6):3698–3703CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Mahawar H, Raliya R, Tarafdar JC (2012) Nano Fe induced bacterial polysaccharide for soil aggregation and moisture retention under arid environment. Abstract published in 77th Annual Convention of the Indian Society of Soil Science held during December 3–6 at Ludhiana, IndiaGoogle Scholar
  36. Maity A, Natarajan N, Vijay D, Srinivasan R, Pastor M, Malaviya DR (2018) Influence of metal nanoparticles (NPs) on seed germination and yield of forage oat (Avina sativa) and berseem (Trifolium alexandinum). Proc Natl Acad Sci India Sect B Biol Sci 88:595. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Majeed ZM, Taha MR, Jawad IT (2014) Stabilization of soft soil using nanomaterials. Res J Appl Sci Eng Technol 8(4):503–509CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Mishra VK, Kumar A (2009) Impact of metal nanoparticles on plant growth promoting rhizobacteria. Dig J Nanomater Biostruct 4:587–592Google Scholar
  39. Mishra AK, Ramaprabhu S (2011) Nano magnetite decorated multiwalled carbon nanotubes: a robust nanomaterial for enhanced carbon dioxide adsorption. Energy Environ Sci 4(3):889–895CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Monreal CM, Sultan Y, Schnitzer M (2010) Soil organic matter in nano-scale structures of a cultivated black Chernozem. Geoderma 159:237–242CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Mukhopadhyay SS (2014) Nanotechnology in agriculture prospects and constraints. Nanotechnol Sci Appl 7:63–71.
  42. NAAS (2013) Nanotechnology in agriculture: scope and current relevance. Policy paper no. 63, National Academy of Agricultural Sciences, New DelhiGoogle Scholar
  43. Naseri F, Irani M, Dehkhodarajabi M (2016) Effect of graphene oxide nanosheets on the geotechnical properties of cemented silty soil. Arch Civil Mech Eng 16:695–701CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Navarro E, Baun A, Behra R, Hartmann NB, Filser J, Miao AJ, Quigg A, Santschi PH, Sigg L (2008) Environmental behavior and ecotoxicity of engineered nanoparticles to algae, plants, and fungi. Ecotoxicology 17:372–386CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Ochoa-Fernández E, Rønning M, Grande T, Chen D (2006) Synthesis and CO2 capture properties of nanocrystalline lithium zirconate. Chem Mater 18(25):6037–6046CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Pacheco DM, Johnson JR, Koros WJ (2011) Aminosilane-functionalized cellulosic polymer for increased carbon dioxide sorption. Ind Eng Chem Res 51(1):503–514CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Prezepiórski J, Skrodzewicz M, Morawski AW (2004) High temperature ammonia treatment of activated carbon for enhancement of CO2 adsorption. Appl Surf Sci 225:235–242CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Raliya R, Tarafdar JC (2013) ZnO nanoparticle biosynthesis and its effect on phosphorous-mobilizing enzyme secretion and gum contents in Clusterbean (Cyamopsis tetragonoloba L.). Agric Res 2:48. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Raliya R, Tarafdar JC, Mahawar H, Kumar R, Gupta P, Mathur T, Kaul RK, Kumar P, Kaliya A, Gautam R, Singh SK, Gehlot HS (2014) ZnO nanoparticles induced exopolysaccharide production by B. subtilis strain JCT1 for arid soil application. Inter J Biol Macromol. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Reddy CH, Subramanian KS (2017) Impact of Nano-liming materials on biological properties of acid soils. Int J Curr Microbiol App Sci 6(3):451–457. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Shah V, Belozerova I (2009) Influence of metal nanoparticles on the soil microbial community and germination of lettuce seeds. Water Air Soil Pollut 197:143–148CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Simonet BM, Valcárcel M (2009) Monitoring nanoparticles in the environment. Anal Bioanal Chem 393:17–21CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Singh M, Sarkar B, Sarkar S, Churchman J, Bolan N, Mandal S, Menon M, Purakayastha TJ, Beerling DJ (2017) Stabilization of soil organic carbon as influenced by clay mineralogy. Adv Agron. Google Scholar
  54. Siriwardane RV, Shen MS, Fisher EP, Poston JA (2001) Adsorption of CO2 on molecular sieves and activated carbon. Energy Fuels 15:279–284CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Six J, Bossuyt H, Degryze S, Denef K (2004) A history of research on the link between (micro) aggregates, soil biota, and soil organic matter dynamics. Soil Tillage Res 79:7–31CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Smart SK, Cassady AI, Lu GQ, Martin DJ (2006) The biocompatibility of carbon nanotubes. Carbon 44:1034–1047CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Spaccini R, Piccolo A, Conte P, Haberhauer G, Gerzabek MH (2002) Increased soil organic carbon sequestration through hydrophobic protection by humic substances. Soil Biol Biochem 34:1839–1851CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Srinivasan R, Maity A, Singh KK, Ghosh PK, Kumar S, Srivastava MK, Radhakrishna A, Rahul S, Bandana K (2017) Influence of copper oxide and zinc oxide nano-particles on growth of fodder cowpea and soil microbiological properties. Range Manag Agrofor 38(2):208–214Google Scholar
  59. Taha MR, Taha OME (2012) Influence of nano-material on the expansive and shrinkage soil behavior. J Nanopart Res 14:1190–1202CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. Tarafdar JC (2017) Bio-inspired nano-nutrients: a key for sustainable agriculture. Green Farm Strat Vis 37:8Google Scholar
  61. Tarafdar JC, Agrawal A, Raliya R, Kumar P, Burman U, Kaul RK (2012) ZnO nanoparticles induced synthesis of polysaccharides and phosphatases by Aspergillus Fungi. Adv Sci Eng Med 4:1–5CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  62. Throbäck IN, Johansson M, Rosenquist M, Pell M, Hansson M, Hallin S (2007) Silver (Ag+) reduces denitrification and induces enrichment of novel nirK genotypes in soil. FEMS Microbiol Lett 270:189–194CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  63. Tisdall JM, Oades JM (1982) Organic matter and water-stable aggregates in soils. J Soil Sci 33:141–163CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  64. Tong Z, Bischoff M, Nies L, Applegate B, Turco RF (2007) Impact of fullerene (C60) on a soil microbial community. Environ Sci Technol 41:2985–2991CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  65. United States Environmental Protection Agency (2007) Nanotechnology white paper. Document number EPA 100/B-07/001 1 February 2007
  66. Wang Q, Luo J, Zhong Z, Borgna A (2011) CO2 capture by solid adsorbents and their applications: current status and new trends. Energy Environ Sci 4(1):42–55CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  67. Wu SF, Lan PQ (2012) A kinetic model of nano-CaO reactions with CO2 in a sorption complex catalyst. AICHE J 58(5):1570–1577CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  68. Wu SF, Zhu YQ (2010) Behavior of CaTiO3/nano-CaO as a CO2 reactive adsorbent. Ind Eng Chem Res 49(6):2701–2706CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  69. Wu SF, Li QH, Kim JN, Yi KB (2008) Properties of a nanoCaO/Al2O3 CO2 sorbent. Ind Eng Chem Res 47(1):180–184CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  70. Xu X, Song C, Andresen JM, Miller BG, Scaroni AW (2002) Novel polyethylenimine modified mesoporous molecular sieve of MCM-41 type as high-capacity adsorbent for CO2 capture. Energy Fuel 16(6):1463–1469CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  71. Yang Z, Zhao M, Florin NH, Harris AT (2009) Synthesis and characterization of CaOnanopods for high temperature CO2 capture. Ind Eng Chem Res 48(24):10765–10770CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  72. Zhou B, Chen X (2017) Effect of Nano-carbon on water holding capacity in a Sandy soil of the loess plateau. Earth Sci Res J 21(4):189–195CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  73. Zhu M, Zhu Y, Zhang L, Shi J (2013) Preparation of chitosan/mesoporous silica nanoparticle composite hydrogels for sustained co-delivery of biomacromolecules and small chemical drugs. Sci Technol Adv Mater 14(4):045005. CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Pragati Pramanik
    • 1
  • Prasenjit Ray
    • 2
  • Aniruddha Maity
    • 4
    • 5
  • Shrila Das
    • 1
  • Srinivasan Ramakrishnan
    • 3
  • Pooja Dixit
    • 1
  1. 1.ICAR-Indian Agricultural Research InstituteNew DelhiIndia
  2. 2.ICAR-National Bureau of Soil Survey and Land Use PlanningRegional Centre, JorhatIndia
  3. 3.ICAR-Indian Grassland and Fodder Research InstituteJhansiIndia
  4. 4.ICAR-Indian Grassland and Fodder Research InstituteJhansiIndia
  5. 5.Department of Soil and Crop Sciences, Texas A&M UniversityCollege Station, TXUSA

Personalised recommendations