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Influence of soil properties on heavy metal sequestration by biochar amendment: 1. Copper sorption isotherms and the release of cations

TitleInfluence of soil properties on heavy metal sequestration by biochar amendment: 1. Copper sorption isotherms and the release of cations
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2010
AuthorsUchimiya, Minori, Klasson Thomas K., Wartelle Lynda H., and Lima Isabel M.
JournalChemosphere
Date PublishedDecember 2010
Abstract

The amendment of carbonaceous materials such as biochars and activated carbons is a promising in situ remediation strategy for both organic and inorganic contaminants in soils and sediments. Mechanistic understandings in sorption of heavy metals on amended soil are necessary for appropriate selection and application of carbonaceous materials for heavy metal sequestration in specific soil types. In this study, copper sorption isotherms were obtained for soils having distinct characteristics: clay-rich, alkaline San Joaquin soil with significant heavy metal sorption capacity, and eroded, acidic Norfolk sandy loam soil having low capacity to retain copper. The amendment of acidic pecan shell-derived activated carbon and basic broiler litter biochar lead to a greater enhancement of copper sorption in Norfolk soil than in San Joaquin soil. In Norfolk soil, the amendment of acidic activated carbon enhanced copper sorption primarily via cation exchange mechanism, i.e., release of proton, calcium, and aluminum, while acid dissolution of aluminum cannot be ruled out. For San Joaquin soil, enhanced copper retention by biochar amendment likely resulted from the following additional mechanisms: electrostatic interactions between copper and negatively charged soil and biochar surfaces, sorption on mineral (ash) components, complexation of copper by surface functional groups and delocalized p electrons of carbonaceous materials, and precipitation. Influence of biochar on the release of additional elements (e.g., Al, Ca) must be carefully considered when used as a soil amendment to sequester heavy metals.

DOI10.1016/j.chemosphere.2010.11.050