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Effects of soil dilution and amendments (mussel shell, cow bone, and biochar) on Pb availability and phytotoxicity in military shooting range soil

TitleEffects of soil dilution and amendments (mussel shell, cow bone, and biochar) on Pb availability and phytotoxicity in military shooting range soil
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2012
AuthorsAhmad, Mahtab, Lee Sang Soo, Yang Jae E., Ro Hee-Myong, Lee Young Han, and Ok Yong Sik
JournalEcotoxicology and Environmental Safety
Abstract

Bioavailability and bioaccessibility determine the level of metal toxicity in the soils. Inorganic soil amendments may decrease metal bioavailability and enhance soil quality. This study used mussel shell, cow bone, and biochar to reduce lead (Pb) toxicity in the highly contaminated military shooting range soil in Korea. Water-soluble and 1-M ammonium nitrate extractions, and a modified physiologically based extraction test (PBET) were performed to determine Pb bioavailability and bioaccessibility in the soil, respectively. Active C in the soil was also measured to evaluate the effects of the amendments on biological soil quality. The Pb contaminated soil was diluted in serial with uncontaminated soil for the bioassays. Seed germination and root elongation tests using lettuce (Lactuca sativa) showed increases in germination percentage and root length in soil treated with the amendments. Biochar was most effective and increased seed germination by 360% and root length by 189% compared to the unamended soil. Up to 20% soil dilution resulted in more than 50% seed germination. Bioavailability and bioaccessibility of Pb in the soils were decreased by 92.5% and 48.5% with mussel shell, by 84.8% and 34.5% with cow bone, and by 75.8% and 12.5% with biochar, respectively, compared to the unamended soil. We found that the Pb availability in the military shooting range soil can be reduced effectively by the tested amendments or soil dilution alternately, thereby decreasing the risk of ecotoxicity. Furthermore, the increasing active C from the amendments revitalized the soil contaminated with Pb.