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Sorption and transport of sulfamethazine in agricultural soils amended with invasive-plant-derived biochar

TitleSorption and transport of sulfamethazine in agricultural soils amended with invasive-plant-derived biochar
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2014
AuthorsVithanage, Meththika, Rajapaksha Anushka Upamali, Tang Xiangyu, Thiele-Bruhn S├Âren, Kim Kye Hoon, Lee Sung-Eun, and Ok Yong Sik
JournalJournal of Environmental Management

Sulfonamides (SAs) are one of the most frequently used antibiotics in the veterinary industry, showing high mobility in soils. Objectives of this research were to determine the sorption, distribution coefficients and involvement of different ionic forms of sulfamethazine (SMZ), a representative SAs, and to evaluate the transport of SMZ in biochar treated soils. Biochars were produced from an invasive plant, burcucumber (Sicyos angulatus L.), under slow pyrolysis conditions at peak temperatures of 300 °C (biochar-300) and 700 °C (biochar-700), respectively. The abilities of the biochars to retain SMZ in loamy sand and sandy loam soils were examined under different pHs and SMZ loadings. Soil column experiments were performed with and without biochars addition. Results showed that biochar-700 had a high degree of SMZ retention, with resultant decreased pH in both soils. Modeled effective sorption coefficients (KD,eff) values indicated that the observed high SMZ retention at pH 3 could be attributed to the π-π electron donor–acceptor interaction and electrostatic cation exchange, whereas at pH 5 and 7, cation exchange was the main mechanisms responsible. There was no temporal retardation of SMZ in biochar treated soil as compared to the untreated soil. However, biochar-700 treatment achieved up to 89% and 82% increase in the SMZ retention in sandy loam and loamy sand soils, respectively. The overall results demonstrated that burcucumber biochar produced at higher temperature was effective in reducing the mobility of SMZ in the studied soils.