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Effect of biochar on heavy metal immobilization and uptake by lettuce (Lactuca sativa L.) in agricultural soil

TitleEffect of biochar on heavy metal immobilization and uptake by lettuce (Lactuca sativa L.) in agricultural soil
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2015
AuthorsKim, Hyuck-Soo, Kim Kwon-Rae, Kim Ho-Jin, Yoon Jung-Hwan, Yang Jae E., Ok Yong Sik, Owens Gary, and Kim Kye-Hoon
JournalEnvironmental Earth Sciences

Many remediation options have been applied to the heavy metal-contaminated agricultural soils nearby abandoned mining sites mainly due to hazard effects of heavy metals to human through agricultural crop dietary. Hence, the current study was carried to examine the heavy metal immobilizing effect of biochar produced from rice hull and subsequent heavy metal uptake by lettuce. Rice hull biochar was incorporated into a heavy metal-contaminated upland soil at six application rates (0, 0.5, 1, 2, 5, and 10 % (v/v)) and soil biochar mixtures were examined using both incubation and pot trials for cultivation of lettuce. Incubation studies showed that biochar incorporation induced significant declines (>80 %) in the phytoavailable metal pool as assessed via 1 M NH4NO3 extraction, possibly due to increased heavy metal adsorption onto the applied biochar and increases in soil pH. Similar results were also observed in pot trials, where the uptake of heavy metals by lettuce was significantly reduced as biochar application rate increased. Despite the significant decline in soil phytoavailable metal pools, lettuce growth still declined as biochar application rate increased. This was attributed to the adsorption of available nitrogen on to the biochar resulting in nitrogen deficiency. Therefore, when the biochar is used for metal immobilization in agricultural soils, maintaining soil nutrient status should be also considered to ensure optimum growth of the crop plants besides metal immobilization rate.

Short TitleEnviron Earth Sci