Chemical stabilization of Cd-contaminated soil using fresh and aged wheat straw biochar


Metal mining and smelting activities can introduce a substantial amount of potentially toxic elements (PTE) into the environment that can persist for an extended period. That can limit the productivity of the land and creates dangerous effects on ecosystem services. The effectiveness of wheat straw biochar to immobilize Cd in contaminated soil due to metal smelting activities was investigated in this study. The biochar carbon stability and long-term provisioning of services depend on the biochar production conditions, nature of the feedstock, and the biotic and abiotic environmental conditions in which the biochar is being used. Within this context, three types of wheat straw biochar were produced using a screw reactor at 400 °C, 500 °C, and 600 °C and tested in a laboratory incubation study. Soil was amended with 2 wt% of biochar. Both fresh and aged forms of biochar were used. Biochars produced at lower temperatures were characterized by lower pH, a lower amount of stable C, and higher amounts of acidic surface functional groups than the freshly produced biochars at higher production temperatures. At the end of the 6 months of incubation time, compared to the soil only treatment, fresh and aged forms of wheat straw biochar produced at 600 °C reduced the Cd concentration in soil pore water by 22% and 15%, respectively. Our results showed that the aged forms of biochar produced at higher production temperatures (500 °C and 600 °C) immobilized Cd more efficiently than the aged forms of lower temperature biochar (400 °C). The findings of this study provide insights to choose the production parameters in wheat straw biochar production while considering their aging effect to achieve successful stabilization of Cd in contaminated soils.

Publication DOI:
Divisions: College of Engineering & Physical Sciences > Energy and Bioproducts Research Institute (EBRI)
College of Engineering & Physical Sciences > School of Infrastructure and Sustainable Engineering > Chemical Engineering & Applied Chemistry
College of Engineering & Physical Sciences > Aston Institute of Materials Research (AIMR)
College of Engineering & Physical Sciences
Funding Information: Results incorporated in this paper received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant agreement No 721991.
Additional Information: © Springer Nature B.V. 2020. The final publication is available at Springer via
Uncontrolled Keywords: Accelerated aging,Biochar stability,Cd contaminated soil,Soil remediation,Wheat straw biochar,Environmental Chemistry,Pollution,Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis
Publication ISSN: 1614-7499
Last Modified: 11 Jun 2024 07:23
Date Deposited: 18 Nov 2020 14:20
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Related URLs: http://www.scop ... tnerID=8YFLogxK (Scopus URL)
https://link.sp ... 356-020-11574-6 (Publisher URL)
PURE Output Type: Article
Published Date: 2021-02
Published Online Date: 2020-11-09
Accepted Date: 2020-11-05
Authors: Rathnayake, Dilani
Rego, Filipe (ORCID Profile 0000-0002-8518-5440)
Van Poucke, Reinhart
Bridgwater, Anthony V. (ORCID Profile 0000-0001-7362-6205)
Mašek, Ondřej
Meers, Erik
Wang, Jiawei (ORCID Profile 0000-0001-5690-9107)
Yang, Yang (ORCID Profile 0000-0003-2075-3803)
Ronsse, Frederik



Version: Accepted Version

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