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A review of biochars’ potential role in the remediation, revegetation and restoration of contaminated soils

Beesley, L., Moreno-Jimenez, E., Gomez-Eyles, J., Harris, E., Robinson, B. and Sizmur, T. (2011) A review of biochars’ potential role in the remediation, revegetation and restoration of contaminated soils. Environmental Pollution, 159 (12). pp. 3269-3282. ISSN 0269-7491

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1016/j.envpol.2011.07.023

Abstract/Summary

Biochars are biological residues combusted under low oxygen conditions, resulting in a porous, low density carbon rich material. Their large surface areas and cation exchange capacities, determined to a large extent by source materials and pyrolysis temperatures, enables enhanced sorption of both organic and inorganic contaminants to their surfaces, reducing pollutant mobility when amending contaminated soils. Liming effects or release of carbon into soil solution may increase arsenic mobility, whilst low capital but enhanced retention of plant nutrients can restrict revegetation on degraded soils amended only with biochars; the combination of composts, manures and other amendments with biochars could be their most effective deployment to soils requiring stabilisation by revegetation. Specific mechanisms of contaminant-biochar retention and release over time and the environmental impact of biochar amendments on soil organisms remain somewhat unclear but must be investigated to ensure that the management of environmental pollution coincides with ecological sustainability.

Item Type:Article
Refereed:Yes
Divisions:Faculty of Science > School of Archaeology, Geography and Environmental Science > Department of Geography and Environmental Science
Interdisciplinary centres and themes > Soil Research Centre
ID Code:40791
Uncontrolled Keywords:Biochar; PAH; Heavy metals; Soil degradation; Pollution; Environmental clean-up
Publisher:Elsevier

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