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Influence of Al-oxide on pesticide sorption to woody biochars with different surface areas

Shou, Jianxin, Dong, Huaping, Li, Jianfa, Zhong, Jiaxing, Li, Saijun, Lü, Jinhong, Li, Yimin
Environmental science and pollution research international 2016 v.23 no.19 pp. 19156-19163
aluminum oxide, bioavailability, biochar, desorption, hysteresis, isoproturon, porosity, soil, soil amendments, soil treatment
Biochars’ properties will change after application in soil due to the interactions with soil constituents, which would then impact the performance of biochars as soil amendment. For a better understanding on these interactions, two woody biochars of different surface areas (SA) were physically treated with aluminum oxide (Al-oxide) to investigate its potential influence on biochars’ sorption property. Both the micropore area and mesopore (17∼500 Å in diameter) area of the low-SA biochar were enhanced by at least 1.5 times after treatment with Al-oxide, whereas the same treatment did not change the surface characteristics of the high-SA biochar due partly to its well-developed porosity. The enhanced sorption of the pesticide isoproturon to the Al-oxide-treated low-SA biochar was observed and is positively related to the increased mesopore area. The desorption hysteresis of pesticide from the low-SA biochar was strengthened because of more pesticide molecules entrapped in the expanded pores by Al-oxide. However, no obvious change of pesticide sorption to the high-SA biochar after Al-oxide treatment was observed, corresponding to its unchanged porosity. The results suggest that the influence of Al-oxide on the biochars’ sorption property is dependent on their porosity. This study will provide valuable information on the use of biochars for reducing the bioavailability of pesticides.