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Combination of biochar amendment and phytoremediation for hydrocarbon removal in petroleum-contaminated soil

Han, Tao, Zhao, Zhipeng, Bartlam, Mark, Wang, Yingying
Environmental science and pollution research international 2016 v.23 no.21 pp. 21219-21228
Lolium, alkanes, biochar, microorganisms, petroleum, phytoremediation, planting, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, soil
Remediation of soils contaminated with petroleum is a challenging task. Four different bioremediation strategies, including natural attenuation, biochar amendment, phytoremediation with ryegrass, and a combination of biochar and ryegrass, were investigated with greenhouse pot experiments over a 90-day period. The results showed that planting ryegrass in soil can significantly improve the removal rate of total petroleum hydrocarbons (TPHs) and the number of microorganisms. Within TPHs, the removal rate of total n-alkanes (45.83 %) was higher than that of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (30.34 %). The amendment of biochar did not result in significant improvement of TPH removal. In contrast, it showed a clear negative impact on the growth of ryegrass and the removal of TPHs by ryegrass. The removal rate of TPHs was significantly lower after the amendment of biochar. The results indicated that planting ryegrass is an effective remediation strategy, while the amendment of biochar may not be suitable for the phytoremediation of soil contaminated with petroleum hydrocarbons.