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Effect of sulfur and sulfur-iron modified biochar on cadmium availability and transfer in the soil–rice system

Rajendran, Manikandan, Shi, Lizheng, Wu, Chuan, Li, Waichin, An, Wenhui, Liu, Ziyu, Xue, Shengguo
Chemosphere 2019 v.222 pp. 314-322
biochar, cadmium, chlorophyll, developmental stages, food contamination, iron, iron oxides, manganese oxides, paddy soils, polluted soils, pollution, public health, remediation, rhizosphere, rice, roots, shoots, sulfur, tissues, China
Cadmium (Cd) contamination in paddy soils has aroused global concern. Sulfur modified biochar (BC) could combine the benefits of BC and S for Cd remediation. However, no information is available on the impact of sulfur modified biochar on Cd phytoavailability in paddy soils. In this study, a pot experiment was conducted to investigate the effect of sulfur modified biochar (S-BC) and sulfur and iron (Fe) modified biochar (S-Fe BC) on Cd mobility and Cd transfer in the soil-rice system. The application of S-BC and S-Fe BC effectively reduced pore water Cd in the rhizosphere and non-rhizosphere pore water throughout the rice growth stages. S-BC and S-Fe BC addition increased the total chlorophyll content, as well as the root, shoot and grain biomasses of rice. Furthermore, S-BC and S-Fe BC amendments greatly increase the formation of Fe plaque on rice root surface, thus decreasing Cd accumulation in different rice tissues. In particular, S-Fe BC supplementation significantly reduced the Cd concentration in rice grains to 0.018 mg kg−1 in Cd-contaminated soil, which was lower than the China National standard for food contamination limit (0.2 mg kg−1 Cd). Sequential extraction results showed that S-BC and S-Fe BC can promote the transfer of exchangeable Cd to Fe-Mn oxide, organic and residual bound forms which reduce Cd in paddy soils. Thus, the amendment of S-Fe BC to Cd-contaminated paddy soil is an effective strategy to decrease Cd accumulation in rice grains and thereby protect public health.