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Biochar combined with compost to reduce the mobility, bioavailability and plant uptake of 2,2',4,4'-tetrabrominated diphenyl ether in soil

Xiang, Leilei, Sheng, Hongjie, Gu, Chenggang, Marc, Redmile-Gordon, Wang, Yu, Bian, Yonrong, Jiang, Xin, Wang, Fang
Journal of hazardous materials 2019 v.374 pp. 341-348
Daucus carota, bioavailability, biochar, biodegradation, bioremediation, carrots, composts, corn, corn straw, diphenyl ethers, growing media, horticultural soils, pig manure, pollutants, polluted soils, roots, soil amendments, soil treatment, sorption, vegetable crops
Biochar application to soil is recognised for its capacity to immobilise pollutants (through sorption) while composted inputs can accelerate the biodegradation of organic pollutants. However, little is known about the influence of combined incorporation on plant uptake of organic pollutants. Therefore, we investigated the effects of maize straw-derived biochar (MSB), compost derived from maize straw and pig manure (SMC), and their combination (MSB-SMC) as soil amendments on bioavailability of 2,2',4,4'-tetrabrominated diphenyl ether (BDE-47) and carrot (Daucus carota L.) uptake in a horticultural soil. We found that biochar alone performed well in reducing BDE-47 bioavailability, but was less effective at degrading the pollutant. Conversely, addition of compost stimulated BDE-47 biodegradation. MSB-SMC enhanced BDE-47 biodegradation in soil, reduced contamination of carrot roots, and caused significant reductions in soil extractable BDE-47. The combination of contrasting approaches to remediation thus resulted in the most favorable outcome for a contaminated soil: immobilisation of contaminant from vegetable crops (via biochar) with simultaneous bioremediation of the growing medium. These findings point towards an effective strategy for reducing plant uptake of PDBEs through the combined use of biochar and compost as soil amendment – reducing mobility and facilitating degradation of the accessible contaminant fractions.