Application of a full-scale wood gasification biochar as a soil improver to reduce organic pollutant leaching risks

Trinh, Bao-Son, Werner, David and Reid, Brian J. (2017) Application of a full-scale wood gasification biochar as a soil improver to reduce organic pollutant leaching risks. Journal of Chemical Technology and Biotechnology, 92 (8). 1928–1937. ISSN 0268-2575

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BACKGROUND: The application of biochar to sandy loam soil to reduce leaching of three representative pollutants (a persistent hydrocarbon (phenanthrene; logKOW 4.46), a herbicide (isoproturon; logKOW 2.50), and an antibiotic (sulfamethazine; logKOW 0.28)) were investigated. The wood-derived biochar evaluated in our laboratory study was the solid co-product of a full-scale gasifier feeding a combined heat and power plant. The research aimed to demonstrate multiple environmental benefits with the innovative use of this biochar as a soil improver. RESULTS: Batch sorption experiments indicated 5% biochar added to soil enhanced the partitioning coefficient (Kd) by factors of 2 for phenanthrene and 20 for both sulfamethazine and isoproturon. Column leaching experiments indicated a reduced porewater flow rate, up to 80% slower in the column amended with 5% biochar, and reduced pollutant leaching risks. Numerical models interlinked batch and column study observations. CONCLUSION: (i) Biochar enhanced sorption for the hydrophobic pollutant phenanthrene, and also the less hydrophobic pollutants sulfamethazine and isoproturon; (ii) reduced porewater flow rates following biochar amendment gave rise to greater opportunity for pollutant-solid interaction; (iii) mixing with soil resulted in biochar fouling affecting pollutant partition, and (iv) irreversible retention of pollutants by the soil was an important mechanism affecting pollutant transport.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: char,persistant organic pollutants (pops),sorption,diffusion,mass transfer,modelling
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Science > School of Environmental Sciences
Depositing User: Pure Connector
Date Deposited: 01 Feb 2017 02:17
Last Modified: 30 Sep 2021 08:30
DOI: 10.1002/jctb.5219

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