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Biochar in the remediation of contaminated soils

Abstract

Heavy metals occur naturally in soils or can be increased due to human activities, mainly those associated with mining. Due to the high toxicity and accumulation in the food chain is of great importance to determine the behavior and fate of these elements in contaminated soils. Therefore, such information can help to minimize the ecotoxicological risk. With this proposal we aim to evaluate the effect of biochar (BC) on the mobility of Cd, Pb and Zn in contaminated soils at different pH values, as well as on growth and absorption of these elements and structures of two plant species. In a first experiment five leaching columns will be installed with a contaminated soil by mining, with the following treatments: natural soil pH (6,0-7,0); acidified soil to reach pH H 4,0; natural soil pH with the application of BC (3% m/m); acidified soil with application of BC (13% w/w); lime application to soil to raise pH H 8,0. The leachate will be analyzed for Cd, Pb and Zn concentrations, water soluble carbon, electrical conductivity and pH. After leachings the soil will be sequentially extracted to study the distribution of these elements in different compartiments. In a greenhouse study will be evaluate the effect of BC addition,produced from sugar cane straw, on the absorption and accumulation of Cd, Pb and Zn in jack beans and mucuna plants will be evaluated. Besides, we will evaluate the dry mass yield, the alterations in the structure and ultrastructure by using scanning electron microscope. At The James Hutton Institute, Scotland, will be done greenhouse and laboratory essays with different kinds of biochar and soils with different sources of contamination with metals: natural (serpentine soil), mining (soil from Brazil, previous experiment) and soil which has received wastes (UK). Will be tested different doses of biochar, including those used in previous experiments to evaluate the effect of these on the remediation of soils and plants. It will be also assessed the influence of biochar in decreased ecotoxicity of metals using earthworm as a bioindicator. (AU)

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Scientific publications
(References retrieved automatically from Web of Science and SciELO through information on FAPESP grants and their corresponding numbers as mentioned in the publications by the authors)
PUGA, A. P.; ABREU, C. A.; MELO, L. C. A.; PAZ-FERREIRO, J.; BEESLEY, L.. Cadmium, lead, and zinc mobility and plant uptake in a mine soil amended with sugarcane straw biochar. Environmental Science and Pollution Research, v. 22, n. 22, p. 17606-17614, . (14/04454-9, 12/01799-0)
PUGA, A. P.; ABREU, C. A.; MELO, L. C. A.; BEESLEY, L.. Biochar application to a contaminated soil reduces the availability and plant uptake of zinc, lead and cadmium. Journal of Environmental Management, v. 159, p. 86-93, . (14/04454-9, 12/01799-0)

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