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ARS Home » Midwest Area » St. Paul, Minnesota » Soil and Water Management Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #306058


Location: Soil and Water Management Research

Title: Characterization and selection of biochar for an efficient retention of tricyclazole in a flooded alluvial paddy soil

item GARCIA-JARAMILLO, MANUEL - University Of Sevilla
item COX, LUCIA - University Of Sevilla
item KNICKER, HEIKE - University Of Sevilla
item CORNEJO, JUAN - University Of Sevilla
item Spokas, Kurt
item DEL CARMEN HERMOSIN, MARIA - University Of Sevilla

Submitted to: Journal of Hazardous Materials
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/29/2014
Publication Date: 11/11/2014
Publication URL:
Citation: Garcia-Jaramillo, M., Cox, L., Knicker, H., Cornejo, J., Spokas, K.A., Del Carmen Hermosin, M. 2014. Characterization and selection of biochar for an efficient retention of tricyclazole in a flooded alluvial paddy soil. Journal of Hazardous Materials. 286:581-588.

Interpretive Summary: Biochar has been hyped as an amendment that can drastically change the sorption of various agrochemicals and nutrients, thus reducing off-field transport. However, all biochars have different properties and guidelines for its use are not known. This study examined 7 different biochars along with different combinations of additions (with and without compost) to evaluate its potential use as a remediation tool to reduce fungicide loss in flooded rice soils. The biochar properties were characterized by various analytical techniques. We also examined the sorbed material initially present on the biochar to look at the competitive effect on fungicide sorption. The biochars used did sorb the fungicide (tricyclazole) with an overall correlation to pyrolysis temperature, biochar pH, and surface area. Our results show that a biochar amendment with a mixture of compost has the optimum effective on sorption as well as maintaining the overall chemical activity of the fungicide. These results are significant to farmers and policy makers and will assist scientists and engineers in developing guidelines for the potential use of biochar as a tool in reducing field chemical losses.

Technical Abstract: Biochars, produced from different organic residues, are increasingly proposed as soil amendment for their agronomic and environmental benefits. Nevertheless, a systematic detection method that relates correlates the biochar properties of these biochars to their ability to adsorb organic compounds is still lacking. In this study, seven biochars obtained after pyrolysis at different temperatures and from different feedstock were characterized and tested to reveal sustainable potential formsremedial forms of for pesticide application capture in flooded soils. Their Biochar properties were determined by nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy, Fourier transform infrared (FT-IR) spectroscopy, specific surface area (SSA) determination, scanning electron microscope (SEM) examination and elemental composition. In addition, dissolved organic matter (DOM) from these biochars was extracted and quantified in order to evaluate the effect on pesticide sorption. The biochars used presented high affinity to the fungicide tricyclazole and this affinity was positively correlated with the pyrolysis temperature, the pH, the increased SSA of the biochars, and with the enhanced aromaticity. On the other hand, their sorptive capacities were negatively related to DOM production. The results also show that the amendment with a mixture of compost and biochar endows the alluvial soil with high sorptive properties without impeding the slow release of tricyclazole, increasing its efficiency under flooded conditions.