DOI:https://doi.org/10.3232/SJSS.2017.V7.N2.03

Effect of waste mixed with biochar as soil amendment on trace element solubility in a mine soil

Alfonso Rodríguez-Vila, Rubén Forján, Rafael S. Guedes, Emma F. Covelo

Abstract

Abandoned mining sites often cause contamination of surface and subsurface waters. A 3-month pot experiment was performed to evaluate the influence of waste mixed with biochar as a soil amendment on a series of chemical characteristics and trace element solubility in a mine soil. Trace element concentrations were measured in pore water of the mine soil reclaimed with different proportions of waste-biochar amendment (20, 40, 80 and 100%) and grown with Brassica juncea. The results showed that amendment application improved soil conditions such as pH, total carbon, dissolved organic carbon, total nitrogen, and strongly reduced the concentration of Al (99.99%), Co (99.95%), Cu (99.97%), Fe (99.79%) and Ni (99.91%) in pore water, compared to the unamended soils. Waste and biochar also promoted the establishment of B. juncea in the mine soil. These results highlight the importance of mitigating the impacts from abandoned mines sites on water quality. The use of waste and biochar as soil amendment combined with B. juncea plants was effective in reducing metal concentrations in pore water and the associated toxicity risk.

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