Biochar accelerates PAHs biodegradation in petroleum-polluted soil by biostimulation strategy
Journal of Hazardous Materials
Pollution is a pretty big problem worldwide, especially in China. Years of lax regulation has created land, water, and air that are far from optimal when it comes to plant and human health. Remediation of theses polluted natural resources is of a growing concern for both public health and future economics.
A group of scientists from the Shijiazhuang University in Hebei, China wanted to see what effect biochar has on helping petroleum polluted soils. Specifically, they looked at biochar made with either sawdust or wheat straw, cooked at either 300C or 500C, and their effect on reducing Polycyclic Aromatic Hdyrocarbons (aka PHAs).
The biologically-minded scientists found that the addition of biochar helped to reduce soil PAH content, though only significantly so with the biochar produced under the hotter, 500C preparation. There was no difference in results between sawdust of wheat straw. Laboratory analysis showed that the addition of biochar actually promoted the growth of PAH degrading bacteria. The experiment showed that the high-heat biochar established favorable soil conditions for microorganisms able to degrade the toxic PAHs. Studies like this show that biochar is likely to play a major role in soil remediation worldwide.