Journal of Hazardous Materials, Vol.191, No.1-3, 41-48, 2011
Efficiency of green waste compost and biochar soil amendments for reducing lead and copper mobility and uptake to ryegrass
Green waste compost and biochar amendments were assessed for their assistance in regulating the mobility of copper (Cu) and lead (Pb) and the resultant uptake of these metals into vegetation. The amendments were mixed with a heavily Cu and Pb contaminated soil (600 and 21,000 mg kg(-1), respectively) from a former copper mine in Cheshire (UK), on a volume basis both singly and in combination in greenhouse pot trials. Ryegrass (Lolium perenne L. var. Cadix) was grown for the following 4 months during which biomass, metals in soil pore water and plant uptake were measured in three consecutive harvests. Very high Pb concentrations in pore water from untreated soil (>80 mg l(-1)) were reduced furthest by compost amendment (<5 mg l(-1)) whereas biochar was the more effective treatment at reducing pore water Cu concentrations. Duly, ryegrass shoot Cu levels were reduced and large, significant reductions in shoot Pb levels were observed after biochar and compost amendments, respectively during successive harvests. However, because green waste compost singly and in combination with biochar vividly enhanced biomass yields, harvestable amounts of Pb were only significantly reduced by the compost amendment which had reduced shoot Pb levels furthest. The low biomass of ryegrass with biochar amendment meant that this was the only amendment which did not significantly increase harvestable amounts of Cu. Therefore the two amendments have opposing metal specific suitability for treating this contaminated soil regarding whether it is a maximum reduction in plant tissue metal concentration or a maximum reduction in harvestable amount of metal that is required. (C) 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.