Regular Articles

Biochar: A review of its impact on pesticide behavior in soil environments and its potential applications


Mahdi Safaei Khorram , Qian Zhang , Dunli Lin , Yuan Zheng , Hua Fang , Yunlong Yu

DOI:10.1016/j.jes.2015.12.027

Received August 12, 2015,Revised October 09, 2015, Accepted December 16, 2015, Available online March 08, 2016

Volume 28,2016,Pages 269-279

Biochar is produced from the pyrolysis of carbon-rich plant- and animal-residues under low oxygen and high temperature conditions and has been increasingly used for its positive role in soil compartmentalization through activities such as carbon sequestration and improving soil quality. Biochar is also considered a unique adsorbent due to its high specific surface area and highly carbonaceous nature. Therefore, soil amendments with small amounts of biochar could result in higher adsorption and, consequently, decrease the bioavailability of contaminants to microbial communities, plants, earthworms, and other organisms in the soil. However, the mechanisms affecting the environmental fate and behavior of organic contaminants, especially pesticides in biochar-amended soil, are not well understood. The purpose of this work is to review the role of biochar in primary processes, such as adsorption–desorption and leaching of pesticides. Biochar has demonstrable effects on the fate and effects of pesticides and has been shown to affect the degradation and bioavailability of pesticides for living organisms. Moreover, some key aspects of agricultural and environmental applications of biochar are highlighted.

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