, Volume 28, Issue 10, pp 1220–1231 | Cite as

Rice busk biochar treatment to cobalt-polluted fluvo-aquic soil: speciation and enzyme activities

  • Borui Liu
  • Qing HuangEmail author
  • Yuefeng Su
  • Liuye Sun
  • Tong Wu
  • Guange Wang
  • Ryan M. Kelly


Rice busk biochar was mixed with cobalt (Co)-polluted soil to examine the efficacy of biochar for Co immobilization and detoxification in fluvo-aquic soil. The Co speciation (modified BCR sequential extraction), fluorescein diacetate (FDA) hydrolysis and soil enzyme activities were investigated. In soil, the Co ions (acid-soluble fraction) could be uptake by biochar due to the microporous structure on the surface, as well as the oxygen-containing functional groups and conjugated structure in the molecular structure. Therefore, when the biochar concentration was lower than the optimum concentration (~6 g·kg−1), there was transformation of Co from the acid-soluble fraction to the oxidizable fraction, resulting in lower environmental risk. However, if the biochar concentration continued increasing, the distribution coefficient of Co in the acid-soluble fraction increased (P < 0.05). The biochar could also reduce the toxicity of Co, resulting in the negative correlations between soil enzyme activities (FDA hydrolysis, urease and alkaline phosphatases) and Co in the acid-soluble fraction (r = –0.816, –0.928 and –0.908, respectively, P < 0.01). When the biochar concentration ranged from 5.83 to 6.76 g·kg−1, the efficacy for Co immobilization and detoxification reached the maxima. To conclude, in fluvo-aquic soil, rice busk biochar is an effective amendment for immobilizing Co ions and reducing the toxicity of Co. The biochar concentration in soil should range from 5.83 to 6.76 g·kg−1 to reach the optimum efficacy.


Soil pollution Cobalt BCR sequential extraction Biochar Ecotoxicological effects Enzyme 



This study was funded by the Beijing Key Laboratory Construction Project, Beijing Municipal Education Commission Joint Construction Program (20160939023).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

10646_2019_2134_MOESM1_ESM.docx (225 kb)
Supplementary Information


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Materials Science and Engineering, Beijing Institute of TechnologyBeijingChina
  2. 2.Rykell Scientific Editorial, LLCLos AngelesUSA

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