Environmental Science and Pollution Research

, Volume 26, Issue 19, pp 19738–19748 | Cite as

Effect mechanism of biochar’s zeta potential on farmland soil’s cadmium immobilization

  • Mengfan Hong
  • Limei ZhangEmail author
  • Zhongxin TanEmail author
  • Qiaoyun Huang
Research Article


In situ passivation of heavy metals by biochar mainly focuses on the effect of biochar’s pH, surface oxygen-containing functional groups (OCFGs), and ash content. In this paper, starting with the measurement of biochar’s electrical properties under different pyrolysis atmospheres and temperatures, the changes in the zeta potential of biochar and the consequent effects on cadmium immobilization in soil are studied. The results show that the zeta potential of biochar from the pyrolysis of high temperature (800 °C) is higher than that of biochar at low temperatures, so its electronegativity is weaker than that of biochar at low temperatures, but the protective effect on wheat is stronger than that of biochar obtained at low temperatures. The zeta potential of biochar obtained under a CO2 atmosphere was higher than that of biochar prepared under a N2 atmosphere, so its protective effect on wheat was stronger than that of biochar under N2. The reason is that biochar particles with a high zeta potential and weak electronegativity have higher cohesion and are better at in situ passivation of Cd in soils. Namely, biochar obtained at high pyrolysis temperatures (800 °C) and prepared under a CO2 atmosphere has better effect on Cd immobilization.


Biochar Heavy metal Cd Zeta potential Electronegativity Colloidal cohesion 


Funding information

This study was supported by the National Key Research and Development Program of China (2016YFD0800702, 2018YFD0800703), the National Natural Science Foundation of China (No.41571283), and the Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities (2662018PY078)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Hubei Key Laboratory of Soil Environment and Pollution Remediation, College of Resources and EnvironmentHuazhong Agricultural UniversityWuhanPeople’s Republic of China

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