Investigation into arsenic retention in arid contaminated soils with biochar application

  • Kiran HinaEmail author
  • Maham Abbas
  • Qaiser Hussain
  • Muhammad Arshad
  • Shafaqat Ali
  • Muhammad Rizwan
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Implications of Biochar Application to Soil Environment under Arid Conditions


The contamination of arsenic (As) in soil and groundwater has posed serious hazards to food chain and ecosystem. The aim of the present study was to assess the impacts of different biochar (rice husk biochar and plant biowaste biochar at 10 and 20 t ha−1) on the retention and immobilization of As in wheat. For this purpose, soil and herbage samples were collected in the vicinity of Gujranwala, Pakistan, and characterized for different physicochemical parameters. Pot experiment was carried out on wheat plant to check the effect and uptake of As (at two concentrations, i.e., 10 and 15 mg L−1) from irrigation water as affected by biochar. The results of the collected samples showed a minimum concentration of As and maximum concentration of lead (Pb) in Gujranwala City. Moreover, iron (Fe), chromium (Cr), and manganese (Mn) were the dominant elements in the sampling area. The application of biochar increased the plant biomass of wheat as compared to control. Among the studied biochars, the application of plant biowaste biochar significant increased the retention and immobilization of As at a higher level (15 mg L−1). However, the rich husk performs better at lower As level (10 mg L−1). Both the studied amendments increased the immobilization of As but plant biowaste biochar was more effective. The plant waste biochar could be used to improve agricultural production in polluted soil by minimizing the risk of food chain contamination.


Biochar Arsenic retention Contaminated soil Wheat 



The authors acknowledge the University of Gujrat, Gujrat for the provision of support.

Funding information

The authors are thankful to the Higher Education Commission, Pakistan, for the funding.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.


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Copyright information

© Saudi Society for Geosciences 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kiran Hina
    • 1
    Email author
  • Maham Abbas
    • 1
  • Qaiser Hussain
    • 2
  • Muhammad Arshad
    • 3
  • Shafaqat Ali
    • 4
  • Muhammad Rizwan
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of Environmental Sciences, Hafiz Hayat CampusUniversity of GujratGujratPakistan
  2. 2.Department of Soil Science and SWCArid Agriculture UniversityRawalpindiPakistan
  3. 3.Institute of Environmental Sciences and Engineering (IESE), School of Civil and Environmental Engineering (SCEE)National University of Sciences and Technology (NUST)IslamabadPakistan
  4. 4.Department of Environmental SciencesGovernment College University FaisalabadFaisalabadPakistan

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