Environmental Chemistry Letters

, Volume 16, Issue 2, pp 615–622 | Cite as

Red mud-modified biochar reduces soil arsenic availability and changes bacterial composition

  • Qi Zou
  • Wenhui An
  • Chuan Wu
  • Waichin Li
  • Anqin Fu
  • Ruiyang Xiao
  • Huikang Chen
  • Shengguo Xue
Original Paper


Worldwide arsenic (As) contamination in soils induces pollution of surface and ground waters, reduces crop quality and yield, and threatens human health. Biochar-based material has been proposed as ameliorants for contaminated soils. Here soil incubations were conducted to investigate the effects of biochar, red mud and red mud-modified biochar on the pH, total organic carbon content, sodium bicarbonate (NaHCO3)-extractable As concentration and microbial community composition of As-contaminated soils. Results show red mud-modified biochar reduces the concentration of NaHCO3-extractable As by 27%, whereas this concentration increases by 23% using biochar alone and 6% using red mud alone. Similar trends are observed for HCl-extractable As. The red mud and red mud-modified biochar treatments increased the relative abundance of Proteobacteria and its affiliated genera, such as Kaistobacter, Rhodanobacter and Rhodoplanes.


Arsenic Biochar Iron Microbial community Red mud Soil 



Financial supports from National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 41771512), the Research Grants Council of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, China (No. 28100014), the Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities of Central South University (No. 2017zzts598) and the open fund for valuable instruments and equipment of Central South University (No. CSUZC201712) are gratefully acknowledged. Chuan Wu acknowledged the Croucher Chinese Visitorships 2017/2018 of Hong Kong.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Metallurgy and EnvironmentCentral South UniversityChangshaPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.Department of Science and Environmental StudiesThe Education University of Hong KongTai PoPeople’s Republic of China
  3. 3.Spic Yuanda Environmental Protection Co., LtdChongqingPeople’s Republic of China

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