Application of Biochar as an Adsorbent and Its Significance on Berseem (Trifolium alexandrinum) Growth Parameters in Farm Soil Contaminated with PAH

Abstract

Soil properties can be significantly influenced by the addition of biochar and are known to enhance plant productivity and soil quality. Berseem acts as a good phytoaccumulator. The main aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of different concentrations of biochar on plant height, biomass, and chlorophyll content and on PAHs adsorption capacity at different time intervals. Sixteen treatment combinations were designed in three replicates for a total 144 pots. A soil/biochar (w/w) mixture and poly-aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) content (50 mg kg−1 naphthalene and 100 mg kg−1 phenanthrene) of suitable ratio for each application was used for filling different pots, having dimensions of 19.6 cm diameter × 20.6 cm height. Various qualitative and quantitative methods were followed for further analysis of soil, plant, and biochar samples. Maximum plant height and plant biomass were observed at 5% and 10% biochar level in the soil as compared to control. Total available nutrients increased with biochar application rate. Increase in biochar concentration resulted in increased PAH adsorption capacity, thereby making it less available to cause the negative effect on plant growth parameters. Bio-concentration factor significantly decreased with increased biochar concentration in soil, i.e., from 92.5 to 5.31 in phenanthrene-contaminated soil and from 17.4 to 1.36 in mixed contaminated soil as compared to control. These results significantly prove that biochar enhanced the PAHs adsorption capacity as well as removal efficiency and crop yield. This study also shows the effectiveness of biochar on contaminant remediation with the help of Trifolium alexandrinum.

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Acknowledgments

Author Varinder Kaur is highly thankful to the “Maulana Azad National Fellowship for Minority Students” formulated and funded by the Ministry of Minority Affairs and UGC-SAP for financial assistance.

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Kaur, V., Sharma, P. Application of Biochar as an Adsorbent and Its Significance on Berseem (Trifolium alexandrinum) Growth Parameters in Farm Soil Contaminated with PAH. J Soil Sci Plant Nutr 20, 806–819 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s42729-019-00167-z

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Keywords

  • Berseem
  • Poly-aromatic hydrocarbon
  • Biochar
  • Bio-concentration factor
  • Crop productivity