Release and sedimentation behaviors of biochar colloids in soil solutions

Daohui Lin , Qingkang Meng , Liang Jin , Leilei Cheng , Jing Fang


Received May 16, 2020,Revised , Accepted August 05, 2020, Available online August 14, 2020

Volume 100,2021,Pages 269-278

The release of biochar colloids considerably affects the stability of biochar in environment. Currently, information on the release behavior and suspension stability of biochar colloids in real soil solutions is scarce. In this study, 20 soils were collected from different districts in China and the release behavior of biochar colloids and their suspension stability in soil solutions were systematically examined. The results showed that both pyrolysis temperature and biomass source had important effects on the formation of biochar colloids in soil solutions. The formation amount of biochar colloids from low pyrolysis temperatures (400 °C) (average amount of 9.33–16.41 mg/g) were significantly higher than those from high pyrolysis temperatures (700 °C) (average amount of less than 2 mg/g). The formation amount of wheat straw-derived biochar colloids were higher than those of rice straw-derived biochar colloids probably due to the higher O/C ratio in wheat-straw biochar. Further, biochar colloidal formation amount was negatively correlated with comprehensive effect of dissolved organic carbon, Fe and Al in soil solutions. The sedimentation curve of biochar colloids in soil solutions is well described by an exponential model and demonstrated high suspension stability. Around 40% of the biochar colloids were maintained in the suspension at the final sedimentation equilibrium. The settling efficiency of biochar colloids was positively correlated with comprehensive effect of the ionic strength and K, Ca, Na, and Mg contents in soil solutions. Our findings help promote a deeper understanding of biochar loss and stability in the soil-water environment.

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