Biochar-induced metal immobilization and soil biogeochemical process: An integrated mechanistic approach

Ali El-Naggar, Mi Hee Lee, Jin Hur, Young Han Lee, Avanthi Deshani Igalavithana, Sabry M. Shaheen, Changkook Ryu, Jörg Rinklebe, Daniel C.W. Tsang, Yong Sik Ok

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

127 Citations (Scopus)


The nature of biochar-derived dissolved organic matter (DOM) has a crucial role in the interactions between biochar and metal immobilization, carbon dynamics, and microbial communities in soil. This study utilized excitation–emission matrix coupled with parallel factor analysis (EEM-PARAFAC) modeling to provide mechanistic evidence of biochar-induced influences on main soil biogeochemical processes. Three biochars produced from rice straw, wood, and grass residues were added to sandy and sandy loam soils and incubated for 473 d. Microbial and terrestrial humic-like fluorescent components were identified in the soils after incubation. The sandy loam soil exhibited a higher DOM with microbial sources than did the sandy soil. All biochars reduced Pb bioavailability, whereas the rice straw biochar enhanced the As bioavailability in the sandy loam soil. The biochar-derived aliphatic-DOM positively correlated with As bioavailability (r = 0.82) in the sandy loam soil and enhanced the cumulative CO2-C (r = 0.59) in the sandy soil. The promoted cumulative CO2-C in the sandy soil with all biochars correlated with the enhanced microbial communities, in particular, gram-positive (r = 0.59) and gram-negative (r = 0.59) bacteria. Our results suggest that the integration of EEM-PARAFAC with spectroscopic indices could be useful for a comprehensive interpretation of the soil quality changes in response to the application of biochar.

Original languageEnglish
Article number134112
JournalScience of the Total Environment
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2020


  • Carbon dynamics
  • CO efflux
  • Microbial analysis
  • Toxic element

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Pollution


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