Heavy metal immobilization and microbial community abundance by vegetable waste and pine cone biochar of agricultural soils

Avanthi Deshani Igalavithana, Sung Eun Lee, Young Han Lee, Daniel C.W. Tsang, Jörg Rinklebe, Eilhann E. Kwon, Yong Sik Ok

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

188 Citations (Scopus)


Biochar was produced by vegetable waste, pine cone, and their mixture (1:1 ww−1) at 200 °C (torrefied biomass) and 500 °C (biochar). Contaminated soils were incubated with 5% (ww−1) torrefied biomass or biochar. Sequential extraction, thermodynamic modeling, and scanning electron microscopy equipped with energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy were used to evaluate the metal immobilization. Microbial communities were characterized by microbial fatty acid profiles and microbial activity was assessed by dehydrogenase activity. Vegetable waste and the mixture of vegetable waste and pine cone biochar exhibited greater ability for Pb immobilization than pine cone biochar and three torrefied biomass, and vegetable waste biochar was found to be most effective. However, torrefied biomass was most effective in increasing both microbial community and dehydrogenase activity. This study confirms that vegetable waste could be a vital biomass to produce biochar to immobilize Pb, and increase the microbial communities and enzyme activity in soils. Biomass and pyrolytic temperature were not found to be effective in the immobilization of As in this study.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)593-603
Number of pages11
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2017


  • Black carbon
  • Enzyme activity
  • Food waste
  • PLFA
  • Soil remediation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Chemistry(all)

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