Impact of activated carbon, biochar and compost on the desorption and mineralization of phenanthrene in soil

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The addition of PAH-sorbing amendments to contaminated soil reduces their freely dissolved concentrations which limits their bioavailability and uptake by organisms. On the one hand this can lead to reduced toxicity, but on the other hand can also decrease biodegradation. This study compared the abiotic desorption and mineralization of 14C-labelled phenanthrene (≤ 5 mg kg-1) in sandy loam soils with varying clay or organic matter contents, and amended with either activated charcoal (AC), charcoal, or compost. First, the maximum abiotic desorption of phenanthrene from suspensions of three different soils, either unamended or amended with AC, charcoal, or compost, was investigated over 24 days by measuring the cumulative desorption into an infinite silicone sink. The total amounts of phenanthrene desorbed were similar between the three soils (95 to 106% for the unamended controls), and lowest when amended with AC (6 to 10%), followed by charcoal (38 to 44%), and compost (87 to 106%). Second, the mineralization of phenanthrene sorbed to suspensions of one of the soils plus the different amendments by Sphingomonas sp. (DSM 12247) was followed over 15 days. The cumulative amounts mineralized ranged between 3 to 5% for AC, 10 to 15% for charcoal, and 15 to 22% for compost, compared to 25 to 31% for unamended control. Therefore, the effect of the soil amendments in reducing the abiotic desorption was reflected in their effects on the extent of mineralization. Interestingly, compost negatively affected both desorption and mineralization. Since the reduction in phenanthrene desorption in the presence of AC and charcoal was also reflected in a reduced mineralization, this implies that these particular amendments will hinder bioremediation.
TidsskriftEnvironmental Pollution
Sider (fra-til)200-210
StatusUdgivet - 2013

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