The convertion of sewage sludge to biochar as a sustainable tool of PAHs exposure reduction during agricultural utilization of sewage sludges

Beata Tomczyk, Anna Siatecka, Yanzheng Gao, Yong Sik Ok, Aleksandra Bogusz, Patryk Oleszczuk

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

There is a discussion in the literature whether PAHs introduced with biochar are safe and whether they are persistent in the environment. The persistence of PAHs (Ctot – total and Cfree – freely dissolved) in sewage sludge (SSL) or SSL-derived biochar-amended soils was investigated. Biochar were produced at 500, 600 and 700 °C. We also compared the persistence of PAHs in these experimental treatments depending on the plants cultivated (grass, clover and thale cress). We showed that the Ctot PAHs in the biochar-amended soils exhibited higher persistence than in the SSL-amended soil. The opposite trend was observed for Cfree PAHs. A higher reduction of Cfree PAHs was noted in the biochar-amended soils than in SSL-amended soil. The persistence of both Cfree and Ctot PAHs clearly varied between the biochars produced at different temperatures. It should be stated that despite that for biochar the persistence of Ctot PAHs is higher compared to SSL-amended soils, an opposite trend is observed for the fraction of Cfree (which is directly responsible for the toxic effect), and this entails a lower risk to the environment (lower mobility and bioavailability). The plants had a significant impact on Ctot PAHs content depending on the number of PAH rings.

Original languageEnglish
Article number122416
JournalJournal of hazardous materials
Volume392
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Jun 15

Keywords

  • Bioavailability
  • Biochar
  • Charcoal
  • PAHs
  • Sewage sludge

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Pollution
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis

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