Mitigating heavy metal accumulation into rice (Oryza sativa L.) using biochar amendment — A field experiment in Hunan, China

Ruilun Zheng, Zheng Chen, Chao Cai, Baiqing Tie, Xiaoli Liu, Brian J. Reid, Qing Huang, Ming Lei, Guoxin Sun*, Edita Baltrėnaitė

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

136 Citations (Scopus)


A field experimentwas conducted to investigate the effect of bean stalk (BBC) and rice straw (RBC) biochars on the bioavailability of metal(loid)s in soil and their accumulation into rice plants. Phytoavailability of Cd was most dramatically influenced by biochars addition. Both biochars significantly decreased Cd concentrations in iron plaque (35–81 %), roots (30–75 %), shoots (43–79 %) and rice grain (26–71 %). Following biochars addition, Zinc concentrations in roots and shoots decreased by 25.0–44.1 and 19.9–44.2 %, respectively, although no significant decreases were observed in iron plaque and rice grain. Only RBC significantly reduced Pb concentrations in iron plaque (65.0 %) and roots (40.7 %). However, neither biochar significantly changed Pb concentrations in rice shoots and grain. Arsenic phytoavailability was not significantly altered by biochars addition. Calculation of hazard quotients (HQ) associated with rice consumption revealed RBC to represent a promising candidate to mitigate hazards associated with metal(loid) bioaccumulation. RBC reduced Cd HQ from a 5.5 to 1.6. A dynamic factor’s way was also used to evaluate the changes in metal(loid) plant uptake process after the soil amendment with two types of biochar. In conclusion, these results highlight the potential for biochar to mitigate the phytoaccumulation of metal(loid)s and to thereby reduce metal(loid) exposure associated with rice consumption.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)11097-11108
Number of pages12
JournalEnvironmental Science and Pollution Research
Issue number14
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Biochar
  • Hazard quotient
  • Metal(loid)
  • Rice (Oryza sativa L.)
  • Soil contamination

Cite this