A paddy field study of arsenic and cadmium pollution control by using iron-modified biochar and silica sol together.Environ Sci Pollut Res Int. 2019 Aug; 26(24):24979-24987.ES
Under flooded conditions in paddy soil, the mobility of As increases while the mobility of Cd decreases. The opposite geochemical behavior of As and Cd makes it difficult to reduce their mobilities simultaneously. Our recent study found that combined applications of biochar and zero-valent iron successfully reduced the mobilities of As and Cd simultaneously. On this basis, in the present study, an iron-modified biochar (Fe-BC) was developed, and its effect on decreasing the accumulations of As and Cd in rice was verified in a 2-year field trial. In addition, previous studies indicated that silicon fertilizer can also reduce As and Cd accumulation in rice grain. Hence, the effect of the combined or separate application of Fe-BC and silica sol on As and Cd accumulation in rice grain was investigated. Over the 2-year field trial, the grain yields decreased in the following order: iron-modified biochar plus silica sol (Fe-BC plus Si) > silica sol (Si) > Fe-BC > control (CK). Concentrations of As and Cd in brown rice were in the order: Fe-BC plus Si < Si ≈ Fe-BC < CK. The treatments of Fe-BC and Fe-BC plus Si significantly increased the soil pH and thus decreased available As and available Cd in the soil. In addition, significantly positive correlations between available As and As in brown rice and between available Cd and Cd in brown rice were found. In conclusion, co-application of iron-modified biochar and silica sol should be a recommended strategy to reduce the accumulation of As and Cd in rice grains.