Enhancement of chromate reduction in soils by surface modified biochar

Sanchita Mandal, Binoy Sarkar, Nanthi Bolan, Yong Sik Ok, Ravi Naidu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

135 Citations (Scopus)


Chromium (Cr) is one of the common metals present in the soils and may have an extremely deleterious environmental impact depending on its redox state. Among two common forms, trivalent Cr(III) is less toxic than hexavalent Cr(VI) in soils. Carbon (C) based materials including biochar could be used to alleviate Cr toxicity through converting Cr(VI) to Cr(III). Incubation experiments were conducted to examine Cr(VI) reduction in different soils (Soil 1: pH 7.5 and Soil 2: pH 5.5) with three manures from poultry (PM), cow (CM) and sheep (SM), three respective manure-derived biochars (PM biochar (PM-BC), CM biochar (CM-BC) and SM biochar (SM-BC)) and two modified biochars (modified PM-BC (PM-BC-M) and modified SM-BC (SM-BC-M)). Modified biochar was synthesized by incorporating chitosan and zerovalent iron (ZVI) during pyrolysis. Among biochars, highest Cr(VI) reduction was observed with PM-BC application (5%; w/w) (up to 88.12 mg kg−1; 45% reduction) in Soil 2 (pH 5.5). The modified biochars enhanced Cr(VI) reduction by 55% (SM-BC-M) compared to manure (29%, SM) and manure-derived biochars (40% reduction, SM-BC). Among the modified biochars, SM-BC-M showed a higher Cr(VI) reduction rate (55%) than PM-BC-M (48%) in Soil 2. Various oxygen-containing surface functional groups such as phenolic, carboxyl, carbonyl, etc. on biochar surface might act as a proton donor for Cr(VI) reduction and subsequent Cr(III) adsorption. This study underpins the immense potential of modified biochar in remediation of Cr(VI) contaminated soils.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)277-284
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Environmental Management
Publication statusPublished - 2017 Jan 15
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 Elsevier Ltd


  • Animal manure
  • Black carbon
  • Charcoal
  • Designer biochar
  • Engineered biochar

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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