Effect of biochar and biological treatments on nutrient elements content (P, K, Ca, Mg, Fe and Mn) of Amaranthus in oil polluted soil

Document Type : Research Paper


University of Tehran


The presence of petroleum compounds in the soil causes environmental problems. Therefore, attempting to remediate contaminated soils is important. The present study was aimed at studying the effects of (1) different levels of biochar obtained from urban wastes and (2) the bacterium that degrades petroleum hydrocarbons on levels of nutrients in amaranth. The treatments were raw oil (0 , 2.5, and 5%; weight-based), biochar obtained from urban waste compost and fresh urban wastes (0, 1, and 2 %, weight-based), and bacterium (with and without Pseudomonas ). The results showed that with increasing the biochar level, the plant growth was promoted, with the highest values for growth parameters in plants treated with highest level of biochar. The dry and fresh weights of shoots in treatments with Pseudomonas florescence had statistically considerable differences compared to those in the other treatments. Overall, with the application of biochar and Pseudomonas, the levels of nutrients studied increased, and the maximum nutrient level was observed in the plants treated with the highest level of biochar. The highest P level (0.37%) was detected in plants treated with P1B0Ba1, and the lowest (0.23%) in plants treated with P2BM2Ba1. Moreover, the highest K level (5.16%) was recorded in plants treated with P2BM2Ba1, while the lowest (2.15%) was measured in plants treated with P0BM1Ba0 (no biological factor). The highest levels of Ca and Mg were found in treatments with biochar. The highest levels of Fe (1200.33 mg/kg) and Mn (441.5 mg/kg) were found in plants treated with P0B0Ba1, which had the biological factor, while the lowest was recorded in treatments where Pseudomonas florescence was absent. Accordingly, in order to increase the efficiency of soil remediation, it is recommended that organic matters, especially biochar, and bacterial treatments be exploited so that favorable conditions could be provided for plant growth and development.


Main Subjects

ASTM, E871-82. (2006). Standard test method for moisture analysis of particulate wood fuels, ASTM International, Pennsylvania, USA.
Bona, C., Rezende, I.M.D., Santos, G.D.O., Souza, L.A.D. (2011). Effect of soil contaminated by diesel oil on the germination of seeds and the growth of Schinus terebinthifolius Raddi (Anacardiaceae) Seedlings, Brazilian Archives of Biology and Technology, 54(6), 1379-1387.
Bossert, I. and Bartha, R. (1985), Plant growth on soil with a history of oil sludge disposal. Soil Science, 140, 75-77.
Bouyoucos, C.J. (1962). Hydrometer method improved for making particle size analysis of soil. Agron. J. 54, 464-465.
Bremner, J. M. (1996). Nitrogen-total. P. 1085-1122. In Sparks, D.L. et al., Method of soil analysis. Published by: Soil Science Society of America, Inc. American Society of Agronomy, Inc. Madison, Wisconsin, USA.
Brennan, A., Moreno, E., Jose, J.N., Alburquerque, A., Knapp, C.W. and Switzer, C. (2014). Effect of biochar and activated carbon amendment on maize growth and the uptake and measured availability of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and potentially toxic elements (PTEs). Environmental Pollution, 193, 79-87.
Cheng, C.H., J. Lehmann, et al. (2006). Oxidation of black carbon by biotic and abiotic processes. Organic geochemistry, 37(11), 1477-1488.
Cunningham, S. D., Anderson, T. A., Schwab, A. P., & Hsu, F. C. (1996). Phytoremediation of soils contaminated with organic pollutants. Advances in agronomy (USA). 56, 55-113.
Cunningham, S.D. and Ow, D.W. (1996). Promises and prospects of phytoremediation. Plant Physiol. 110, 715-719.
Dibble JT., Bartha R. (1976). The effect of iron on the biodegradation of petroleum in seawater. Appl. Environ. Microb. 31, 544-550.
Dimitrow, D.N., Markow, E., (2000), Behaviour of available forms of NPK in soils polluted by oil products. Poczwoznanie, Agrochimija I Ekologia 35(3), 3-8.
Donate-Correa J, Leon-Barrios M, Perez-Galdona R, (2004). Screening for plant growth-promoting rhizobacteria in Chamaecytisus proliferus (tagasaste), a forage tree-shrub legume endemic to the Canary Island. Plant Soil. 266, 261 -272.
Ezenne, G.I., Nwoke, O.A., Obalum, S.E. and Ugwuishiwu, BO. (2014). Use of poultry droppings for remediation of crude-oil-polluted soils: Effects of application rate on total and poly-aromatic hydrocarbon concentrations." International Biodeterioration & Biodegradation 92, 57-65.
Feng, Lijuan, Liqiu Zhang, and Li Feng. (2014). Dissipation of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in soil amended with sewage sludge compost. International Biodeterioration & Biodegradation, 95, 200-207.
Gang,  Q., Dan, G., and Mei-Ying, F. (2013). Bioremediation of petroleum-contaminated soil by biostimulation amended with biochar, Int. Biodeterior. Biodegrad., 85, 150–155
Gomez-Eyles, J. L., Sizmur, T., Collins, C. D., & Hodson, M. E. (2012). Effects of biochar and the earthworm Eisenia fetida on the bioavailability of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and potentially toxic elements. Environmental Pollution, 159(2), 616-622.
Haluschak, P., 2006. Laboratory methods of soil analysis. Canada-Manitoba soil survey, 3-133.
Kim, K.H., Kim, J.Y., Cho, T.S., Choi, J.W. (2012). Influence of pyrolysis temperature on physicochemical properties of biochar obtained from the fast pyrolysis of pitch pine (Pinus rigida). Bioresource Technology, 118, 158-162.
Lehmann, J., Gaunt, J. and Rondon, M. (2007) ‘Bio-char sequestration in terrestrial ecosystems – a review’, Mitigation and Adaptation Strategies for Global Change, 11, 403–427.
Lehmann, J., Czimnik, C., Laird, D. and Sohi, S. (2009). Stability of biochar in the soil. In: Biochar for Environmental Management  (edsJ. Lehmann & S. Joseph), pp. 183–205. EarthCam, London.
 Leger, A. & Schreiber, M. M. (1989). Competition and canopy architecture as affected by soybean (Glycine max) row width and density of redroot pigweed (Amaranthus retroflexus). Weed Sci. 37, 84-92.
Liang, B., Lehmann, J., Solomon, D., Kinyangi, J., Grossman, J., O'neill, B., Skjemstad, J., Thies, J., Luizao, F., Petersen, J. (2006). Black carbon increases cation exchange capacity in soils. Soil Science Society of America Journal, 70, 1719-1730.
Lindsay, W., & Norvell, W. A. (1978). Development of a DTPA soil test for zinc, iron, manganese, and copper. Soil Science Society of America Journal, 42(3), 421-428.
Liste H.H. and Prutz I. (2006). Plant performance, dioxygenase-expressing rhizosphere bacteria, and biodegradation of weathered hydrocarbons in contaminated soil. Chemosphere, 62: 1411–1420.
Ma, L., and Xu, R. K. (2010). Effects of regulation of pH and application of orga nic material adsorption and desorption of phosphorus in three types of acid soils, Journal of Ecology and Rural Environment, 26, 596-599.
Merkl, N., Schultze-Kraft, R., & Infante, C. (2005). Assessment of tropical grasses and     legumes for phytoremediation of petroleum-contaminated soils. Water, Air, and Soil Pollution, 165(1-4), 195-209.
Momeni, A. (2010). Geografical distribution and salinity levels of Iranian soil resources, Soil Research Journal, 24(3): 203-215.
Nazare, M., Couto, P.F.S., Basto, M.C.P., M.T.S.D. Vasconcelos. (2011). Suitability of different salt marsh plants for petroleum hydrocarbons remediation, Chemosphere, 84: 1052-1057.
Nie, M., Wang, Y., Yu, J., Xiao, M., Jiang, L., Yang, J., Fang, C., Chen, J., Li, B. (2011). Understanding plant–microbe interactions for phytoremediation of petroleum- polluted soil. Plos One 6, e17961.
Olsen, S., Cole, C., Watanabe, F., Dean, L. (1954) Estimation of available phosphorus in soils by extraction with sodium bicarbonate. USDA Circular Nr 939, US Gov.Print. Office, Washington, D.C.
Parry, J.M., Turnbull, P.C.B., Gibson, J.R. (1983). A colour atlas of Bacillus species. Wolfe Medical Publications Ltd.
Patten, C.L., and Glick, B.R. (2002). Role of Pseudomonas putida Indole acetic Acid in Development of the Host Plant Root System, Appl Environ Microbiol. 68(8), 3795–3801.
Petter, F.A., Madari, B.E., Soler da Silva, M.A., Carneiro, M.A.C., Thaís de Melo Carvalho, M., Júnior, B.H.M. and Pacheco, L.P. (2012). Soil fertility and upland rice yield after biochar application in the Cerrado, Pesq. Agropec. Bras. Brasília, 47, 699-706.
Rezaian, A. (2014). Effect of biochar and mycorrhiza on uptake, translocation and accumulation of cadmium in mint, MSc theses, Agriculture Faculty, Shahrod Technology University.
Roja, F., (2009). Degradation of alkanes by bacteria: minireview. Environmental Microbiology. 11, 2477–2490.
Ryan, J., Estefan, G., & Rashid, A. (2007). Soil and plant analysis laboratory manual. ICARDA.
Schwendinger, R. B. 1968. Reclamation of soil contaminated with oil. Journal of the Institute of Petroleum. 54, 182-197.
Semple, K. T., Reid, B. J., & Fermor, T. R. (2001). Impact of composting strategies on the treatment of soils contaminated with organic pollutants. Environmental pollution, 112(2), 269-283.
Shahriyari, M.H., Savaghebi, Gh. R., Minae-Tehrani, D. and Padidaran, M. (2006). The Effect of Mixed Plants Alfalfa (Medicago sativa) and Fescue (Festuca arundinacea) on the Phytoremediation of Light Crude Oil in Soil,  Environmental Science, 13, 33-40.
Song, W., Guo, M. (2012). Quality variations of poultry litter biochar generated at different pyrolysis temperatures. Journal of Analytical and Applied Pyrolysis, 94, 138-145.
Sperber, J.I. (1958). The incidence of apatite-solubilizing organisms in the rhizosphere and soil. Aust J Agr Res, 9: 778-781.
 Steiner, C., Teixeira, W.G., Lehma nn, J., Nehls, T., de Macedo, J.L.V., Blum, W.E.H., Zech, W. (2007). Long term effects of manure, charcoal and mineral fertilization on crop production and fertility on a highly weathered Central Amazonian upland soil. Plant and Soil, 291, 275-290.
43. Sumner, M.E. and W.P. Miller. (1996). Cation exchange capacity, and exchange coefficients. In: D.L. Sparks (ed.) Methods of soil analysis. Part 2: Chemical properties (3rd ed.). ASA, SSSA, CSSA, Madison, WI.
Valizadeh, K., Motesharezadeh, B., Alikhani, H.A. and Khazae, M. (2016). Effects of municipal solid waste compost and petroleum hydrocarbon decomposing bacteria on nutrient uptake by the Cordia myxa L. seedlings in soil contaminated with crude oil, Journal of Water and Soil Research, 46(4), 749-758.
Van Zwieten, L., Kimber, S., Morris, S., Chan, K., Downie, A., Rust, J., Joseph, S., Cowie, A. (2010). Effects of biochar from slow pyrolysis of papermill waste on agronomic performance and soil fertility. Plant and Soil. 327, 235-246.
Walkley, A., Black, I.A. (1934). An examination of the Degtjareff method for determining soil organic matter, and a proposed modification of the chromic acid titration method. Soil Science, 37, 29-38.
Wang, M.C., Chen, Y.T., Chen, S.H., Chang Chien, S.W and Sunkara, S.V. (2012). Phytoremediation of pyrene contaminated soils amended with compost and planted with ryegrass and alfalfa. Chemosphere, 87, 217–225.
Xu, G., Sun, J., Shao, H., Chang, S.X. (2014). Biochar had effects on phosphorus sorption and desorption in three soils with differing acidity. Ecological Engineering, 62,: 54-60.
Xu, G., Wei, L., Sun, J., Shao, H., Chang, S. (2013). What is more important for enhancing nutrient bioavailability with biochar application into a sandy soil: Direct or indirect mechanism? Ecological Engineering 52, 119-124.