Effect of pyrolysis temperature on potential toxicity of biochar if applied to the environment

Research output: Journal Publications and ReviewsRGC 21 - Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

154 Scopus Citations
View graph of relations

Author(s)

  • Honghong Lyu
  • Jingchun Tang
  • Markus Hecker
  • Qinglong Liu
  • Paul D. Jones
  • Garry Codling
  • John P. Giesy

Detail(s)

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-7
Journal / PublicationEnvironmental Pollution
Volume218
Online published15 Aug 2016
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2016
Externally publishedYes

Abstract

Biochars have increasingly been used as adsorbents for organic and inorganic contaminants in soils. However, during the carbonization process of pyrolysis, contaminants, including polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and polychlorinated dioxins and furans (PCDD/DF) can be generated. In this study, biochars made from sawdust, were prepared at various temperatures ranging from 250 to 700 °C. The Microtox® and rat hepatoma cell line H4IIE-luc assays were used to characterize the general toxic and effects, mediated through the aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR), or dioxin-like potencies of organic extracts of biochars. The greatest total concentrations of PAHs (8.6 × 102 μg kg−1) and PCDD/DF (6.1 × 102 pg g−1) were found in biochar generated at 400 °C and 300 °C, respectively. Results of the H4IIE-luc assay, which gives total concentrations of 2,3,7,8-TCDD equivalents (TEQH4IIE-luc), indicated that total potencies of aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR) agonists were in decreasing order: 300 °C > 250 °C > 400 °C > 500 °C > 700 °C. The 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin equivalents (TEQchem) calculated as the sum of products of 16 PAHs and 17 PCDD/DF congers multiplied by their respective relative potencies (RePs) was less than that of TEQH4IIE-luc determined by use of the bioanalytical method, with the H4IIE-luc assay, which measures the total dioxin-like potency of a mixtures. The ratio of TEQchem/TEQH4IIE-luc was in the range of 0.7%–3.8%. Thus, a rather small proportion of the AhR-mediated potencies extracted from biochars were identified by instrumental analyses. Results of the Microtox test showed similar tendencies as those of the H4IIE-luc test, and a linear correlation between EC50 of Microtox test and EC20 of H4IIE-luc test was found. The results demonstrated that biochars produced at higher pyrolysis temperatures (>400 °C) were less toxic and had lower potencies of AhR-mediated effects, which may be more suitable for soil application.

Research Area(s)

  • Biochar, H4IIE-luc, Microtox, PAHs, PCDD/DF

Citation Format(s)

Effect of pyrolysis temperature on potential toxicity of biochar if applied to the environment. / Lyu, Honghong; He, Yuhe; Tang, Jingchun et al.
In: Environmental Pollution, Vol. 218, 11.2016, p. 1-7.

Research output: Journal Publications and ReviewsRGC 21 - Publication in refereed journalpeer-review