Biochar based remediation of water and soil contaminated by phenanthrene and pentachlorophenol

Pellegrino Conte, Rosalia Scelza, Giuseppe Di Rauso Simeone, Maria A. Rao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Citations (Scopus)


Phenanthrene (Phe) and pentachlorophenol (PCP) are classified as persistent organic pollutants and represent serious concern for the environment as they are toxic and ubiquitous. Biochar based remediation is an emerging technology used in water and soil contamination. In this study we used poplar (BP) and conifer (BC) biochars to remediate water and soil contaminated by Phe and PCP. BP and BC were able to remove completely either Phe or PCP from contaminated water within one to three days. When biochar was confined in a porous membrane, BC and BP maintained their sorption efficiency for several remediation cycles. However, in these conditions BC allowed faster Phe removal. In soil remediation experiments, addition of two biochar rates, i.e. 2.5 and 5 mg g−1, strongly reduced Phe extractability (up to 2.7% of the initially added Phe with the larger BC dose). This was similar to the behavior observed when compost was applied in order to verify the role of soil organic matter in the fate of both contaminants. PCP extractability was reduced only up to 75% (in average) in all samples including those with compost amendment. Only larger amount of biochar (20 and 50 mg g−1) allowed reduction of the extractable PCP and nullified phytotoxicity of the contaminant.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)193-201
Number of pages9
Publication statusPublished - 2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • General Chemistry
  • Pollution
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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