Alleviation of aluminum and cadmium toxicity by biochar and its potential toxicity to sorghum

Jane Bruna de Almeida, Laura Souza Santos, Sugandha Dogra Pandey, Claudineia Ferreira Nunes, Fernando Colen, Regynaldo Arruda Sampaio, Leidivan Almeida Frazão, Rodinei Facco Pegoraro, Luiz Arnaldo Fernandes


Biochar has been used as an alternative in organic wastes management and to alleviate trace elements toxicity. The aim of this research was to use a rapid and simple test to detect the potential toxic effects of biochar and its ability to alleviate aluminum and cadmium toxicity to seeds and seedlings of Sorghum bicolor L. Two experiments were carried out in Petri dishes with two different biochars where sorghum seeds were exposed to aluminum (experiment 1) and cadmium (experiment 2) solutions. The experimental designs were completely randomized, with five doses of aluminum or cadmium in aqueous solution (0, 0.5, 1, 2, and 4 mmol/L of Al or Cd), combined with or without the addition of 0.25 g of biochar from sugarcane bagasse or from sewage sludge. Compared to treatments without biochar, in the treatments with biochar, higher seed germination rate and growth of sorghum seedlings were obtained. Moreover, the biochars were not toxic to sorghum and they decreased the toxicity of aluminum and cadmium, mainly the biochar from sewage sludge that presented higher pH and greater occurrence of functional groups in its particles.


Trace elements; Heavy metals; Soil acidity; Pyrolysis Organic wastes.

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Semina: Ciênc. Agrár.
Londrina - PR
E-ISSN 1679-0359
DOI: 10.5433/1679-0359
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