Application of biochar has many benefits in agriculture, to understand benefits of biochar in crop production and remediation of heavy metal pollution, Asian lotus (Nelumbo nucifera) as an aquatic crop and Chinese sage (Salvia miltiorrhiza) as a traditional medicinal herb were used to evaluate biochar’s effects on plant growth and cadmium (Cd) accumulation in plants in the artificially Cd-polluted condition in containers. In both cases, adding biochar (4% to 32% in soil mix) significantly increased plant biomass. However, its impact on plant physiological traits were unclear. In Asian lotus, the Cd content in rhizomes, petioles, and leaves significantly increased by 69%, 81% and 55%, respectively as 32% biochar added. Meanwhile, a maximum reduction (71%) showed on bioaccumulation coefficient of Cd, and an up to 1.3 folds increase occurred on Cd transfer coefficient of underground to aboveground tissues, which indicated that biochar effectively prevented Cd uptake in major edible parts. In Chinese sage, adding 32% biochar significantly decreased Cd content in leaves and roots by 52.81% and 43.63%, respectively. Therefore, as a valuable soil amendment of improving plant growth and reducing heavy metal uptake, biochar has a huge potential in green agriculture production and remediation of heavy-metal polluted environment.
Part of the book: Engineering Applications of Biochar