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Journal of Arid Land  2020, Vol. 12 Issue (6): 1056-1070    DOI: 10.1007/s40333-020-0026-5
Research article     
Effects of different loading rates and types of biochar on passivations of Cu and Zn via swine manure composting
CHEN Yan1, XU Yongping1,2, QU Fangjing1, HOU Fuqin3, CHEN Hongli4, LI Xiaoyu1,2,3,*()
1School of Bioengineering, Dalian University of Technology, Dalian 116024, China
2Ministry of Education Center for Food Safety of Animal Origin, Dalian 116620, China
3Xinjiang Western Animal Husbandry Co., Ltd., Shihezi 832000, China
4Xinjiang Tianshan Military Reclamation and Animal Husbandry Co., Ltd., Shihezi 832000, China
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Pollution of arable land caused by heavy metals in livestock and poultry manure has become a potential threaten to human health in China. Safe disposal of the contained toxic pollution with animal manure by co-composting with biochar is one of the alternative methods. Biochars from different sources (wheat straw, peanut shells and rice husks) amended with different loading rates were investigated for passivations of copper and zinc (Cu and Zn) in swine manure composting. Results showed that the passivation effects of the three types of biochar on Cu and Zn were enhanced with increasing biochar dose. Contents of Cu and Zn measured by diethylenetriaminepentaacetic acid (DTPA) and Community Bureau of Reference (CBR) showed that wheat straw biochar with the loading rates of 10%-13% (w/w) was superior to the other two types of biochar in this study. Compared with the control, sample from wheat straw biochar was more favorable for the bacterial growth of Proteobacteria, Firmicutes and Actinobacteria. In addition, pot experiment showed that organic fertilizer amended with wheat straw biochar could significantly improve the growth of Chinese pakchoi and enzyme activities (superoxide dismutase, peroxidase, polyphenol oxidase and catalase) as compared with the control. Cu and Zn contents of Chinese pakchoi in the organic fertilizer group containing wheat straw biochar reduced by 73.2% and 45.2%, 65.8% and 33.6%, respectively, compared with the group without loading biochar. There was no significant difference in the contents of vitamin C and reducing sugar between the groups of organic fertilizer amended with/without wheat straw biochar, however, there was significant difference compared with the heavy metal addition group. The application of organic fertilizer formed by adding biochar can effectively reduce the adverse effects of heavy metals on crops.

Key wordsbiochar      composting material      heavy metal passivation      dosage      swine manure     
Received: 19 May 2020      Published: 10 November 2020
Corresponding Authors: Xiaoyu LI     E-mail:
About author: *LI Xiaoyu (E-mail:
Cite this article:

CHEN Yan, XU Yongping, QU Fangjing, HOU Fuqin, CHEN Hongli, LI Xiaoyu. Effects of different loading rates and types of biochar on passivations of Cu and Zn via swine manure composting. Journal of Arid Land, 2020, 12(6): 1056-1070.

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Material Moisture (%) pH OM (%) C/N Cu (mg/kg) Zn (mg/kg)
SM 75.34±0.61 7.63±0.45 16.70±0.32 14.42±0.15 654.20±0.27 821.40±0.52
CS 7.02±0.53 7.81±0.23 65.20±0.47 51.74±0.51 6.50±0.17 63.30±0.28
Table 1 Characteristics of composting materials
Treatment Percentage of biochar in composting (%)
SM+CS+RH 0 2 5 7 10 13
SM+CS+WS 0 2 5 7 10 13
SM+CS+PS 0 2 5 7 10 13
Table 2 Scheme of composting experiment
Fig. 1 Changes of temperature and moisture during composting process. RH, rice husk; WS, wheat straw; PS, peanut shell. 0, 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 represents biochar loading rates of 0%, 2%, 5%, 7%, 10% and 13%, respectively. Bars are standard errors.
Fig. 2 Germination indices under different types and loading rates of biochar. WS, wheat straw; RH, rice husk; PS, peanut shell. Different lowercase letters indicate significances under different types of biochar with the same loading rate at P<0.05 level.
Fig. 3 Percentages of Cu (DTPA-Cu, a) and Zn (DTPA-Zn, b) extracted by DTPA (diethylenetriaminepentaacetic acid) in different loading rates of biochar. PS, peanut shell; RH, rice husk; WS, wheat straw. Different lowercase letters indicate significant differences among different loading rates of biochar at P<0.05 level. Bars are standard errors.
Fig. 4 Proportions of exchangeable, oxidized, reduced and residual forms of Zn and Cu in WS (a and b), PS (c and d), and RH (e and f) treatments by Community Bureau of Reference stepwise extraction method. WS, PS, and RH represent biochars of wheat straw, peanut shell and rice husk, respectively. 0, 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 represents biochar loading rates of 0%, 2%, 5%, 7%, 10% and 13%, respectively.
Fig. 5 Bacterial community structure at the phylum (a) and family (b) levels in three experimental groups. The data contained top 10 of the total reads. Group C, sampled at the initial of composting; Group N, sampled at the end of composting without biochar; Group W, sampled at the end of composting with WS biochar.
Fig. 6 Relative aboundace of bacterial community illustrated by ternary diagram. Group C, sampled at the initial of composting; Group N, sampled at the end of composting without biochar; Group W, sampled at the end of composting with WS biochar.
Fig. 7 Growth indices and heavy metal contents of Chinese pakchoi. (a), plant height; (b), root length; (d), fresh weight; (d), dry weight; (e), Cu content; (f), Zn content. Different lowercase letters indicate significant differences among different treatments at P<0.05 level. CK, control; HM, heavy metal; CF, chemical fertilizer; OF, organic fertilizer; WOF, wheat straw biochar and organic fertilizer. Bars are standard errors.
Fig. 8 Enzyme activities of superoxide dismutase (SOD, a), peroxidase (POD, b), polyphenol oxidase (PPO, c), and catalase (CAT, d) under different treatments. CK, control; HM, heavy metal; CF, chemical fertilizer; OF, organic fertilizer; WOF, wheat straw biochar and organic fertilizer. Different lowercase letters indicate significances among different treatments at P<0.05 level. Bars are standard errors.
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