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A preliminary assessment on the use of biochar as a soil additive for reducing soil-to-plant uptake of cesium isotopes in radioactively contaminated environments


A series of Kd tracer batch experiments were conducted to assess the absorptive-desorption properties of Biochar as a potential agent to selectively sequester labile soil Cs or otherwise help reduce the uptake of Cs isotopes into plants. A parallel experiment was conducted for strontium. Fine-grained fractionated Woodlands tree Biochar was found to have a relatively high affinity for Cs ions (Kd > 100) relative to coral soil (Kd < 10) collected from the Marshall Islands. The Biochar material also contains an abundance of K (and Mg). These findings support a hypothesis that the addition of Biochar as a soil amendment may provide a simple yet effective method for reducing soil-to-plant transfer of Cs isotopes in contaminated environments.