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A greenhouse experiment was performed to elucidate the potency of Prosopis juliflora charcoal (PJC) and banana waste compost (BWC) to improve soil fertility and enhance plant growth rate. Plantlets of Ricinus communis were grown in 0, 400, and 800 mg kg-1 Pb-spiked soil ameliorated with P. juliflora charcoal and banana waste compost at 0, 5%, and 10% (w/w) for 60 days. PJC and BWC significantly (p < 0.05) increased plant growth parameters, that is, number of leaves, node number, plant height, and leaf diameter and reduced oxidative stress manifested by the lesser production of proline, hydrogen peroxide (H2O2), and malondialdehyde (MDA) with respect to control plants. Soil usage of PJC at 10% decreased the Pb accumulation by 61%, whereas BWC decreased Pb concentration in roots by 56% concerning control. Field emission scanning electron microscope (FE-SEM) coupled with energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDS) showed high macro and microspores on the surface of charcoal while banana compost showed significant raise in the nutrient content (N, P, K, Zn, Ca, Fe, and Mg). Thermogravimetric (TG) and Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) analysis of banana compost showed enhanced molar convolution of carbohydrate composites and nitrogen content. These findings pave a clear understanding that PJC and BWC are recalcitrant for Pb phytotoxicity and can also be used as nutrient-rich composites for increased crop production.


Boda Ravi Kiran, M N V Prasad. Assisted phytostabilization of Pb-spiked soils amended with charcoal and banana compost and vegetated with Ricinus communis L. (Castor bean). Environmental geochemistry and health. 2021 Apr;43(4):1507-1521

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PMID: 33501591

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