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    Biochar has widely been utilized as an agricultural soil amendment owing to its enhanced surface properties and cost-effectiveness. In the present work, the influence of tea waste biochar (TWBC) upon acid modification on Allium cepa L. (red onion) growth has been studied. Its effect as a soil amendment has also been studied by assessing the nutrient retention, microbial population growth and immobilization of potentially toxic metal ions. A greenhouse experiment was carried out by applying different biochar (BC) ratios (2% and 5% w/w) to soil as the growth media for onion plants. A 2.4 times (2.4 × ) reduction of phosphate from leaching was observed upon BC application at a ratio of 2% than that of 5%. Moreover, red onion plants that grew in the BC-fertilizer amended soil at a 2% ratio showed higher growth compared to that of 5%. A ∼1.3 × and ∼1.2 × increment of total dry weight was observed upon amendment of soil fertilizer system with nitric and sulfuric acid-modified TWBC, respectively. An analysis of the potentially toxic metal ion uptake by the respective plant parts showed that lead uptake by the roots of red onion was ∼8.3 × less in BC amended soil compared to that in contaminated soil. Thus, acid-modified TWBC can be considered a potential soil amendment for an enhanced red onion growth. Employing TWBC as a soil amendment in tropical countries, where tea-waste is in abundance, will boost sustainable agriculture. Copyright © 2021 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


    Chathuri Peiris, Pathum D Wathudura, Sameera R Gunatilake, Bandara Gajanayake, Jayani J Wewalwela, Sachith Abeysundara, Meththika Vithanage. Effect of acid modified tea-waste biochar on crop productivity of red onion (Allium cepa L.). Chemosphere. 2022 Feb;288(Pt 2):132551

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    PMID: 34655645

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