Phosphate-lanthanum coated sewage sludge biochar improved the soil properties and growth of ryegrass in an alkaline soil

Zouhair Elkhlifi, Muhammad Kamran, Ahsan Maqbool, Ali El-Naggar, Jerosha Ifthikar, Aasma Parveen, Saqib Bashir, Muhammad Rizwan, Adnan Mustafa, Sana Irshad, Shafaqat Ali, Zhuqi Chen

Research output: Journal PublicationArticlepeer-review

23 Citations (Scopus)


The reclamation of alkaline soils remains challenging while the application of biochar has been proposed as a viable measure to rehabilitate soil fertility. The objective of the current pot study was to evaluate the efficacy of various P-La modified sewage sludge biochars (SSBC, La-SSBC, SSBC-P, La-SSBC-P) on soil phosphate-retention and ryegrass (Lolium perenne L.) growth in an alkaline soil (excess CaCO3). The results revealed that germination percentage, plant dry biomass, plant height, and the total amount of P in the ryegrass leaves were significantly (P < 0.05) improved under La-SSBC-P treatment as compared to other treatments. La-SSBC-P treatment significantly altered the chemical characteristics of post-harvest alkaline soil, such as pH, electrical conductivity (EC), cation exchange capacity (CEC), soil organic matter (SOM), limestone (CaCO3), phosphate, and lanthanum contents. In comparison to the SSBC treatment, soil available phosphorous (AP) contents under La-SSBC-P were enhanced by 6.7 times after loading biochar with P and La (La-SSBC-P). After the plantation of ryegrass, concentration of lanthanum in the soil was negligible. The contents of CaCO3 reduced by 76.2% after La-SSBC-P biochar treatment, compared to the cultivated control. This phenomenon clearly indicated that lanthanum was reduced due to the precipitation with limestone, which was proposed based on the data of X-ray diffraction (XRD) analysis. Overall, results showed that the P-loaded lanthanum decorated biochar (La-SSBC-P) could be used as a potential substitute for P-fertilizer under the experimental conditions. However, field experiments are required to confer the efficiency of La-SSBC-P as P fertilizer in different soils.

Original languageEnglish
Article number112173
JournalEcotoxicology and Environmental Safety
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jun 2021


  • Alkaline soil
  • Phosphorous
  • Ryegrass
  • Sewage sludge biochar
  • Soil fertility

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pollution
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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