August 20-25, 2017
Natural re-vegetation of gold mine tailings, the main waste products of ore processing for gold extraction consisting of crushed rock, is difficult due to their high bioavailability of heavy metals, low nutrient status and limited organic carbon 1-3. Charcoal produced from the burning of organic matter through controlled pyrolysis, hereafter referred to as ‘biochar’, has been utilized extensively in agriculture as a climate-friendly option to remediate nutrient-poor and contaminated soils 4,5. Biochar produced from wood is highly recalcitrant, has a large surface area due to its porous structure and can bind nutrients and water, improving soil fertility 5-7. Biochar can also bind undesirable compounds within the soil such as heavy metals, limiting their bioavailability to plants.
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Jillian M.H. Bieser and Sean C. Thomas, "Biochar and ash amendment effects on mine reclamation in the boreal forest" in "Biochar: Production, Characterization and Applications", Franco Berruti, Western University, London, Ontario, Canada Raffaella Ocone, Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh, UK Ondrej Masek, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, UK Eds, ECI Symposium Series, (2017). http://dc.engconfintl.org/biochar/44