Environmental Pollution ( IF 6.792 ) Pub Date : 2020-11-20 , DOI: 10.1016/j.envpol.2020.116037 Bingyu Wang; Haibin Fu; Lanfang Han; Huifang Xie; Lihong Xue; Yanfang Feng; Baoshan Xing
The importance of hydrochar properties for soil application is well known, but the effects of natural aging on hydrochar properties remain ambiguous. The present study aimed to determine the shift patterns in the physicochemical properties of hydrochar through a 16-month soil column aging experiment conducted in a rice-wheat rotation system with hydrochars derived from a wheat straw at 220°C and 260°C. Obvious decreasing hydrophilic/polarity indices and increasing porosity, ash content, and stability occurred in aged hyrdrochar, which were due to the dissolved organic matter (DOM) leaching and the interaction with mineral content and fertilizer during the 16-month aging process. Besides, fewer C-OH, slightly more C=O, and higher aromaticity (C-C/C=C) in aged hydrochar were observed. Meanwhile, the relative abundance of the compounds containing only C, H, and O atoms in water extract of aged hydrochar decreased, while that of the compounds containing C, H, O, and N atoms increased during aging; these findings were attributed to the less labile DOM and microbial degradation and the retention of some plant-derived dissolved organic carbon, respectively. This study provided 16-month aging characterization data regarding alteration in hydrochar physicochemical properties, which was conducive to make a better understanding of the use of hydrochars as sustainable soil amendments from agroecosystems and environmental perspective.