Nanobiochar-rhizosphere interactions: Implications for the remediation of heavy-metal contaminated soils

Xiaokai Zhang, Mona Wells, Nabeel Niazi, Nanthi Bolan, Sabry Shaheeng, Deyi Hou, Bin Gao, Hailong Wang, Jörg Rinklebe, Zhenyu Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

24 Citations (Scopus)


Soil heavy metal contamination has increasingly become a serious environmental issue globally, nearing crisis proportions. There is an urgent need to find environmentally friendly materials to remediate heavy-metal contaminated soils. With the continuing maturation of research on using biochar (BC) for the remediation of contaminated soil, nano-biochar (nano-BC), which is an important fraction of BC, has gradually attracted increasing attention. Compared with BC, nano-BC has unique and useful properties for soil remediation, including a high specific surface area and hydrodynamic dispersivity. The efficacy of nano-BC for immobilization of non-degradable heavy-metal contaminants in soil systems, however, is strongly affected by plant rhizosphere processes, and there is very little known about the role that nano-BC play in these processes. The rhizosphere represents a dynamically complex soil environment, which, although having a small thickness, drives potentially large materials fluxes into and out of plants, notably agricultural foodstuffs, via large diffusive gradients. This review is the first to focus on important nano-BC-rhizosphere processes and provides a balanced perspective on the promise of utilizing nano-BC as a remediation material for treating heavy-metal contaminated soil, while contrasting benefits with potential environmental risks that arise from many as yet unanswered research questions.
Original languageEnglish
Article number118810
JournalEnvironmental Pollution
Publication statusPublished - 15 Apr 2022


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