Biochar amendment to further reduce methylmercury accumulation in rice grown in selenium-amended paddy soil
- Journal of hazardous materials
- Methylmercury (MeHg) accumulation in rice is an emerging food safety issue in China and other countries; however, mitigation methods are scarce. Here, the effects of selenium (Se) and multiple applications of Se and biochar on rice MeHg bioaccumulation were investigated using pot and microcosm experiments. We report that Se amendment was still effective in reducing MeHg levels in paddy soil and rice grain after three years of aging. Biochar amendment (0.5% w/w) further decreased grain (brown rice) MeHg levels by 82-87%. The grain MeHg level decrease following the combination of Se and biochar amendment could be partly attributed to inhibition of net MeHg production in soil by Se. In addition, biochar decreased not only net MeHg production but also MeHg bioavailability in the soil, which could be due to organosulfur compounds in the biochar. Our findings suggest that multiple applications of Se and biochar could be a novel remediation strategy to mitigate MeHg accumulation in rice.