Gerhard Soja

Gerhard Soja
AIT Austrian Institute of Technology | ait · Center for Energy

PD Dr., MSc.

About

162
Publications
39,895
Reads
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5,407
Citations
Citations since 2017
55 Research Items
3943 Citations
20172018201920202021202220230200400600800
20172018201920202021202220230200400600800
20172018201920202021202220230200400600800
20172018201920202021202220230200400600800
Additional affiliations
August 2018 - present
University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences Vienna
Position
  • Senior Researcher
March 2017 - present
IMC University of Applied Science Krems
Position
  • Lecturer
January 2009 - present
AIT Austrian Institute of Technology GmbH
Position
  • Senior Researcher

Publications

Publications (162)
Article
Full-text available
The recovery of sludge produced in the wastewater treatment process in WWTPs is often limited by the high content of toxic forms of contaminants of both an inorganic and organic nature. One of the options for the effective treatment of the world’s ever-increasing quantities of sewage sludge is the pyrolysis process. Thermochemical conversion of sew...
Article
Full-text available
Biochar (BC) application to agricultural soils has become a promising strategy for mitigation of soil-borne greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, i.e., carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), and nitrous oxide (N2O), but little is known about the effects on nitric oxide (NO) and dinitrogen (N2) fluxes. We conducted a short-term field experiment to evaluate...
Article
Full-text available
The study showed novel findings about changes in the fate and bioavailability of conazole fungicides (CFs) after biochar (BC) addition to soil. Two contrasting soils (low- and high-sorbing of CF; L soils, H soils) were amended by three BCs (low-, moderate-, and high-sorbing of CF; L-BC, M-BC, H-BC) at 0.2% and 2% doses. Epoxiconazole (EPC) and tebu...
Article
Full-text available
The use of advanced treatment technologies such as pyrolysis and carbonization of bio-waste materials has the promise to develop coupled solutions for organic C and P problems in the future of food processing. Sewage sludge-derived pyrogenic materials that are applied to the soil system contain notable levels of P (1–20%). However, only a small por...
Article
Full-text available
Biochars from wood chips (WC) and corn cobs (CC) were prepared by slow pyrolysis and used for sorption separation of erythrosine B (EB) and thioflavin T (TT) in batch experiments. Biochar-based adsorbents were extensively characterized using FTIR, XRD, SEM-EDX, and XPS techniques. The kinetics studies revealed that adsorption on external surfaces w...
Article
Full-text available
Although the suitability of some biochars for contaminants’ sorption separation has been established, not all potential feedstocks have been explored and characterized. Here, we physicochemically characterized cherry pit biochar (CPB) pyrolyzed from cherry pit biomass (CP) at 500 °C, and we assessed their As and Hg sorption efficiencies in aqueous...
Data
Suppl information about: Map of coring sites in Lake Neusiedl, Fallout radionuclide concentrations in the core taken from Lake Neusiedl, Radiometric chronology of the core collected from Lake Neusiedl. List of the diatom taxa occurring with RA ≥0.05% in at least one sediment sample that were used for the NMDS analyses and the reconstruction of la...
Article
Full-text available
Elevated or unnatural levels of arsenic (As) and phosphorus (P) concentrations in soils and waterbodies from anthropogenic sources can present significant hazards for both natural ecosystems and human food production. Effective, environmentally friendly, and inexpensive materials, such as biochar, are needed to reduce mobility and bioavailability o...
Article
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Maintaining and supporting complete biodegradation during remediation of petroleum hydrocarbon contaminated groundwater in constructed wetlands is vital for the final destruction and removal of contaminants. We aimed to compare and gain insight into biodegradation and explore possible limitations in different filter materials (sand, sand amended wi...
Article
Full-text available
Lake Neusiedl, the largest steppe lake in Europe, is particularly sensitive to climate variations due to its extreme shallowness (zmax = 1.8 m) and low ratio of catchment to lake area (3.5 : 1). Changes in water budget, salinity and turbidity have key implications for the lake’s ecology and management. Here, we present a multi-proxy palaeolimnologi...
Article
Full-text available
The individual role of biochar, compost and PGPR has been widely studied in increasing the productivity of plants by inducing resistance against phyto-pathogens. However, the knowledge on combined effect of biochar and PGPR on plant health and management of foliar pathogens is still at juvenile stage. The effect of green waste biochar (GWB) and woo...
Article
Biochar usage in agriculture becomes increasingly important for the improvement of soil properties. However, from the perspective of pesticides, biochar can influence exposure to pesticides of both target and non-target organisms and also pesticides’ fate in soil. Our study investigated degradation and bioaccumulation (in the Eisenia andrei earthwo...
Article
Full-text available
By testing 92 different biochars, this study had the objective to determine the relations between simple physico-chemical characteristics of biochar (elemental composition, ash fraction, specific surface area, process parameters) and infrared sorption characteristics revealing the presence of specific functional groups. The results of Diffusive Ref...
Article
Radiocesium (137Cs) and radiocobalt (60Co) represent main dose-significant radionuclides in low-level radioactive liquid effluents released from commercial nuclear power plants (NPPs). Although pyrogenic carbon-based adsorbents (biochars, BC) have been studied for toxic metal removal, the reports of their use in the adsorption of radionuclides are...
Article
Full-text available
Biochar, a carbonaceous material, is increasingly used in the remediation of the anthropogenically polluted soils and the restoration of their ecological functions. However, the interaction mechanisms among biochar, inorganic and organic soil properties and soil biota are still not very clear. The effect of biochar on soil microorganisms is very di...
Article
Full-text available
In this study, engineered (chemically modified) biochars (pyrolyzed bamboo biomass) were used for the removal of oxidized and reduced nitrogen species from an aqueous solution. The physico-chemical properties of the prepared materials, such as surface functional groups, elemental composition , morphology, and specific surface area were investigated...
Article
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The achievement of carbon neutrality till 2050 will require the deployment of negative carbon emission technologies like the production and soil incorporation of biochar, produced from pyrolyzed plant-based residues. The carbon sequestration potential of biochar (BC) from hazelnut (Corylus avellana L.) shells (HNS) and sunflower (Helianthus annuus...
Article
Full-text available
Pyrogenic carbonaceous materials produced by pyrolysis process of various waste feedstocks are increasingly used in non-soil applications such as water purification tools. Pyrogenic carbonaceous materials thermochemically converted from wood chips, corn cobs, garden green waste, cherry pits, walnut shells, pine cones and municipal sewage sludge in...
Article
Full-text available
The application of pyrogenic materials in immobilization processes of metalloids represents a burning issue in environmental and waste applications and management. The main objective of this study was to characterize the effect of biomass pretreatment by Cu, Fe and Mg blending and pyrolysis temperature on As sorption efficiency as a model of anioni...
Article
Full-text available
Biochar is a promising metal-immobilizing material, nevertheless the studies of its modification and application in the removal of radionuclides, especially ¹³⁷Cs from contaminated liquids remain rare. This research demonstrated that horticultural waste derived biochar (GWB) produced by slow pyrolysis process could be a suitable Cs adsorbent and al...
Article
Full-text available
Copper (Cu)-based fungicides have been an important tool against disease in viticulture since the 19th century. However, their prolonged use can lead to Cu accumulation in the soil and negatively affect soil microbiology and plant growth. The application of biochar (BC)-based amendments is a promising mitigation strategy, due to BC's longevity in t...
Article
Full-text available
The worldwide boom of biochar and pyrogenic carbonaceous material application as a potential soil additive has brought about not only agricultural benefits such as enhanced crop yield, nutrients supply (P), and soil organic carbon increase, but also, on the other hand, environmental risk of organic (polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs)) and pote...
Article
Full-text available
Copper-based fungicides have been used for a long time in viticulture and have accumulated in many vineyard soils. In this study, incrementing Cu(OH)2-based fungicide application from 0.05 to 5 g Cu kg⁻¹ on two agricultural soils (an acidic sandy loam (L, pH 4.95) and an alkaline silt loam (D, pH 7.45)) resulted in 5 times more mobile Cu in the aci...
Article
Full-text available
Petroleum contamination and its remediation via plant-based solutions have got increasing attention by environmental scientists and engineers. In the current study, the physiological and growth responses of two diesel-tolerant plant species (tolerance limit: 1500–2000 mg/kg), Italian ryegrass (Lolium multiflorum) and Birdsfoot trefoil (Lotus cornic...
Article
Full-text available
Field studies of biochar addition to soil and nutrient cycling using 15N fertilizers in temperate agriculture are scant. These data are required in order to make evidence based assessments. This study was conducted to test the hypothesis that biochar application can increase crop yields through improving the nitrogen uptake and utilization of added...
Article
Biochar (BC) is increasingly tested as a soil amendment for immobilization of heavy metals (HMs) and other pollutants. In our study, an acidic soil amended with wood chip-derived BC showed strongly enhanced Cu and Cd sorption after 15 months of aging under greenhouse conditions. X-ray absorption near edge structure suggested formation of Cu(OH)2 an...
Article
Biochar is a promising immobilization tool for various contaminants in liquid wastes, aqueous solutions and soils. To further improve the sorption characteristics, a biochar/montmorillonite composite was produced and synthesized in an experimental pyrolysis reactor, using bamboo as biomass feedstock. The composite was characterized by physico-chemi...
Article
Metal-blending of biomass prior to pyrolysis is investigated in this work as a tool to modify physico-chemical biochar properties and its behavior as adsorbent. Six different compounds were used for metal-blending: AlCl3, Cu(OH)2, FeSO4, KCl, MgCl2 and Mg(OH)2. Pyrolysis experiments were performed at 400 and 700 �C and the characterization of bioch...
Article
In soil, mixed contamination with potentially toxic trace elements and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) may persist for a long time due to strong adsorption to the soil matrix and to its toxicity to microorganism. We conducted an incubation batch experiment to test the effect of soil amendments (biochar, gravel sludge, iron oxides) on the im...
Article
Full-text available
Unsecured landfills pose a serious risk to the environment by possible penetration of mobile contaminants into soil, subsoil, groundwater and potentially into the food chain. Promising remediation technologies are represented by immobilization of such contaminants by the application of suitable soil additives. In the study, we investigated the poss...
Article
When biochar (BC) ages in soil, its properties change substantially: cation exchange capacity (CEC), surface area and porosity increase and water repellency decreases, consequently affecting the interactions with soil microorganisms. Activation of BC by organic acids may be regarded as artificial aging. Here, we study the effect of acid-activated B...
Article
Petroleum hydrocarbons are extensively utilized in petrochemical industries and cause soil deterioration during exploration, transportation, refining and making petroleum products. We hypothesized that the combined use of compost, biochar and bacterial consortia as soil amendments may enhance the rhizoremediation potential of ryegrass by strengthen...
Article
Full-text available
Pyrogenic materials produced from various input materials and with valuable characteristics such as high porosity, extensive surface area, and mineral composition represent alternative to traditional carbon- based materials in area of contaminant immobilization, aqueous solutions purification, and soil remediation. Intensification of industry and t...
Article
Full-text available
Co-contaminations of soils with organic and inorganic pollutants are a frequent environmental problem. Due to their toxicity and recalcitrance, the heterogeneous pollutants may persist in soil. The hypothesis of this study was that degradation of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) is enhanced if heavy metals in soil are immobilized and their b...
Article
Full-text available
Copper (Cu)-based fungicides have been used in viticulture to prevent downy mildew since the end of the 19th century, and are still used today to reduce fungal diseases. Consequently, Cu has built up in many vineyard soils, and it is still unclear how this affects soil functioning. The present study aimed to assess the short and medium-term effects...
Article
Full-text available
Besides carbon sequestration and improvement of soil properties, biochar (BC) has increasingly been studied as an amendment to immobilise heavy metals in contaminated soils. In a 2-year experiment, we analysed the effects of poplar BC (P-BC, mixed with compost) and gravel sludge with siderite-bearing material (GSFe) on a Cd-, Pb- and Zn-contaminate...
Article
Direct use of sewage sludge for application in agriculture is frequently discouraged with reference to toxic compounds. Therefore, methods for sewage sludge conversion and modification to decrease heavy metals mobility are required. Our study was conducted to assess and compare municipal and industrial sewage sludge for the production of carbonaceo...
Article
The remediation of petroleum hydrocarbon-contaminated soils has remained a challenging issue for environmental scientists and engineers. Within the scope of bioremediation; rhizoremediation has emerged as the most suitable method for petroleum-impacted soils. It can be promoted by the proper selection of suitable plant-microbe combinations and its...
Article
Unfortunately, the address of Barbora Micháleková-Richveisová is wrong in the published article. The correct address is given below as number 6.
Article
The evaluation of quality standards for compost and growing media as well as their compounds are of relevant interest for manufacturers and national authorities to obtain a consistent high quality of the material in long term finally. A diversity of different measuring methods exists to identify primarily chemical and physical properties with littl...
Article
Chromium (Cr) is considered a serious environmental pollutant due to its wide industrial use. Toxicity of Cr to plants depends on its valence state. Cr(VI) is highly toxic and mobile whereas Cr(III) is less toxic. Cr accumulation in plants causes high toxicity in terms of alterations in the germination process, reduction in the growth of roots, ste...
Article
Applications of Cu-based fungicides against downy mildew of grapevines have led to Cu accumulation in the topsoil of vineyards. In such soils, Cu may reach levels high enough to exert adverse effects on soil microorganisms, soil fauna and plant roots. This study aimed to test combinations of compost and biochar for their potential to decrease the b...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Within the scope of the project "Copper stabilization in vineyard soils" (KUSTAW), which was mainly aimed at reducing bioavailability of copper in the soil of vineyards, methods were developed to reduce copper bioavailability, to promote soil fertility and soil life. This can be achieved by organic soil additives such as biochar and compost, which...
Article
Full-text available
This article reviews the different aspects of biochar as source and sink of organic and inorganic contaminants. Biochar can contain organic contaminants such as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons or heavy metals. As the distribution coefficients of the biochar especially for contaminants are high, the freely dissolved concentrations are low and with...
Article
Full-text available
It is a relatively new concept to use biochar as soil amendment and for climate change mitigation. For this reason, the national and supranational legislation in the EU is not yet adequately prepared to regulate both the production and the application of biochar. Driven by this “regulatory gap”, voluntary biochar quality standards have been formed...
Article
Biochar (BC) is increasingly used as soil amendment; however, its stability and alteration in the soil environment are still unclear. Here, we investigated BC decomposition and changes of BC characteristics during a long-term incubation experiment. ¹³C-depleted BCs were incubated for two years in an acidic Planosol and a calcareous Chernozem, respe...
Article
Full-text available
A new post-treatment method was applied for improving the sorption efficiency of biochar-based sorbents for anionic forms of phosphorus. The Fe-impregnation through direct hydrolysis of Fe(NO3)3 was used to produce impregnated corn cob- (IBC A), garden wood waste- (IBC B), and wood chip-derived biochars (IBC C). The qualitative and quantitative eff...
Chapter
Soil microorganisms may effectively degrade organic pollutants in soil, especially low molecular weight polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and pesticides. However, the sorption of organic pollutants to biochar and their availability for biological degradation by soil microorganisms seem to be contradictory. This chapter reviews to what extent biochar...
Chapter
Climate change poses a fundamental threat to humanity, and thus solutions for both mitigation and adaptation strategies are becoming increasingly necessary. Biochar can offer a range of environmental services, such as reclamation of degraded land, improvement of soil fertility and carbon sequestration. However, it also raises questions, regarding s...
Article
A growing body of research into the effects of biochar on soil physical characteristics suggests that it is most effective in coarse-textured soils. In this study, we set out to test this theory by comparing the effects of a woodchip biochar on a Chernozem, Cambisol and a coarse-textured Planosol in a pot experiment. We also compared the effect of...
Article
The utilization of carbonaceous materials in separation processes of radionuclides, heavy metals and metalloids represents a burning issue in environmental and waste management. The main objective of this study was to characterize the effect of chemical modification of corncob-derived biochar by Fe-impregnations on sorption efficiency of Eu and As...
Article
Full-text available
Biochar prepared from Triticum aestivum straw (SB) was used to investigate the sorption separation of Cd2+ and Co2+ ions in single and binary systems. The maximum adsorption capacity of SB was higher for Cd2+ ions and the process was strongly pH dependent. Adsorption data in the binary system Cd2+–Co2+ were well described by the extended Langmuir m...
Article
Full-text available
Background and aims Biochars are recognised for their ability to improve soil functions and to stimulate plant defense mechanisms. We evaluated the response of Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. lycopersici chlamydospores to tomato plants grown in biochar and compost amended soil to get a deeper insight into the tomato-Fusarium pathosystem. Methods Wood ch...
Technical Report
Full-text available
Background The International Cooperative Programme on Effects of Air Pollution on Natural Vegetation and Crops (ICP Vegetation) was established in 1987, initially with the aim to assess the impacts of air pollutants on crops, but in later years also on (semi-)natural vegetation. The ICP Vegetation is led by the UK and has its Programme Coordination...
Article
Full-text available
The objective of this study was the utilization of three different biochars for pertechnetate removal from aqueous solutions. Biochars were prepared by slow pyrolysis from different feedstocks, characterized by BET, acid–base titration, SEM, XRD and FTIR and tested for their pertechnetate sorption using batch and dynamic techniques. Effect of vario...
Article
Full-text available
This study investigated the concentrations of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in pyrogenic carbonaceous materials (PCM) produced from three waste materials during slow pyrolysis at 400 and 500°C. As feedstocks bone meal (BM), biogas slurry (BC) and chicken manure (CM) were used. As potentially problematic substances 1- and 2- methylnaphthal...
Article
Contamination of soil with trace elements, such as Cu, is an important risk management issue. A pot experiment was conducted to determine the effects of three biochars and compost on plant growth and the immobilisation of Cu in a contaminated soil from a site formerly used for wood preservation. To assess Cu mobility, amended soils were analysed us...