Horticulture Research Station

Correcting Herbicide Misapplications with an Activated Carbon Product

Authors: ,


Misapplication of turfgrass herbicides, through incorrect rate or incorrect location, are not a common mistake in turfgrass management. In the rare event of an herbicide misapplication, use of an activated carbon product has been reported to counteract longterm effects such as turf injury due to overapplication or seed germination inhibition due to a wrongly applied preemergence herbicide. Activated carbon products also can be used for soil decontamination due to oil and gas spills. These products are referred to by a few terms (activated charcoal, biochar, etc.) in the popular media. These terms are usually interchangeable. For agriculture applications, these products often are made from bituminous or lignite coal. Activated carbon is a highly porous substance that attracts and holds organic chemicals due to its high amounts of surface area/unit weight, often thousands of square ft/ounce. Activated carbon works by absorbing the unwanted chemical. Chemicals adhere to the surface of the activated carbon and are inhibited from reacting with soil colloids or plant surfaces.


How to Cite: Pease, B. & Thoms, A. (2020) “Correcting Herbicide Misapplications with an Activated Carbon Product”, Iowa State University Research and Demonstration Farms Progress Reports. 2019(1).