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Sample records for biochar amended soils

  1. Biochar as a soil amendment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Medyńska-Juraszek Agnieszka

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available Biochar is a carbonaceous product of biomass pyrolysis under limited oxygen conditions. Due to the very good sorption properties material is used as a soil amendment. In recent years, much attention has been paid to biochar as a potential tool improving soil properties and fertility. The most important benefits of its use in agriculture is a significant increase of sorption capacity, reduced nutrient leaching, as well as slow release of macro- and microelements essential for plant growth, liming effect, increased water holding capacity, improved biological properties, resulting in an increase in crop yields. The aim of the study is to summarize the knowledge about the impact of biochar on soil environment, as well as identify areas and directions for future research on biochar application in soils impacted by human activities

  2. Phenanthrene sorption on biochar-amended soils

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kahawaththa Gamage, Inoka Damayanthi Kumari; Moldrup, Per; Paradelo Pérez, Marcos

    2014-01-01

    Biochar, a byproduct resulting from the pyrolysis of biomass, is considered to be an anthropogenic carbonaceous sorbent. Despite a worldwide increase in the application of biochar on agricultural fields to improve crop productivity over the past few decades, there have been few studies...... on their influences on the sorption of environmental contaminants. In a field-based study at two experimental sites in Denmark, we investigated the effect of birch wood-derived biochar (Skogans kol) on the sorption of phenanthrene in soils with different properties. The soil sorption coefficient, Kd (L kg-1......), of phenanthrene was measured on sandy loam and loamy sand soils which have received from zero up to 100 t ha-1 of biochar. Results show that birch wood biochar had a higher Kd compared to soils. Furthermore, the application of birch wood biochar enhanced the sorption of phenanthrene in agricultural soils...

  3. Chloropicrin Emission Reduction by Soil Amendment with Biochar

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Qiuxia; Yan, Dongdong; Liu, Pengfei; Mao, Liangang; Wang, Dong; Fang, Wensheng; Li, Yuan; Ouyang, Canbin; Guo, Meixia; Cao, Aocheng

    2015-01-01

    Biochar has sorption capacity, and can be used to enhance the sequestration of volatile organic contaminants such as pesticides in soil. Chloropicrin (CP) is an important soil fumigant for the production of many fruit and vegetable crops, but its emissions must be minimized to reduce exposure risks and air pollution. The objective of this study was to determine the capacity of biochar to adsorb CP and the effect of biochar amendments to soil on CP emission, concentration in the soil gas phase, degradation in soil and CP bioactivity for controlling soil borne pests. CP emission and concentration in the soil air phase were measured from packed soil columns after fumigant injection at 20-cm depth and application of selected doses of biocharto the surface 5 cm soil. Laboratory incubation and fumigation experiments were conducted to determine the capacity of biochar to adsorb CP, the effects on CP degradation and, separately, CP’s bioactivity on soil borne pests in soil amended with biochar. Biochar amendment at 2% to 5% (w/w) greatly reduced total CP emission losses by 85.7% - 97.7% compared to fumigation without biochar. CP concentrations in the soil gas-phase, especially in the top 5 cm of soil, were reduced within 48 h following application. The half-life of CP decreased from 13.6 h to 6.4 h as the biochar rate increased from 0% to 5%. CP and its metabolite (dichloronitromethane) both degraded more rapidly in pure biochar than in soil. The biochar used in the present study had a maximum adsorption capacity for CP of less than 5 mg g-1. There were no negative effects on pathogen and nematode control when the biochar used in this study was less than 1% (on a weight basis) in soil. Biochar amendment to soil reduced the emissions of CP. CP concentrations in the top 5 cm of soil gas-phase were reduced. CP degradation was accelerated with the addition of biochar. The biochar used in the present study had a low adsorption capacity for CP. There were no negative effects

  4. Chloropicrin Emission Reduction by Soil Amendment with Biochar.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Qiuxia Wang

    Full Text Available Biochar has sorption capacity, and can be used to enhance the sequestration of volatile organic contaminants such as pesticides in soil. Chloropicrin (CP is an important soil fumigant for the production of many fruit and vegetable crops, but its emissions must be minimized to reduce exposure risks and air pollution. The objective of this study was to determine the capacity of biochar to adsorb CP and the effect of biochar amendments to soil on CP emission, concentration in the soil gas phase, degradation in soil and CP bioactivity for controlling soil borne pests. CP emission and concentration in the soil air phase were measured from packed soil columns after fumigant injection at 20-cm depth and application of selected doses of biocharto the surface 5 cm soil. Laboratory incubation and fumigation experiments were conducted to determine the capacity of biochar to adsorb CP, the effects on CP degradation and, separately, CP's bioactivity on soil borne pests in soil amended with biochar. Biochar amendment at 2% to 5% (w/w greatly reduced total CP emission losses by 85.7% - 97.7% compared to fumigation without biochar. CP concentrations in the soil gas-phase, especially in the top 5 cm of soil, were reduced within 48 h following application. The half-life of CP decreased from 13.6 h to 6.4 h as the biochar rate increased from 0% to 5%. CP and its metabolite (dichloronitromethane both degraded more rapidly in pure biochar than in soil. The biochar used in the present study had a maximum adsorption capacity for CP of less than 5 mg g(-1. There were no negative effects on pathogen and nematode control when the biochar used in this study was less than 1% (on a weight basis in soil. Biochar amendment to soil reduced the emissions of CP. CP concentrations in the top 5 cm of soil gas-phase were reduced. CP degradation was accelerated with the addition of biochar. The biochar used in the present study had a low adsorption capacity for CP. There were no

  5. Nitrous oxide emission reduction in temperate biochar-amended soils

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    Felber, R.; Hüppi, R.; Leifeld, J.; Neftel, A.

    2012-01-01

    Biochar, a pyrolysis product of organic residues, is an amendment for agricultural soils to improve soil fertility, sequester CO2 and reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. In highly weathered tropical soils laboratory incubations of soil-biochar mixtures revealed substantial reductions for nitrous oxide (N2O) and carbon dioxide (CO2). In contrast, evidence is scarce for temperate soils. In a three-factorial laboratory incubation experiment two different temperate agricultural soils were amended with green waste and coffee grounds biochar. N2O and CO2 emissions were measured at the beginning and end of a three month incubation. The experiments were conducted under three different conditions (no additional nutrients, glucose addition, and nitrate and glucose addition) representing different field conditions. We found mean N2O emission reductions of 60 % compared to soils without addition of biochar. The reduction depended on biochar type and soil type as well as on the age of the samples. CO2 emissions were slightly reduced, too. NO3- but not NH4+ concentrations were significantly reduced shortly after biochar incorporation. Despite the highly significant suppression of N2O emissions biochar effects should not be transferred one-to-one to field conditions but need to be tested accordingly.

  6. Aerosol emissions from biochar-amended agricultural soils

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ravi, S.; Sharratt, B. S.; Li, J. J.; Olshvevski, S.; Meng, Z.; Zhang, J.

    2015-12-01

    Agricultural production is a major contributor to anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions and associated global warming. In this regard, novel carbon sequestration strategies such as large-scale biochar application may provide sustainable pathways to increase the terrestrial storage of carbon in agricultural areas. Biochar has a long residence time in the soil and hence understanding the soil properties affected by biochar addition needs to be investigated to identify the tradeoffs and synergies of large-scale biochar application. Even though several studies have investigated the impacts of biochar application on a variety of soil properties, very few studies have investigated the impacts on soil erosion, in particular wind (aeolian) erosion and subsequent particulate emissions. Using a combination of wind tunnel studies and laboratory experiments, we investigated the dust emission potential of biochar-amended agricultural soils. We amended biochar (unsieved or sieved to appropriate particle size; application rates ranging from 1 - 5 % of the soil by weight) to three soil types (sand, sandy loam, and silt loam) and estimated the changes in threshold shear velocity for wind erosion and dust emission potential in comparison to control soils. Our experiments demonstrate that emissions of fine biochar particles may result from two mechanisms (a) very fine biochar particles (suspension size) that are entrained into the air stream when the wind velocity exceeds the threshold, and (b) production of fine biochar particles originating from the abrasion by quartz grains. The results indicate that biochar application significantly increased particulate emissions and more interestingly, the rate of increase was found to be higher in the intermediate range of biochar application. As fine biochar particles effectively adsorb/trap contaminants and pathogens from the soil, the preferential erosion of fine biochar particles by wind may lead to concentration of contaminants in the

  7. Amending Jasper County, Missouri soils with biochar and ...

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abandoned mines and the residuals from mining across the U.S. pose a considerable, pervasive risk to human health and the environment. Many soils in the Tri-State-Mining District (TSMD), located where Missouri, Kansas and Oklahoma meet, have been affected by the residuals of historic lead and zinc mining. Here we describe a research collaboration between ORD and Region 7 to investigate the use of customized soil amendments, which will include biochar, as a tool to provide both soil remediation and reestablishment of a soil-stabilizing native plant community at sites in the TSMD. Biochar is a charcoal-like, carbon-rich, porous by-product of thermal pyrolysis or gasification. A benefit of using biochar is the ability to engineer its properties to correspond to specific soil remediation needs. Specifically, it has properties that make it well suited for use in remediating mine soils and reestablishing vegetation, with studies indicating that biochar can complex and immobilize heavy metals. This is of critical importance for mining influenced sites. However, the optimized biochar properties for the remediation of acidic mine soils are not yet fully known. Biochar can be produced to have a range of pH values, depending upon feedstock and pyrolysis or gasification conditions, and post-production activation. Therefore, this material may be used as a liming agent to raise soil pH. Additionally, some biochars have been shown to improve soil water holding capacities and

  8. Biochar Soil Amendment Effects on Arsenic Availability to Mountain Brome ().

    Science.gov (United States)

    Strawn, Daniel G; Rigby, April C; Baker, Leslie L; Coleman, Mark D; Koch, Iris

    2015-07-01

    Biochar is a renewable energy byproduct that shows promise for remediating contaminated mine sites. A common contaminant at mine sites is arsenic (As). In this study, the effects of biochar amendments to a mine-contaminated soil on As concentrations in mountain brome ( Nees ex Steud.) were investigated. In the biochar-amended soil, mountain brome had greater root biomass and decreased root and shoot As concentrations. X-ray absorption near-edge structure spectroscopy results showed that arsenate [As(V)] is the predominant species in both the nonamended and biochar-amended soils. Soil extraction tests that measure phosphate and arsenate availability to plants failed to accurately predict plant tissue As concentrations, suggesting the arsenate bioavailability behavior in the soils is distinct from phosphate. Results from this study indicate that biochar will be a beneficial amendment to As-contaminated mine sites for remediation. Copyright © by the American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America, and Soil Science Society of America, Inc.

  9. Mineralization of soil organic matter in biochar amended agricultural landscape

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chintala, R.; Clay, D. E.; Schumacher, T. E.; Kumar, S.; Malo, D. D.

    2015-12-01

    Pyrogenic biochar materials have been identified as a promising soil amendment to enhance climate resilience, increase soil carbon recalcitrance and achieve sustainable crop production. A three year field study was initiated in 2013 to study the impact of biochar on soil carbon and nitrogen storage on an eroded Maddock soil series - Sandy, Mixed, Frigid Entic Hapludolls) and deposition Brookings clay loam (Fine-Silty, Mixed, Superactive, Frigid Pachic Hapludolls) landscape positions. Three biochars produced from corn stover (Zea mays L.), Ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa Lawson and C. Lawson) wood residue, and switchgrass (Panicum virgatum L.) were incorporated at 9.75 Mg ha-1 rate (≈7.5 cm soil depth and 1.3 g/cm3 soil bulk density) with a rototiller. The changes in chemical fractionation of soil carbon (soluble C, acid hydrolyzable C, total C, and δ13 C) and nitrogen (soluble N, acid hydrolyzable N, total N, and δ14 N) were monitored for two soil depths (0-7.5 and 7.5 - 15 cm). Soluble and acid hydrolyzable fractions of soil C and N were influenced by soil series and were not significantly affected by incorporation of biochars. Based on soil and plant samples to be collected in the fall of 2015, C and N budgets are being developed using isotopic and non-isotopic techniques. Laboratory studies showed that the mean residence time for biochars used in this study ranged from 400 to 666 years. Laboratory and field studies will be compared in the presentation.

  10. Suitability of marginal biomass-derived biochars for soil amendment

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Buss, Wolfram [UK Biochar Research Centre, School of Geosciences, University of Edinburgh, Crew Building, Alexander Crum Brown Road, Edinburgh EH9 3FF (United Kingdom); Graham, Margaret C. [School of Geosciences, University of Edinburgh, Crew Building, Alexander Crum Brown Road, Edinburgh EH9 3FF (United Kingdom); Shepherd, Jessica G. [UK Biochar Research Centre, School of Geosciences, University of Edinburgh, Crew Building, Alexander Crum Brown Road, Edinburgh EH9 3FF (United Kingdom); School of Geosciences, University of Edinburgh, Crew Building, Alexander Crum Brown Road, Edinburgh EH9 3FF (United Kingdom); Mašek, Ondřej, E-mail: ondrej.masek@ed.ac.uk [UK Biochar Research Centre, School of Geosciences, University of Edinburgh, Crew Building, Alexander Crum Brown Road, Edinburgh EH9 3FF (United Kingdom)

    2016-03-15

    The term “marginal biomass” is used here to describe materials of little or no economic value, e.g. plants grown on contaminated land, food waste or demolition wood. In this study 10 marginal biomass-derived feedstocks were converted into 19 biochars at different highest treatment temperatures (HTT) using a continuous screw-pyrolysis unit. The aim was to investigate suitability of the resulting biochars for land application, judged on the basis of potentially toxic element (PTE) concentration, nutrient content and basic biochar properties (pH, EC, ash, fixed carbon). It was shown that under typical biochar production conditions the percentage content of several PTEs (As, Al, Zn) and nutrients (Ca, Mg) were reduced to some extent, but also that biochar can be contaminated by Cr and Ni during the pyrolysis process due to erosion of stainless steel reactor parts (average + 82.8% Cr, + 226.0% Ni). This can occur to such an extent that the resulting biochar is rendered unsuitable for soil application (maximum addition + 22.5 mg Cr kg{sup −1} biochar and + 44.4 mg Ni kg{sup −1} biochar). Biomass grown on land heavily contaminated with PTEs yielded biochars with PTE concentrations above recommended threshold values for soil amendments. Cd and Zn were of particular concern, exceeding the lowest threshold values by 31-fold and 7-fold respectively, despite some losses into the gas phase. However, thermal conversion of plants from less severely contaminated soils, demolition wood and food waste anaerobic digestate (AD) into biochar proved to be promising for land application. In particular, food waste AD biochar contained very high nutrient concentrations, making it interesting for use as fertiliser. - Highlights: • Marginal biomass feedstocks are materials of little economic value. • Biochar from biomass grown on PTE-rich soils tends to exceed guideline values. • Biochar from biomass with high mineral content can be a beneficial nutrient source. • Cr and Ni

  11. Suitability of marginal biomass-derived biochars for soil amendment

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Buss, Wolfram; Graham, Margaret C.; Shepherd, Jessica G.; Mašek, Ondřej

    2016-01-01

    The term “marginal biomass” is used here to describe materials of little or no economic value, e.g. plants grown on contaminated land, food waste or demolition wood. In this study 10 marginal biomass-derived feedstocks were converted into 19 biochars at different highest treatment temperatures (HTT) using a continuous screw-pyrolysis unit. The aim was to investigate suitability of the resulting biochars for land application, judged on the basis of potentially toxic element (PTE) concentration, nutrient content and basic biochar properties (pH, EC, ash, fixed carbon). It was shown that under typical biochar production conditions the percentage content of several PTEs (As, Al, Zn) and nutrients (Ca, Mg) were reduced to some extent, but also that biochar can be contaminated by Cr and Ni during the pyrolysis process due to erosion of stainless steel reactor parts (average + 82.8% Cr, + 226.0% Ni). This can occur to such an extent that the resulting biochar is rendered unsuitable for soil application (maximum addition + 22.5 mg Cr kg −1 biochar and + 44.4 mg Ni kg −1 biochar). Biomass grown on land heavily contaminated with PTEs yielded biochars with PTE concentrations above recommended threshold values for soil amendments. Cd and Zn were of particular concern, exceeding the lowest threshold values by 31-fold and 7-fold respectively, despite some losses into the gas phase. However, thermal conversion of plants from less severely contaminated soils, demolition wood and food waste anaerobic digestate (AD) into biochar proved to be promising for land application. In particular, food waste AD biochar contained very high nutrient concentrations, making it interesting for use as fertiliser. - Highlights: • Marginal biomass feedstocks are materials of little economic value. • Biochar from biomass grown on PTE-rich soils tends to exceed guideline values. • Biochar from biomass with high mineral content can be a beneficial nutrient source. • Cr and Ni from the

  12. Nitrate capture and slow release in biochar amended compost and soil.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nikolas Hagemann

    Full Text Available Slow release of nitrate by charred organic matter used as a soil amendment (i.e. biochar was recently suggested as potential mechanism of nutrient delivery to plants which may explain some agronomic benefits of biochar. So far, isolated soil-aged and composted biochar particles were shown to release considerable amounts of nitrate only in extended (>1 h extractions ("slow release". In this study, we quantified nitrate and ammonium release by biochar-amended soil and compost during up to 167 h of repeated extractions in up to six consecutive steps to determine the effect of biochar on the overall mineral nitrogen retention. We used composts produced from mixed manures amended with three contrasting biochars prior to aerobic composting and a loamy soil that was amended with biochar three years prior to analysis and compared both to non-biochar amended controls. Composts were extracted with 2 M KCl at 22°C and 65°C, after sterilization, after treatment with H2O2, after removing biochar particles or without any modification. Soils were extracted with 2 M KCl at 22°C. Ammonium was continuously released during the extractions, independent of biochar amendment and is probably the result of abiotic ammonification. For the pure compost, nitrate extraction was complete after 1 h, while from biochar-amended composts, up to 30% of total nitrate extracted was only released during subsequent extraction steps. The loamy soil released 70% of its total nitrate amount in subsequent extractions, the biochar-amended soil 58%. However, biochar amendment doubled the amount of total extractable nitrate. Thus, biochar nitrate capture can be a relevant contribution to the overall nitrate retention in agroecosystems. Our results also indicate that the total nitrate amount in biochar amended soils and composts may frequently be underestimated. Furthermore, biochars could prevent nitrate loss from agroecosystems and may be developed into slow-release fertilizers to

  13. Assessing biochar ecotoxicology for soil amendment by root phytotoxicity bioassays.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Visioli, Giovanna; Conti, Federica D; Menta, Cristina; Bandiera, Marianna; Malcevschi, Alessio; Jones, Davey L; Vamerali, Teofilo

    2016-03-01

    Soil amendment with biochar has been proposed as effective in improving agricultural land fertility and carbon sequestration, although the characterisation and certification of biochar quality are still crucial for widespread acceptance for agronomic purposes. We describe here the effects of four biochars (conifer and poplar wood, grape marc, wheat straw) at increasing application rates (0.5, 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, 50% w/w) on both germination and root elongation of Cucumis sativus L., Lepidium sativum L. and Sorghum saccharatum Moench. The tested biochars varied in chemical properties, depending on the type and quality of the initial feedstock batch, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) being high in conifer and wheat straw, Cd in poplar and Cu in grape marc. We demonstrate that electrical conductivity and Cu negatively affected both germination and root elongation at ≥5% rate biochar, together with Zn at ≥10% and elevated pH at ≥20%. In all species, germination was less sensitive than root elongation, strongly decreasing at very high rates of chars from grape marc (>10%) and wheat straw (>50%), whereas root length was already affected at 0.5% of conifer and poplar in cucumber and sorghum, with marked impairment in all chars at >5%. As a general interpretation, we propose here logarithmic model for robust root phytotoxicity in sorghum, based on biochar Zn content, which explains 66% of variability over the whole dosage range tested. We conclude that metal contamination is a crucial quality parameter for biochar safety, and that root elongation represents a stable test for assessing phytotoxicity at recommended in-field amendment rates (<1-2%).

  14. Reduction of the efficacy of biochar as soil amendment by soil erosion

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Fister, Wolfgang; Heckrath, Goswin Johann; Greenwood, Philip

    Biochar is primarily used as soil amendment to improve soil quality and to sequester more carbon (C) to increase both medium- and long-term soil C stocks. These positive effects are obviously diminished if biochar is eroded and transported out of the field. Due to its low bulk density......, the preferential mobilization and redistribution of biochar in the landscape seems probable. Therefore, the question has been raised in recent years of how vulnerable biochar actually is to soil erosion. This is especially relevant on soils which are regularly cultivated and are vulnerable to soil erosion...... themselves. However, so far few studies about the erodibility of biochar exist and the answer to this question is still unknown. It is therefore important to further our knowledge about mobilization and transport be-haviour of biochar. Moreover, such knowledge could have profound economic implications...

  15. Effects of biochar amendment on geotechnical properties of landfill cover soil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reddy, Krishna R; Yaghoubi, Poupak; Yukselen-Aksoy, Yeliz

    2015-06-01

    Biochar is a carbon-rich product obtained when plant-based biomass is heated in a closed container with little or no available oxygen. Biochar-amended soil has the potential to serve as a landfill cover material that can oxidise methane emissions for two reasons: biochar amendment can increase the methane retention time and also enhance the biological activity that can promote the methanotrophic oxidation of methane. Hydraulic conductivity, compressibility and shear strength are the most important geotechnical properties that are required for the design of effective and stable landfill cover systems, but no studies have been reported on these properties for biochar-amended landfill cover soils. This article presents physicochemical and geotechnical properties of a biochar, a landfill cover soil and biochar-amended soils. Specifically, the effects of amending 5%, 10% and 20% biochar (of different particle sizes as produced, size-20 and size-40) to soil on its physicochemical properties, such as moisture content, organic content, specific gravity and pH, as well as geotechnical properties, such as hydraulic conductivity, compressibility and shear strength, were determined from laboratory testing. Soil or biochar samples were prepared by mixing them with 20% deionised water based on dry weight. Samples of soil amended with 5%, 10% and 20% biochar (w/w) as-is or of different select sizes, were also prepared at 20% initial moisture content. The results show that the hydraulic conductivity of the soil increases, compressibility of the soil decreases and shear strength of the soil increases with an increase in the biochar amendment, and with a decrease in biochar particle size. Overall, the study revealed that biochar-amended soils can possess excellent geotechnical properties to serve as stable landfill cover materials. © The Author(s) 2015.

  16. Effect of biochar amendment on tylosin adsorption-desorption and transport in two different soils

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chang Yoon Jeong; Jim J. Wang; Syam K. Dodla; Thomas L. Eberhardt; Les Groom

    2012-01-01

    The role of biochar as a soil amendment on the adsorption¨C desorption and transport of tylosin, a macrolide class of veterinary antibiotic, is little known. In this study, batch and column experiments were conducted to investigate the adsorption kinetics and transport of tylosin in forest and agricultural corn field soils amended with hardwood and softwood biochars....

  17. Biochar amendment to lead-contaminated soil: Effects on fluorescein diacetate hydrolytic activity and phytotoxicity to rice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tan, Xiaofei; Liu, Yunguo; Gu, Yanling; Zeng, Guangming; Hu, Xinjiang; Wang, Xin; Hu, Xi; Guo, Yiming; Zeng, Xiaoxia; Sun, Zhichao

    2015-09-01

    The amendment effects of biochar on total microbial activity was measured by fluorescein diacetate (FDA) hydrolytic activity, and phytotoxicity in Pb(II)-contaminated soils was examined by the application of 4 different biochars to soil, with rice as a test plant. The FDA hydrolytic activities of biochar-amended soils were much higher than that of the control. The survival rate of rice in lead-contaminated biochar-amended soils showed significant improvement over the control, especially for bamboo biochar-amended soil (93.3%). In addition, rice grown in lead-contaminated control sediment displayed lower biomass production than that in biochar-amended soil. The immobilization of Pb(II) and the positive effects of biochar amendment on soil microorganisms may account for these effects. The results suggest that biochar may have an excellent ability to mitigate the toxic effects of Pb(II) on soil microorganisms and rice. © 2015 SETAC.

  18. Biochar-mediated reductions in greenhouse gas emissions from soil amended with anaerobic digestates

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Martin, Sarah L.; Clarke, Michèle L.; Othman, Mukhrizah; Ramsden, Stephen J.; West, Helen M.

    2015-01-01

    This investigation examines nitrous oxide (N 2 O) fluxes from soil with simultaneous amendments of anaerobic digestates and biochar. The main source of anthropogenic emissions of N 2 O is agriculture and in particular, manure and slurry application to fields. Anaerobic digestates are increasingly used as a fertiliser and interest is growing in their potential as sources of N 2 O via nitrification and denitrification. Biochar is a stable product of pyrolysis and may affect soil properties such as cation exchange capacity and water holding capacity. Whilst work has been conducted on the effects of biochar amendment on N 2 O emissions in soils fertilised with mineral fertilisers and raw animal manures, little work to date has focused on the effects of biochar on nitrogen transformations within soil amended with anaerobic digestates. The aim of the current investigation was to quantify the effects of biochar application on ammonification, nitrification and N 2 O fluxes within soil amended with three anaerobic digestates derived from different feedstocks. A factorial experiment was undertaken in which a sandy loam soil (Dunnington Heath series) was either left untreated, or amended with three different anaerobic digestates and one of three biochar treatments; 0%, 1% or 3%. Nitrous oxide emissions were greatest from soil amended with anaerobic digestate originating from a maize feedstock. Biochar amendment reduced N 2 O emissions from all treatments, with the greatest effect observed in treatments with maximum emissions. The degree of N 2 O production and efficacy of biochar amelioration of gas emissions is discussed in context of soil microbial biomass and soil available carbon. - Highlights: • Nitrous oxide was emitted from anaerobic digestates applied to soil. • Simultaneous amendment of soil with biochar and anaerobic digestate reduced N 2 O emissions. • Soil nitrate accumulation occurred but was digestate dependent

  19. Soil biota response to amendment with biochar as P and K fertilizer

    Science.gov (United States)

    Winding, Anne; Imparato, Valentina; Santos, Susana; Hansen, Veronika; Haugaard-Nielsen, Henrik; Browne, Patrick; Hestbjerg Hansen, Lars; Henning Krogh, Paul; Johansen, Anders

    2017-04-01

    Thermal gasification converts biomass into a combustible gas at oxygen-poor conditions, the bi-product being biochar which can be used as soil amendment to increase pH, sequester carbon to mitigate climate change, and supply phosphate and potassium to crops; replacing chemical or other alternative organic fertilizers. Amending soil with biochar can support three soil functions: production of food, carbon sequestration, and biodiversity. This was tested in a field experiment with reduced-tillage agricultural management, where the effect of biochar amendment on soil ecosystem services, especially biodiversity and carbon sequestration were studied. The effects on soil microorganisms and fauna (protists and earthworms) were assessed with activity based assays and Next Generation Sequencing (NGS). Crops were alternating oil seed rape and winter wheat, and biochar was added annually for 3 years. The soil was a sandy loam soil with SOM content of ca. 5%. Earthworms and soil were sampled from field plots either left untreated, amended with straw or annually amended with either 6-8 t ha-1 or ca. 1 t ha-1 biochar. Soil was sampled from bulk soil and earthworm drilosphere. Earthworms had a priming effect on protist abundance and basal soil respiration. However, in biochar amended soil the protist abundance decreased in the drilosphere. Culturable bacteria and extracellular enzymatic activities were not significantly affected by earthworms. The abundance of only one earthworm species increased at high compared to low application levels of biochar, while still not differing from controls without biochar. Thus, no harmful effects were detected for earthworms. At the lower biochar amendment, significant changes were observed for the activity of a few selected enzymes related to biochar and also a relative increase in abundance of low abundant microorganisms was seen. At the high doses of biochar the abundance of protists increased compared to control. NGS analysis was more

  20. Soil amendment with biochar increases the competitive ability of legumes via increased potassium availability

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Oram, N.J.; Van de Voorde, T.F.J.; Ouwehand, G.J.; Bezemer, T.M.; Mommer, Liesje; Jeffery, S.; van Groeningen, J.W.

    2014-01-01

    Soil amendment with biochar is currently proposed as a management strategy to improve soil quality and enhance plant productivity. Relatively little is known about how biochar affects plant competition, although it has been suggested that it can increase the competitive ability of legumes. This

  1. Reversible and irreversible sorption of agrochemicals in biochar amended soils: synergistic effects of heavy metals

    Science.gov (United States)

    Soil amendment of biochar products from thermochemical waste-to-energy conversion (slow/fast pyrolysis and gasification) of biomass has received considerable interests for both contaminated and agricultural sites. Recalcitrant nature of biochar manifests in their decade-long effectiveness in soil a...

  2. Effect of biochar amendment on tylosin adsorption-desorption and transport in two different soils.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jeong, Chang Yoon; Wang, Jim J; Dodla, Syam K; Eberhardt, Thomas L; Groom, Les

    2012-01-01

    The role of biochar as a soil amendment on the adsorption-desorption and transport of tylosin, a macrolide class of veterinary antibiotic, is little known. In this study, batch and column experiments were conducted to investigate the adsorption kinetics and transport of tylosin in forest and agricultural corn field soils amended with hardwood and softwood biochars. Tylosin adsorption was rapid at initial stages, followed by slow and continued adsorption. Amounts of adsorption increased as the biochar amendment rate increased from 1 to 10%. For soils with the hardwood biochar, tylosin adsorption was 10 to 18% higher than that when using the softwood biochar. Adsorption kinetics was well described by Elovich equation ( ≥ 0.921). As the percent of biochar was increased, the rates of initial reactions were generally increased, as indicated by increasing α value at low initial tylosin concentration, whereas the rates during extended reaction times were generally increased, as indicated by decreasing β value at high initial tylosin concentration. A considerably higher amount of tylosin remained after desorption in the corn field soil than in the forest soil regardless of the rate of biochar amendment, which was attributed to the high pH and silt content of the former. The breakthrough curves of tylosin showed that the two soils with biochar amendment had much greater retardation than those of soils without biochar. The CXTFIT model for the miscible displacement column study described well the peak arrival time as well as the maximum concentration of tylosin breakthrough curves but showed some underestimation at advanced stages of tylosin leaching, especially in the corn field soil. Overall, the results indicate that biochar amendments enhance the retention and reduce the transport of tylosin in soils. Copyright © by the American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America, and Soil Science Society of America, Inc.

  3. Fractionation of lead-acid battery soil amended with Biochar ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Mobile (bio)available metal concentration in contaminated soils can be minimized through biological immobilization and stabilization methods using a range of organic compounds, such as “biochar.” Biochar has a high surface area, highly porous, variable – charge organic material that has the potential to increase soil ...

  4. Exposure of agricultural crops to nanoparticle CeO2in biochar-amended soil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Servin, Alia D; De la Torre-Roche, Roberto; Castillo-Michel, Hiram; Pagano, Luca; Hawthorne, Joseph; Musante, Craig; Pignatello, Joseph; Uchimiya, Minori; White, Jason C

    2017-01-01

    Biochar is seeing increased usage as an amendment in agricultural soils but the significance of nanoscale interactions between this additive and engineered nanoparticles (ENP) remains unknown. Corn, lettuce, soybean and zucchini were grown for 28 d in two different soils (agricultural, residential) amended with 0-2000 mg engineered nanoparticle (ENP) CeO 2  kg -1 and biochar (350 °C or 600 °C) at application rates of 0-5% (w/w). At harvest, plants were analyzed for biomass, Ce content, chlorophyll and lipid peroxidation. Biomass from the four species grown in residential soil varied with species and biochar type. However, biomass in the agricultural soil amended with biochar 600 °C was largely unaffected. Biochar co-exposure had minimal impact on Ce accumulation, with reduced or increased Ce content occurring at the highest (5%) biochar level. Soil-specific and biochar-specific effects on Ce accumulation were observed in the four species. For example, zucchini grown in agricultural soil with 2000 mg CeO 2  kg -1 and 350 °C biochar (0.5-5%) accumulated greater Ce than the control. However, for the 600 °C biochar, the opposite effect was evident, with decreased Ce content as biochar increased. A principal component analysis showed that biochar type accounted for 56-99% of the variance in chlorophyll and lipid peroxidation across the plants. SEM and μ-XRF showed Ce association with specific biochar and soil components, while μ-XANES analysis confirmed that after 28 d in soil, the Ce remained largely as CeO 2 . The current study demonstrates that biochar synthesis conditions significantly impact interactions with ENP, with subsequent effects on particle fate and effects. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Masson SAS. All rights reserved.

  5. Degradation of dimethyl disulphide in soil with or without biochar amendment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Han, Dawei; Yan, Dongdong; Cao, Aocheng; Fang, Wensheng; Liu, Pengfei; Li, Yuan; Ouyang, Canbin; Wang, Qiuxia

    2017-09-01

    Dimethyl disulphide (DMDS) is a new and effective alternative to methyl bromide for soil fumigation. The effect of biochar on the fate of DMDS in soil is not fully understood. The objective of this study was to determine the degradation kinetics of DMDS in different soils and evaluate the effect of biochar amendment on DMDS degradation using incubation experiments. The degradation half-life of DMDS was between 1.05 and 6.66 days under non-sterile conditions, and 12.63 to 22.67 days under sterile conditions in five types of soil. Seven out of the eight tested biochar amendments (BC-2 to BC-8) delayed the degradation of DMDS in soil, increasing the half-life of DMDS in Fangshan soil from 1.05 to 1.16-5.87 days following amendment with 1% (w/w) biochar. The degradation rate of DMDS in Fangshan soil accelerated as the amendment rate of BC-1 increased, and decreased as the amendment rate of BC-7 increased. Biodegradation is an important degradation route for DMDS in soil, and DMDS degraded faster in alkaline soil. The effects of biochar amendments on DMDS degradation in soil are determined by complex multiple factors (such as surface area, pH and physicochemical composition), rather than by any single property of biochar. © 2017 Society of Chemical Industry. © 2017 Society of Chemical Industry.

  6. Biochar soil amendment for waste-stream diversion, nutrient holding capacity, and carbon sequestration in two contrasting soils

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deem, L. M.; Crow, S. E.; Deenik, J. L.; Penton, C. R.; Yanagida, J.

    2013-12-01

    Biochar is organic matter that has been pyrolized under low oxygen conditions for use as a soil amendment. Currently biochar is viewed as a way to improve soil quality (e.g., increased nutrient and water holding capacity) and increase in soil carbon (C) sequestration. The use of biochar in soil is not new, yet little is known about the underlying mechanisms that control the interactions between biochar and soil following amendment. In the past, the effects of biochar addition on crop yields, soil properties and greenhouse gas (GHG) fluxes in both in-situ and controlled experiments have produced inconsistent results. These discrepancies may be uncovered in part by chemical and physical characterization of the biochar prior to amendment and identification of soil- and biochar-specific interactions. Furthermore, a more holistic consideration of the system may demonstrate the virtues of biochar amendment beyond the typical considerations of yield and gas flux. We expect that as the differences between the physical and chemical properties of the biochar and the soil increase, the impact on the soil quality metrics will also increase. For this study, we used a waste product (i.e., anaerobic digester sludge) biochar with 81.5% C, pH of 10.44, pH-independent charge for anion exchange capacity (AEC) and a pH-dependent charge for cation exchange capacity (CEC), 4.14% moisture content and 25.75 cmol¬c /kg exchangeable base cations. This biochar was incorporated into both a low and a high fertility Hawaiian field soil to quantitate biochar effects on crop yield, soil pH, CEC, AEC, hot and cold water extractable C and nitrogen, bulk density, phosphorus, soil microbial ecology, and GHG flux in varying soil conditions. Compared to the higher fertility soil, we hypothesized that the low fertility soil would demonstrate a greater increase in soil quality, including higher pH, CEC and water holding capacity. Two crop management practices were included with each soil: traditional

  7. Biochar amendment improves soil fertility and productivity of mulberry plant

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Faruque Ahmed

    2017-07-01

    Full Text Available Biochar has the potential to improve soil fertility and crop productivity. A field experiment was carried out at the experimental field of Bangladesh Sericulture Research and Training Institute (BSRTI, Rajshahi, Bangladesh. The objective of this study was to examine the effect of biochar on soil properties, growth, yield and foliar disease incidence of mulberry plant. The study consisted of 6 treatments: control, basal dose of NPK, rice husk biochar, mineral enriched biochar, basal dose + rice husk biochar and basal dose + mineral enriched biochar. Growth parameters such as node/meter, total branch number/plant, total leaf yield/hectare/year were significantly increased in basal dose + mineral enriched biochar treated plot in second year compared with the other fertilizer treatments. In second year, the total leaf yield/hectare/year were also 142.1% and 115.9% higher in combined application of basal dose + mineral enriched biochar and basal dose + rice husk biochar, respectively, than the control treatment. The soil properties such as organic matter, phosphorus, sulphur and zinc percentage were significantly increased with both the (mineral enriched and rice husk biochar treated soil applied with or without recommended basal dose of NPK than the control and only the recommended basal dose of NPK, respectively. Further, the lowest incidences of tukra (6.4%, powdery mildew (10.4% and leaf spot (7.6% disease were observed in second year under mineral enriched biochar treated plot than the others. The findings revealed that utilization of biochar has positive effect on the improvement of soil fertility and productivity as well as disease suppression of mulberry plant.

  8. Amending greenroof soil with biochar to affect runoff water quantity and quality

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Beck, Deborah A.; Johnson, Gwynn R.; Spolek, Graig A.

    2011-01-01

    Numbers of greenroofs in urban areas continue to grow internationally; so designing greenroof soil to reduce the amount of nutrients in the stormwater runoff from these roofs is becoming essential. This study evaluated changes in extensive greenroof water discharge quality and quantity after adding biochar, a soil amendment promoted for its ability to retain nutrients in soils and increase soil fertility. Prototype greenroof trays with and without biochar were planted with sedum or ryegrass, with barren soil trays used as controls. The greenroof trays were subjected to two sequential 7.4 cm/h rainfall events using a rain simulator. Runoff from the rain events was collected and evaluated. Trays containing 7% biochar showed increased water retention and significant decreases in discharge of total nitrogen, total phosphorus, nitrate, phosphate, and organic carbon. The addition of biochar to greenroof soil improves both runoff water quality and retention. - Highlights: → Biochar in green roof soil reduces nitrogen and phosphorus in the runoff. → Addition of biochar reduces turbidity of runoff. → Addition of biochar reduces total organic carbon content in runoff by 67-72%. → Biochar improves water retention of saturated soil. - In this controlled laboratory experiment, greenroof soil was amended by the addition of biochar, which reduced the water runoff concentration of nitrogen, phosphorus, and organic carbon.

  9. Amending greenroof soil with biochar to affect runoff water quantity and quality

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Beck, Deborah A.; Johnson, Gwynn R. [Portland State University, Mechanical and Materials Engineering, POB 751, Portland, OR 97207 (United States); Spolek, Graig A., E-mail: graig@cecs.pdx.edu [Portland State University, Mechanical and Materials Engineering, POB 751, Portland, OR 97207 (United States)

    2011-08-15

    Numbers of greenroofs in urban areas continue to grow internationally; so designing greenroof soil to reduce the amount of nutrients in the stormwater runoff from these roofs is becoming essential. This study evaluated changes in extensive greenroof water discharge quality and quantity after adding biochar, a soil amendment promoted for its ability to retain nutrients in soils and increase soil fertility. Prototype greenroof trays with and without biochar were planted with sedum or ryegrass, with barren soil trays used as controls. The greenroof trays were subjected to two sequential 7.4 cm/h rainfall events using a rain simulator. Runoff from the rain events was collected and evaluated. Trays containing 7% biochar showed increased water retention and significant decreases in discharge of total nitrogen, total phosphorus, nitrate, phosphate, and organic carbon. The addition of biochar to greenroof soil improves both runoff water quality and retention. - Highlights: > Biochar in green roof soil reduces nitrogen and phosphorus in the runoff. > Addition of biochar reduces turbidity of runoff. > Addition of biochar reduces total organic carbon content in runoff by 67-72%. > Biochar improves water retention of saturated soil. - In this controlled laboratory experiment, greenroof soil was amended by the addition of biochar, which reduced the water runoff concentration of nitrogen, phosphorus, and organic carbon.

  10. Attenuation of Escherichia Coli in a biochar-amended soil

    Science.gov (United States)

    Advances in research on biochar have highlighted its tremendous potential for mitigating climate change, improving soil properties, and reducing chemical pollution of soils and groundwater. However, studies that evaluate its potential in treating bacterial contaminants are lacking. This study evalu...

  11. Fate of heavy metals and agrochemicals in biochar amended soils

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heavy metals and agrochemicals are the key targets for biochar-induced mitigation of runoff/groundwater contamination. Inorganic and organic contaminants interact differently with biochars as well as soil components. Mechanistic understandings are needed on sorption, desorption, and competitive sor...

  12. Trade-offs between soil hydrology and plant disease effects after biochar amendment in sandy soil

    Science.gov (United States)

    Verheijen, Frank; Silva, Flavio; Amaro, Antonio; Pinto, Gloria; Mesquita, Raquel; Jesus, Claudia; Alves, Artur; Keizer, Jacob

    2015-04-01

    Biochar can affect multiple soil-based ecosystem services to varying extents, leading to trade-offs. Improvements in plant-available water have predominantly been found at high biochar application rates in sandy soils. Reductions in plant diseases after biochar application have been found in various horticultural plants, and trees such as maple and oak, mostly at relatively low biochar application rates. Serious damage to Eucalyptus globulus has been reported since 1999 when frequent and severe defoliation of young trees was observed, and eucalypts are the major tree species in commercial forestry plantations of Portugal, forming an important economic activity. Here we investigated simultaneous effects on plant available water and on disease suppression of eucalypt, in a completely randomised full factorial greenhouse pot experiment, using a range of woody feedstock biochar concentrations in sandy soil. Treatments included plant inoculation with the fungus Neofusicoccum kwambonambiense and cycles of acute drought stress. Preliminary results showed delayed wilting for plants treated with 3-6% biochar, but also increased stem lesion length. These results suggest a trade-off between effects on water availability and disease for Eucalyptus globulus plants in the selected sandy soil amended with this specific biochar, at the selected application rates.

  13. Effect of biochar soil-amendments on Allium porrum growth, arbuscular mycorrhizal fungus colonization

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aims: Examine the interaction of biochar addition and arbuscular mycorrhizal [AM] fungus inoculation upon growth and Zn and Cu uptake by Allium porrum L. in heavy metal amended soil mix, and relate these responses to physicochemical properties of the biochars. Methods: The experiment was a complete ...

  14. Effects of biochar and manure amendments on water vapor sorption in a sandy loam soil

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Arthur, Emmanuel; Tuller, Markus; Moldrup, Per

    2015-01-01

    Over the last few years, the application of biochar (BC) as a soil amendment to sequester carbon and mitigate global climate change has received considerable attention. While positive effects of biochar on plant nutrition are well documented, little is known about potential impacts on the physical....... Hysteresis of the water vapor sorption isotherms increased with increasing BC application rates. Biochar age did not significantly affect vapor sorption and SSA....

  15. Effect of biochar or activated carbon amendment on the volatilisation and biodegradation of organic soil pollutants

    Science.gov (United States)

    Werner, David; Meynet, Paola; Bushnaf, Khaled

    2013-04-01

    Biochar or activated carbon added to contaminated soil may temporarily reduce the volatilisation of organic pollutants by enhanced sorption. The long-term effect of sorbent amendments on the fate of volatile petroleum hydrocarbon mixtures (VPHs) will depend on the responses of the soil bacterial community members, especially those which may utilize VPHs as carbon substrates. We investigated the volatilisation and biodegradation of VPHs emanating from NAPL sources and migrating through one meter long columns containing unsaturated sandy soil with and without 2% biochar or activated carbon amendment. After 420 days, VPH volatilisation from AC amended soil was less than 10 percent of the cumulative VPH volatilisation flux from unamended soil. The cumulative CO2 volatilisation flux increased more slowly in AC amended soil, but was comparable to the untreated soil after 420 days. This indicated that the pollution attenuation over a 1 meter distance was improved by the AC amendment. Biochar was a weaker VPH sorbent than AC and had a lesser effect on the cumulative VPH and CO2 fluxes. We also investgated the predominant bacterial community responses in sandy soil to biochar and/or VPH addition with a factorially designed batch study, and by analyzing preserved soil samples. Biochar addition alone had only weak effects on soil bacterial communities, while VPH addition was a strong community structure shaping factor. The bacterial community effects of biochar-enhanced VPH sorption were moderated by the limited biomass carrying capacity of the sandy soil investigated which contained only low amounts of inorganic nitrogen. Several Pseudomonas spp., including Pseudomonas putida strains, became dominant in VPH polluted soil with and without biochar. The ability of these versatile VPH degraders to effectively regulate their metabolic pathways according to substrate availabilities may additionally have moderated bacterial community structure responses to the presence of biochar

  16. Gasification biochar as a valuable by-product for carbon sequestration and soil amendment

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hansen, Veronika; Müller-Stöver, Dorette Sophie; Ahrenfeldt, Jesper

    2015-01-01

    Thermal gasification of various biomass residues is a promising technology for combining bioenergy production with soil fertility management through the application of the resulting biochar as soil amendment. In this study, we investigated gasification biochar (GB) materials originating from two...... major global biomass fuels: straw gasification biochar (SGB) and wood gasification biochar (WGB), produced by a Low Temperature Circulating Fluidized Bed gasifier (LT-CFB) and a TwoStage gasifier, respectively, optimized for energy conversion. Stability of carbon in GB against microbial degradation...

  17. Reduction of the efficacy of biochar as soil amendment by soil erosion

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fister, Wolfgang; Heckrath, Goswin; Greenwood, Philip; Kuhn, Nikolaus J.

    2014-05-01

    Biochar is primarily used as soil amendment to improve soil quality and to sequester more carbon (C) to increase both medium- and long-term soil C stocks. These positive effects are obviously diminished if biochar is eroded and transported out of the field. Due to its low bulk density, the preferential mobilization and redistribution of biochar in the landscape seems probable. Therefore, the question has been raised in recent years of how vulnerable biochar actually is to soil erosion. This is especially relevant on soils which are regularly cultivated and are vulnerable to soil erosion themselves. However, so far few studies about the erodibility of biochar exist and the answer to this question is still unknown. It is therefore important to further our knowledge about mobilization and transport behaviour of biochar. Moreover, such knowledge could have profound economic implications for farmers committed to its use, as a high net annual loss of biochar by erosion could exceed any net annual economic gain. The overall objective of this study was, therefore, to investigate the erodibility of biochar, when erosion events occur directly or soon after its application. The estimation of the financial value of the eroded biochar and its cost-effectiveness were scaled up from plot to field scale. In this investigation, the biochar was applied to the soil surface of three plots on a recently cultivated sandy field near Viborg in northern Jutland, Denmark at concentrations equivalent to 1.5-2.0 kg m-2. After application, the biochar was manually incorporated into the till-zone (20cm). With the Portable Wind and Rainfall Simulator erosion events of a duration of 30 minutes and with a rainfall intensity of approx. 90 mm h-1 were conducted on both biochar and reference plots. The erodibility of biochar by wind erosion was due to very rainy wet soil surface conditions, tested with dried soil in the laboratory, in order to be able to at least reflect the worst case scenario. The

  18. Microbial effects on two tropical soils amended with different types of biochar

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paz, Jorge; Méndez, Ana; Fun, Shenglei; Gascó, Gabriel

    2013-04-01

    There is an increasing interest in using biochar as soil amendment due to its potential to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from soils and to mitigate heavy metal pollution. In addition, sometimes biochar has been found to increase soil productivity due to its favourable effect on soil aggregation and water holding capacity. However, results obtained can differ greatly depending on the type of biochar utilised. On the other hand, the response of the microbial community to biochar addition is not so well understood. In our experiment we have sampled two soils, differing in their fertility status. A greenhouse pot experiment was established to see the effect of adding four different biochars, differing on their feedstock (Miscanthus, sewage sludge, paper mill waste and pinewood). Additionally, half of the samples excluded soil earthworms, while the other half had 3 individuals of the earthworm Pontoscolex corethrurus. Pots, containing 400 g of soil, were planted with proso millet. Assessed parameters included millet height, soil microbial biomass and soil enzymatic activity related to different biogeochemical cycles (invertase, B-glucosaminidase, B-glucosidase, urease, phosphomonoesterase, arylsulphatase) The effects of biochar on soil biological properties depended on the type of feedstock used for biochar production and pre-existent soil parameters such as soil fertility status. Earthworm presence generally had a positive effect on soil microbial properties.

  19. Effects of Biochar Amendment on Chloropicrin Adsorption and Degradation in Soil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pengfei Liu

    2016-10-01

    Full Text Available The characteristics of biochar vary with pyrolysis temperature. Chloropicrin (CP is an effective fumigant for controlling soil-borne pests. This study investigated the characteristics of biochars prepared at 300, 500, and 700 °C by michelia alba (Magnolia denudata wood and evaluated their capacity to adsorb CP. The study also determined the potential influence of biochar, which was added to sterilized and unsterilized soils at rates of 0%, 1%, 5%, and 100%, on CP degradation. The specific surface area, pore volume, and micropores increased considerably with an increase in the pyrolytic temperature. The adsorption rate of biochar for CP increased with increasing pyrolytic temperature. The maximum adsorption amounts of CP were similar for the three biochars. Next, the study examined the degradation ability of the biochar for CP. The degradation rate constant (k of CP increased when biochar was added to the soil, and k increased with increased amendment rate and pyrolysis temperature. The results indicate that biochar can accelerate CP degradation in soil. The findings will be instructive in using biochar as a new fertilizer in fumigating soil with CP.

  20. Biochar soil amendments as a tool for climate change adaptation in PNW agriculture

    Science.gov (United States)

    Phillips, C. L.; Trippe, K. M.; Murphy, B. A.; Beovich, A. V.; Griffith, S. M.

    2015-12-01

    Loss of snow pack, changing hydrographs, and increased temperatures and irrigation demands as a result of climate change all threaten to create transformational drought for growers in the Pacific Northwest. One approach for adapting to drought is to improve moisture retention through soil management practices. Recent efforts at the FSCRU to develop on-farm power have produced a biochar from gasification of seed mill waste that may prove useful as a tool for drought adaption. Testing of this biochar revealed that it contains no toxic elements, making it suitable as a soil amendment, and additions of 20 tonnes ha-1 in dryland wheat system showed improved soil moisture and yield increases of 250%. Persistent but weaker impacts were observed in growing years 2 and 3 following the biochar amendments. Here we present results from a series of laboratory and field studies characterizing how grass seed screening biochar, which is produced from a regionally abundant feedstock, impacted soil hydraulic and thermal properties, soil chemistry, and plant growth. Because of the liming qualities of gasified biochar, the greatest growth benefits are likely to be realized in acidified soils, a growing problem in the PNW. Although the persistence of biochar impacts in soil is still unknown, our results indicate that gasified biochar, particularly when utilized as part of a system of on-farm power production, waste reduction, and nutrient recycling, can improve agricultural sustainability in the context of climate change.

  1. Biochar and compost as amendments in copper-enriched vineyard soils - stabilization or mobilization of copper?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Soja, Gerhard; Fristak, Vladimir; Wimmer, Bernhard; Bell, Stephen; Chamier Glisczinski, Julia; Pardeller, Georg; Dersch, Georg; Rosner, Franz; Wenzel, Walter; Zehetner, Franz

    2016-04-01

    Copper is an important ingredient for several fungicides that have been used in agriculture. For organic viticulture, several diseases as e.g. downy mildew (Plasmopara viticola) can only be antagonized with Cu-containing fungicides. This long-lasting dependence on Cu-fungicides has led to a gradual Cu enrichment of vineyard soils in traditional wine-growing areas, occasionally exceeding 300 mg/kg. Although these concentrations do not affect the vines or wine quality, they may impair soil microbiological functions in the top soil layer or the root growth of green cover plants. Therefore measures are demanded that reduce the bioavailability of copper, thereby reducing the ecotoxicological effects. The use of biochar and compost as soil amendment has been suggested as a strategy to immobilize Cu and reduce the exchangeable fractions. This study consisted of lab and greenhouse experiments that were designed to test the sorption and desorption behavior of copper in vineyard soils with or without biochar and/or compost as soil amendment. Slightly acidic soils (pHeffects were more evident for a reduction of the ionic form Cu2+ than for total soluble copper, even in alkaline soils. Biochar modified with citric or tartaric acid did not significantly decrease the solubility of copper based on total dissolved concentrations although CEC was higher than in unmodified biochar. Treatments consisting of compost only or that had an equal amount of compost and biochar rather had a mobilizing effect on biochar. Sorption experiments with different DOC concentrations and biochar, however, showed a positive effect on copper sorption. Apparently in vineyard soils the predisposition to form organic-Cu-complexes may outbalance the binding possibilities of these complexes to biochar, occasionally resulting in enhanced mobilization. Presumably immobilization of copper with biochar would work best in acidic soils low in organic carbon and with low or no compost addition although this might

  2. Biochar amendment decreases soil microbial biomass and increases bacterial diversity in Moso bamboo (Phyllostachys edulis) plantations under simulated nitrogen deposition

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Quan; Lei, Zhaofeng; Song, Xinzhang; Zhang, Zhiting; Ying, Yeqing; Peng, Changhui

    2018-04-01

    Biochar amendment has been proposed as a strategy to improve acidic soils after overuse of nitrogen fertilizers. However, little is known of the role of biochar in soil microbial biomass carbon (MBC) and bacterial community structure and diversity after soil acidification induced by nitrogen (N) deposition. Using high-throughput sequencing of the 16S rRNA gene, we determined the effects of biochar amendment (BC0, 0 t bamboo biochar ha‑1 BC20, 20 t bamboo biochar ha‑1 and BC40, 40 t bamboo biochar ha‑1) on the soil bacterial community structure and diversity in Moso bamboo plantations that had received simulated N deposition (N30, 30 kg N ha‑1 yr‑1 N60, 60 kg N ha‑1 yr‑1 N90, 90 kg N ha‑1 yr‑1 and N-free) for 21 months. After treatment of N-free plots, BC20 significantly increased soil MBC and bacterial diversity, while BC40 significantly decreased soil MBC but increased bacterial diversity. When used to amend N30 and N60 plots, biochar significantly decreased soil MBC and the reducing effect increased with biochar amendment amount. However, these significant effects were not observed in N90 plots. Under N deposition, biochar amendment largely increased soil bacterial diversity, and these effects depended on the rates of N deposition and biochar amendment. Soil bacterial diversity was significantly related to the soil C/N ratio, pH, and soil organic carbon content. These findings suggest an optimal approach for using biochar to offset the effects of N deposition in plantation soils and provide a new perspective for understanding the potential role of biochar amendments in plantation soil.

  3. Soil biochar amendment shapes the composition of N2O-reducing microbial communities

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Harter, Johannes; Weigold, Pascal; El-Hadidi, Mohamed; Huson, Daniel H.; Kappler, Andreas; Behrens, Sebastian

    2016-01-01

    Soil biochar amendment has been described as a promising tool to improve soil quality, sequester carbon, and mitigate nitrous oxide (N 2 O) emissions. N 2 O is a potent greenhouse gas. The main sources of N 2 O in soils are microbially-mediated nitrogen transformation processes such as nitrification and denitrification. While previous studies have focused on the link between N 2 O emission mitigation and the abundance and activity of N 2 O-reducing microorganisms in biochar-amended soils, the impact of biochar on the taxonomic composition of the nosZ gene carrying soil microbial community has not been subject of systematic study to date. We used 454 pyrosequencing in order to study the microbial diversity in biochar-amended and biochar-free soil microcosms. We sequenced bacterial 16S rRNA gene amplicons as well as fragments of common (typical) nosZ genes and the recently described ‘atypical’ nosZ genes. The aim was to describe biochar-induced shifts in general bacterial community diversity and taxonomic variations among the nosZ gene containing N 2 O-reducing microbial communities. While soil biochar amendment significantly altered the 16S rRNA gene-based community composition and structure, it also led to the development of distinct functional traits capable of N 2 O reduction containing typical and atypical nosZ genes related to nosZ genes found in Pseudomonas stutzeri and Pedobacter saltans, respectively. Our results showed that biochar amendment can affect the relative abundance and taxonomic composition of N 2 O-reducing functional microbial traits in soil. Thus these findings broaden our knowledge on the impact of biochar on soil microbial community composition and nitrogen cycling. - Highlights: • Biochar promoted anaerobic, alkalinity-adapted, and polymer-degrading microbial taxa. • Biochar fostered the development of distinct N 2 O-reducing microbial taxa. • Taxonomic shifts among N 2 O-reducing microbes might explain lower N 2 O emissions.

  4. Soil biochar amendment shapes the composition of N{sub 2}O-reducing microbial communities

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Harter, Johannes; Weigold, Pascal [Geomicrobiology & Microbial Ecology, Center for Applied Geosciences, University of Tuebingen, Sigwartstr. 10, 72076 Tuebingen (Germany); El-Hadidi, Mohamed; Huson, Daniel H. [Algorithms in Bioinformatics, Center for Bioinformatics, University of Tuebingen, Sand 14, 72076 Tuebingen (Germany); Kappler, Andreas [Geomicrobiology & Microbial Ecology, Center for Applied Geosciences, University of Tuebingen, Sigwartstr. 10, 72076 Tuebingen (Germany); Behrens, Sebastian, E-mail: sbehrens@umn.edu [Geomicrobiology & Microbial Ecology, Center for Applied Geosciences, University of Tuebingen, Sigwartstr. 10, 72076 Tuebingen (Germany); Department of Civil, Environmental, and Geo-Engineering, University of Minnesota, 500 Pillsbury Drive S.E., Minneapolis, MN 55455-0116 (United States); BioTechnology Institute, 140 Gortner Labs, 1479 Gortner Avenue, St. Paul, MN 55108-6106 (United States)

    2016-08-15

    Soil biochar amendment has been described as a promising tool to improve soil quality, sequester carbon, and mitigate nitrous oxide (N{sub 2}O) emissions. N{sub 2}O is a potent greenhouse gas. The main sources of N{sub 2}O in soils are microbially-mediated nitrogen transformation processes such as nitrification and denitrification. While previous studies have focused on the link between N{sub 2}O emission mitigation and the abundance and activity of N{sub 2}O-reducing microorganisms in biochar-amended soils, the impact of biochar on the taxonomic composition of the nosZ gene carrying soil microbial community has not been subject of systematic study to date. We used 454 pyrosequencing in order to study the microbial diversity in biochar-amended and biochar-free soil microcosms. We sequenced bacterial 16S rRNA gene amplicons as well as fragments of common (typical) nosZ genes and the recently described ‘atypical’ nosZ genes. The aim was to describe biochar-induced shifts in general bacterial community diversity and taxonomic variations among the nosZ gene containing N{sub 2}O-reducing microbial communities. While soil biochar amendment significantly altered the 16S rRNA gene-based community composition and structure, it also led to the development of distinct functional traits capable of N{sub 2}O reduction containing typical and atypical nosZ genes related to nosZ genes found in Pseudomonas stutzeri and Pedobacter saltans, respectively. Our results showed that biochar amendment can affect the relative abundance and taxonomic composition of N{sub 2}O-reducing functional microbial traits in soil. Thus these findings broaden our knowledge on the impact of biochar on soil microbial community composition and nitrogen cycling. - Highlights: • Biochar promoted anaerobic, alkalinity-adapted, and polymer-degrading microbial taxa. • Biochar fostered the development of distinct N{sub 2}O-reducing microbial taxa. • Taxonomic shifts among N{sub 2}O-reducing microbes

  5. Bioaccumulation of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and survival of earthworms (Eisenia andrei) exposed to biochar amended soils.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Malev, O; Contin, M; Licen, S; Barbieri, P; De Nobili, M

    2016-02-01

    Biochar has a charcoal polycyclic aromatic structure which allows its long half-life in soil, making it an ideal tool for C sequestration and for adsorption of organic pollutants, but at the same time raises concerns about possible adverse impacts on soil biota. Two biochars were tested under laboratory-controlled conditions on Eisenia andrei earthworms: a biochar produced at low temperature from wine tree cuttings (WTB) and a commercial low tar hardwood lump charcoal (HLB). The avoidance test (48-h exposure) showed that earthworms avoid biochar-treated soil with rates higher than 16 t ha(-1) for HLB and 64 t ha(-1) for WTB. After 42 days, toxic effects on earthworms were observed even at application rates (100 t ha(-1)) that are generally considered beneficial for most crops. The concentration of HLB and WTB required to kill half of earthworms' population (LC50; 95% confidence limits) in the synthetic OECD soil was 338 and 580 t ha(-1), respectively. Accumulation of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) in earthworms exposed to the two biochar types at 100 t ha(-1) was tested in two soils of different texture. In biochar-treated soils, the average earthworm survival rates were about 64% in the sandy and 78% clay-loam soils. PAH accumulation was larger in the sandy soil and largest in soils amended with HLB. PAH with less than four rings were preferentially scavenged from the soil by biochars, and this behaviour may mask that of the more dangerous components (i.e. four to five rings), which are preferentially accumulated. Earthworms can accumulate PAH as a consequence of exposure to biochar-treated soils and transfer them along the food chain. Soil type and biochar quality are both relevant in determining PAH transfer.

  6. Soil quality, crop productivity and soil organic matter (SOM) priming in biochar and wood ash amended soils

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reed, Eleanor Swain; Chadwick, David; Hill, Paul; Jones, Davey

    2016-04-01

    The application of energy production by-products as soil amendments to agricultural land is rapidly growing in popularity, however the increasing body of literature on primarily biochar but also wood ash have yielded contrary evidence of the range of these soil amendments function sensitivity in soil. This study aims to assess the efficacy of two by-products; biochar and wood ash to provide nutrients to grassland as well as the potential to improve overall soil quality. The study of soil amendments at field scale are scarce, and the agronomic benefits of biochar and wood ash in temperate soils remain unclear. We used replicated field plots with three soil treatments (biochar, wood ash and control) to measure the soil and crop properties over twelve months, including PLFA analysis to quantify the total soil microbial biomass and community structure. After a soil residency of one year, there were no significant differences in soil EC, total N, dissolved organic N (DON), dissolved organic C (DOC), NO3-N and NH4-N concentrations, between biochar amended, wood ash amended and un-amended soil. In contrast, the application of biochar had a significant effect on soil moisture, pH, PO4-P concentrations, soil organic carbon (SOC) and total organic carbon (TOC), whilst the wood ash amendment resulted in an increase in soil pH only. There were no significant treatment effects on the growth performance or nutrient uptake of the grass. In a parallel laboratory incubation study, the effects of biochar and wood ash on soil C priming was explored, in which soil with 14C-labelled native SOC was amended with either biochar or wood ash at the same rate as the field trial. The rates of 14CO2 (primed C) production was measured with a liquid scintillation counter over a 50 day period. The 14CO2 that evolved during decomposition likely originated from conversions in the (microbial) biomass. The results indicated that biochar application did not prime for the loss of native SOC (i.e. there

  7. Phosphorus release behaviors of poultry litter biochar as a soil amendment

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wang, Yue; Lin, Yingxin; Chiu, Pei C.; Imhoff, Paul T.; Guo, Mingxin

    2015-01-01

    Phosphorus (P) may be immobilized and consequently the runoff loss risks be reduced if poultry litter (PL) is converted into biochar prior to land application. Laboratory studies were conducted to examine the water extractability of P in PL biochar and its release kinetics in amended soils. Raw PL and its biochar produced through 400 °C pyrolysis were extracted with deionized water under various programs and measured for water extractable P species and contents. The materials were further incubated with a sandy loam at 20 g kg −1 soil and intermittently leached with water for 30 days. The P release kinetics were determined from the P recovery patterns in the water phase. Pyrolysis elevated the total P content from 13.7 g kg −1 in raw PL to 27.1 g kg −1 in PL biochar while reduced the water-soluble P level from 2.95 g kg −1 in the former to 0.17 g kg −1 in the latter. The thermal treatment transformed labile P in raw PL to putatively Mg/Ca phosphate minerals in biochar that were water-unextractable yet proton-releasable. Orthophosphate was the predominant form of water-soluble P in PL biochar, with condensed phosphate (e.g., pyrophosphate) as a minor form and organic phosphate in null. Release of P from PL biochar in both water and neutral soils was at a slower and steadier rate over a longer time period than from raw PL. Nevertheless, release of P from biochar was acid-driven and could be greatly promoted by the media acidity. Land application of PL biochar at soil pH-incorporated rates and frequency will potentially reduce P losses to runoffs and minimize the adverse impact of waste application on aquatic environments. - Highlights: • The predominant portion of P in poultry litter biochar is water insoluble. • Poultry litter P was immobilized by forming Ca/Mg (pyro)phosphates in biochar. • Release of P from biochar was slower and steadier than from raw poultry litter. • Soil pH greatly influenced the P release patterns of poultry litter biochar

  8. Phosphorus release behaviors of poultry litter biochar as a soil amendment

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wang, Yue [Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Delaware, Newark, DE 19716 (United States); Lin, Yingxin [Department of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Delaware State University, Dover, DE 19901 (United States); Chiu, Pei C.; Imhoff, Paul T. [Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Delaware, Newark, DE 19716 (United States); Guo, Mingxin, E-mail: mguo@desu.edu [Department of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Delaware State University, Dover, DE 19901 (United States)

    2015-04-15

    Phosphorus (P) may be immobilized and consequently the runoff loss risks be reduced if poultry litter (PL) is converted into biochar prior to land application. Laboratory studies were conducted to examine the water extractability of P in PL biochar and its release kinetics in amended soils. Raw PL and its biochar produced through 400 °C pyrolysis were extracted with deionized water under various programs and measured for water extractable P species and contents. The materials were further incubated with a sandy loam at 20 g kg{sup −1} soil and intermittently leached with water for 30 days. The P release kinetics were determined from the P recovery patterns in the water phase. Pyrolysis elevated the total P content from 13.7 g kg{sup −1} in raw PL to 27.1 g kg{sup −1} in PL biochar while reduced the water-soluble P level from 2.95 g kg{sup −1} in the former to 0.17 g kg{sup −1} in the latter. The thermal treatment transformed labile P in raw PL to putatively Mg/Ca phosphate minerals in biochar that were water-unextractable yet proton-releasable. Orthophosphate was the predominant form of water-soluble P in PL biochar, with condensed phosphate (e.g., pyrophosphate) as a minor form and organic phosphate in null. Release of P from PL biochar in both water and neutral soils was at a slower and steadier rate over a longer time period than from raw PL. Nevertheless, release of P from biochar was acid-driven and could be greatly promoted by the media acidity. Land application of PL biochar at soil pH-incorporated rates and frequency will potentially reduce P losses to runoffs and minimize the adverse impact of waste application on aquatic environments. - Highlights: • The predominant portion of P in poultry litter biochar is water insoluble. • Poultry litter P was immobilized by forming Ca/Mg (pyro)phosphates in biochar. • Release of P from biochar was slower and steadier than from raw poultry litter. • Soil pH greatly influenced the P release patterns

  9. Biochar amended soils and crop productivity: A critical and meta-analysis of literature

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Baidoo, Isaac; Sarpong, Daniel Bruce; Bolwig, Simon

    2016-01-01

    Biochar is a kind of charcoal used for soil improvement and it is produced by pyrolysis of biomass under low or anaerobic conditions. It has the potential to mitigate climate change, via carbon sequestration, decrease soil acidity and increase agricultural productivity. Historically it is known...... that the Amazonians used biochar to enhance soil productivity by smoldering agricultural wastes. Desk reviewed of articles of soil amended biochar and some attributes which enhance crop development and the economic benefits derived from its use in agriculture were critically analysed. A meta-analysis using twenty......-seven (27) articles reveal that the temperature at which pyrolysis is done is a major contributing factor towards the intended use of the biochar. For the purpose of crop yield, a temperature of 5500C is recommended based on the regression results. It is recommended that an in-depth study should be done...

  10. Soil biochar amendment in a nature restoration area: effects on plant productivity and community composition

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Van de Voorde, T.F.J.; Bezemer, T.M.; Van Groenigen, J.W.; Jeffery, S.; Mommer, Liesje

    2014-01-01

    Biochar (pyrolyzed biomass) amendment to soils has been shown to have a multitude of positive effects, e.g., on crop yield, soil quality, nutrient cycling, and carbon sequestration. So far the majority of studies have focused on agricultural systems, typically with relatively low species diversity

  11. Effects of biochar and other amendments on the physical properties and greenhouse gas emissions of an artificially degraded soil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mukherjee, A; Lal, R; Zimmerman, A R

    2014-07-15

    Short and long-term impacts of biochar on soil properties under field conditions are poorly understood. In addition, there is a lack of field reports of the impacts of biochar on soil physical properties, gaseous emissions and C stability, particularly in comparison with other amendments. Thus, three amendments - biochar produced from oak at 650°C, humic acid (HA) and water treatment residual - (WTR) were added to a scalped silty-loam soil @ 0.5% (w/w) in triplicated plots under soybean. Over the 4-month active growing season, all amendments significantly increased soil pH, but the effect of biochar was the greatest. Biochar significantly increased soil-C by 7%, increased sub-nanopore surface area by 15% and reduced soil bulk density by 13% compared to control. However, only WTR amendment significantly increased soil nanopore surface area by 23% relative to the control. While total cumulative CH4 and CO2 emissions were not significantly affected by any amendment, cumulative N2O emission was significantly decreased in the biochar-amended soil (by 92%) compared to control over the growing period. Considering both the total gas emissions and the C removed from the atmosphere as crop growth and C added to the soil, WTR and HA resulted in net soil C losses and biochar as a soil C gain. However, all amendments reduced the global warming potential (GWP) of the soil and biochar addition even produced a net negative GWP effect. The short observation period, low application rate and high intra-treatment variation resulted in fewer significant effects of the amendments on the physicochemical properties of the soils than one might expect indicating further possible experimentation altering these variables. However, there was clear evidence of amendment-soil interaction processes affecting both soil properties and gaseous emissions, particularly for biochar, that might lead to greater changes with additional field emplacement time. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights

  12. Development of fugal strains in biochar amended soils

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miller, Ana Z.; De la Rosa, José M.; Paneque, Marina; Knicker, Heike

    2016-04-01

    The application of carbonized materials (including biochar and hydrochar) produced by the pyrolysis of biomass to soil has been proposed as a novel approach to establish a significant long-term sink for atmospheric carbon dioxide in terrestrial ecosystems [1]. In addition, several research studies pointed out that biochar can act as a soil conditioner enhancing plant growth by supplying and, more importantly, retaining nutrients, and by providing other benefits such as improving soil physical and biological properties [2]. Despite numerous authors take for granted that microbial degradation of carbonized materials is highly unlikely, this fact is far away from being true for all the chars. Nevertheless, the knowledge concerning the natural degradation of chars by microorganisms is of high interest due to the direct decline on the char capacity for C stabilization. In order to achieve this goal, biochars from different feedstock and pyrolysis conditions were applied to soil from a Calcareous Cambisol (0, 2.5 and 5%) which was filled into 30-cm long methacrylate columns. They were incubated during 4 months under controlled conditions (25 °C, 12 hours of light per day and water holding capacity maintained at 60% by adding deionized sterile water). After 1 month of incubation, white colonies were observed on a biochar derived from paper-sludge. The microorganisms were cultured from paper sludge biochar, isolated and further identified by DNA-based molecular analysis [3]. The identified fungi grouped into the Fusarium genus within Ascomycota phylum, being represented by F. oxysporum. These fungi are soil-borne and have the ability to exist as saprophytes. F. oxysporum strains are known to degrade lignin and complex carbohydrates associated with soil debris [4]. However, many strains within the F. oxysporum are pathogenic to plants, especially in agricultural settings. Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. Cucumerinum is responsible for vascular wilt in cucumber plants [5]. These

  13. Adsorption and transport of methane in landfill cover soil amended with waste-wood biochars.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sadasivam, Bala Yamini; Reddy, Krishna R

    2015-08-01

    The natural presence of methane oxidizing bacteria (MOB) in landfill soils can stimulate the bio-chemical oxidation of CH4 to CO2 and H2O under suitable environmental conditions. This mechanism can be enhanced by amending the landfill cover soil with organic materials such as biochars that are recalcitrant to biological degradation and are capable of adsorbing CH4 while facilitating the growth and activity of MOB within their porous structure. Several series of batch and small-scale column tests were conducted to quantify the CH4 sorption and transport properties of landfill cover soil amended with four types of waste hardwood biochars under different levels of amendment percentages (2, 5 and 10% by weight), exposed CH4 concentrations (0-1 kPa), moisture content (dry, 25% and 75% water holding capacity), and temperature (25, 35 and 45 °C). The linear forms of the pseudo second-order kinetic model and the Langmuir isotherm model were used to determine the kinetics and the maximum CH4 adsorption capacity of cover materials. The maximum CH4 sorption capacity of dry biochar-amended soils ranged from 1.03 × 10(-2) to 7.97 × 10(-2) mol kg(-1) and exhibited a ten-fold increase compared to that of soil with 1.9 × 10(-3) mol kg(-1). The isosteric heat of adsorption for soil was negative and ranged from -30 to -118 kJ/mol, while that of the biochar-amended soils was positive and ranged from 24 to 440 kJ/mol. The CH4 dispersion coefficients for biochar-amended soils obtained through predictive transport modeling indicated that amending the soil with biochar enhanced the methane transport rates by two orders of magnitude, thereby increasing their potential for enhanced exchange of gases within the cover system. Overall, the use of hardwood biochars as a cover soil amendment to reduce methane emissions from landfills appears to be a promising alternative to conventional soil covers. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  14. Effect Of Wood-Based Biochar And Sewage Sludge Amendments For Soil Phosphorus Availability

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Frišták Vladimír

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available This study investigated the effects of two biochars (pyrolysed wood chips and garden clippings on phosphorus (P availability in a heavy-metal contaminated soil poor in phosphorus. Short-term 14-days incubation experiments were conducted to study how applications of biochars at different rates (1 and 5 % in combination with (1:1 and without dried sewage sludge from a municipal waste water treatment plant (WWTP affected the content of soil extractable P. For P-availability analyses deionized water, calcium acetate lactate (CAL, Mehlich 3 and Olsen extraction protocols were applied. In addition, the content of total and mobile forms of potentially toxic heavy metals (PTHM was studied. Application of both biochars caused a significant decrease of PTHM available forms in sewage sludge amended soil samples. The concentration of total and available P increased with higher biochar and sewage sludge application rates.

  15. Biochar amendment to soil changes dissolved organic matter content and composition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smebye, Andreas; Alling, Vanja; Vogt, Rolf D; Gadmar, Tone C; Mulder, Jan; Cornelissen, Gerard; Hale, Sarah E

    2016-01-01

    Amendments of biochar, a product of pyrolysis of biomass, have been shown to increase fertility of acidic soils by enhancing soil properties such as pH, cation-exchange-capacity and water-holding-capacity. These parameters are important in the context of natural organic matter contained in soils, of which dissolved organic matter (DOM) is the mobile and most bioavailable fraction. The effect of biochar on the content and composition of DOM in soils has received little research attention. This study focuses on the effects of amendments of two different biochars to an acidic acrisol and a pH-neutral brown soil. A batch experiment showed that mixing biochar with the acrisols at a 10 wt.% dose increased the pH from 4.9 to 8.7, and this resulted in a 15-fold increase in the dissolved organic carbon concentration (from 4.5 to 69 mg L(-1)). The pH-increase followed the same trend as the release of DOM in the experiment, causing higher DOM solubility and desorption of DOM from mineral sites. The binding to biochar of several well-characterised reference DOM materials was also investigated and results showed a higher sorption of aliphatic DOM to biochar than aromatic DOM, with DOM-water partitioning coefficients (Kd-values) ranging from 0.2 to 590 L kg(-1). A size exclusion occurring in biochar's micropores, could result in a higher sorption of smaller aliphatic DOM molecules than larger aromatic ones. These findings indicate that biochar could increase the leaching of DOM from soil, as well as change the DOM composition towards molecules with a larger size and higher aromaticity. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  16. Mechanisms of distinct activated carbon and biochar amendment effects on petroleum vapour biofiltration in soil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bushnaf, Khaled M; Mangse, George; Meynet, Paola; Davenport, Russell J; Cirpka, Olaf A; Werner, David

    2017-10-18

    We studied the effects of two percent by weight activated carbon versus biochar amendments in 93 cm long sand columns on the biofiltration of petroleum vapours released by a non-aqueous phase liquid (NAPL) source. Activated carbon greatly enhanced, whereas biochar slightly reduced, the biofiltration of volatile petroleum hydrocarbons (VPHs) over 430 days. Sorbent amendment benefitted the VPH biofiltration by retarding breakthrough during the biodegradation lag phase. Subsequently, sorbent amendment briefly reduced the mineralization of petroleum hydrocarbons by limiting their bioavailability. During the last and longest study period, when conditions became less supportive of microbial growth, because of inorganic nutrient scarcity, the sorbents again improved the pollution attenuation by preventing the degrading microorganisms from being overloaded with VPHs. A 16S rRNA gene based analysis showed sorbent amendment effects on soil microbial communities. Nocardioidaceae benefitted the most from petroleum hydrocarbons in activated carbon amended soil, whereas Pseudomonadacea predominated in unamended soil. Whilst the degrading microorganisms were overloaded with VPHs in the unamended soil, the reduced mobility and bioavailability of VPHs in the activated carbon amended soil led to the emergence of communities with higher specific substrate affinity, which removed bioavailable VPHs effectively at low concentrations. A numerical pollutant fate model reproduced these experimental observations by considering sorption effects on the pollutant migration and bioavailability for growth of VPH degrading biomass, which is limited by a maximum soil biomass carrying capacity. Activated carbon was a much stronger sorbent for VPHs than biochar, which explained the diverging effects of the two sorbents in this study.

  17. Impact of rice-straw biochars amended soil on the biological Si cycle in soil-plant ecosystem

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Zimin; Delvaux, Bruno; Struyf, Eric; Unzué-Belmonte, Dácil; Ronsse, Frederik; Cornelis, Jean-Thomas

    2017-04-01

    Biochar used as soil amendment can enhance soil fertility and plant growth. It may also contribute to increase the plant mineralomass of silicon (Si). However, very little studies have focused on the plant Si cycling in biochar amended soils. Here, we study the impact of two contrasting biochars derived from rice straws on soil Si availability and plant Si uptake. Rice plants were grown in a hydroponic device using Yoshida nutrient solution, respectively devoid of H4SiO4 (0 ppm Si: Si-) and enriched with it (40 ppm Si: Si+). After 12 weeks, the plants were harvested for further pyrolysis, conducted with holding time of 1h at 500˚ C. The respective rice-biochars are Si-/biochar and Si+/biochar. They exhibit contrasting phytolith contents (0.3 g Si kg-1 vs. 51.3 g Si kg-1), but identical physico-chemical properties. They were applied in two soils differing in weathering stage: a weathered Cambisol (CA) and a highly weathered Nitisol (NI). We then studied the effects of the amended biochar on CaCl2 extractable Si using a 64-days kinetic approach, on the content of soil biogenic Si, and on the uptake of Si by wheat plants grown for 5 weeks. We also quantified Si mineralomass in plants. We compared the effects of biochars to that of wollastonite (Wo)-(CaSiO3), a common Si-fertilizer. Our results show that Si+/biochar significantly increase the content of BSi in both soils. In CA, the cumulative content of CaCl2 extractable Si amounts to 85 mg kg-1 after Si+/biochar amendment, which is below the amount extracted after Wo application (100 mg kg-1). In contrast, in NI, the cumulative content of CaCl2 extractable Si is 198 mg kg-1 in the Si+/biochar amended treatment, which is far above the one measured after Wo application (93 mg kg-1). The Si-/biochar has no effect on the cumulative content of CaCl2 extractable Si in either soil type. Biochars and wollastonite increase the biomass of wheat on both soils. The increase is, however, larger in NI than in CA. In terms of Si

  18. Gasification biochar as a valuable by-product for carbon sequestration and soil amendment

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hansen, Veronika; Müller-Stöver, Dorette; Ahrenfeldt, Jesper; Holm, Jens Kai; Henriksen, Ulrik Birk; Hauggaard-Nielsen, Henrik

    2015-01-01

    Thermal gasification of various biomass residues is a promising technology for combining bioenergy production with soil fertility management through the application of the resulting biochar as soil amendment. In this study, we investigated gasification biochar (GB) materials originating from two major global biomass fuels: straw gasification biochar (SGB) and wood gasification biochar (WGB), produced by a Low Temperature Circulating Fluidized Bed gasifier (LT-CFB) and a TwoStage gasifier, respectively, optimized for energy conversion. Stability of carbon in GB against microbial degradation was assessed in a short-term soil incubation study and compared to the traditional practice of direct incorporation of cereal straw. The GBs were chemically and physically characterized to evaluate their potential to improve soil quality parameters. After 110 days of incubation, about 3% of the added GB carbon was respired as CO 2 , compared to 80% of the straw carbon added. The stability of GB was also confirmed by low H/C and O/C atomic ratios with lowest values for WGB (H/C 0.12 and O/C 0.10). The soil application of GBs exhibited a liming effect increasing the soil pH from ca 8 to 9. Results from scanning electron microscopy and BET analyses showed high porosity and specific surface area of both GBs, indicating a high potential to increase important soil quality parameters such as soil structure, nutrient and water retention, especially for WGB. These results seem promising regarding the possibility to combine an efficient bioenergy production with various soil aspects such as carbon sequestration and soil quality improvements. - Highlights: • Biomass gasification can combine efficient bioenergy production with valuable biochar residuals for soil improvements. • The two investigated gasification biochars are recalcitrant indicating soil carbon sequestration potential. • Gasification biochars are potential soil improvers due to high specific surface area, liming effect

  19. Kinetic characteristic of phenanthrene sorption in aged soil amended with biochar

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Chanyang; Kim, Yong-Seong; Hyun, Seunghun

    2015-04-01

    Biochar has been recently highlighted as an amendment that affects yield of the crops by increasing pH, cation exchange capacity and water retention, and reduces the lability of contaminants by increasing sorption capacity in the soil system. Biochar's physico-chemical properties, high CEC, surfaces containing abundant micropores and macropores, and various types of functional groups, play important roles in enhancing sorption capacity of contaminants. Aging through a natural weathering process might change physico-chemical properties of biochar amended in soils, which can affect the sorption behavior of contaminants. Thus, in this study, the sorption characteristics of phenanthrene (PHE) on biochar-amended soils were studied with various types of chars depending on aging time. To do this, 1) soil was amended with sludge waste char (SWC), wood char (WC), and municipal waste char (MWC) during 0, 6, and 12 month. Chars were applied to soil at 1% and 2.5% (w/w) ratio. 2) Several batch kinetic and equilibrium studies were conducted. One-compartment first order and two-compartment first order model apportioning the fraction of fast and slow sorbing were selected for kinetic models. Where, qt is PHE concentration in biochar-amended soils at each time t, qeis PHE concentration in biochar-amended soils at equilibrium. ff is fastly sorbing fraction and (1-ff) is slowly sorbing fraction. k is sorption rate constant from one-compartment first order model, k1 and k2 are sorption rate constant from two-compartment first order model, t is time (hr). The equilibrium sorption data were fitted with Fruendlich and Langmuir equation. 3) Change in physico-chemical properties of biochar-amended soils was investigated with aging time. Batch equilibrium sorption results suggested that sorbed amount of PHE on WC was greater than SWC and MWC. The more char contents added to soil, the greater sorption capacity of PHE. Sorption equilibrium was reached after 4 hours and equilibrium pH ranged

  20. Soil nitrogen dynamics and Capsicum Annuum sp. plant response to biochar amendment in silt loam soil

    Science.gov (United States)

    Horel, Agota; Gelybo, Gyorgyi; Dencso, Marton; Toth, Eszter; Farkas, Csilla; Kasa, Ilona; Pokovai, Klara

    2017-04-01

    of biochar on plant stress levels and growth function in biochar amended soils. Our findings emphasize the necessity for optimization to local parameters prior to biochar additions to soils.

  1. Effects of Biochar Amendment on Tomato Bacterial Wilt Resistance and Soil Microbial Amount and Activity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yang Lu

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Bacterial wilt is a serious soilborne disease of Solanaceae crops which is caused by Ralstonia solanacearum. The important role of biochar in enhancing disease resistance in plants has been verified; however, the underlying mechanism remains not fully understood. In this study, two different biochars, made from peanut shell (BC1 and wheat straw (BC2, were added to Ralstonia solanacearum-infected soil to explore the interrelation among biochar, tomato bacterial wilt, and soil microbial properties. The results showed that both BC1 and BC2 treatments significantly reduced the disease index of bacterial wilt by 28.6% and 65.7%, respectively. The populations of R. solanacearum in soil were also significantly decreased by biochar application. Ralstonia solanacearum infection significantly reduced the densities of soil bacteria and actinomycetes and increased the ratio of soil fungi/bacteria in the soil. By contrast, BC1 and BC2 addition to pathogen-infected soil significantly increased the densities of soil bacteria and actinomycetes but decreased the density of fungi and the ratios of soil fungi/bacteria and fungi/actinomycetes. Biochar treatments also increased soil neutral phosphatase and urease activity. Furthermore, higher metabolic capabilities of microorganisms by biochar application were found at 96 and 144 h in Biolog EcoPlates. These results suggest that both peanut and wheat biochar amendments were effective in inhibiting tomato bacterial wilt caused by R. solanacearum. The results suggest a relationship between the disease resistance of the plants and the changes in soil microbial population densities and activity.

  2. Phosphorus release behaviors of poultry litter biochar as a soil amendment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Yue; Lin, Yingxin; Chiu, Pei C; Imhoff, Paul T; Guo, Mingxin

    2015-04-15

    Phosphorus (P) may be immobilized and consequently the runoff loss risks be reduced if poultry litter (PL) is converted into biochar prior to land application. Laboratory studies were conducted to examine the water extractability of P in PL biochar and its release kinetics in amended soils. Raw PL and its biochar produced through 400°C pyrolysis were extracted with deionized water under various programs and measured for water extractable P species and contents. The materials were further incubated with a sandy loam at 20 g kg(-1) soil and intermittently leached with water for 30 days. The P release kinetics were determined from the P recovery patterns in the water phase. Pyrolysis elevated the total P content from 13.7 g kg(-1) in raw PL to 27.1 g kg(-1) in PL biochar while reduced the water-soluble P level from 2.95 g kg(-1) in the former to 0.17 g kg(-1) in the latter. The thermal treatment transformed labile P in raw PL to putatively Mg/Ca phosphate minerals in biochar that were water-unextractable yet proton-releasable. Orthophosphate was the predominant form of water-soluble P in PL biochar, with condensed phosphate (e.g., pyrophosphate) as a minor form and organic phosphate in null. Release of P from PL biochar in both water and neutral soils was at a slower and steadier rate over a longer time period than from raw PL. Nevertheless, release of P from biochar was acid-driven and could be greatly promoted by the media acidity. Land application of PL biochar at soil pH-incorporated rates and frequency will potentially reduce P losses to runoffs and minimize the adverse impact of waste application on aquatic environments. Copyright © 2015. Published by Elsevier B.V.

  3. Adsorption and desorption of heavy metals by the sewage sludge and biochar-amended soil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bogusz, Aleksandra; Oleszczuk, Patryk; Dobrowolski, Ryszard

    2017-11-07

    The goal of the study was to evaluate the application of biochar (BC) to the sewage sludge (SL) on the adsorption and desorption capacity of Cd(II), Cu(II), Ni(II) and Zn(II). The effect of biochar contribution in the sewage sludge (2.5, 5 and 10%) was investigated. The isotherms data were fitted to the Langmiur (LM), Freundlich (FM) and Temkin (TM) models. The best fitting for kinetic study was obtained for the pseudo-second-order equation. The best fitting of the experimental data was observed for the LM in the case of SL and BC, and for the FM in the case of SL- and SL/BC-amended soil. SL was characterized by even four-order higher sorption capacity than BC. The addition of the BC to the SL and next to the soil increased the adsorption capacity of the soil and the SL-amended soil. In the case of all investigated potentially toxic elements (PTEs), the highest adsorption capacity was achieved for SL-amended soil in comparison with the control soil. In the case of other experimental variants, the adsorption capacity of metal ions was as follows: 2.5% BC > 5.0% BC > 10% BC. The negative correlation between hydrated radius of metal ions and the kinetics of sorption was observed. However, the desorption of PTEs from BC/SL-amended soil was significantly lower than for SL-amended soil (except of Cd) and non-amended soil. It can be concluded that the addition of the biochar enhanced the immobilization of PTEs and reduced their bioavailability and mobility in the soil amended by the sewage sludge.

  4. Gasification biochar as soil amendment for carbon sequestration and soil quality

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hansen, Veronika

    2014-01-01

    Thermal gasification of biomass is an efficient and flexible way to generate energy. Besides the energy, avaluable by-product, biochar, is produced. Biochar contains a considerable amount of recalcitrant carbon thathas potential for soil carbon sequestration and soil quality improvement if recycled...... back to agriculture soils. To determine the effect of gasification biochar on soil processes and crop yield, a short-term incubation study was conducted and a field trial has been established....

  5. Application of biochar amendments to Mediterranean soils: effects on vine growth and grape quality

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miquel Ubalde, Josep; Payan, Esmeralda; Sort, Xavier; Guillermo Rosas, José; Gómez, Natalia; Sánchez, Marta Elena; Camps Arbestain, Marta

    2014-05-01

    Introduction: Biochar is intended to be applied to soil, as a mean to sequester carbon and improve soil properties. To present, studies on the use of biochar in Mediterranean soils are still scarce. In this study different biochar and compost amendments were applied to a vineyard in Tarragona (Spain) in order to determine their effects on vine growth and grape quality so that the suitability of biochar amendments as an alternative to conventional organic compost could be evaluated. Materials and Methods: This study was carried out from 2011 to 2013 in an experimental vineyard of 1050 m2, located in Poblet (Catalonia, Spain). The climate type is Mediterranean, with 500 mm of annual precipitation and 13.6 oC of annual mean temperature. The soil type is a Fluvic Cambisol, very deep (>120 cm), pH of 7, high coarse fragment content, low organic matter content (1.5 %) and without calcium carbonate. The studied plots were 20-year-old vines of Grenache, trained to an espalier-type canopy system, dry-land farmed and weeds controlled by ploughing. Repeated applications of soil amendments took place in spring 2012 and 2013, following a randomized block design with three replicates per treatment. The treatments considered were biochar, compost and mixture compost x biochar. A control treatment without any organic amendment was also included. The biochar was produced by slow pyrolysis (550 oC of average temperature) of grapevine trunks from a vineyard close to the experimental plot. The compost was commercial certified organic compost. The application doses were 5 tons C · ha-1 per treatment. The petiole analysis and leaf architecture sampling were undertaken during the veraison period (August). During grape ripening, berry composition was measured on a weekly basis (September). At the harvest date, yield parameters were also determined. It is worth noting that in 2013 these harvest data were highly perturbed by millerandage. Finally, in early winter, vegetative development

  6. Particulate matter emissions from biochar-amended soils as a potential tradeoff to the negative emission potential

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ravi, Sujith; Sharratt, Brenton S.; Li, Junran; Olshevski, Stuart; Meng, Zhongju; Zhang, Jianguo

    2016-10-01

    Novel carbon sequestration strategies such as large-scale land application of biochar may provide sustainable pathways to increase the terrestrial storage of carbon. Biochar has a long residence time in the soil and hence comprehensive studies are urgently needed to quantify the environmental impacts of large-scale biochar application. In particular, black carbon emissions from soils amended with biochar may counteract the negative emission potential due to the impacts on air quality, climate, and biogeochemical cycles. We investigated, using wind tunnel experiments, the particulate matter emission potential of a sand and two agriculturally important soils amended with different concentrations of biochar, in comparison to control soils. Our results indicate that biochar application considerably increases particulate emissions possibly by two mechanisms-the accelerated emission of fine biochar particles and the generation and emission of fine biochar particles resulting from abrasion of large biochar particles by sand grains. Our study highlights the importance of considering the background soil properties (e.g., texture) and geomorphological processes (e.g., aeolian transport) for biochar-based carbon sequestration programs.

  7. Changes in soil chemistry following wood and grass biochar amendments to an acidic agricultural production soil

    Science.gov (United States)

    The utility of biochars produced by biomass gasification for remediation of acidic production soils and plant growth in general is not as well known compared to effects from biochars resulting from pyrolysis. Recent characterization of biochar produced from gasification of Kentucky bluegrass (Poa pr...

  8. Crop response to soils amended with biochar: expected benefits and unintended risks

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Raghunath Subedi

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available Biochar (BC from biomass waste pyrolysis has been widely studied due to its ability to increase carbon sequestration, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and enhance both crop growth and soil quality. This review summarises the current knowledge of BC production, characterisation, and types, with a focus on its positive effects on crop yield and soil properties vs the unintended risks associated with these effects. Biochar-amended soils enhance crop growth and yield via several mechanisms: expanded plant nutrient and water availability through increased use efficiencies, improved soil quality, and suppression of soil and plant diseases. Yield response to BC has been shown to be more evident in acidic and sandy soils than in alkaline and fine-textured soils. Biochar composition and properties vary considerably with feedstock and pyrolysis conditions so much that its concentrations of toxic compounds and heavy metals can negatively impact crop and soil health. Consequently, more small-scale and greenhouse-sited studies are in process to investigate the role of BC/soil/crop types on crop growth, and the mechanisms by which they influence crop yield. Similarly, a need exists for long-term, field-scale studies on the effects (beneficial and harmful of BC amendment on soil health and crop yields, so that production guidelines and quality standards may be developed for BCs derived from a range of feedstocks.

  9. Earthworms Contribute to Increased Turnover in Biochar Amended Soils

    Science.gov (United States)

    With increased interest in bioenergy production from pyrolysis, biochar is likely to become a widely available co-product. Research on using biochar as a source of fertility or to increase carbon sequestration is growing; however, land application of biochar is likely to impact the biotic component...

  10. Determination of soil erosion and sedimentation affected by buffer zones and biochar amendment as best management practices

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Khademalrasoul, Ataalah

    Sustainable management is one of the main challenges in modern agriculture. Soil erosion as one form of soil degradation is a threat against the soil sustainability. The main objective of my PhD study was to investigate the effectiveness of biochar as a non-structural best management practice (BMP...... bodies. Biochar as an organic amendment was in general able to improve soil quality by increasing soil aggregate stability, tensile strength (TS), and specific rupture energy (SRE) and on the other hand by decreasing clay dispersibility and the friability index (FI) of the soil aggregates. The results...... of rainfall-runoff simulations using round flumes in the laboratory indicated the positive effects of biochar amendment to mitigate runoff and soil erosion. Moreover laser scanning technique confirmed the positive effects of biochar lumps to enhance the soil surface roughness thereby reduce the runoff...

  11. Gasification biochar as a valuable by-product for carbon sequestration and soil amendment

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hansen, Veronika; Müller-Stöver, Dorette Sophie; Ahrenfeldt, Jesper

    2015-01-01

    was respired as CO2, compared to 80% of the straw carbon added. The stability of GB was also confirmed by low H/C and O/C atomic ratios with lowest values for WGB (H/C 0.12 and O/C 0.10). The soil application of GBs exhibited a liming effect increasing the soil pH from ca 8 to 9. Results from scanning electron......Thermal gasification of various biomass residues is a promising technology for combining bioenergy production with soil fertility management through the application of the resulting biochar as soil amendment. In this study, we investigated gasification biochar (GB) materials originating from two...... was assessed in a shortterm soil incubation study and compared to the traditional practice of direct incorporation of cereal straw. The GBs were chemically and physically characterized to evaluate their potential to improve soil quality parameters. After 110 days of incubation, about 3% of the added GB carbon...

  12. The role of biochar, natural iron oxides, and nanomaterials as soil amendments for immobilizing metals in shooting range soil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rajapaksha, Anushka Upamali; Ahmad, Mahtab; Vithanage, Meththika; Kim, Kwon-Rae; Chang, Jun Young; Lee, Sang Soo; Ok, Yong Sik

    2015-12-01

    High concentration of toxic metals in military shooting range soils poses a significant environmental concern due to the potential release of metals, such as Pb, Cu, and Sb, and hence requires remediation. The current study examined the effectiveness of buffalo weed (Ambrosia trifida L.) biomass and its derived biochars at pyrolytic temperatures of 300 and 700 °C, natural iron oxides (NRE), gibbsite, and silver nanoparticles on metal immobilization together with soil quality after 1-year soil incubation. Destructive (e.g., chemical extractions) and non-destructive (e.g., molecular spectroscopy) methods were used to investigate the immobilization efficacy of each amendment on Pb, Cu, and Sb, and to explore the possible immobilization mechanisms. The highest immobilization efficacy was observed with biochar produced at 300 °C, showing the maximum decreases of bioavailability by 94 and 70% for Pb and Cu, respectively, which were attributed to the abundance of functional groups in the biochar. Biochar significantly increased the soil pH, cation exchange capacity, and P contents. Indeed, the scanning electron microscopic elemental dot mapping and X-ray absorption fine structure spectroscopic (EXAFS) studies revealed associations of Pb with P (i.e., the formation of stable chloropyromorphite [Pb5(PO4)3Cl]) in the biomass- or biochar-amended soils. However, no amendment was effective on Sb immobilization.

  13. Factors driving the carbon mineralization priming effect in a sandy loam soil amended with different types of biochar

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cely, P.; Tarquis, A. M.; Paz-Ferreiro, J.; Méndez, A.; Gascó, G.

    2014-06-01

    The effect of biochar on the soil carbon mineralization priming effect depends on the characteristics of the raw materials, production method and pyrolysis conditions. The goal of the present study is to evaluate the impact of three different types of biochar on physicochemical properties and CO2 emissions of a sandy loam soil. For this purpose, soil was amended with three different biochars (BI, BII and BIII) at a rate of 8 wt% and soil CO2 emissions were measured for 45 days. BI is produced from a mixed wood sieving from wood chip production, BII from a mixture of paper sludge and wheat husks and BIII from sewage sludge. Cumulative CO2 emissions of biochars, soil and amended soil were well fit to a simple first-order kinetic model with correlation coefficients (r2) greater than 0.97. Results show a negative priming effect in the soil after addition of BI and a positive priming effect in the case of soil amended with BII and BIII. These results can be related to different biochar properties such as carbon content, carbon aromaticity, volatile matter, fixed carbon, easily oxidized organic carbon or metal and phenolic substance content in addition to surface biochar properties. Three biochars increased the values of soil field capacity and wilting point, while effects over pH and cation exchange capacity were not observed.

  14. Biochar amendment reduces paddy soil nitrogen leaching but increases net global warming potential in Ningxia irrigation, China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Yongsheng; Liu, Yansui; Liu, Ruliang; Zhang, Aiping; Yang, Shiqi; Liu, Hongyuan; Zhou, Yang; Yang, Zhengli

    2017-05-09

    The efficacy of biochar as an environmentally friendly agent for non-point source and climate change mitigation remains uncertain. Our goal was to test the impact of biochar amendment on paddy rice nitrogen (N) uptake, soil N leaching, and soil CH 4 and N 2 O fluxes in northwest China. Biochar was applied at four rates (0, 4.5, 9 and13.5 t ha -1 yr -1 ). Biochar amendment significantly increased rice N uptake, soil total N concentration and the abundance of soil ammonia-oxidizing archaea (AOA), but it significantly reduced the soil NO 3 - -N concentration and soil bulk density. Biochar significantly reduced NO 3 - -N and NH 4 + -N leaching. The C2 and C3 treatments significantly increased the soil CH 4 flux and reduced the soil N 2 O flux, leading to significantly increased net global warming potential (GWP). Soil NO 3 - -N rather than NH 4 + -N was the key integrator of the soil CH 4 and N 2 O fluxes. Our results indicate that a shift in abundance of the AOA community and increased rice N uptake are closely linked to the reduced soil NO 3 - -N concentration under biochar amendment. Furthermore, soil NO 3 - -N availability plays an important role in regulating soil inorganic N leaching and net GWP in rice paddies in northwest China.

  15. Greenhouse gas emissions and soil properties following amendment with manure-derived biochars: Influence of pyrolysis temperature and feedstock type.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Subedi, Raghunath; Taupe, Natalie; Pelissetti, Simone; Petruzzelli, Laura; Bertora, Chiara; Leahy, James J; Grignani, Carlo

    2016-01-15

    Manure-derived biochars can offer a potential option for the stabilization of manure, while mitigating climate change through carbon sequestration and the attenuation of nitrous oxide emission. A laboratory incubation study was conducted to assess the effects of four different manure-derived biochars produced from different feedstocks (poultry litter and swine manure) at different temperatures (400 or 600 °C). A commonly available standard wood chip biochar, produced at a greater temperature (1000 °C), and non-amended treatments were used as references. Two different soils (sandy and silt-loam) were amended with 2% (w/w) biochar on a dry soil weight basis (corresponding to 20 Mg ha(-1)), with the soil moisture being adjusted to 75% saturation level. After a pre-incubation period (21 days), 170 kg N ha(-1) of NH4NO3 fertilizer was added. Measurements of CO2, N2O, CH4 emissions and soil N mineralisation were carried out on different days during the 85 days of incubation. The net C mineralization and N2O emissions from both soils amended with poultry litter biochar at 400 °C were significantly greater than the other biochar treatments. Nitrate availability was greater in both soils in which the manure-derived biochar was used instead of the standard biochar. All of the biochars increased the pH of the silt-loam, sub-acid soil, but failed to improve the cation exchange capacities (CEC) in either soil. Total C and N, P, K and Mg (except Ca) were significantly increased in the manure-derived biochar amended soils, compared to the Control, and were positively correlated to the biochar nutrient contents. This study indicates that the soil application of biochar engenders effects that can vary considerably according to the biochar properties, as determined on the basis of the feedstock types and process conditions. Low-temperature biochar production from manure represents a possible way of producing a soil amendment that can stabilize C while supplying a

  16. Nitrogen Amendment Stimulated Decomposition of Maize Straw-Derived Biochar in a Sandy Loam Soil: A Short-Term Study.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Weiwei Lu

    Full Text Available This study examined the effect of nitrogen (N on biochar stability in relation to soil microbial community as well as biochar labile components using δ13C stable isotope technology. A sandy loam soil under a long-term rotation of C3 crops was amended with biochar produced from maize (a C4 plant straw in absence (BC0 and presence (BCN of N and monitored for dynamics of carbon dioxide (CO2 flux, phospholipid fatty acids (PLFAs profile and dissolved organic carbon (DOC content. N amendment significantly increased the decomposition of biochar during the first 5 days of incubation (P < 0.05, and the proportions of decomposed biochar carbon (C were 2.30% and 3.28% in BC0 and BCN treatments, respectively, during 30 days of incubation. The magnitude of decomposed biochar C was significantly (P < 0.05 higher than DOC in biochar (1.75% and part of relatively recalcitrant biochar C was mineralized in both treatments. N amendment increased soil PLFAs concentration at the beginning of incubation, indicating that microorganisms were N-limited in test soil. Furthermore, N amendment significantly (P < 0.05 increased the proportion of gram-positive (G+ bacteria and decreased that of fungi, while no noticeable changes were observed for gram-negative (G- bacteria and actinobacteria at the early stage of incubation. Our results indicated that N amendment promoted more efficiently the proliferation of G+ bacteria and accelerated the decomposition of relatively recalcitrant biochar C, which in turn reduced the stability of maize straw-derived biochar in test soil.

  17. The effect of biochar feedstock, pyrolysis temperature, and application rate on the reduction of ammonia volatilisation from biochar-amended soil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mandal, Sanchita; Donner, Erica; Vasileiadis, Sotirios; Skinner, William; Smith, Euan; Lombi, Enzo

    2018-06-15

    Ammonia (NH 3 ) volatilisation is one of the most important causes of nitrogen (N) loss in soil-plant systems worldwide. Carbon-based amendments such as biochar have been shown to mitigate NH 3 volatilisation in agricultural soils to various degrees. In this study, we investigated the influence of biochar feedstocks (poultry manure, green waste compost, and wheat straw), pyrolysis temperatures (250, 350, 450, 500 and 700°C) and application rates (1 and 2%), on NH 3 volatilisation from a calcareous soil. The 15 biochars were chemically characterized, and a laboratory incubation study was conducted to assess NH 3 volatilisation from the soil over a period of four weeks. Furthermore, changes to the bacterial and fungal communities were assessed via sequencing of phylogenetic marker genes. The study showed that biochar feedstock sources, pyrolysis temperature, and application rates all affected NH 3 volatilisation. Overall, low pyrolysis temperature biochars and higher biochar application rates achieved greater reductions in NH 3 volatilisation. A feedstock related effect was also observed, with poultry manure biochar reducing NH 3 volatilisation by an average of 53% in comparison to 38% and 35% reductions for biochar from green waste compost and wheat straw respectively. Results indicate that the biogeochemistry underlying biochar-mediated reduction in NH 3 volatilisation is complex and caused by changes in soil pH, NH 3 sorption and microbial community composition (especially ammonia oxidising guilds). Copyright © 2018. Published by Elsevier B.V.

  18. Effect of biochar amendment on the control of soil sulfonamides, antibiotic-resistant bacteria, and gene enrichment in lettuce tissues

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ye, Mao [State Key Laboratory of Soil and Sustainable Agriculture, Institute of Soil Science, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Nanjing 210008 (China); Sun, Mingming [Soil Ecology Lab, College of Resources and Environmental Sciences, Nanjing Agricultural University, Nanjing 210095 (China); Feng, Yanfang, E-mail: fengyanfang@163.com [Institute of Agricultural Resources and Environment, Jiangsu Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Nanjing 210014 (China); Wan, Jinzhong [Nanjing Institute of Environmental Science, Ministry of Environmental Protection of China, Nanjing 210042 (China); Xie, Shanni; Tian, Da [Soil Ecology Lab, College of Resources and Environmental Sciences, Nanjing Agricultural University, Nanjing 210095 (China); Zhao, Yu [Collaborative Innovation Center of Advanced Microstructures, Jiangsu Provincial Key Laboratory of Photonic and Electronic Materials, School of Electronic Science and Engineering, Nanjing University, Nanjing 210093 (China); Wu, Jun; Hu, Feng; Li, Huixin [Soil Ecology Lab, College of Resources and Environmental Sciences, Nanjing Agricultural University, Nanjing 210095 (China); Jiang, Xin, E-mail: Jiangxin@issas.ac.cn [State Key Laboratory of Soil and Sustainable Agriculture, Institute of Soil Science, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Nanjing 210008 (China)

    2016-05-15

    Highlights: • Biochar can prevent soil sulfonamides from accumulating in lettuce tissues. • ARB enrichment in lettuce tissues decreased significantly after biochar amendment. • Impedance effect of biochar addition on soil ARGs was also quite effective. • Biochar application can be a practical strategy to protect vegetable safety. - Abstract: Considering the potential threat of vegetables growing in antibiotic-polluted soil with high abundance of antibiotic-resistant genes (ARGs) against human health through the food chain, it is thus urgent to develop novel control technology to ensure vegetable safety. In the present work, pot experiments were conducted in lettuce cultivation to assess the impedance effect of biochar amendment on soil sulfonamides (SAs), antibiotic-resistant bacteria (ARB), and ARG enrichment in lettuce tissues. After 100 days of cultivation, lettuce cultivation with biochar amendment exhibited the greatest soil SA dissipation as well as the significant improvement of lettuce growth indices, with residual soil SAs mainly existing as the tightly bound fraction. Moreover, the SA contents in roots and new/old leaves were reduced by one to two orders of magnitude compared to those without biochar amendment. In addition, isolate counts for SA-resistant bacterial endophytes in old leaves and sul gene abundances in roots and old leaves also decreased significantly after biochar application. However, neither SA resistant bacteria nor sul genes were detected in new leaves. It was the first study to demonstrate that biochar amendment can be a practical strategy to protect lettuce safety growing in SA-polluted soil with rich ARB and ARGs.

  19. Effect of biochar amendment on the control of soil sulfonamides, antibiotic-resistant bacteria, and gene enrichment in lettuce tissues

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ye, Mao; Sun, Mingming; Feng, Yanfang; Wan, Jinzhong; Xie, Shanni; Tian, Da; Zhao, Yu; Wu, Jun; Hu, Feng; Li, Huixin; Jiang, Xin

    2016-01-01

    Highlights: • Biochar can prevent soil sulfonamides from accumulating in lettuce tissues. • ARB enrichment in lettuce tissues decreased significantly after biochar amendment. • Impedance effect of biochar addition on soil ARGs was also quite effective. • Biochar application can be a practical strategy to protect vegetable safety. - Abstract: Considering the potential threat of vegetables growing in antibiotic-polluted soil with high abundance of antibiotic-resistant genes (ARGs) against human health through the food chain, it is thus urgent to develop novel control technology to ensure vegetable safety. In the present work, pot experiments were conducted in lettuce cultivation to assess the impedance effect of biochar amendment on soil sulfonamides (SAs), antibiotic-resistant bacteria (ARB), and ARG enrichment in lettuce tissues. After 100 days of cultivation, lettuce cultivation with biochar amendment exhibited the greatest soil SA dissipation as well as the significant improvement of lettuce growth indices, with residual soil SAs mainly existing as the tightly bound fraction. Moreover, the SA contents in roots and new/old leaves were reduced by one to two orders of magnitude compared to those without biochar amendment. In addition, isolate counts for SA-resistant bacterial endophytes in old leaves and sul gene abundances in roots and old leaves also decreased significantly after biochar application. However, neither SA resistant bacteria nor sul genes were detected in new leaves. It was the first study to demonstrate that biochar amendment can be a practical strategy to protect lettuce safety growing in SA-polluted soil with rich ARB and ARGs.

  20. Utilization of maize cob biochar and rice husk charcoal as soil amendments for improving acid soil fertility and productivity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nurhidayati

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available The decline in soil fertility in agricultural land is a major problem that causes a decrease in the production of food crops. One of the causes of the decline in soil fertility is declining soil pH that caused the decline in the availability of nutrients in the soil. This study aimed to assess the influence of alternative liming materials derived from maize cob biochar and rice husk charcoal compared to conventional lime to improve soil pH, soil nutrient availability and maize production. The experiment used a factorial complete randomized design which consisting of two factors. The first factor is the type of soil amendment which consists of three levels (calcite lime, rice husk charcoal and cob maize biochar. The second factor is the application rates of the soil amendment consisted of three levels (3, 6 and 9 t/ha and one control treatment (without soil amendment. The results of this study showed that the application of various soil amendment increased soil pH, which the pH increase of the lime application was relatively more stable over time compared to biochar and husk charcoal. The average of the soil pH increased for each soil amendment by 23% (lime, 20% (rice husk charcoal and 23% (biochar as compared with control. The increase in soil pH can increase the availability of soil N, P and K. The greatest influence of soil pH on nutrient availability was shown by the relationship between soil pH and K nutrient availability with R2 = 0.712, while for the N by R2 = 0.462 and for the P by R2 = 0.245. The relationship between the availability of N and maize yield showed a linear equation. While the relationship between the availability of P and K with the maize yield showed a quadratic equation. The highest maize yield was found in the application of biochar and rice husk charcoal with a dose of 6-9 t/ha. The results of this study suggested that biochar and husk charcoal could be used as an alternative liming material in improving acid soil

  1. Soil Properties Control Glyphosate Sorption in Soils Amended with Birch Wood Biochar

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kahawaththa Gamage, Inoka Damayanthi Kumari; Moldrup, Per; Paradelo, Marcos

    2016-01-01

    Abstract Despite a contemporary interest in biochar application to agricultural fields to improve soil quality and long-term carbon sequestration, a number of potential side effects of biochar incorporation in field soils remain poorly understood, e.g., in relation to interactions...... with agrochemicals such as pesticides. In a fieldbased study at two experimental sites in Denmark (sandy loam soils at Risoe and Kalundborg), we investigated the influence of birch wood biochar with respect to application rate, aging (7–19 months), and physico- chemical soil properties on the sorption coefficient......, Kd (L kg−1), of the herbicide glyphosate. We measured Kd in equilibrium batch sorption experiments with triplicate soil samples from 20 field plots that received biochar at different application rates (0 to 100 Mg ha−1). The results showed that pure biochar had a lower glyphosate Kd value as compared...

  2. Typical agricultural diffuse herbicide sorption with agricultural waste-derived biochars amended soil of high organic matter content.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ouyang, Wei; Zhao, Xuchen; Tysklind, Mats; Hao, Fanghua

    2016-04-01

    Biochar application has been identified as the effective soil amendment and the materials to control the diffuse herbicide pollution. The atrazine was selected as the typical diffuse herbicide pollutant as the dominant proportion in applications. The biochar treated from four types of crops biomass were added to soil with high organic matter content. The basic sorption characteristics of biocahrs from corn cob (CC), corn stalk (CS), soybean straw (SS), rice straw (RS) and corn stalk paralyzed with 5% of ammonium dihydrogen phosphate (ACS) were analyzed, along with the comparison of the sorption difference of the raw soil and soil amended with biochars at four levels of ratio (0.5%, 1.0%, 3.0% and 5.0%). It was found that the linear distribution isotherm of raw soil was much effective due to the high organic matter background concentration. The addition of five types of biochars under two kinds of initial atrazine concentration (1 mg/L and 20 mg/L) demonstrated the sorption variances. Results showed the soil amended with RS and CS biochar had the biggest removal rate in four regular biochars and the removal rate of the ACS was the biggest. The sorption coefficient and the normalized sorption coefficient from Freundlich modeling presented the isothermal sorption characteristics of atrazine with soil of high organic matter content. The normalized sorption coefficient increased with the equilibrium concentration decreased in the biochar amended soil, which indicated the sorption performance will be better due to the low atrazine concentration in practice. Results showed that biochar amendment is the effective way to prevent leakage of diffuse herbicide loss. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  3. Biochar as soil amendment to improve soil quality, crop yield, and carbon sequestration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Biochar, a by-product of a thermochemical process called pyrolysis, which involves burning of any agricultural and animal waste (biomass) under high temperature and absence of oxygen. It is assumed that since biochar is very high in aromatic carbon, which persists in soil environment for very long ...

  4. Agronomic benefits of biochar as a soil amendment after its use as waste water filtration medium.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Werner, Steffen; Kätzl, Korbinian; Wichern, Marc; Buerkert, Andreas; Steiner, Christoph; Marschner, Bernd

    2018-02-01

    In many water-scarce countries, waste water is used for irrigation which poses a health risk to farmers and consumers. At the same time, it delivers nutrients to the farming systems. In this study, we tested the hypotheses that biochar can be used as a filter medium for waste water treatment to reduce pathogen loads. At the same time, the biochar is becoming enriched with nutrients and therefore can act as a fertilizer for soil amendment. We used biochar as a filter medium for the filtration of raw waste water and compared the agronomic effects of this "filterchar" (FC) and the untreated biochar (BC) in a greenhouse pot trial on spring wheat biomass production on an acidic sandy soil from Niger. The biochar filter showed the same removal of pathogens as a common sand filter (1.4 log units on average). We did not observe a nutrient accumulation in FC compared to untreated BC. Instead, P, Mg and K were reduced during filtration while N content remained unchanged. Nevertheless, higher biomass (Triticum L. Spp.) production in BC (+72%) and FC (+37%) treatments (20 t ha -1 ), compared with the unamended control, were found. There were no significant differences in aboveground biomass production between BC and FC. Soil available P content was increased by BC (+106%) and FC (+52%) application. Besides, mineral nitrogen content was reduced in BC treated soil and to a lesser extent when FC was used. This may be explained by reduced sorption affinity for mineral nitrogen compounds on FC surfaces. Although the nutrients provided by FC decreased, due to leaching in the filter, it still yielded higher biomass than the unamended control. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  5. Biochar as a soil amendment: Environmental friend or foe?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pyrolysis to produce biofuels and biochar from biomass is not a new idea, but the use of pyrolysis to extract energy from biomass through a process that can be carbon neutral to carbon negative (i.e., reduces atmospheric CO2) is a novel application of an old technology to a curre...

  6. Effect of ageing on the availability of heavy metals in soils amended with compost and biochar: evaluation of changes in soil and amendment properties.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Venegas, A; Rigol, A; Vidal, M

    2016-10-01

    Remediation strategies using soil amendments should consider the time dependence of metal availability to identify amendments that can sustainably reduce available pollutant concentrations over time. Drying-wetting cycles were applied on amendments, soils and soil + amendment mixtures, to mimic ageing at field level and investigate its effect on extractable Cd, Cu, Ni, Pb and Zn concentrations from three contaminated soils. The amendments investigated were municipal waste organic compost and biochars. The amendments, soils and mixtures were characterised by their physicochemical properties at different ageing times. The amendments were also characterised in terms of sorption capacity for Cd and Cu. The sorption capacity and the physicochemical properties of the amendments remained constant over the period examined. When mixed with the soils, amendments, especially the compost, immediately reduced the extractable metals in the soils with low pH and acid neutralisation capacity, due to the increase in pH and buffering capacity of the mixtures. The amendments had a relatively minor impact on the metal availability concentrations for the soil with substantially high acid neutralisation capacity. The most important changes in extractable metal concentrations were observed at the beginning of the experiments, ageing having a minor effect on metal concentrations when compared with the initial effect of amendments.

  7. Characteristics of biochars from crop residues: potential for carbon sequestration and soil amendment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Windeatt, Jayne H; Ross, Andrew B; Williams, Paul T; Forster, Piers M; Nahil, Mohamad A; Singh, Surjit

    2014-12-15

    Biochar has potential to sequester carbon in soils and simultaneously improve soil quality and plant growth. More understanding of biochar variation is needed to optimise these potential benefits. Slow pyrolysis at 600 °C was undertaken to determine how yields and characteristics of biochars differ when produced from eight different agricultural residues. Biochar properties such as carbon content, surface area, pH, ultimate and proximate analysis, nutrient and metal content and the R50 recalcitrance index were determined. Significant variations seen in biochar characteristics were attributed to feedstock variation since pyrolysis conditions were constant. Biochar yields varied from 28% to 39%. Average carbon content was 51%. Ash content of both feedstocks and biochars were correlated with biochar carbon content. Macronutrients were concentrated during pyrolysis, but biochar macronutrient content was low in comparison to biochars produced from more nutrient rich feedstocks. Most biochars were slightly alkaline, ranging from pH 6.1 to pH 11.6. pH was correlated with biochar K content. Aromaticity was increased with pyrolysis, shown by a reduction in biochar H/C and O/C ratios relative to feedstock values. The R50 recalcitrance index showed biochars to be either class 2 or class 3. Biochar carbon sequestration potential was 21.3%-32.5%. The R50 recalcitrance index is influenced by the presence of alkali metals in the biochar which may lead to an under-estimation of biochar stability. The residues assessed here, at current global availability, could produce 373 Mt of biochar. This quantity of biochar has the potential to sequester 0.55 Pg CO2 yr(-1) in soils over long time periods. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  8. Effect of biochar amendment on the control of soil sulfonamides, antibiotic-resistant bacteria, and gene enrichment in lettuce tissues.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ye, Mao; Sun, Mingming; Feng, Yanfang; Wan, Jinzhong; Xie, Shanni; Tian, Da; Zhao, Yu; Wu, Jun; Hu, Feng; Li, Huixin; Jiang, Xin

    2016-05-15

    Considering the potential threat of vegetables growing in antibiotic-polluted soil with high abundance of antibiotic-resistant genes (ARGs) against human health through the food chain, it is thus urgent to develop novel control technology to ensure vegetable safety. In the present work, pot experiments were conducted in lettuce cultivation to assess the impedance effect of biochar amendment on soil sulfonamides (SAs), antibiotic-resistant bacteria (ARB), and ARG enrichment in lettuce tissues. After 100 days of cultivation, lettuce cultivation with biochar amendment exhibited the greatest soil SA dissipation as well as the significant improvement of lettuce growth indices, with residual soil SAs mainly existing as the tightly bound fraction. Moreover, the SA contents in roots and new/old leaves were reduced by one to two orders of magnitude compared to those without biochar amendment. In addition, isolate counts for SA-resistant bacterial endophytes in old leaves and sul gene abundances in roots and old leaves also decreased significantly after biochar application. However, neither SA resistant bacteria nor sul genes were detected in new leaves. It was the first study to demonstrate that biochar amendment can be a practical strategy to protect lettuce safety growing in SA-polluted soil with rich ARB and ARGs. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  9. Effect of biochar amendment on nitrate retention in a silty clay loam soil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Angela Libutti

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available Biochar incorporation into agricultural soils has been proposed as a strategy to decrease nutrient leaching. The present study was designed to assess the effect of biochar on nitrate retention in a silty clay loam soil. Biochar obtained from the pyrogasification of fir wood chips was applied to soil and tested in a range of laboratory sorption experiments. Four soil treatments were considered: soil only (control, soil with 2, 4 and 8% of biochar by mass. The Freundlich sorption isotherm model was used to fit the adsorbed amount of nitrate in the soil-biochar mixtures. The model performed very well in interpreting the experimental data according to a general linear regression (analysis of co-variance statistical approach. Nitrate retention in the soilbiochar mixtures was always higher than control, regardless the NO3 – concentration in the range of 0-400 mg L–1. Different sorption capacities and intensities were detected depending on the biochar application rate. The highest adsorption capacity was observed in the soils added with 2 and 4% of biochar, respectively. From the results obtained is possible to infer that nitrate retention is higher at lower biochar addition rate to soil (2 and 4% and at lower nitrate concentration in the soil water solution. These preliminary laboratory results suggest that biochar addition to a typical Mediterranean agricultural soil could be an effective management option to mitigate nitrate leaching.

  10. Nutrient uptake by agricultural crops from biochar-amended soils: results from two field experiments in Austria

    Science.gov (United States)

    Karer, Jasmin; Zehetner, Franz; Kloss, Stefanie; Wimmer, Bernhard; Soja, Gerhard

    2013-04-01

    The use of biochar as soil amendment is considered as a promising agricultural soil management technique, combining carbon sequestration and soil fertility improvements. These expectations are largely founded on positive experiences with biochar applications to impoverished or degraded tropical soils. The validity of these results for soils in temperate climates needs confirmation from field experiments with typical soils representative for intensive agricultural production areas. Frequently biochar is mixed with other organic additives like compost. As these two materials interact with each other and each one may vary considerably in its basic characteristics, it is difficult to attribute the effects of the combined additive to one of its components and to a specific physico-chemical parameter. Therefore investigations of the amendment efficacy require the study of the pure components to characterize their specific behavior in soil. This is especially important for adsorption behavior of biochar for macro- and micronutrients because in soil there are multiple nutrient sinks that compete with plant roots for vital elements. Therefore this contribution presents results from a field amendment study with pure biochar that had the objective to characterize the macro- and microelement uptake of crops from different soils in two typical Austrian areas of agricultural production. At two locations in North and South-East Austria, two identical field experiments on different soils (Chernozem and Cambisol) were installed in 2011 with varying biochar additions (0, 30 and 90 t/ha) and two nitrogen levels. The biochar was a product from slow pyrolysis of wood (SC Romchar SRL). During the installation of the experiments, the biochar fraction of <2 mm was mixed with surface soil to a depth of 15 cm in plots of 33 m2 each (n=4). Barley (at the Chernozem soil) and maize (at the Cambisol) were cultivated according to standard agricultural practices. The highest crop yields at both

  11. Arsenic mobility in brownfield soils amended with green waste compost or biochar and planted with Miscanthus

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hartley, William; Dickinson, Nicholas M.; Riby, Philip; Lepp, Nicholas W.

    2009-01-01

    Degraded land that is historically contaminated from different sources of industrial waste provides an opportunity for conversion to bioenergy fuel production and also to increase sequestration of carbon in soil through organic amendments. In pot experiments, As mobility was investigated in three different brownfield soils amended with green waste compost (GWC, 30% v/v) or biochar (BC, 20% v/v), planted with Miscanthus. Using GWC improved crop yield but had little effect on foliar As uptake, although the proportion of As transferred from roots to foliage differed considerably between the three soils. It also increased dissolved carbon concentrations in soil pore water that influenced Fe and As mobility. Effects of BC were less pronounced, but the impacts of both amendments on SOC, Fe, P and pH are likely to be critical in the context of As leaching to ground water. Growing Miscanthus had no measurable effect on As mobility. - Green waste compost enhances water-soluble iron, phosphorus and carbon, increasing arsenic mobility in soil pore water.

  12. Earthworms, Microbes and the Release of C and N in Biochar Amended Soil

    Science.gov (United States)

    Land application of biochar has the potential to increase soil fertility and sequester carbon. It is unclear how soil microbes and earthworms interact with biochar and affect release or retention of nutrients. In order to determine the effects and interactions among soil microbes, earthworms, and bi...

  13. Stabilization of Organic Matter by Biochar Application in Compost-amended Soils with Contrasting pH Values and Textures

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shih-Hao Jien

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available Food demand and soil sustainability have become urgent concerns because of the impacts of global climate change. In subtropical and tropical regions, practical management that stabilizes and prevents organic fertilizers from rapid decomposition in soils is necessary. This study conducted a short-term (70 days incubation experiment to assess the effects of biochar application on the decomposition of added bagasse compost in three rural soils with different pH values and textures. Two rice hull biochars, produced through slow pyrolization at 400 °C (RHB-400 and 700 °C (RHB-700, with application rates of 1%, 2%, and 4% (w/w, were separately incorporated into soils with and without compost (1% (w/w application rate. Experimental results indicated that C mineralization rapidly increased at the beginning in all treatments, particularly in those involving 2% and 4% biochar. The biochar addition increased C mineralization by 7.9%–48% in the compost-amended soils after 70 days incubation while the fractions of mineralized C to applied C significantly decreased. Moreover, the estimated maximum of C mineralization amount in soils treated with both compost and biochar were obviously lower than expectation calculated by a double exponential model (two pool model. Based on the micromorphological observation, added compost was wrapped in the soil aggregates formed after biochar application and then may be protected from decomposing by microbes. Co-application of compost with biochar may be more efficient to stabilize and sequester C than individual application into the studied soils, especially for the biochar produced at high pyrolization temperature.

  14. Watershed soil Cd loss after long-term agricultural practice and biochar amendment under four rainfall levels.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ouyang, Wei; Huang, Weijia; Hao, Xin; Tysklind, Mats; Haglund, Peter; Hao, Fanghua

    2017-10-01

    Some heavy metals in farmland soil can be transported into the waterbody, affecting the water quality and sediment at the watershed outlet, which can be used to determine the historical loss pattern. Cd is a typical heavy metal leached from farmland that is related to phosphate fertilizers and carries serious environmental risk. The spatial-vertical pattern of Cd in soil and the vertical trend of Cd in the river sediment core were analyzed, which showed the migration and accumulation of Cd in the watershed. To prevent watershed Cd loss, biochar was employed, and leaching experiments were conducted to investigate the Cd loss from soil depending on the initial concentration. Four rainfall intensities, 1.25 mm/h, 2.50 mm/h, 5.00 mm/h, and 10.00 mm/h, were used to simulate typical rainfall scenarios for the study area. Biochar was prepared from corn straw after pretreatment with ammonium dihydrogen phosphate (ADP) and pyrolysis at 400 °C under anoxic conditions. To identify the effects of biochar amendment on Cd migration, the biochar was mixed with soil for 90 days at concentrations of 0%, 0.5%, 1.0%, 3.0%, and 5.0% soil by weight. The results showed that the Cd leaching load increased as the initial load and rainfall intensity increased and that eluviation caused surface Cd to diffuse to the deep soils. The biochar application caused more of the heavy metals to be immobilized in the amended soil rather than transported into the waterbody. The sorption efficiency of the biochar for Cd increased as the addition level increased to 3%, which showed better performance than the 5% addition level under some initial concentration and rainfall conditions. The research indicated that biochar is a potential material to prevent diffuse heavy metal pollution and that a lower addition makes the application more feasible. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  15. Effects of biochar and wood pellets amendments added to landfill cover soil on microbial methane oxidation: A laboratory column study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yargicoglu, Erin N; Reddy, Krishna R

    2017-05-15

    Alternate landfill covers designed to enhance microbial methane (CH 4 ) oxidation and reduce the negative impacts of landfill gas emissions on global climate have recently been proposed and investigated. In this study, the use of biochar as a soil amendment is examined in order to assess the feasibility and effectiveness for enhanced CH 4 removal in landfill covers when incorporated under high compaction conditions and relatively low soil moisture. Four different cover configurations were tested in large soil columns for ∼510 days and potential CH 4 oxidation rates were determined following long-term incubation in small batch assays. Cover designs tested include: a thin biochar layer at 15-18 cm; 2% mixed soil-biochar layer at 20-40 cm; 2% mixed soil-uncharred wood pellets at 20-40 cm; and soil obtained from intermediate cover at an active landfill site. The placement of a thin biochar layer in the cover significantly impacted moisture distribution and infiltration, which in turn affected CH 4 oxidation potential with depth. An increase in CH 4 removal rates was observed among all columns over the 500 day incubation period, with steady-state CH 4 removal efficiencies ranging from ∼60 to 90% in the final stages of incubation (inlet load ∼80 g CH 4  m -2  d -1 ). The thin biochar layer had the lowest average removal efficiency as a result of reduced moisture availability below the biochar layer. The addition of 2% biochar to soil yielded similar CH 4 oxidation rates in terminal assays as the 2% uncharred wood pellet amendment. CH 4 oxidation rates in terminal assays were positively correlated with soil moisture, which was affected by the materials' water holding capacity. The high water holding capacity of biochar led to higher oxidation rates within the thin biochar layer, supporting the initial hypothesis that biochar may confer more favorable physical conditions for methanotrophy. Ultimate performance was apparently affected by soil type and CH 4

  16. Cadmium, lead, and zinc mobility and plant uptake in a mine soil amended with sugarcane straw biochar.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Puga, A P; Abreu, C A; Melo, L C A; Paz-Ferreiro, J; Beesley, L

    2015-11-01

    Accumulation of heavy metals in unconsolidated soils can prove toxic to proximal environments, if measures are not taken to stabilize soils. One way to minimize the toxicity of metals in soils is the use of materials capable of immobilizing these contaminants by sorption. Biochar (BC) can retain large amounts of heavy metals due to, among other characteristics, its large surface area. In the current experiment, sugarcane-straw-derived biochar, produced at 700 °C, was applied to a heavy-metal-contaminated mine soil at 1.5, 3.0, and 5.0% (w/w). Jack bean and Mucuna aterrima were grown in pots containing a mine contaminated soil and soil mixed with BC. Pore water was sampled to assess the effects of biochar on zinc solubility, while soils were analyzed by DTPA extraction to confirm available metal concentrations. The application of BC decreased the available concentrations of Cd, Pb, and Zn in the mine contaminated soil leading to a consistent reduction in the concentration of Zn in the pore water. Amendment with BC reduced plant uptake of Cd, Pb, and Zn with the jack bean uptaking higher amounts of Cd and Pb than M. aterrima. This study indicates that biochar application during mine soil remediation could reduce plant concentrations of heavy metals. Coupled with this, symptoms of heavy metal toxicity were absent only in plants growing in pots amended with biochar. The reduction in metal bioavailability and other modifications to the substrate induced by the application of biochar may be beneficial to the establishment of a green cover on top of mine soil to aid remediation and reduce risks.

  17. Effects of arbuscular mycorrhizal inoculation and biochar amendment on maize growth, cadmium uptake and soil cadmium speciation in Cd-contaminated soil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Ling; Li, Jiwei; Yue, Feixue; Yan, Xinwei; Wang, Fayuan; Bloszies, Sean; Wang, Yanfang

    2018-03-01

    Experiments conducted to understand how arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) inoculation or biochar application affect plant growth and heavy metal uptake have thus far looked at single applications of either soil amendment. There is little evidence of their synergistic effects, in particular for plants grown in cadmium (Cd) contaminated soil. We conducted a mesocosm experiment to investigate the effect of AM inoculation (Glomus intraradices BEG 141) and/or wheat-straw biochar amendment on maize (Zea mays L. cv. Hongdan No. 897) growth, antioxidant enzymatic activities, and Cd uptake, as well as soil Cd speciation under applications of 0, 3, 6 mg Cd per kg soil. Applying either AM inoculant or biochar alone significantly increased maize growth and reduced Cd uptake. Furthermore, solo AM inoculation alleviating Cd stress more fully than biochar, in turn facilitating maize growth and decreasing soil Cd translocation into plant tissue. Still, solo biochar amendment was more effective at inducing soil alkalinization and contributing to Cd immobilization. Adding biochar together with AM inoculant significantly promoted fungal populations compared to a control. Amending soil with AM inoculant and biochar together produced the largest increase in maize growth and decrease in tissue Cd concentrations. This effect was additive, with 79.1% greater biomass, 51.42%, 82.91%, 43.96% higher activities of superoxide dismutase (SOD), peroxidase (POD), catalase (CAT), and 50.06%, 67.19%, 58.04% and 76.19% lower Cd concentrations in roots, stems, leaves, and ears, respectively, at a 6 mg kg -1 Cd contamination rate. The combined treatment also had a synergistic effect on inducing soil alkalinization and causing Cd immobilization, and decreasing Cd phytoavailability and post-harvest transfer risks. These results suggest that AM inoculation in combination with biochar application may be applicable not only for maize production but also for phytostabilization of Cd-contaminated soil

  18. Addition of biochar to sewage sludge decreases freely dissolved PAHs content and toxicity of sewage sludge-amended soil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stefaniuk, Magdalena; Oleszczuk, Patryk

    2016-11-01

    Due to an increased content of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) frequently found in sewage sludges, it is necessary to find solutions that will reduce the environmental hazard associated with their presence. The aim of this study was to determine changes of total and freely dissolved concentration of PAHs in sewage sludge-biochar-amended soil. Two different sewage sludges and biochars with varying properties were tested. Biochars (BC) were produced from biogas residues at 400 °C or 600 °C and from willow at 600 °C. The freely dissolved PAH concentration was determined by means of passive sampling using polyoxymethylene (POM). Total and freely dissolved PAH concentration was monitored at the beginning of the experiment and after 90 days of aging of the sewage sludge with the biochar and soil. Apart from chemical evaluation, the effect of biochar addition on the toxicity of the tested materials on bacteria - Vibrio fischeri (Microtox ® ), plants - Lepidium sativum (Phytotestkit F, Phytotoxkit F), and Collembola - Folsomia candida (Collembolan test) was evaluated. The addition of biochar to the sewage sludges decreased the content of C free PAHs. A reduction from 11 to 43% of sewage sludge toxicity or positive effects on plants expressed by root growth stimulation from 6 to 25% to the control was also found. The range of reduction of C free PAHs and toxicity was dependent on the type of biochar. After 90 days of incubation of the biochars with the sewage sludge in the soil, C free PAHs and toxicity were found to further decrease compared to the soil with sewage sludge alone. The obtained results show that the addition of biochar to sewage sludges may significantly reduce the risk associated with their environmental use both in terms of PAH content and toxicity of the materials tested. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  19. Aminocyclopyrachlor sorption in biochar and activated charcoal amended soils

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aminocyclopyrachlor is a new herbicide active ingredient, classified as a member of the new chemical class “pyrimidine carboxylic acids”. It is used for control of broadleaf weeds and brush on non-cropland. Due to its potential mobility in some soils, there is interest in whether aminocyclopyrachlor...

  20. Use of nuclear receptor luciferase-based bioassays to detect endocrine active chemicals in a biosolids-biochar amended soil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anderson, Carolyn G; Joshi, Geetika; Bair, Daniel A; Oriol, Charlotte; He, Guochun; Parikh, Sanjai J; Denison, Michael S; Scow, Kate M

    2017-08-01

    Biosolids are a potentially valuable source of carbon and nutrients for agricultural soils; however, potential unintended impacts on human health and the environment must be considered. Virtually all biosolids contain trace amounts endocrine-disrupting chemicals derived from human use of pharmaceuticals and personal care products (PPCPs). One potential way to reduce the bioavailability of PPCPs is to co-apply biosolids with biochar to soil, because biochar's chemical (e.g., aromaticity) and physical properties (e.g., surface area) give it a high affinity to bind many organic chemicals in the environment. We developed a soil-specific extraction method and utilized a luciferase-based bioassay (CALUX) to detect endocrine active chemicals in a biosolids-biochar co-amendment soil greenhouse study. Both biochar (walnut shell, 900 °C) and biosolids had positive impacts on carrot and lettuce biomass accumulation over our study period. However, the walnut shell biochar stimulated aryl hydrocarbon receptor activity, suggesting the presence of potential endocrine active chemicals in the biochar. Since the biochar rate tested (100 t ha -1 ) is above the average agronomic rate (10-20 t ha -1 ), endocrine effects would not be expected in most environmental applications. The effect of high temperature biochars on endocrine system pathways must be explored further, using both quantitative analytical tools to identify potential endocrine active chemicals and highly sensitive bioanalytical assays such as CALUX to measure the resulting biological activity of such compounds. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  1. fractionation of lead-acid battery soil amended with biochar 36

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    USER

    ABSTRACT. Mobile (bio)available metal concentration in contaminated soils can be minimized through biological immobilization and stabilization methods using a range of organic compounds, such as. “biochar.” Biochar has a high surface area, highly porous, variable – charge organic material that has the potential to ...

  2. Carbon dioxide emissions from semi-arid soils amended with biochar alone or combined with mineral and organic fertilizers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fernández, José M; Nieto, M Aurora; López-de-Sá, Esther G; Gascó, Gabriel; Méndez, Ana; Plaza, César

    2014-06-01

    Semi-arid soils cover a significant area of Earth's land surface and typically contain large amounts of inorganic C. Determining the effects of biochar additions on CO2 emissions from semi-arid soils is therefore essential for evaluating the potential of biochar as a climate change mitigation strategy. Here, we measured the CO2 that evolved from semi-arid calcareous soils amended with biochar at rates of 0 and 20tha(-1) in a full factorial combination with three different fertilizers (mineral fertilizer, municipal solid waste compost, and sewage sludge) applied at four rates (equivalent to 0, 75, 150, and 225kg potentially available Nha(-1)) during 182 days of aerobic incubation. A double exponential model, which describes cumulative CO2 emissions from two active soil C compartments with different turnover rates (one relatively stable and the other more labile), was found to fit very well all the experimental datasets. In general, the organic fertilizers increased the size and decomposition rate of the stable and labile soil C pools. In contrast, biochar addition had no effects on any of the double exponential model parameters and did not interact with the effects ascribed to the type and rate of fertilizer. After 182 days of incubation, soil organic and microbial biomass C contents tended to increase with increasing the application rates of organic fertilizer, especially of compost, whereas increasing the rate of mineral fertilizer tended to suppress microbial biomass. Biochar was found to increase both organic and inorganic C contents in soil and not to interact with the effects of type and rate of fertilizer on C fractions. As a whole, our results suggest that the use of biochar as enhancer of semi-arid soils, either alone or combined with mineral and organic fertilizers, is unlikely to increase abiotic and biotic soil CO2 emissions. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  3. Inactivation of E.coli 0157:H7 in crop soil by amending with fast and slow pryolysis-generated biochars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Biochar, generated by pyrolysis (i.e., heating biomass under low-oxygen conditions), results in incomplete combustion, producing a fine, grainy, highly porous material, 200 – 1,000 um in diameter. Benefits of biochar production include generation of bio-fuels, useful soil amendments for fertilizing...

  4. Directed Selection of Biochars for Amending Metal ...

    Science.gov (United States)

    Approximately 500,000 abandoned mines across the U.S. pose a considerable, pervasive risk to human health and the environment. World-wide the problem is even larger. Lime, organic matter, biosolids and other amendments have been used to decrease metal bioavailability in contaminated mine wastes and to promote the development of a mine waste stabilizing plant cover. The demonstrated properties of biochar make it a viable candidate as an amendment for remediating metal contaminated mine soils. In addition to sequestering potentially toxic metals, biochar can also be a source of plant nutrients, used to adjust soil pH, improve soil water holding characteristics, and increase soil carbon content. However, methods are needed for matching biochar beneficial properties with mine waste toxicities and soil health deficiencies. In this presentation we will report on a study in which we used mine soil from an abandoned Cu and Zn mine to develop a three-step procedure for identifying biochars that are most effective at reducing heavy metal bioavailability. Step 1: a slightly acidic extract of the mine spoil soil was produced, representing the potentially available metals, and used to identify metal removal properties of a library of 38 different biochars (e.g., made from a variety of feedstocks and pyrolysis or gasification conditions). Step 2: evaluation of how well these biochars retained (i.e., did not desorb) previously sorbed metals. Step 3: laboratory evalua

  5. Using a fourth-generation cavity enhanced spectrometer to isotopically investigate nitrous oxide emissions from biochar amended soils.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grabenhofer, Jutta; Dercon, Gerd; Heiling, Maria; Mayr, Leo; Resch, Christian; Hood-Nowotny, Rebecca

    2016-04-01

    Research into the impacts of biochar on key processes in the nitrogen cycle is important to understand biochar's potential role in sustainable agriculture. There is conflicting evidence that biochar can reduce globally significant greenhouse gas emissions, especially N2O, one of the most important greenhouse gases in agriculture. However to date there is little information on the mechanisms involved. The source of N2O is dependent on the physical, chemical and biological status of the soil at a microbial scale and we need to understand how biochar influences it. Using the 15N2O gas flux method combined with gross rate measurements of nitrification and modelling, it should be possible to determine the parameters which drive N2O emissions and to evaluate the specific impact of biochar on these important N loss processes. To date the scope of isotopic studies on nitrous oxide emissions have been limited, due in part to technical and infrastructural access to complex and expensive mass spectrometry. With the advent of laser based systems these logistical and analytical constraints could be overcome and allow for a deeper and geographically more representative, understanding and assessment of the role of biochar in reducing nitrous oxide emissions from soil. In this study we have developed a simple method for investigated nitrous oxide emissions from soils amended with biochar, employing state of the art stable isotope techniques, using a fourth-generation cavity enhanced absorption technique a variant of conventional Cavity Ringdown Spectroscopy (CRDS) for measurement of isotopes of nitrous oxide. We will present methodologies used and results from these experiments, techniques that should path the way for a greater global understand nitrous oxide emissions from soils.

  6. Biochar soil amendment on alleviation of drought and salt stress in plants: a critical review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ali, Shafaqat; Rizwan, Muhammad; Qayyum, Muhammad Farooq; Ok, Yong Sik; Ibrahim, Muhammad; Riaz, Muhammad; Arif, Muhammad Saleem; Hafeez, Farhan; Al-Wabel, Mohammad I; Shahzad, Ahmad Naeem

    2017-05-01

    Drought and salt stress negatively affect soil fertility and plant growth. Application of biochar, carbon-rich material developed from combustion of biomass under no or limited oxygen supply, ameliorates the negative effects of drought and salt stress on plants. The biochar application increased the plant growth, biomass, and yield under either drought and/or salt stress and also increased photosynthesis, nutrient uptake, and modified gas exchange characteristics in drought and salt-stressed plants. Under drought stress, biochar increased the water holding capacity of soil and improved the physical and biological properties of soils. Under salt stress, biochar decreased Na + uptake, while increased K + uptake by plants. Biochar-mediated increase in salt tolerance of plants is primarily associated with improvement in soil properties, thus increasing plant water status, reduction of Na + uptake, increasing uptake of minerals, and regulation of stomatal conductance and phytohormones. This review highlights both the potential of biochar in alleviating drought and salt stress in plants and future prospect of the role of biochar under drought and salt stress in plants.

  7. Biochar amendment reduced methylmercury accumulation in rice plants

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Shu, Rui; Wang, Yongjie; Zhong, Huan

    2016-01-01

    Highlights: • Biochar amendment could evidently reduce methylmercury (MeHg) levels in rice grain. • Biochar could enhance microbial production of MeHg, probably by providing sulfate. • Biochar could immobilize MeHg in soil, and reduce MeHg availability to rice plants. • Biochar amendment increased grain biomass, leading to biodilution of MeHg in grain. - Abstract: There is growing concern about methylmercury (MeHg) accumulation in rice grains and thus enhanced dietary exposure to MeHg in Asian countries. Here, we explored the possibility of reducing grain MeHg levels by biochar amendment, and the underlying mechanisms. Pot (i.e., rice cultivation in biochar amended soils) and batch experiments (i.e., incubation of amended soils under laboratory conditions) were carried out, to investigate MeHg dynamics (i.e., MeHg production, partitioning and phytoavailability in paddy soils, and MeHg uptake by rice) under biochar amendment (1–4% of soil mass). We demonstrate for the first time that biochar amendment could evidently reduce grain MeHg levels (49–92%). The declines could be attributed to the combined effects of: (1) increased soil MeHg concentrations, probably explained by the release of sulfate from biochar and thus enhanced microbial production of MeHg (e.g., by sulfate-reducing bacteria), (2) MeHg immobilization in soils, facilitated by the large surface areas and high organosulfur content of biochar, and (3) biodilution of MeHg in rice grains, due to the increased grain biomass under biochar amendment (35–79%). These observations together with mechanistic explanations improve understanding of MeHg dynamics in soil-rice systems, and support the possibility of reducing MeHg phytoaccumulation under biochar amendment.

  8. Biochar amendment reduced methylmercury accumulation in rice plants

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Shu, Rui; Wang, Yongjie [School of Environment, Nanjing University, State Key Laboratory of Pollution Control and Resource Reuse, Nanjing, Jiangsu Province, People’s Republic of China (China); Zhong, Huan, E-mail: zhonghuan@nju.edu.cn [School of Environment, Nanjing University, State Key Laboratory of Pollution Control and Resource Reuse, Nanjing, Jiangsu Province, People’s Republic of China (China); Environmental and Life Sciences Program (EnLS), Trent University, Peterborough, Ontario (Canada)

    2016-08-05

    Highlights: • Biochar amendment could evidently reduce methylmercury (MeHg) levels in rice grain. • Biochar could enhance microbial production of MeHg, probably by providing sulfate. • Biochar could immobilize MeHg in soil, and reduce MeHg availability to rice plants. • Biochar amendment increased grain biomass, leading to biodilution of MeHg in grain. - Abstract: There is growing concern about methylmercury (MeHg) accumulation in rice grains and thus enhanced dietary exposure to MeHg in Asian countries. Here, we explored the possibility of reducing grain MeHg levels by biochar amendment, and the underlying mechanisms. Pot (i.e., rice cultivation in biochar amended soils) and batch experiments (i.e., incubation of amended soils under laboratory conditions) were carried out, to investigate MeHg dynamics (i.e., MeHg production, partitioning and phytoavailability in paddy soils, and MeHg uptake by rice) under biochar amendment (1–4% of soil mass). We demonstrate for the first time that biochar amendment could evidently reduce grain MeHg levels (49–92%). The declines could be attributed to the combined effects of: (1) increased soil MeHg concentrations, probably explained by the release of sulfate from biochar and thus enhanced microbial production of MeHg (e.g., by sulfate-reducing bacteria), (2) MeHg immobilization in soils, facilitated by the large surface areas and high organosulfur content of biochar, and (3) biodilution of MeHg in rice grains, due to the increased grain biomass under biochar amendment (35–79%). These observations together with mechanistic explanations improve understanding of MeHg dynamics in soil-rice systems, and support the possibility of reducing MeHg phytoaccumulation under biochar amendment.

  9. Effects of poultry manure, compost, and biochar amendments on soil nitrogen dynamics in maize production systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ryals, R.; Tang, J.; Hastings, M. G.; Dell, C. J.; Sims, T.

    2013-12-01

    Intensification of animal agriculture has profound impacts on the global and local biogeochemistry of nitrogen (N), resulting in consequences to environmental and human health. In the Chesapeake Bay watershed, intensive agriculture is the primary contributor to N pollution, with animal manure comprising more than half of N from agriculture. Management interventions may play an important role in mitigating reactive N pollution in the Bay watershed. The objective of our research was to test management strategies that maximize benefits of poultry manure as an agricultural resource while minimizing it as a source of reactive nitrogen to the atmosphere and ground and surface waters. We conducted field experiments in two agricultural regions of the Chesapeake Bay watershed (Georgetown, Delaware and State College, Pennsylvania) to explore the effects of poultry manure amendments on gaseous N losses and soil N transformations. Treatments were applied at rates needed to meet the plant N demand at each site and included unfertilized controls, fertilizer N (urea), and raw, composted, or and biocharred poultry manure. The fate of the N from all sources was followed throughout the growing season. Global greenhouse gases emitted from soil (nitrous oxide [N2O] and carbon dioxide [CO2]) and regional air pollutants (nitrogen oxides [NOx] and ammonia [NH3]) were measured. Gas measurements were coupled with data on treatment effects on temperature, moisture, and concentrations of nitrate (NO3¬-) and ammonium (NH4+) in surface soils (0-10 cm). Soil NO3- and NH4+ were also measured approximately monthly in the soil profile (0-10, 10-30, 30-50, 50-70, and 70-100 cm) as an index of leaching potential. Plant N uptake and grain production were also quantified to quantify crop N use efficiency and compare measured N losses for each N source. Our results suggest that the form of poultry manure amendments can affect the magnitude of reactive N losses to the environment.

  10. Assessing the influence of compost and biochar amendments on the mobility and toxicity of metals and arsenic in a naturally contaminated mine soil

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Beesley, Luke; Inneh, Onyeka S.; Norton, Gareth J.; Moreno-Jimenez, Eduardo; Pardo, Tania; Clemente, Rafael; Dawson, Julian J.C.

    2014-01-01

    Amending contaminated soils with organic wastes can influence trace element mobility and toxicity. Soluble concentrations of metals and arsenic were measured in pore water and aqueous soil extracts following the amendment of a heavily contaminated mine soil with compost and biochar (10% v:v) in a pot experiment. Speciation modelling and toxicity assays (Vibrio fischeri luminescence inhibition and Lolium perenne germination) were performed to discriminate mechanisms controlling metal mobility and assess toxicity risk thereafter. Biochar reduced free metal concentrations furthest but dissolved organic carbon primarily controlled metal mobility after compost amendment. Individually, both amendments induced considerable solubilisation of arsenic to pore water (>2500 μg l −1 ) related to pH and soluble phosphate but combining amendments most effectively reduced toxicity due to simultaneous reductions in extractable metals and increases in soluble nutrients (P). Thus the measure–monitor-model approach taken determined that combining the amendments was most effective at mitigating attendant toxicity risk. -- Highlights: • Compost and biochar addition to a mine soil decreased metal solubility. • Inorganic arsenic solubility was increased furthest by compost alone. • Combining amendments most effectively reduced toxicity, assessed by bio-assays. • Field study should verify the efficacy of the amendment in the longer term. -- Individual compost and biochar amendments to a contaminated mine soil decreased metal and increased arsenic solubility, but combining amendments most effectively reduced toxicity

  11. Changes in heavy metal bioavailability and speciation from a Pb-Zn mining soil amended with biochars from co-pyrolysis of rice straw and swine manure.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meng, Jun; Tao, Mengming; Wang, Lili; Liu, Xingmei; Xu, Jianming

    2018-03-22

    Biochar has been utilized as a good amendment to immobilize heavy metals in contaminated soils. However, the effectiveness of biochar in metal immobilization depends on biochar properties and metal species. In this study, the biochars produced from co-pyrolysis of rice straw with swine manure at 400°C were investigated to evaluate their effects on bioavailability and chemical speciation of four heavy metals (Cd, Cu, Pb and Zn) in a Pb-Zn contaminated soil through incubation experiment. Results showed that co-pyrolysis process significantly change the yield, ash content, pH, and electrical conductivity (EC) of the blended biochars compared with the single straw/manure biochar. The addition of these biochars significantly increased the soil pH, EC, and dissolved organic carbon (DOC) concentrations. The addition of biochars at a rate of 3% significantly reduced the CaCl 2 -extractable metal concentrations in the order of Pb>Cu>Zn>Cd. The exchangeable heavy metals decreased in all the biochar-amended soils whereas the carbonate-bound metal speciation increased. The increase in soil pH and the decrease in the CaCl 2 extractable metals indicated that these amendments can directly transform the highly availability metal speciation to the stable speciation in soils. In conclusion, biochar derived from co-pyrolysis of rice straw with swine manure at a mass ratio of 3:1 could most effectively immobilize the heavy metals in the soil. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  12. Characterization of a soil amendment derived from co-composting of agricultural wastes and biochar

    Science.gov (United States)

    Curaqueo, Gustavo; Ángel Sánchez-Monedero, Miguel; Meier, Sebastián; Medina, Jorge; Panichini, Marcelo; Borie, Fernando; Navia, Rodrigo

    2016-04-01

    contents increased in BC10 treatment, while the K contents were similar in all treatments as well as C/N ratio (around 15). The organic matter content was BC10>BC5>BC0 and the dissolved organic C content was lower than 8.3 g kg-1 for all piles confirming the maturity of compost. The germination test showed a non-toxic effect of all amendments in the species assayed obtaining a germination index between 55% and 80.7% indicating maturity of the amendments evaluated. Our results indicated that the combined use of agricultural wastes and biochar by mean of a co-composting process is a suitable option for generating good quality amendments for improving soil condition and optimizing nutrient cycling at farm scale. Financial support for this research was provided by the National Commission for Scientific and Technological Research through FONDECYT 11140508 Project

  13. Influence of Biochar Amendment on Soil Water Characteristics and Crop Growth Enhancement Under Salinity Stress

    OpenAIRE

    Gamareldawla H.D

    2017-01-01

    Salinity is an important environmental constraint to crop productivity in arid and semi-arid regions of the world. Most crop plants, including tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum Mill), are sensitive to salinity throughout the ontogeny of the plant. Biochar was used in the present study to improve the available water content (AWC), growth, yield and irrigation water use efficiency of tomato plant under saline soil condition. The biochar was applied at the rates of, 0%, 2% and 4% w/w and expressed...

  14. Influence of Biochar Amendment on Soil Water Characteristics and Crop Growth Enhancement Under Salinity Stress

    OpenAIRE

    Agbna , Gamareldawla ,; Ali1 , Abubaker ,; Bashir , Amir ,; Eltoum , Farid; Hassan , Mohamed ,

    2017-01-01

    International audience; Salinity is an important environmental constraint to crop productivity in arid and semi-arid regions of the world. Most crop plants, including tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum Mill), are sensitive to salinity throughout the ontogeny of the plant. Biochar was used in the present study to improve the available water content (AWC), growth, yield and irrigation water use efficiency of tomato plant under saline soil condition. The biochar was applied at the rates of, 0%, 2% ...

  15. Solubility of lead and copper in biochar-amended small arms range soils: influence of soil organic carbon and pH

    Science.gov (United States)

    In situ application of heavy metal stabilizing agents has in some cases increased the mobility of target metal contaminants. Mechanistic understandings are necessary to better predict (1) the dynamic short- and long-term response to soil amendments, and (2) the utility of biochars in nonremoval and...

  16. Effects of soil dilution and amendments (mussel shell, cow bone, and biochar) on Pb availability and phytotoxicity in military shooting range soil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ahmad, Mahtab; Soo Lee, Sang; Yang, Jae E; Ro, Hee-Myong; Han Lee, Young; Sik Ok, Yong

    2012-05-01

    Bioavailability and bioaccessibility determine the level of metal toxicity in the soils. Inorganic soil amendments may decrease metal bioavailability and enhance soil quality. This study used mussel shell, cow bone, and biochar to reduce lead (Pb) toxicity in the highly contaminated military shooting range soil in Korea. Water-soluble and 1-M ammonium nitrate extractions, and a modified physiologically based extraction test (PBET) were performed to determine Pb bioavailability and bioaccessibility in the soil, respectively. Active C in the soil was also measured to evaluate the effects of the amendments on biological soil quality. The Pb contaminated soil was diluted in serial with uncontaminated soil for the bioassays. Seed germination and root elongation tests using lettuce (Lactuca sativa) showed increases in germination percentage and root length in soil treated with the amendments. Biochar was most effective and increased seed germination by 360% and root length by 189% compared to the unamended soil. Up to 20% soil dilution resulted in more than 50% seed germination. Bioavailability and bioaccessibility of Pb in the soils were decreased by 92.5% and 48.5% with mussel shell, by 84.8% and 34.5% with cow bone, and by 75.8% and 12.5% with biochar, respectively, compared to the unamended soil. We found that the Pb availability in the military shooting range soil can be reduced effectively by the tested amendments or soil dilution alternately, thereby decreasing the risk of ecotoxicity. Furthermore, the increasing active C from the amendments revitalized the soil contaminated with Pb. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  17. Production of Biochar for Soil Application

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Mia, Shamim; Uddin, Nijam; Mamun Hossain, Al Shaikh Abdullah; Amin, Ruhul; Mete, Fatima Z.; Hiemstra, Tjisse

    2015-01-01

    Biochar has potentials for soil fertility improvement, climate change mitigation and environmental reclamation, and charred biomass can be deliberately incorporated into soil for long-term carbon stabilization and soil amendment. Many different methods have been used for biochar production

  18. Effect of Biochar Amendment and Ageing on Adsorption and Degradation of Two Herbicides.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhelezova, Alena; Cederlund, Harald; Stenström, John

    2017-01-01

    Biochar amendment can alter soil properties, for instance, the ability to adsorb and degrade different chemicals. However, ageing of the biochar, due to processes occurring in the soil over time, can influence such biochar-mediated effects. This study examined how biochar affected adsorption and degradation of two herbicides, glyphosate (N-(phosphonomethyl)-glycine) and diuron (3-(3,4-dichlorophenyl)-1,1-dimethylurea) in soil and how these effects were modulated by ageing of the biochar. One sandy and one clayey soil that had been freshly amended with a wood-based biochar (0, 1, 10, 20 and 30% w / w ) were studied. An ageing experiment, in which the soil-biochar mixtures were aged for 3.5 months in the laboratory, was also performed. Adsorption and degradation were studied in these soil and soil-biochar mixtures, and compared to results from a soil historically enriched with charcoal. Biochar amendment increased the pH in both soils and increased the water-holding capacity of the sandy soil. Adsorption of diuron was enhanced by biochar amendment in both soils, while glyphosate adsorption was decreased in the sandy soil. Ageing of soil-biochar mixtures decreased adsorption of both herbicides in comparison with freshly biochar-amended soil. Herbicide degradation rates were not consistently affected by biochar amendment or ageing in any of the soils. However, glyphosate half-lives correlated with the Freundlich Kf values in the clayey soil, indicating that degradation was limited by availability there.

  19. Influence of biochar on the physical, chemical and retention properties of an amended sandy soil

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baiamonte, Giorgio; De Pasquale, Claudio; Parrino, Francesco; Crescimanno, Giuseppina

    2017-04-01

    Soil porosity plays an important role in soil-water retention and water availability to crops, potentially affecting both agricultural practices and environmental sustainability. The pore structure controls fluid flow and transport through the soil, as well as the relationship between the properties of individual minerals and plants. Moreover, the anthropogenic pressure on soil properties has produced numerous sites with extensive desertification process close to residential areas. Biochar (biologically derived charcoal) is produced by pyrolysis of biomasses under low oxygen conditions, and it can be applied for recycling organic waste in soils and increase soil fertility, improving soil structure and enhancing soil water storage and soil water movement. Soil application of biochar might have agricultural, environmental and sustainability advantages over the use of organic manures or compost, as it is a porous material with a high inner surface area. The main objectives of the present study were to investigate the possible application of biochar from forest residues, derived from mechanically chipped trunks and large branches of Abies alba M., Larix decidua Mill., Picea excelsa L., Pinus nigra A. and Pinus sylvestris L. pyrolysed at 450 °C for 48h, to improve soil structural and hydraulic properties (achieving a stabilization of soil). Different amount of biochar were added to a desertic sandy soil, and the effect on soil porosity water retention and water available to crops were investigated. The High Energy Moisture Characteristic (HEMC) technique was applied to investigate soil-water retention at high-pressure head levels. The adsorption and desorption isotherms of N2 on external surfaces were also determined in order to investigate micro and macro porosity ratio. Both the described model of studies on adsorption-desorption experiments with the applied isotherms model explain the increasing substrate porosity with a particular attention to the macro and micro

  20. Linking N2O emissions from biochar-amended soil to the structure and function of the N-cycling microbial community

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harter, Johannes; Krause, Hans-Martin; Schuettler, Stefanie; Ruser, Reiner; Fromme, Markus; Scholten, Thomas; Kappler, Andreas; Behrens, Sebastian

    2014-01-01

    Nitrous oxide (N2O) contributes 8% to global greenhouse gas emissions. Agricultural sources represent about 60% of anthropogenic N2O emissions. Most agricultural N2O emissions are due to increased fertilizer application. A considerable fraction of nitrogen fertilizers are converted to N2O by microbiological processes (that is, nitrification and denitrification). Soil amended with biochar (charcoal created by pyrolysis of biomass) has been demonstrated to increase crop yield, improve soil quality and affect greenhouse gas emissions, for example, reduce N2O emissions. Despite several studies on variations in the general microbial community structure due to soil biochar amendment, hitherto the specific role of the nitrogen cycling microbial community in mitigating soil N2O emissions has not been subject of systematic investigation. We performed a microcosm study with a water-saturated soil amended with different amounts (0%, 2% and 10% (w/w)) of high-temperature biochar. By quantifying the abundance and activity of functional marker genes of microbial nitrogen fixation (nifH), nitrification (amoA) and denitrification (nirK, nirS and nosZ) using quantitative PCR we found that biochar addition enhanced microbial nitrous oxide reduction and increased the abundance of microorganisms capable of N2-fixation. Soil biochar amendment increased the relative gene and transcript copy numbers of the nosZ-encoded bacterial N2O reductase, suggesting a mechanistic link to the observed reduction in N2O emissions. Our findings contribute to a better understanding of the impact of biochar on the nitrogen cycling microbial community and the consequences of soil biochar amendment for microbial nitrogen transformation processes and N2O emissions from soil. PMID:24067258

  1. An estimation of annual nitrous oxide emissions and soil quality following the amendment of high temperature walnut shell biochar and compost to a small scale vegetable crop rotation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Suddick, Emma C; Six, Johan

    2013-11-01

    Agricultural soils are responsible for emitting large quantities of nitrous oxide (N2O). The controlled incomplete thermal decomposition of agricultural wastes to produce biochar, once amended to soils, have been hypothesized to increase crop yield, improve soil quality and reduce N2O emissions. To estimate crop yields, soil quality parameters and N2O emissions following the incorporation of a high temperature (900 °C) walnut shell (HTWS) biochar into soil, a one year field campaign with four treatments (control (CONT), biochar (B), compost (COM), and biochar+compost (B+C)) was conducted in a small scale vegetable rotation system in Northern California. Crop yields from five crops (lettuce, winter cover crop, lettuce, bell pepper and Swiss chard) were determined; there were no significant differences in yield between treatments. Biochar amended soils had significant increases in % total carbon (C) and the retention of potassium (K) and calcium (Ca). Annual cumulative N2O fluxes were not significantly different between the four treatments with emissions ranging from 0.91 to 1.12 kg N2O-N ha(-1) yr(-1). Distinct peaks of N2O occurred upon the application of N fertilizers and the greatest mean emissions, ranging from 67.04 to 151.41 g N2O-N ha(-1) day(-1), were observed following the incorporation of the winter cover crop. In conclusion, HTWS biochar application to soils had a pronounced effect on the retention of exchangeable cations such as K and Ca compared to un-amended soils and composted soils, which in turn could reduce leaching of these plant available cations and could thus improve soils with poor nutrient retention. However, HTWS biochar additions to soil had neither a positive or negative effect on crop yield nor cumulative annual emissions of N2O. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  2. Potential of soil amendments (Biochar and Gypsum) in increasing water use efficiency of Abelmoschus esculentus L. Moench.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Batool, Aniqa; Taj, Samia; Rashid, Audil; Khalid, Azeem; Qadeer, Samia; Saleem, Aansa R; Ghufran, Muhammad A

    2015-01-01

    Water being an essential component for plant growth and development, its scarcity poses serious threat to crops around the world. Climate changes and global warming are increasing the temperature of earth hence becoming an ultimate cause of water scarcity. It is need of the day to use potential soil amendments that could increase the plants' resistance under such situations. Biochar and gypsum were used in the present study to improve the water use efficiency (WUE) and growth of Abelmoschus esculentus L. Moench (Lady's Finger). A 6 weeks experiment was conducted under greenhouse conditions. Stress treatments were applied after 30 days of sowing. Plant height, leaf area, photosynthesis, transpiration rate (Tr), stomatal conductance and WUE were determined weekly under stressed [60% field capacity (F.C.)] and non-stressed (100% F.C.) conditions. Stomatal conductance and Tr decreased and reached near to zero in stressed plants. Stressed plants also showed resistance to water stress upto 5 weeks and gradually perished at sixth week. On the other hand, WUE improved in stressed plants containing biochar and gypsum as compared to untreated plants. Biochar alone is a better strategy to promote plant growth and WUE specifically of A. esculentus, compared to its application in combination with gypsum.

  3. Potential of Soil Amendments (Biochar and Gypsum in increasing Water Use Efficiency of Abelmoschus esculentus L. Moench

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Aniqa eBatool

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available Water being an essential component for plant growth and development, its scarcity poses serious threat to crops around the world. Climate changes and global warming are increasing the temperature of earth hence becoming an ultimate cause of water scarcity. It is need of the day to use potential soil amendments that could increase the plants’ resistance under such situations. Biochar and gypsum were used in the present study to improve the water use efficiency and growth of Abelmoschus esculentus L. Moench (Lady’s Finger. A six weeks experiment was conducted under greenhouse conditions. Stress treatments were applied after thirty days of sowing. Plant height, leaf area, photosynthesis, transpiration rate, stomatal conductance and water use efficiency were determined weekly under stressed (60% field capacity and non-stressed (100% field capacity conditions. Stomatal conductance and transpiration rate decreased and reached near to zero in stressed plants. Stressed plants also showed resistance to water stress upto five weeks and gradually perished at sixth week. On the other hand, water use efficiency improved in stressed plants containing biochar and gypsum as compared to untreated plants. Biochar alone is a better strategy to promote plant growth and WUE specifically of Abelmoschus esculentus, compared to its application in combination with gypsum.

  4. Predicting the impact of biochar additions on soil hydraulic properties.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lim, T J; Spokas, K A; Feyereisen, G; Novak, J M

    2016-01-01

    Different physical and chemical properties of biochar, which is made out of a variety of biomass materials, can impact water movement through amended soil. The objective of this research was to develop a decision support tool predicting the impact of biochar additions on soil saturated hydraulic conductivity (Ksat). Four different kinds of biochar were added to four different textured soils (coarse sand, fine sand, loam, and clay texture) to assess these effects at the rates of 0%, 1%, 2%, and 5% (w/w). The Ksat of the biochar amended soils were significantly influenced by the rate and type of biochar, as well as the original particle size of soil. The Ksat decreased when biochar was added to coarse and fine sands. Biochar with larger particles sizes (60%; >1 mm) decreased Ksat to a larger degree than the smaller particle size biochar (60%; soils. Increasing tortuosity in the biochar amended sandy soil could explain this behavior. On the other hand, for the clay loam 1% and 2% biochar additions universally increased the Ksat with higher biochar amounts providing no further alterations. The developed model utilizes soil texture pedotransfer functions for predicting agricultural soil Ksat as a function of soil texture. The model accurately predicted the direction of the Ksat influence, even though the exact magnitude still requires further refinement. This represents the first step to a unified theory behind the impact of biochar additions on soil saturated conductivity. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  5. Effects of the amendment of biochars and carbon nanotubes on the bioavailability of hexabromocyclododecanes (HBCDs) in soil to ecologically different species of earthworms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Bing; Zhu, Hongkai; Sun, Hongwen; Xu, Jiayao

    2017-03-01

    Biochar is a promising material used in soil amendment and carbon nanotubes may enter soil due to its increasing application. These carbonaceous materials may change the bioavailability of pollutants in soil. In this concern, 0.5% w/w multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) and 3 corn-straw biochars acquired at different pyrolyzing temperatures were used in soil amendment and their influences on the bioavailability of hexabromocyclododecanes (HBCDs), a brominated flame retardant, to 2 ecologically different earthworm species were studied. The amendment of 4 carbonaceous materials all reduced the bioaccumulation of HBCDs in earthworms by 18.2%-67.3%, which varied depending on the type of carbonaceous materials and the pyrolyzing temperature of biochars. The reduction in HBCDs uptake by Eisenia fetida (an epigeic species) was greater than by Metaphire guillelmi (an anecic species). The 2 earthworm species both showed bioaccumulative selectivity on certain HBCD diastereoisomer and enantiomer in the amended soils, which was similar to that in the control soil. Moreover, Tenax-assisted HBCDs desorption test was carried out for the simulation of their bioavailability. The rapid desorption fraction (F rap ), total desorption (15 d), and 24 h desorption all correlated well with the uptake of HBCDs in the earthworms, suggesting that the 24 h-desorption, due to its easy availability, can be a good proxy to predict the bioavailability of HBCDs to earthworms in soil. Copyright © 2016. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  6. Contaminant Immobilization and Nutrient Release by Biochar Soil Amendment: Roles of Natural Organic Matter

    Science.gov (United States)

    Contamination of soil interstitial waters by labile heavy metals such as CuII, CdII, and NiII is of worldwide concern. Carbonaceous materials such as char and activated carbon have received considerable attention in recent years as soil amendment for both sequestering heavy metal contaminants and r...

  7. Cd, Pb, and Zn mobility and (bio)availability in contaminated soils from a former smelting site amended with biochar.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lomaglio, Tonia; Hattab-Hambli, Nour; Miard, Florie; Lebrun, Manhattan; Nandillon, Romain; Trupiano, Dalila; Scippa, Gabriella Stefania; Gauthier, Arnaud; Motelica-Heino, Mikael; Bourgerie, Sylvain; Morabito, Domenico

    2017-07-20

    Biochar is a potential candidate for the remediation of metal(loid)-contaminated soils. However, the mechanisms of contaminant-biochar retention and release depend on the amount of soil contaminants and physicochemical characteristics, as well as the durability of the biochar contaminant complex, which may be related to the pyrolysis process parameters. The objective of the present study was to evaluate, in a former contaminated smelting site, the impact of two doses of wood biochar (2 and 5% w/w) on metal immobilization and/or phytoavailability and their effectiveness in promoting plant growth in mesocosm experiments. Different soil mixtures were investigated. The main physicochemical parameters and the Cd, Pb, and Zn contents were determined in soil and in soil pore water. Additionally, the growth, dry weight, and metal concentrations were analyzed in the different dwarf bean plant (Phaseolus vulgaris L.) organs tested. Results showed that the addition of biochar at two doses (2 and 5%) improved soil conditions by increasing soil pH, electrical conductivity, and water holding capacity. Furthermore, the application of biochar (5%) to metal-contaminated soil reduced Cd, Pb, and Zn mobility and availability, and hence their accumulation in the different P. vulgaris L. organs. In conclusion, the data clearly demonstrated that biochar application can be effectively used for Cd, Pb, and Zn immobilization, thereby reducing their bioavailability and phytotoxicity.

  8. Adsorption properties of subtropical and tropical variable charge soils: Implications from climate change and biochar amendment

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Xu, Ren-Kou; Qafoku, Nikolla; Van Ranst, Eric; Li, Jiu-yu; Jiang, Jun

    2016-01-25

    This review paper attempts to summarize the progress made in research efforts conducted over the last years to study the surface chemical properties of the tropical and subtropical soils, usually called variable charge soils, and the way they response to different management practices. The paper is composed of an introductory section that provides a brief discussion on the surface chemical properties of these soils, and five other review sections. The focus of these sections is on the evolution of surface chemical properties during the development of the variable charge properties (second section), interactions between oppositely charged particles and the resulting effects on the soil properties and especially on soil acidity (third section), the surface effects of low molecular weight organic acids sorbed to mineral surfaces and the chemical behavior of aluminum (fourth section), and the crop straw derived biochar induced changes of the surface chemical properties of these soils (fifth section). A discussion on the effect of climate change variables on the properties of the variable charge soils is included at the end of this review paper (sixth section).

  9. Review of the effects of biochar amendment on soil properties and carbon sequestration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Biochar is part of a series of materials referred to as black carbons, since biochar is produced by a chemical and/or thermal transformation of the original biomass material in different conditions. The objective of this paper is to summarize the characteristics of biochar from different feedstocks ...

  10. Assessing biochar's ability to reduce bioavailability of aminocyclopyrachlor in soils

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rittenhouse, Jennifer L.; Rice, Pamela J.; Spokas, Kurt A.; Koskinen, William C.

    2014-01-01

    Aminocyclopyrachlor is a pyrimidine carboxylic acid herbicide used to control broadleaf weeds and brush. Amending soil with activated charcoal is recommended to prevent off-site transport of aminocyclopyrachlor and non-target plant damage. We used the batch-equilibrium method to determine the concentration of aminocyclopyrachlor in a pseudo-steady state with biochar, soil, and biochar-soil systems ( 5  kg ha −1 –7.27 × 10 5  kg ha −1 ). - Highlights: • Aminocyclopyrachlor is mobile in three Minnesota soils. • Biochar amendments had limited use for aminocyclopyrachlor remediation in soil. • Two biochar amendments consistently reduced the aqueous-phase herbicide. • Biochar inputs would be very high and not feasible for field-scale remediation. - This was the first study to assess the use of biochar as a remediation tool for reducing bioavailable aminocyclopyrachlor in the liquid phase soil systems

  11. Soil carbon mineralization following biochar addition associated with external nitrogen

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rudong Zhao

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available Biochar has been attracting increasing attention for its potentials of C sequestration and soil amendment. This study aimed to understand the effects of combining biochar with additional external N on soil C mineralization. A typical red soil (Plinthudults was treated with two biochars made from two types of plantation-tree trunks (soil-biochar treatments, and was also treated with external N (soil-biochar-N treatments. All treatments were incubated for 42 d. The CO2-C released from the treatments was detected periodically. After the incubation, soil properties such as pH, microbial biomass C (MBC, and microbial biomass N (MBN were measured. The addition of biochar with external N increased the soil pH (4.31-4.33 compared to the soil treated with external N only (4.21. This was not observed in the comparison of soil-biochar treatments (4.75-4.80 to soil only (4.74. Biochar additions (whether or not they were associated with external N increased soil MBC and MBN, but decreased CO2-C value per unit total C (added biochar C + soil C according to the model fitting. The total CO2-C released in soil-biochar treatments were enhanced compared to soil only (i.e., 3.15 vs. 2.57 mg and 3.23 vs. 2.45 mg, which was attributed to the labile C fractions in the biochars and through soil microorganism enhancement. However, there were few changes in soil C mineralization in soil-biochar-N treatments. Additionally, the potentially available C per unit total C in soil-biochar-N treatments was lower than that observed in the soil-biochar treatments. Therefore, we believe in the short term, that C mineralization in the soil can be enhanced by biochar addition, but not by adding external N concomitantly.

  12. Speciation and phytoavailability of lead and antimony in a small arms range soil amended with mussel shell, cow bone and biochar: EXAFS spectroscopy and chemical extractions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ahmad, Mahtab; Lee, Sang Soo; Lim, Jung Eun; Lee, Sung-Eun; Cho, Ju Sik; Moon, Deok Hyun; Hashimoto, Yohey; Ok, Yong Sik

    2014-01-01

    Mussel shell (MS), cow bone (CB) and biochar (BC) were selected to immobilize metals in an army firing range soil. Amendments were applied at 5% (wt) and their efficacies were determined after 175 d. For metal phytoavailability test, maize (Zea mays L.) plants were cultivated for 3weeks. Results showed that all amendments decreased the exchangeable Pb by up to 99% in planted/unplanted soils. Contrarily, exchangeable Sb were increased in the MS- and CB-amended soils. The rise in soil pH (~1 unit) by the amendments affected Pb and Sb mobility in soils. Bioavailability of Pb to maize was reduced by up to 71% in the amended soils. The Sb uptake to maize was decreased by up to 53.44% in the BC-amended soil. Sequential chemical extractions showed the transformation of easily available Pb to stable residual form with the amendment treatments. Scanning electron microscopic elemental dot mapping revealed the Pb association with Al and Si in the MS-amended soil and that with P in the CB- and BC-amended soils. Additionally, the extended X-ray absorption fine structure spectroscopic analysis indicated the transformation of organic bound Pb in unamended control soil to relatively more stable Pb-hydroxide (Ksp=10(-17.1)), chloropyromorphite (Ksp=10(-84.4)) and Pb-phosphate (Ksp=10(-23.8)) in soils amended with MS, CB and BC, respectively. Application of BC was the best in decreasing the phytoavailability of Pb and Sb in the studied army firing range soil. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  13. Growth of Norway spruce seedlings after transplanting into silty soil amended with biochar: A bioassay in a growth chamber

    Science.gov (United States)

    J. Heiskanen; P. Tammeorg; R. K. Dumroese

    2013-01-01

    Biochar (BC), the carbon-rich by-product resulting from pyrolysis of biomass, is used for bioenergy and increasingly as a soil additive for carbon sequestration and soil improvement. However, information about the effects of BC on forest productivity and reforestation success, especially on boreal and temperate forest soils, is scant. We examined the effects of two BC...

  14. Combination of biochar amendment and mycoremediation for polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons immobilization and biodegradation in creosote-contaminated soil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    García-Delgado, Carlos; Alfaro-Barta, Irene; Eymar, Enrique

    2015-03-21

    Soils impregnated with creosote contain high concentrations of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH). To bioremediate these soils and avoid PAH spread, different bioremediation strategies were tested, based on natural attenuation, biochar application, wheat straw biostimulation, Pleurotus ostreatus mycoremediation, and the novel sequential application of biochar for 21 days and P. ostreatus 21 days more. Soil was sampled after 21 and 42 days after the remediation application. The efficiency and effectiveness of each remediation treatment were assessed according to PAH degradation and immobilization, fungal and bacterial development, soil eco-toxicity and legal considerations. Natural attenuation and biochar treatments did not achieve adequate PAH removal and soil eco-toxicity reduction. Biostimulation showed the highest bacterial development but low PAH degradation rate. Mycoremediation achieved the best PAH degradation rate and the lowest bioavailable fraction and soil eco-toxicity. This bioremediation strategy achieved PAH concentrations below Spanish legislation for contaminated soils (RD 9/2005). Sequential application of biochar and P. ostreatus was the second treatment most effective for PAH biodegradation and immobilization. However, the activity of P. ostreatus was increased by previous biochar application and PAH degradation efficiency was increased. Therefore, the combined strategy for PAH degradation have high potential to increase remediation efficiency. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  15. Practicality of Biochar Additions to Enhance Soil and Crop Productivity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David M. Filiberto

    2013-10-01

    Full Text Available The benefits of biochar to soils for agricultural purposes are numerous. Biochar may be added to soils with the intention to improve the soil, displace an amount of conventional fossil fuel based fertilizers, and sequester carbon. However, the variable application rates, uncertain feedstock effects, and initial soil state provide a wide range of cost for marginally improved yield from biochar additions, which is often economically impracticable. The need for further clarity on optimizing biochar application to various crop yields is necessary if it is to gain widespread acceptance as a soil amendment.

  16. Using Agricultural Residue Biochar to Improve Soil Quality of Desert Soils

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yunhe Zhang

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available A laboratory study was conducted to test the effects of biochars made from different feedstocks on soil quality indicators of arid soils. Biochars were produced from four locally-available agricultural residues: pecan shells, pecan orchard prunings, cotton gin trash, and yard waste, using a lab-scale pyrolyzer operated at 450 °C under a nitrogen environment and slow pyrolysis conditions. Two local arid soils used for crop production, a sandy loam and a clay loam, were amended with these biochars at a rate of 45 Mg·ha−1 and incubated for three weeks in a growth chamber. The soils were analyzed for multiple soil quality indicators including soil organic matter content, pH, electrical conductivity (EC, and available nutrients. Results showed that amendment with cotton gin trash biochar has the greatest impact on both soils, significantly increasing SOM and plant nutrient (P, K, Ca, Mn contents, as well as increasing the electrical conductivity, which creates concerns about soil salinity. Other biochar treatments significantly elevated soil salinity in clay loam soil, except for pecan shell biochar amended soil, which was not statistically different in EC from the control treatment. Generally, the effects of the biochar amendments were minimal for many soil measurements and varied with soil texture. Effects of biochars on soil salinity and pH/nutrient availability will be important considerations for research on biochar application to arid soils.

  17. Is There a Positive Synergistic Effect of Biochar and Compost Soil Amendments on Plant Growth and Physiological Performance?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. Lukas Seehausen

    2017-02-01

    Full Text Available The combination of biochar (BC with compost has been suggested to be a promising strategy to promote plant growth and performance, but although “synergistic” effects have been stated to occur, full-factorial experiments are few, and explicit tests for synergism are lacking. We tested the hypothesis that a combination of BC and spent mushroom substrate (SMS has a positive synergistic effect on plant growth and physiological performance in a nutrient-limited growing media. A greenhouse experiment with a full factorial design was conducted using mixed-wood BC (3.0 kg·m−2 and SMS (1.5 kg·m−2 (the combination was not co-composted as organic soil amendments for the annual Abutilon theophrasti and the perennial Salix purpurea. Several measurements related to plant growth and physiological performance were taken throughout the experiment. Contrary to the hypothesis, we found that the combination of BC + SMS had neutral or antagonistic interactive effects on many plant growth traits. Antagonistic effects were found on maximum leaf area, above- and belowground biomass, reproductive allocation, maximum plant height, chlorophyll fluorescence, and stomatal conductance of A. theophrasti. The effect on S. purpurea was mostly neutral. We conclude that the generalization that BC and compost have synergistic effects on plant performance is not supported.

  18. The Effect of Gasification Biochar on Soil Carbon Sequestration, Soil Quality and Crop Growth

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hansen, Veronika

    have been raised about the potential negative impacts of incorporating bioenergy residuals (biochar) in soil and increasing the removal of crop residues such as straw, possibly reducing important soil functions and services for maintaining soil quality. Therefore, a combination of incubation studies...... and pot and field experiments was used to study the effect of straw and wood biochar on carbon sequestration, soil quality and crop growth. Overall, the biochar amendment improved soil chemical and physical properties and plant growth and showed a potential for soil carbon sequestration without having any...... negative impact on soil biota. However, the effects of biochar on soil quality and plant growth differed according to the biochar properties and the soil type used. Furthermore, the positive impact on some soil structural properties observed after straw incorporation was not achieved with biochar amendment...

  19. Immobilization of Cd(II) in acid soil amended with different biochars with a long term of incubation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tan, Xiaofei; Liu, Yunguo; Gu, Yanling; Zeng, Guangming; Wang, Xin; Hu, Xinjiang; Sun, Zhichao; Yang, Zhongzhu

    2015-08-01

    Biochars derived from bamboo, coconut shell, pine wood shavings, and sugarcane bagasse were applied into Ultisol to investigate their effects on Cd(II) immobilization. After 360 days of incubation, the physical/chemical properties of the Ultisol were improved by the addition of different biochars. As a result, the maximum adsorption capacities of soil for Cd(II) were increased from 8.02 to 9.07-11.51 mmol/kg, and bamboo biochar showed the highest effect on Cd(II) immobilization. The Langmuir model (R(2) > 0.983) fitted the data better than the Freundlich model (R (2) were 0.902-0.937). Column leaching experiments suggested that biochar can also increase the immobilization of Cd(II) under leaching conditions. Biochar mainly increased the weak/unstable binding force of Cd(II) by soil, such as ion exchange, electrostatic attraction, physical adsorption, and carbonate precipitation. In addition, a significant enhancement of surface complexation was also observed.

  20. Biochar Impacts on Soil Physical Properties and Greenhouse Gas Emissions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rattan Lal

    2013-04-01

    Full Text Available Biochar, a co-product of a controlled pyrolysis process, can be used as a tool for sequestering C in soil to offset greenhouse gas (GHG emissions, and as a soil amendment. Whereas the impacts of biochar application on soil chemical properties are widely known, the research information on soil physical properties is scarce. The objectives of this review are to (i synthesize available data on soil physical properties and GHG emissions, (ii offer possible mechanisms related to the biochar-amended soil processes, and (iii identify researchable priorities. Application rates of 1%–2% (w/w of biochar can significantly improve soil physical quality in terms of bulk density (BD, and water holding capacity (WHC. However, little data are available on surface area (SA, aggregation stability, and penetration resistance (PR of biochar-amended soil. While biochar amendment can initially accentuate the flux of carbon dioxide (CO2, the emission of GHGs may be suppressed over time. A 2-phase complexation hypothesis is proposed regarding the mechanisms of the interaction between soil and biochar.

  1. Biochar has no effect on soil respiration across Chinese agricultural soils.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Xiaoyu; Zheng, Jufeng; Zhang, Dengxiao; Cheng, Kun; Zhou, Huimin; Zhang, Afeng; Li, Lianqing; Joseph, Stephen; Smith, Pete; Crowley, David; Kuzyakov, Yakov; Pan, Genxing

    2016-06-01

    Biochar addition to soil has been widely accepted as an option to enhance soil carbon sequestration by introducing recalcitrant organic matter. However, it remains unclear whether biochar will negate the net carbon accumulation by increasing carbon loss through CO2 efflux from soil (soil respiration). The objectives of this study were to address: 1) whether biochar addition increases soil respiration; and whether biochar application rate and biochar type (feedstock and pyrolyzing system) affect soil respiration. Two series of field experiments were carried out at 8 sites representing the main crop production areas in China. In experiment 1, a single type of wheat straw biochar was amended at rates of 0, 20 and 40 tha(-1) in four rice paddies and three dry croplands. In experiment 2, four types of biochar (varying in feedstock and pyrolyzing system) were amended at rates of 0 and 20 tha(-1) in a rice paddy under rice-wheat rotation. Results showed that biochar addition had no effect on CO2 efflux from soils consistently across sites, although it increased topsoil organic carbon stock by 38% on average. Meanwhile, CO2 efflux from soils amended with 40 t of biochar did not significantly higher than soils amended with 20 t of biochar. While the biochars used in Experiment 2 had different carbon pools and physico-chemical properties, they had no effect on soil CO2 efflux. The soil CO2 efflux following biochar addition could be hardly explained by the changes in soil physic-chemical properties and in soil microbial biomass. Thus, we argue that biochar will not negate the net carbon accumulation by increasing carbon loss through CO2 efflux in agricultural soils. Copyright © 2016. Published by Elsevier B.V.

  2. Does biochar affect the availability and chemical fractionation of phosphate in soils?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hong, Can; Lu, Shenggao

    2018-01-11

    Biochar as a soil amendment has been reported to affect the content and availability of soil nutrients. In this study, we aimed to test whether the biochar addition to soils would change the availability and chemical fractionation of phosphate in soils. Two soils (Ultisol and Alfisol) were amended with five kinds of biochars at application rate of 0, 1, and 2% (w/w). After 3-month incubation, availability and chemical forms of P were measured to investigate the potential effect and role of biochar in improving P availability in soils. The biochars used here had a lager variation of P content, depending on their feedstocks. Compared to the untreated soils, application of biochars derived from deciduous tree leaves (DLB), reed (RB), and rice straw (RSB) significantly increased the pH of two soils. The total P content of biochar-amended soils was increased with the addition of biochars. However, only RSB exhibited a significant increase (p availability of phosphate in soils, but the amount of available P was dependent on biochar types. Ultisol and Alfisol amended with RSB (2% w/w) showed an increase in the P availability (0.5 M NaHCO 3 -extractable P) by 46 and 39%, respectively. For strongly acidic Ultisol, addition of biochar significantly increased Al-P and Ca-P content, as well as decreased Fe-P content. The P desorption test indicated the release of P from soils increased with the addition of biochar. Results suggested that biochar would change the P sorption affinity of the soil and help to increase the availability of fixed P. The increase of P availability with biochar application was due to the pH change and direct P contribution from biochar. Our results concluded that biochar affected the availability, chemical forms, and sorption capability of phosphate in soil. The extent of biochar effects on soil P varied greatly with the type of feedstock of biochar and soil type.

  3. Effects of Biochar Blends on Microbial Community Composition in Two Coastal Plain Soils

    OpenAIRE

    Ducey, Thomas; Novak, Jeffrey; Johnson, Mark

    2015-01-01

    The amendment of soil with biochar has been demonstrated to have an effect not only on the soil physicochemical properties, but also on soil microbial community composition and activity. Previous reports have demonstrated significant impacts on soil microbial community structure. These impacts are modulated not only by the biochar composition, but also on the soil’s physicochemical characteristics. This indicates that soil characteristics must be considered prior to biochar amendment. A...

  4. Sorption of organophosphate and triazine agrochemicals on biochars and soils

    Science.gov (United States)

    Biochars are known to strongly sorb polar and nonpolar organic compounds, and biochar soil amendment can have counteracting impacts on the efficacy of, and runoff contamination by agrochemicals. This study investigated the sorption-desorption isotherms and kinetics of triazine (deisopropylatrazine)...

  5. Biochar effect on the mineralization of soil organic matter

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sander Bruun

    2012-05-01

    Full Text Available The objective of this work was to verify whether the addition of biochar to the soil affects the degradation of litter and of soil organic matter (SOM. In order to investigate the effect of biochar on the mineralization of barley straw, soil was incubated with 14C-labelled barley straw with or without unlabelled biochar. To investigate the effect of straw on the mineralization of biochar, soil was incubated with 14C-labelled biochar with or without straw. In addition, to investigate the effect of biochar on old SOM, a soil labelled by applying labelled straw 40 years ago was incubated with different levels of biochar. All experiments had a control treatment, without any soil amendment. The effect of biochar on the straw mineralization was small and nonsignificant. Without biochar, 48±0.2% of the straw carbon was mineralized within the 451 days of the experiment. In comparison, 45±1.6% of C was mineralized after biochar addition of 1.5 g kg-1. In the SOM-labelled soil, the organic matter mineralized more slowly with the increasing doses of biochar. Biochar addition at 7.7 g kg-1 reduced SOM mineralization from 6.6 to 6.3%, during the experimental period. The addition of 15.5 g kg-1 of biochar reduced the mineralized SOM to 5.7%. There is no evidence of increased degradation of either litter or SOM due to biochar addition; consequently, there is no evidence of decreased stability of SOM.

  6. Biochar effects on soils: overview and knowledge gaps

    Science.gov (United States)

    Verheijen, F. G. A.; Jeffery, S.; Bastos, A. C.; van der Velde, M.

    2012-04-01

    One of the cornerstones of the sustainable biochar concept is to improve, or at least to not deteriorate, soil quality and functioning. The idea of global sustainable biochar systems, with biochar applied to global cropland and grassland soils, has highlighted limitations in: i) current scientific understanding of biochar interactions with soil components, ii) the capacity to assess ecosystem services provided by soils, and iii) the uncertainty in spatio-temporal representation of both (i) and (ii). Pyrolysis conditions and feedstock characteristics largely control the physico-chemical properties of the resulting biochar, which in turn determine the suitability for a given application. Soils are highly heterogeneous systems at a range of scales. Combinations of land use, soil management and changing climatic conditions further enhance this heterogeneity. While this leads to difficulties in identifying the underlying mechanisms behind reported effects in the scientific literature, it also provides an opportunity for 'critical matching' of biochar properties that are best suited to a particular site (depending on soil type, hydrology, climate, land use, soil contaminants, etc.). Biochar's relatively long mean residence times in soils (100s of years) make it a potential instrument for sequestering carbon (if done sustainably). However, that same long mean residence time sets biochar apart from conventional soil amendments (such as manures and other organic fertilizers) that are considered as transient in the soil (1-10s of years). The functional life time of biochar in soils essentially moves biochar from a soil management tool to a geo-engineering technique. One of the consequences is that desired ecosystem services that are provided by soils, have to be projected for the same time period. This presentation aims to discuss critical knowledge gaps in biochar-soil-ecosystem interactions against a background of ecosystem services.

  7. Effects of biochars on hydraulic properties of clayey soil

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhen, Jingbo; Palladino, Mario; Lazarovitch, Naftali; Bonanomi, Giuliano; Battista Chirico, Giovanni

    2017-04-01

    Biochar has gained popularity as an amendment to improve soil hydraulic properties. Since biochar properties depend on feedstocks and pyrolysis temperatures used for its production, proper selection of biochar type as soil amendment is of great importance for soil hydraulic properties improvement. This study investigated the effects of eight types of biochar on physical and hydraulic properties of clayey soil. Biochars were derived from four different feedstocks (Alfalfa hay, municipal organic waste, corn residues and wood chip) pyrolyzed at two different temperatures (300 and 550 °C). Clayey soil samples were taken from Leone farm (40° 26' 15.31" N, 14° 59' 45.54" E), Italy, and were oven-dried at 105 °C to determine dry bulk density. Biochars were mixed with the clayey soil at 5% by mass. Bulk densities of the mixtures were also determined. Saturated hydraulic conductivities (Ks) of the original clayey soil and corresponding mixtures were measured by means of falling-head method. Soil water retention measurements were conducted for clayey soil and mixtures using suction table apparatus and Richards' plate with the pressure head (h) up to 12000 cm. van Genuchten retention function was selected to evaluate the retention characteristics of clayey soil and mixtures. Available water content (AWC) was calculated by field capacity (h = - 500 cm) minus wilting pointing (h = -12000 cm). The results showed that biochar addition decreased the bulk density of clayey soil. The Ks of clayey soil increased due to the incorporation of biochars except for waste and corn biochars pyrolyzed at 550 °C. AWC of soils mixed with corn biochar pyrolyzed at 300 °C and wood biochar pyrolyzed at 550 °C, increased by 31% and 7%, respectively. Further analysis will be conducted in combination of biochar properties such as specific surface area and total pore volume. Better understanding of biochar impact on clayey soil will be helpful in biochar selection for soil amendment and

  8. Effects of biochar blends on microbial community composition in two coastal plain soils

    Science.gov (United States)

    The amendment of soil with biochar has been demonstrated to have an effect not only on the soil physicochemical properties, but also on soil microbial community composition and activity. Previous reports have demonstrated significant impacts on soil microbial community structure....

  9. Biochar As Plant Growth Promoter: Better Off Alone or Mixed with Organic Amendments?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Giuliano Bonanomi

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available Biochar is nowadays largely used as a soil amendment and is commercialized worldwide. However, in temperate agro-ecosystems the beneficial effect of biochar on crop productivity is limited, with several studies reporting negative crop responses. In this work, we studied the effect of 10 biochar and 9 not pyrogenic organic amendments (NPOA, using pure and in all possible combinations on lettuce growth (Lactuca sativa. Organic materials were characterized by 13C-CPMAS NMR spectroscopy and elemental analysis (pH, EC, C, N, C/N and H/C ratios. Pure biochars and NPOAs have variable effects, ranging from inhibition to strong stimulation on lettuce growth. For NPOAs, major inhibitory effects were found with N poor materials characterized by high C/N and H/C ratio. Among pure biochars, instead, those having a low H/C ratio seem to be the best for promoting plant growth. When biochars and organic amendments were mixed, non-additive interactions, either synergistic or antagonistic, were prevalent. However, the mixture effect on plant growth was mainly dependent on the chemical quality of NPOAs, while biochar chemistry played a secondary role. Synergisms were prevalent when N rich and lignin poor materials were mixed with biochar. On the contrary, antagonistic interactions occurred when leaf litter or woody materials were mixed with biochar. Further research is needed to identify the mechanisms behind the observed non-additive effects and to develop biochar-organic amendment combinations that maximize plant productivity in different agricultural systems.

  10. The improvement of multi-contaminated sandy loam soil chemical and biological properties by the biochar, wood ash, and humic substances amendments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pukalchik, Maria; Mercl, Filip; Panova, Maria; Břendová, Kateřina; Terekhova, Vera A; Tlustoš, Pavel

    2017-10-01

    Nowadays trace metal contamination of soils represents an important environmental hazard. Nevertheless, the use of some secondary waste products as amendments may restore the common soil functions. This paper focuses on the chemical and biological influence of wood biochar (BC), wood ash (WA) and humic substances (HS), alone and in the mixtures, on a heavily multi-contaminated sandy loam soil. The soil was amended by above-mentioned materials to follow a pH-increasing design (pH Ca from 6.0 to 6.5, 7.0 and 7.5); soil samples were analyzed after 3, 30, and 60 days using a set of variables, namely the plant-available trace element concentrations (Cu, Cd, and Zn), microbial biomass carbon (Cmic), and microbial quotient (qCO 2 ), as well as toxicity to Sinapis alba and Daphnia magna. Wood ash and WA + HS were the most efficient treatments to decrease mobile Cd and Zn concentrations in the soil, while HS, BC, and BC + HS combinations were the most effective in reducing the Cu mobility. The effect of BC and WA on the Cmic and qCO 2 was mostly negative, whereas adding HS markedly increased Cmic and reduced qCO 2 in soil. After amendment applications, the root elongation of mustard was significantly increased in HS and combined treatments (BC + HS, WA + HS). Additionally, BC + HS, WA + HS and WA 8.4% significantly decreased the toxicity of leachates to D. magna to the low-, or non-toxic levels. Our results suggest that the combination of amendments with HS can be a suitable remediation strategy for heavily contaminated soils. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  11. Biochar-Induced Changes in Soil Hydraulic Conductivity and Dissolved Nutrient Fluxes Constrained by Laboratory Experiments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barnes, Rebecca T.; Gallagher, Morgan E.; Masiello, Caroline A.; Liu, Zuolin; Dugan, Brandon

    2014-01-01

    The addition of charcoal (or biochar) to soil has significant carbon sequestration and agronomic potential, making it important to determine how this potentially large anthropogenic carbon influx will alter ecosystem functions. We used column experiments to quantify how hydrologic and nutrient-retention characteristics of three soil materials differed with biochar amendment. We compared three homogeneous soil materials (sand, organic-rich topsoil, and clay-rich Hapludert) to provide a basic understanding of biochar-soil-water interactions. On average, biochar amendment decreased saturated hydraulic conductivity (K) by 92% in sand and 67% in organic soil, but increased K by 328% in clay-rich soil. The change in K for sand was not predicted by the accompanying physical changes to the soil mixture; the sand-biochar mixture was less dense and more porous than sand without biochar. We propose two hydrologic pathways that are potential drivers for this behavior: one through the interstitial biochar-sand space and a second through pores within the biochar grains themselves. This second pathway adds to the porosity of the soil mixture; however, it likely does not add to the effective soil K due to its tortuosity and smaller pore size. Therefore, the addition of biochar can increase or decrease soil drainage, and suggests that any potential improvement of water delivery to plants is dependent on soil type, biochar amendment rate, and biochar properties. Changes in dissolved carbon (C) and nitrogen (N) fluxes also differed; with biochar increasing the C flux from organic-poor sand, decreasing it from organic-rich soils, and retaining small amounts of soil-derived N. The aromaticity of C lost from sand and clay increased, suggesting lost C was biochar-derived; though the loss accounts for only 0.05% of added biochar-C. Thus, the direction and magnitude of hydraulic, C, and N changes associated with biochar amendments are soil type (composition and particle size) dependent

  12. Effects of biochar on dechlorination of hexachlorobenzene and the bacterial community in paddy soil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Song, Yang; Bian, Yongrong; Wang, Fang; Herzberger, Anna; Yang, Xinglun; Gu, Chenggang; Jiang, Xin

    2017-11-01

    Anaerobic reductive dechlorination is an important degradation pathway for chlorinated organic contaminants in paddy soil. This study investigated the effects of amending paddy soil with wheat straw biochar on both the dechlorination of hexachlorobenzene (HCB), a typical highly chlorinated contaminant, and on the structure of soil bacteria communities. Soil amendment of 0.1% biochar did not significantly affect the dechlorination of HCB in the soil. However, biochar amendment at higher application levels (5%) stimulated the dechlorination of HCB in the first month of anaerobic incubation and inhibited the dechlorination of HCB after that period. The stimulation effect may be ascribed to the graphite carbon and carbon-centered persistent radicals, which are redox active, in biochar. The inhibiting effect could be partly ascribed to the reduced bioavailability of HCB in biochar-amended soils. High-throughput sequencing revealed that the amendment of biochar changed the soil bacterial community structure but not the bacterial abundances and diversities. The relative abundance of Dehalococcoidaceae in the tested soils showed a significant relationship with the dechlorination percentages of HCB, indicating that Dehalococcoidaceae may be the main HCB-dechlorinating bacteria in the studied paddy soil. The results indicated that low application levels of biochar did not affect the dechlorination of HCB in the paddy soil, while high application levels of biochar mainly inhibited the dechlorination of HCB due to the reduced bioavailability of HCB and the reduced abundances of certain dechlorinating bacteria in the biochar-amended paddy soil. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  13. Is current biochar soil study addressing global soil constraints for sustainable agriculture?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pan, Genxing; Zhang, Dengxiao; Yan, Ming; Niu, Yaru; Liu, Xiaoyu; van Zwieten, Lukas; Chen, De; Bian, Rongjun; Cheng, Kun; Li, Lianqing; Joseph, Stephen; Zheng, Jinwei; Zhang, Xuhui; Zheng, Jufeng; Crowley, David; Filley, Timothy

    2016-04-01

    Global soil degradation has been increasingly threatened sustainability of world agriculture. Use of biochar from bio-wastes has been proposed as a global option for its great potential in tackling soil degradation and mitigating climate change in agriculture. For last 10 years, there have been greatly increasing interests in application of charred biomass, more recently termed biochar, as a soil amendment for addressing soil constraints for sustainable agriculture. Biochar soil studies could deliver reliable information for appropriate application of biochar to soils where for sustainable agriculture has been challenged. Here we review the literature of 798 publications reporting biochar soil studies by August, 2015 to address potential gaps in understanding of biochar's role in agriculture. We have found some substantial biases and gaps inherent in the current biochar studies. 1) The majority of published studies were from developed regions where the soils are less constrained and were much more frequent in laboratory and glasshouse pot experiments than field studies under realistic agriculture. 2) The published biochar soil studies have used more often small kiln or lab prepared biochar than commercial scale biochars, more often wood and municipal waste derived biochars than crop straw biochars. Overall, the lack of long-term well designed field studies using biochar produced in commercial processes may have limited our current understanding of biochar's potential to enhance global crop production and climate change mitigation. We have also recommended a global alliance between longer-term research experiments and biochar production facilities to foster the uptake of this important technology at a global scale. Keywords: biochar, soil study, literature review, research gap, global perspective, quantitative assessment, sustainable agriculture

  14. Effects of biochar and alkaline amendments on cadmium immobilization, selected nutrient and cadmium concentrations of lettuce (Lactuca sativa) in two contrasting soils

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Woldetsadik, Desta; Drechsel, Pay; Keraita, Bernard

    2016-01-01

    concentrations of lettuce plants were induced by faecal matter and cow manure biochar treatments in both soils. Additionally, the greatest Cd phytoavailability reduction for lettuce was induced by poultry litter and cow manure biochars in the silty loam soil. Our results indicate that faecal matter and animal...

  15. Fractionation and leaching of heavy metals in soils amended with a new biochar nanocomposite

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Arabyarmohammadi, Hoda; Darban, Ahmad Khodadadi; Zee, van der Sjoerd E.A.T.M.; Abdollahy, Mahmoud; Ayati, Bita

    2018-01-01

    In this study, surface soils of the Bama Pb-Zn mine-impacted area were sampled for an area surrounding the mineral processing plant. After collecting 65 samples and analyzing them for initial Cu, Pb, Zn, and Cd metal contents, the area was zonated based on the concentration distribution using

  16. Effect of Pinus radiata derived biochars on soil sorption and desorption of phenanthrene

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zhang Honghua; Lin Kunde; Wang Hailong; Gan, Jay

    2010-01-01

    Biochars are anthropogenic carbonaceous sorbent and their influences on the sorption of environmental contaminants need to be characterized. Here we evaluated the effect of Pinus radiata derived biochars on soil sorption and desorption of phenanthrene. Two biochars separately produced at 350 o C and 700 o C and three soils were tested. Biochar amendment generally enhanced the soil sorption of phenanthrene. The biochar produced at 700 o C generally showed a greater ability at enhancing a soil's sorption ability than that prepared at 350 o C. The single-step desorption measurement showed an apparent hysteresis in biochar-amended soils. After 28 d equilibration, the sorptive capacity of biochar-amended soil (with an organic carbon content of 0.16%) significantly decreased. This study clearly suggested that biochar application enhanced soil sorption of hydrophobic organic compounds, but the magnitude of enhancement depended on the preparation of biochars, the indigenous soil organic carbon levels, and the contact time between soil and biochar. - Pinus radiata derived biochars influence soil sorption and desorption of phenanthrene.

  17. Effects of Amendment of Biochar and Pyroligneous Solution from wheat straw pyrolysis on Yield and soil and crop salinity in a Salt stressed cropland from Central China Great Plain

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, L.; Liu, Y.; Pan, W.; Pan, G.; Zheng, J.; Zheng, J.; Zhang, X.

    2012-04-01

    Crop production has been subject to salt stress in large areas of world croplands. Organic and/or bio-fertilizers have been applied as soil amendments for alleviating salt stress and enhancing crop productivity in these salt-stressed croplands. While biochar production systems using pyrolysis of crop straw materials have been well developed in the world, there would be a potential measure to use materials from crop straw pyrolysis as organic amendments in depressing salt stress in agriculture. In this paper, a field experiment was conducted on the effect of biochar and pyroligneous solution from cropstraw pyrolysis on soil and crop salinity, and wheat yield in a moderately salt stressed Entisol from the Central Great Plain of North China. Results indicated that: biochar and pyroligneous solution increased soil SOC, total nitrogen, available potassium and phosphorous by 43.77%, 6.50%, 45.54% and 108.01%, respectively. While Soil bulk density was decreased from 1.30 to 1.21g cm-3; soil pH (H2O) was decreased from 8.23 to 7.94 with a decrease in soluble salt content by 38.87%. Wheat yield was doubled over the control without amendment. In addition, sodium content was sharply declined by 78.80% in grains, and by 70.20% and 67.00% in shoot and root, respectively. Meanwhile, contents of potassium and phosphorus in plant tissue were seen also increased despite of no change in N content. Therefore, the combined amendment of biochar with pyroligneous solution would offer an effective measure to alleviate the salt stress and improving crop productivity in world croplands. Keywords: biochar, salt affected soils, wheat, crop productivity, salinity

  18. Biochar amendment changes jasmonic acid levels in two rice varieties and alters their resistance to herbivory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Waqas, Muhammad; Shahzad, Raheem; Hamayun, Muhammad; Asaf, Sajjad; Khan, Abdul Latif; Kang, Sang-Mo; Yun, Sopheap; Kim, Kyung-Min; Lee, In-Jung

    2018-01-01

    Biochar addition to soil not only sequesters carbon for the long-term but enhances agricultural productivity. Several well-known benefits arise from biochar amendment, including constant provision of nutrients, increased soil moisture retention, decreased soil bulk density, and sometimes the induction of systemic resistance against foliar and soil borne plant pathogens. However, no research has investigated the potential of biochar to increase resistance against herbivory. The white-backed plant hopper (WBPH) (Sogatella furcifera Horváth) is a serious agricultural pest that targets rice (Oryza sativa L.), a staple crop that feeds half of the world's human population. Therefore, we investigated the (1) optimization of biochar amendment levels for two rice varieties ('Cheongcheong' and 'Nagdong') and (2) subsequent effects of different biochar amendments on resistance and susceptibility of these two varieties to WBPH infestation. Initial screening results for the optimization level revealed that the application of biochar 10% (w/w) to the rooting media significantly improved plant physiological characteristics of both rice varieties. However, levels of biochar amendment, mainly 1, 2, 3, and 20%, resulted in negative effects on plant growth characteristics. Cheongcheong and Nagdong rice plants grown with the optimum biochar level showed contrasting reactions to WBPH infestation. Specifically, biochar application significantly increased plant growth characteristics of Nagdong when exposed to WBPH infestation and significantly decreased these characteristics in Cheongcheong. The amount of WBPH-induced damage to plants was significantly lower and higher in Nagdong and Cheongcheong, respectively, compared to that in the controls. Higher levels of jasmonic acid caused by the biochar priming effect could have accumulated in response to WBPH infestation, resulting in a maladaptive response to stress, negatively affecting growth and resistance to WBPH in Cheongcheong. This

  19. Effect of biochar amendment on compost organic matter composition following aerobic composting of manure.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hagemann, Nikolas; Subdiaga, Edisson; Orsetti, Silvia; de la Rosa, José María; Knicker, Heike; Schmidt, Hans-Peter; Kappler, Andreas; Behrens, Sebastian

    2018-02-01

    Biochar, a material defined as charred organic matter applied in agriculture, is suggested as a beneficial additive and bulking agent in composting. Biochar addition to the composting feedstock was shown to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and nutrient leaching during the composting process, and to result in a fertilizer and plant growth medium that is superior to non-amended composts. However, the impact of biochar on the quality and carbon speciation of the organic matter in bulk compost has so far not been the focus of systematic analyses, although these parameters are key to determine the long-term stability and carbon sequestration potential of biochar-amended composts in soil. In this study, we used different spectroscopic techniques to compare the organic carbon speciation of manure compost amended with three different biochars. A non-biochar-amended compost served as control. Based on Fourier-transformed infrared (FTIR) and 13 C nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy we did not observe any differences in carbon speciation of the bulk compost independent of biochar type, despite a change in the FTIR absorbance ratio 2925cm -1 /1034cm -1 , that is suggested as an indicator for compost maturity. Specific UV absorbance (SUVA) and emission-excitation matrixes (EEM) revealed minor differences in the extractable carbon fractions, which only accounted for ~2-3% of total organic carbon. Increased total organic carbon content of biochar-amended composts was only due to the addition of biochar-C and not enhanced preservation of compost feedstock-C. Our results suggest that biochars do not alter the carbon speciation in compost organic matter under conditions optimized for aerobic decomposition of compost feedstock. Considering the effects of biochar on compost nutrient retention, mitigation of greenhouse gas emissions and carbon sequestration, biochar addition during aerobic composting of manure might be an attractive strategy to produce a sustainable, slow

  20. Germination of Blue Wildrye in Biochar Treated Mining Impacted Soils

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stabilization of mine sites with vegetation is an important management strategy to reduce metal movement off-site. Plant growth, however, is often hampered by poor soil conditions. Biochar is a novel soil amendment that may improve soil health conditions and improve plant growt...

  1. Impact of Biochar Organic and Inorganic Carbon on Soil CO2and N2O Emissions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fidel, Rivka B; Laird, David A; Parkin, Timothy B

    2017-05-01

    Biochar has been shown to influence soil CO and NO emissions following application to soil, but the presence of carbonates in biochars has largely confounded efforts to differentiate among labile and recalcitrant C pools in biochar and establish their timeframe of influence. Understanding the mechanism, magnitude, and duration of biochar C pools' influence on C and N dynamics is imperative to successful implementation of biochar for C sequestration. Here we therefore aim to assess biochar organic and inorganic C pool impacts on CO and NO emissions from soil amended with two untreated biochars, inorganic carbon (as NaCO), acid (HCl) and bicarbonate (NaHCO) extracts of the biochars, and acid and bicarbonate/acid-washed biochars during a 140-d soil incubation. We hypothesized that (i) both biochar labile organic carbon (LOC) and inorganic carbon (IC) pools contribute significantly to short-term (<1 mo) CO emissions from biochar-amended soil, (ii) biochars will influence the size of soil NH and NO pools, and (iii) changes in soil inorganic N pools will affect soil NO emissions. All biochar, biochar extract, and carbonate treatments (12 total) increased CO produced during the initial ≤48 h of the incubation relative to controls, indicating that both biochar LOC and IC contribute to CO emissions. Of these treatments, only bicarbonate extracts of the biochars increased total C losses significantly. However, treatment impacts on soil NO production were not significant despite significant effects of select treatments on inorganic N pools. Overall, results indicate that biochars contain small LOC and IC pools that are stabilized by a larger recalcitrant organic C pool. Copyright © by the American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America, and Soil Science Society of America, Inc.

  2. Effect of increasing biochar application rate on soil hydraulic properties of an artificial sandy soil

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lopez, V.; Ghezzehei, T. A.

    2013-12-01

    Biochar, a product of the pyrolysis of biomass, has become an increasingly studied subject of interest as an agricultural soil amendment to address issues of carbon emission, population density, and food scarcity. Biochar has been reported to increase content and retention of nutrients, pH, cation-exchange capacity, vegetative growth, microbial community, and carbon sequestration. A number of studies addressing the usefulness of biochar as a soil amendment have focused on chemical and biological properties, disregarding the effects on soil physical properties of amended soil. Aside from biochar, lime (calcium carbonate) addition to soils has also been utilized in agricultural practices, typically to raise the pH value of acidic soils, increase microbial activity, and enhance soil stability and productivity as a result. Both biochar and lime amendments may be beneficial in increasing the soil physical properties, particularly through the formation of aggregates. In previous studies an increase in soil particle aggregates resulted in higher rates of biological activity, infiltration rates, pore space, and aeration, all of which are a measure of soil quality. While the effectiveness of biochar and lime as soil amendments has been independently documented, their combined effectiveness on soil physical properties is less understood. This study aims to provide a further understanding on the effect of increasing biochar application rate on soil particle aggregation and hydraulic properties of a low reactive pre-limed artificial sandy soil with and without microbial communities. Microbial communities are known to increase soil aggregates by acting as cementing agents. Understanding the impact of biochar addition on soil physical properties will have implications in the development of sustainable agricultural practices, especially in systems undergoing climate stress and intensive agriculture.

  3. Biochar affects carbon composition and stability in soil: a combined spectroscopy-microscopy study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hernandez-Soriano, Maria C.; Kerré, Bart; Kopittke, Peter M.; Horemans, Benjamin; Smolders, Erik

    2016-01-01

    The use of biochar can contribute to carbon (C) storage in soil. Upon addition of biochar, there is a spatial reorganization of C within soil particles, but the mechanisms remain unclear. Here, we used Fourier transformed infrared-microscopy and confocal laser scanning microscopy to examine this reorganization. A silty-loam soil was amended with three different organic residues and with the biochar produced from these residues and incubated for 237 d. Soil respiration was lower in biochar-amended soils than in residue-amended soils. Fluorescence analysis of the dissolved organic matter revealed that biochar application increased a humic-like fluorescent component, likely associated with biochar-C in solution. The combined spectroscopy-microscopy approach revealed the accumulation of aromatic-C in discrete spots in the solid-phase of microaggregates and its co-localization with clay minerals for soil amended with raw residue or biochar.The co-localization of aromatic-C:polysaccharides-C was consistently reduced upon biochar application. We conclude that reduced C metabolism is an important mechanism for C stabilization in biochar-amended soils. PMID:27113269

  4. Biochar particle size, shape, and porosity act together to influence soil water properties.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Zuolin; Dugan, Brandon; Masiello, Caroline A; Gonnermann, Helge M

    2017-01-01

    Many studies report that, under some circumstances, amending soil with biochar can improve field capacity and plant-available water. However, little is known about the mechanisms that control these improvements, making it challenging to predict when biochar will improve soil water properties. To develop a conceptual model explaining biochar's effects on soil hydrologic processes, we conducted a series of well constrained laboratory experiments using a sand matrix to test the effects of biochar particle size and porosity on soil water retention curves. We showed that biochar particle size affects soil water storage through changing pore space between particles (interpores) and by adding pores that are part of the biochar (intrapores). We used these experimental results to better understand how biochar intrapores and biochar particle shape control the observed changes in water retention when capillary pressure is the main component of soil water potential. We propose that biochar's intrapores increase water content of biochar-sand mixtures when soils are drier. When biochar-sand mixtures are wetter, biochar particles' elongated shape disrupts the packing of grains in the sandy matrix, increasing the volume between grains (interpores) available for water storage. These results imply that biochars with a high intraporosity and irregular shapes will most effectively increase water storage in coarse soils.

  5. Contrasting agronomic response of biochar amendment to a Mediterranean Cambisol: Incubation vs. field experiment

    Science.gov (United States)

    De la Rosa, José M.; Paneque, Marina; De Celis, Reyes; Miller, Ana Z.; Knicker, Heike

    2015-04-01

    The application of biochar to soil is being proposed as a novel approach to establish a significant long-term sink for atmospheric carbon dioxide in terrestrial ecosystems. In addition, biochars offer a simple, sustainable tool for managing organic wastes and to produce added value products. Numerous research studies pointed out that biochar can act as a soil conditioner enhancing plant growth by supplying and, more importantly, retaining nutrients and by providing other services such as improving soil physical and biological properties [1]. However, the effectiveness of biochar in enhancing plant fertility is a function of soil type, climate, and type of crop [2] but also of the biochar properties. The inherent variability of biochars due to different feedstock and production conditions implies a high variability of their effect on soil properties and productivity. Furthermore, due to the irreversibility of biochar application, it is necessary to perform detailed studies to achieve a high level of certainty that adding biochar to agricultural soils, for whatever reason, will not negatively affect soil health and productivity. The major goals of this research were: i) understanding how the properties of 5 different biochars produced by using different feedstock and pyrolysis conditions are related to their agronomic response, and ii) assessing the agronomic effect of biochar amendment under field conditions of a typical Mediterranean non-irrigated plantation. Four of the used biochars were produced by pyrolysis from wood (2), paper sludge (1) and sewage sludge (1), at temperatures up to 620 °C. The fifth biochar was produced from old grapevine wood by applying the traditional kiln method. Biochars were analysed for elemental composition (C, H, N), pH, WHC and ash contents. The H/C and O/C atomic ratios suggested high aromaticity of all biochars, which was confirmed by 13C solid-state NMR spectroscopy. The FT-IR spectra indicated the presence of lignin residues in

  6. Yield-scaled N2O emissions were effectively reduced by biochar amendment of sandy loam soil under maize - wheat rotation in the North China Plain

    Science.gov (United States)

    Niu, Yuhui; Chen, Zengming; Müller, Christoph; Zaman, Monhammad M.; Kim, Donggill; Yu, Hongyan; Ding, Weixin

    2017-12-01

    It is increasingly recognized that the addition of biochar to soil has potential to mitigate climate change and increase soil fertility by enhancing carbon (C) storage. However, the effect of biochar on yield and nitrous oxide (N2O) emissions from upland fields remains unclear. In this study, a one-year field experiment was conducted in an area of calcareous fluvo-aquic soil to assess and quantify the effect of maize straw biochar in reducing N2O loss during 2014-2015 in the North China Plain. Eight treatments were designed as follows: no nitrogen (N) fertilizer (control, CK); biochar application at rates of 3 (B3), 6 (B6) and 12 (B12) t ha-1; chemical fertilizer (NPK) application at 200 kg N ha-1 (F); and fertilizer plus biochar application at rates of 3 (FB3), 6 (FB6) and 12 (FB12) t ha-1. Crop yield, N2O fluxes, soil mineral N concentrations, and soil auxiliary parameters were measured following the application of treatments during each season. During the maize growing season, N2O emission was 0.57 kg N2O-N ha-1 under CK treatment, and increased to 0.88, 0.93 and 1.10 kg N2O-N ha-1 under B3, B6 and B12, respectively. In contrast, N2O emissions were significantly reduced by 31.4-39.9% (P fertilizer and biochar on N2O emissions (P fertilizer regime. Biochar application did not affect maize yield; however, a significant increase in wheat yield of 16.6-25.9% (P fertilization. Nevertheless, a reduction in wheat yield was measured at a biochar rate of 12 t ha-1 with fertilization. Overall, under maize cropping, N2O emissions per unit yield of grain, biomass, grain N and biomass N (yield-scaled N2O emissions) were significantly reduced by 32.4-39.9% under FB compared with F treatment, regardless of the biochar application rate. Biochar did not affect yield-scaled N2O emissions in wheat. Decreased soil bulk density with biochar is suggested to reduce the denitrification potential and N2O emissions; while increased retention capacity of fertilizer N in biochar-added soil

  7. Application of biochar from sewage sludge to plant cultivation: Influence of pyrolysis temperature and biochar-to-soil ratio on yield and heavy metal accumulation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Song, X D; Xue, X Y; Chen, D Z; He, P J; Dai, X H

    2014-08-01

    Applying biochar products from sewage sludge (SS) pyrolysis as soil amendment for plant cultivation was investigated in this study with special attention paid to heavy metal accumulation in the plants when pyrolysis temperature and biochar-to-soil mass ratio (C:S) were changed. Biochar obtained at four different temperatures were adopted as soil amendment for Allium sativum L. garlic plant cultivation. Experimental results revealed that biochars were rich in nutrient contents and they improved garlic yields. Although contents of heavy metals including As, Zn, Pb, Ni, Cd, Cr and Cu, etc. were elevated in the biochars compared to local soil, they fell within the acceptable limits for land application and SS is a suitable biochar resource, especially biochar produced at 450°C had rich micropores, relatively stable functional groups in structure and rugged surface to contact well with soil, conducive to its usage as a biochar. The garlic grew faster when planted in the biochar-amended soil and had higher final dry matter yields than those planted in the reference soil, especially biochar produced at 450°C corresponding to the highest final yields. The C:S ratio related to the highest garlic yields changed when the pyrolysis temperature was changed and this ratio was 1:4 for the biochar produced at 450°C. General heavy metal accumulation in the garlic occurred only for the most enriched Zn and Cu, and mainly in the roots & bulbs; in addition this bioaccumulation was increasing as leaching from biochar increased but not increasing with C:S ratio. The garlic planted in soil amended with biochar of 450°C contained the lowest level of heavy metals compared to other biochars. Those results indicated that heavy metal accumulation in plants can be inhibited through proper pyrolysis temperature choice and prevention of heavy metal leaching from the SS biochar. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  8. Using biochar for remediation of soils contaminated with heavy metals and organic pollutants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Xiaokai; Wang, Hailong; He, Lizhi; Lu, Kouping; Sarmah, Ajit; Li, Jianwu; Bolan, Nanthi S; Pei, Jianchuan; Huang, Huagang

    2013-12-01

    Soil contamination with heavy metals and organic pollutants has increasingly become a serious global environmental issue in recent years. Considerable efforts have been made to remediate contaminated soils. Biochar has a large surface area, and high capacity to adsorb heavy metals and organic pollutants. Biochar can potentially be used to reduce the bioavailability and leachability of heavy metals and organic pollutants in soils through adsorption and other physicochemical reactions. Biochar is typically an alkaline material which can increase soil pH and contribute to stabilization of heavy metals. Application of biochar for remediation of contaminated soils may provide a new solution to the soil pollution problem. This paper provides an overview on the impact of biochar on the environmental fate and mobility of heavy metals and organic pollutants in contaminated soils and its implication for remediation of contaminated soils. Further research directions are identified to ensure a safe and sustainable use of biochar as a soil amendment for remediation of contaminated soils.

  9. Dynamic Effects of Biochar on the Bacterial Community Structure in Soil Contaminated with Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Song, Yang; Bian, Yongrong; Wang, Fang; Xu, Min; Ni, Ni; Yang, Xinglun; Gu, Chenggang; Jiang, Xin

    2017-08-16

    Amending soil with biochar is an effective soil remediation strategy for organic contaminants. This study investigated the dynamic effects of wheat straw biochar on the bacterial community structure during remediation by high-throughput sequencing. The wheat straw biochar amended into the soil significantly reduced the bioavailability and toxicity of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). Biochar amendment helped to maintain the bacterial diversity in the PAH-contaminated soil. The relationship between the immobilization of PAHs and the soil bacterial diversity fit a quadratic model. Before week 12 of the incubation, the incubation time was the main factor contributing to the changes in the soil bacterial community structure. However, biochar greatly affected the bacterial community structure after 12 weeks of amendment, and the effects were dependent upon the biochar type. Amendment with biochar mainly facilitated the growth of rare bacterial genera (relative abundance of 0.01-1%) in the studied soil. Therefore, the application of wheat straw biochar into PAH-contaminated soil can reduce the environmental risks of PAHs and benefit the soil microbial ecology.

  10. Species-dependent effects of biochar amendment on bioaccumulation of atrazine in earthworms

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wang, Fang; Ji, Rong; Jiang, Zhongwei; Chen, Wei

    2014-01-01

    We observed that at a contamination level of 4.25 mg-atrazine/kg-soil, the biota–soil accumulation factor (BSAF) for the anecic M. guillelmi is approximately 5 times that for the epigeic E. foetida. This is attributable to the fact that bio-uptake by E. foetida is mainly through dermal absorption, whereas bio-uptake by M. guillelmi is largely affected by the gut processes, through which the physical grinding and surfactant-like materials facilitate the desorption of atrazine from soil. Strikingly, biochar amendment resulted in much greater reduction in BSAF for M. guillelmi than for E. foetida. At a biochar dose of 0.5% (wt:wt) the difference in BSAF between the two species became much smaller, and at a dose of 2% no statistical difference was observed. A likely explanation is that gut processes by M. guillelmi were much less effective in extracting atrazine from the biochar (the predominant phase wherein atrazine resided) than from soil particles. -- Highlights: • Greater bio-uptake was observed for anecic M. guillelmi than for epigeic E. foetida. • Gut processes of M. guillelmi can facilitate desorption of contaminants from soil. • Biochar amendment caused greater reduction in bioaccumulation for M. guillelmi. • Gut processes are much less effective in extracting atrazine from biochar. -- Amendment of contaminated soils/sediments with biochar is more effective for earthworm species with greater bioaccumulation capabilities

  11. Microbial utilization of rice straw and its derived biochar in a paddy soil

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Pan, Fuxia [Key Laboratory of Urban Environment and Health, Institute of Urban Environment, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Xiamen 361021 (China); Ningbo Urban Environment Observation and Research Station-NUEORS, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Ningbo 315800 (China); University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049 (China); Li, Yaying [Key Laboratory of Urban Environment and Health, Institute of Urban Environment, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Xiamen 361021 (China); Ningbo Urban Environment Observation and Research Station-NUEORS, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Ningbo 315800 (China); Chapman, Stephen James [The James Hutton Institute, Craigiebuckler, Aberdeen AB15 8QH (United Kingdom); Khan, Sardar [Key Laboratory of Urban Environment and Health, Institute of Urban Environment, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Xiamen 361021 (China); Department of Environmental Science, University of Peshawar (Pakistan); Yao, Huaiying, E-mail: hyyao@iue.ac.cn [Key Laboratory of Urban Environment and Health, Institute of Urban Environment, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Xiamen 361021 (China); Ningbo Urban Environment Observation and Research Station-NUEORS, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Ningbo 315800 (China)

    2016-07-15

    The application of straw and biochar to soil has received great attention because of their potential benefits such as fertility improvement and carbon (C) sequestration. The abiotic effects of these materials on C and nitrogen (N) cycling in the soil ecosystem have been previously investigated, however, the effects of straw or its derived biochar on the soil microbial community structure and function are not well understood. For this purpose, a short-term incubation experiment was conducted using {sup 13}C-labeled rice straw and its derived biochar ({sup 13}C-labeled biochar) to deepen our understanding about soil microbial community dynamics and function in C sequestration and greenhouse gas emission in the acidic paddy soil amended with these materials. Regarding microbial function, biochar and straw applications increased CO{sub 2} emission in the initial stage of incubation and reached the highest level (0.52 and 3.96 mg C kg{sup −1} soil h{sup −1}) at 1 d and 3 d after incubation, respectively. Straw amendment significantly (p < 0.01) increased respiration rate, total phospholipid fatty acids (PLFAs) and {sup 13}C-PLFA as compared to biochar amendment and the control. The amount and percent of Gram positive bacteria, fungi and actinomycetes were also significantly (p < 0.05) higher in {sup 13}C-labeled straw amended soil than the {sup 13}C-labeled biochar amended soil. According to the {sup 13}C data, 23 different PLFAs were derived from straw amended paddy soil, while only 17 PLFAs were derived from biochar amendments. The profile of {sup 13}C-PLFAs derived from straw amendment was significantly (p < 0.01) different from biochar amendment. The PLFAs 18:1ω7c and cy17:0 (indicators of Gram negative bacteria) showed high relative abundances in the biochar amendment, while 10Me18:0, i17:0 and 18:2ω6,9c (indicators of actinomycetes, Gram positive bacteria and fungi, respectively) showed high relative abundance in the straw amendments. Our results suggest

  12. Microbial utilization of rice straw and its derived biochar in a paddy soil

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Pan, Fuxia; Li, Yaying; Chapman, Stephen James; Khan, Sardar; Yao, Huaiying

    2016-01-01

    The application of straw and biochar to soil has received great attention because of their potential benefits such as fertility improvement and carbon (C) sequestration. The abiotic effects of these materials on C and nitrogen (N) cycling in the soil ecosystem have been previously investigated, however, the effects of straw or its derived biochar on the soil microbial community structure and function are not well understood. For this purpose, a short-term incubation experiment was conducted using 13 C-labeled rice straw and its derived biochar ( 13 C-labeled biochar) to deepen our understanding about soil microbial community dynamics and function in C sequestration and greenhouse gas emission in the acidic paddy soil amended with these materials. Regarding microbial function, biochar and straw applications increased CO 2 emission in the initial stage of incubation and reached the highest level (0.52 and 3.96 mg C kg −1 soil h −1 ) at 1 d and 3 d after incubation, respectively. Straw amendment significantly (p < 0.01) increased respiration rate, total phospholipid fatty acids (PLFAs) and 13 C-PLFA as compared to biochar amendment and the control. The amount and percent of Gram positive bacteria, fungi and actinomycetes were also significantly (p < 0.05) higher in 13 C-labeled straw amended soil than the 13 C-labeled biochar amended soil. According to the 13 C data, 23 different PLFAs were derived from straw amended paddy soil, while only 17 PLFAs were derived from biochar amendments. The profile of 13 C-PLFAs derived from straw amendment was significantly (p < 0.01) different from biochar amendment. The PLFAs 18:1ω7c and cy17:0 (indicators of Gram negative bacteria) showed high relative abundances in the biochar amendment, while 10Me18:0, i17:0 and 18:2ω6,9c (indicators of actinomycetes, Gram positive bacteria and fungi, respectively) showed high relative abundance in the straw amendments. Our results suggest that the function, size and structure of the

  13. Effect of Biochar on Soil Physical Characteristics

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Sun, Zhencai; Møldrup, Per; Vendelboe, Anders Lindblad

    Biochar addition to agricultural soil has been reported to reduce climate gas emission, as well as improve soil fertility and crop productivity. Little, however, is known about biochar effects on soil structural characteristics. This study investigates if biochar-application changes soil structural...... characteristics, as indicated from water retention and gas transport measurements on intact soil samples. Soil was sampled from a field experiment on a sandy loam with four control plots (C) without biochar and four plots (B) with incorporated biochar at a rate of 20 tons per hectare (plot size, 6 x 8 m). The C......-gas diffusivity on intact 100cm3 soil samples (5 replicates in each plot). We found that biochar application significantly decreased soil bulk density, hereby creating higher porosity. At the same soil-water matric potential, all the soil-gas phase parameters (air-filled porosity, air permeability and gas...

  14. A review of biochars' potential role in the remediation, revegetation and restoration of contaminated soils

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Beesley, Luke; Moreno-Jimenez, Eduardo; Gomez-Eyles, Jose L.; Harris, Eva; Robinson, Brett; Sizmur, Tom

    2011-01-01

    Biochars are biological residues combusted under low oxygen conditions, resulting in a porous, low density carbon rich material. Their large surface areas and cation exchange capacities, determined to a large extent by source materials and pyrolysis temperatures, enables enhanced sorption of both organic and inorganic contaminants to their surfaces, reducing pollutant mobility when amending contaminated soils. Liming effects or release of carbon into soil solution may increase arsenic mobility, whilst low capital but enhanced retention of plant nutrients can restrict revegetation on degraded soils amended only with biochars; the combination of composts, manures and other amendments with biochars could be their most effective deployment to soils requiring stabilisation by revegetation. Specific mechanisms of contaminant-biochar retention and release over time and the environmental impact of biochar amendments on soil organisms remain somewhat unclear but must be investigated to ensure that the management of environmental pollution coincides with ecological sustainability. - Highlights: → Biochars can reduce mobilities of some organic and inorganic pollutants in soil. → Source material and production conditions influence pollutant retention. → Highly alkaline pH and water soluble carbon can undesirably mobilise some elements. → Large surface area may be toxic to soil fauna but create microbial niches. → Efficacy of biochar may depend on other organic materials applied in combination. - Biochars can reduce the mobility and impact of some soil pollutants but, if applied alone, may fail to support soil restoration, revegetation and hence ecologically circumspect remediation.

  15. Effects of Biochar Blends on Microbial Community Composition in Two Coastal Plain Soils

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Thomas F. Ducey

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available The amendment of soil with biochar has been demonstrated to have an effect not only on the soil physicochemical properties, but also on soil microbial community composition and activity. Previous reports have demonstrated significant impacts on soil microbial community structure. These impacts are modulated not only by the biochar composition, but also on the soil’s physicochemical characteristics. This indicates that soil characteristics must be considered prior to biochar amendment. A significant portion of the soils of the southeastern coastal plain are severely degraded and, therefore, candidates for biochar amendment to strengthen soil fertility. In this study we focused on two common soil series in the southeastern coastal plain, utilizing feedstocks endemic to the area. We chose feedstocks in four ratios (100% pine chip; 80:20 mixture of pine chip to poultry litter; 50:50 mixture of pine chip to poultry litter; 100% poultry litter prior to pyrolysis and soil amendment as a biochar product. Soil was analyzed for bioavailable nutrients via Mehlich-1 extractions, as well as microbial community composition using phospholipid fatty acid analysis (PLFA. Our results demonstrated significant shifts in microbial community composition in response to biochar amendment, the effects of which were greatest with 100% poultry litter biochar. Strong relationships between PLFAs and several Mehlich-1 extractable nutrients (Al, Cu, Fe, and P were observed.

  16. Impact of activated carbon, biochar and compost on the desorption and mineralization of phenanthrene in soil

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Marchal, Geoffrey; Smith, Kilian E.C.; Rein, Arno

    2013-01-01

    ), biochar or compost. Total amounts of phenanthrene desorbed were similar between the different soils, but the amendment type had a large influence. Complete desorption was observed in the unamended and compost amended soils, but this reduced for biochar (41% desorbed) and AC (8% desorbed). Cumulative...... amounts mineralized were 28% for the unamended control, 19% for compost, 13% for biochar and 4% for AC. Therefore, the effects of the amendments in soil in reducing desorption were also reflected in the extents of mineralization. Modeling was used to analyze key processes, indicating that for the AC...

  17. Biochar soil additions impacts herbicide fate: Importance of application timing and feedstock species

    Science.gov (United States)

    BACKGROUND: Biochar (BC), solid biomass subjected to pyrolysis, can alter the fate of pesticides in soil. We investigated the effect of soil amendment with several biochars on the sorption, persistence, leaching and bioefficacy of the herbicides clomazone (CMZ) and bispyribac sodium (BYP). RESULTS:...

  18. Role of biochar on composting of organic wastes and remediation of contaminated soils-a review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Shaohua; He, Huijun; Inthapanya, Xayanto; Yang, Chunping; Lu, Li; Zeng, Guangming; Han, Zhenfeng

    2017-07-01

    Biochar is produced by pyrolysis of biomass residues under limited oxygen conditions. In recent years, biochar as an amendment has received increasing attention on composting and soil remediation, due to its unique properties such as chemical recalcitrance, high porosity and sorption capacity, and large surface area. This paper provides an overview on the impact of biochar on the chemical characteristics (greenhouse gas emissions, nitrogen loss, decomposition and humification of organic matter) and microbial community structure during composting of organic wastes. This review also discusses the use of biochar for remediation of soils contaminated with organic pollutants and heavy metals as well as related mechanisms. Besides its aging, the effects of biochar on the environment fate and efficacy of pesticides deserve special attention. Moreover, the combined application of biochar and compost affects synergistically on soil remediation and plant growth. Future research needs are identified to ensure a wide application of biochar in composting and soil remediation. Graphical abstract ᅟ.

  19. Recent developments in biochar as an effective tool for agricultural soil management: a review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Laghari, Mahmood; Naidu, Ravi; Xiao, Bo; Hu, Zhiquan; Mirjat, Muhammad Saffar; Hu, Mian; Kandhro, Muhammad Nawaz; Chen, Zhihua; Guo, Dabin; Jogi, Qamardudin; Abudi, Zaidun Naji; Fazal, Saima

    2016-12-01

    In recent years biochar has been demonstrated to be a useful amendment to sequester carbon and reduce greenhouse gas emission from the soil to the atmosphere. Hence it can help to mitigate global environment change. Some studies have shown that biochar addition to agricultural soils increases crop production. The mechanisms involved are: increased soil aeration and water-holding capacity, enhanced microbial activity and plant nutrient status in soil, and alteration of some important soil chemical properties. This review provides an in-depth consideration of the production, characterization and agricultural use of different biochars. Biochar is a complex organic material and its characteristics vary with production conditions and the feedstock used. The agronomic benefits of biochar solely depend upon the use of particular types of biochar with proper field application rate under appropriate soil types and conditions. © 2016 Society of Chemical Industry. © 2016 Society of Chemical Industry.

  20. Rice (Oryza sativa L) plantation affects the stability of biochar in paddy soil

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Mengxiong; Feng, Qibo; Sun, Xue; Wang, Hailong; Gielen, Gerty; Wu, Weixiang

    2015-05-01

    Conversion of rice straw into biochar for soil amendment appears to be a promising method to increase long-term carbon sequestration and reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. The stability of biochar in paddy soil, which is the major determining factor of carbon sequestration effect, depends mainly on soil properties and plant functions. However, the influence of plants on biochar stability in paddy soil remains unclear. In this study, bulk and surface characteristics of the biochars incubated without rice plants were compared with those incubated with rice plants using a suite of analytical techniques. Results showed that although rice plants had no significant influence on the bulk characteristics and decomposition rates of the biochar, the surface oxidation of biochar particles was enhanced by rice plants. Using 13C labeling we observed that rice plants could significantly increase carbon incorporation from biochar into soil microbial biomass. About 0.047% of the carbon in biochar was incorporated into the rice plants during the whole rice growing cycle. These results inferred that root exudates and transportation of biochar particles into rice plants might decrease the stability of biochar in paddy soil. Impact of plants should be considered when predicting carbon sequestration potential of biochar in soil systems.

  1. Economic feasibility of biochar application to soils in temperate climate regions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Soja, Gerhard; Bücker, Jannis; Gunczy, Stefan; Kitzler, Barbara; Klinglmüller, Michaela; Kloss, Stefanie; Watzinger, Andrea; Wimmer, Bernhard; Zechmeister-Boltenstern, Sophie; Zehetner, Franz

    2014-05-01

    The findings that fertility improvements in tropical soils have been successfully mediated by biochar applications have caused wide-spread interest to use biochar as a soil amendment also for soils in temperate climate regions. But these soils in intensively cultivated regions are not always as acidic or sandy as the tropical Ferralsols where biochar is most effective. Therefore it is not self-evident that different soil characteristics allow biochar to display the same benefits if site-specific demands for the optimal organic soil amendment are not considered. This study pursued the objective to study the extent of benefits that biochar could provide for crops on two typical Austrian agricultural soils in a two-year field experiment. An economic evaluation assessed the local biochar production costs and compared them with the value of the observed biochar benefits. From a business economic viewpoint, currently high costs of biochar are not balanced by only moderate increases in crop yields and thus agricultural revenues. Improved water retention due to biochar, however, might justify biochar as an adaptation measure to global warming, especially when considering beside business economic aspects also overall economic aspects. When not assuming total crop failures but only increased soil fertility, even an inclusion of avoided social (=societal) costs by sequestering carbon and thereby helping to mitigate climate change do not economically justify the application of biochar. Price of biochar would need to decrease by at least 40 % to achieve a break-even from the overall economic viewpoint (if optimistic assumptions about the social value of sequestered carbon are applied; at pessimistic assumptions price for biochar must decrease even more in order to break even). When applying an alternative type of soil treatment of using modified biochar but avoiding additional N-fertilization, a similar picture arises: Social benefits due to avoided N-fertilization and

  2. Carbon dioxide emissions from biochar in soil

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bruun, Sander; Clauson-Kaas, Anne Sofie Kjærulff; Bobuľská, L.

    2014-01-01

    The stability of biochar in soil is of importance if it is to be used for carbon sequestration and long-term improvement of soil properties. It is well known that a significant fraction of biochar is highly stable in soil, but carbon dioxide (CO2) is also released immediately after application....... This study investigated the nature of the early release of CO2 and the degree to which stabilizing mechanisms protect biochar from microbial attack. Incubations of 14C-labelled biochar produced at different temperatures were performed in soils with different clay contents and in sterilized and non......-sterilized soils. It emerged that carbonate may be concentrated or form during or after biochar production, resulting in significant carbonate contents. If CO2 released from carbonates in short-term experiments is misinterpreted as mineralization of biochar, the impact of this process may be significantly over...

  3. Effect of dolomite and biochar addition on N2O and CO2 emissions from acidic tea field soil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oo, Aung Zaw; Sudo, Shigeto; Akiyama, Hiroko; Win, Khin Thuzar; Shibata, Akira; Yamamoto, Akinori; Sano, Tomohito; Hirono, Yuhei

    2018-01-01

    A laboratory study was conducted to study the effects of liming and different biochar amendments on N2O and CO2 emissions from acidic tea field soil. The first experiment was done with three different rates of N treatment; N 300 (300 kg N ha-1), N 600 (600 kg N ha-1) and N 900 (900 kg N ha-1) and four different rates of bamboo biochar amendment; 0%, 0.5%, 1% and 2% biochar. The second experiment was done with three different biochars at a rate of 2% (rice husk, sawdust, and bamboo) and a control and lime treatment (dolomite) and control at two moisture levels (50% and 90% water filled pore space (WFPS)). The results showed that dolomite and biochar amendment significantly increased soil pH. However, only biochar amendment showed a significant increase in total carbon (C), C/N (the ratio of total carbon and total nitrogen), and C/IN ratio (the ratio of total carbon and inorganic nitrogen) at the end of incubation. Reduction in soil NO3--N concentration was observed under different biochar amendments. Bamboo biochar with the rates of 0.5, 1 and 2% reduced cumulative N2O emission by 38%, 48% and 61%, respectively, compare to the control soil in experiment 1. Dolomite and biochar, either alone or combined significantly reduced cumulative N2O emission by 4.6% to 32.7% in experiment 2. Reduction in N2O production under biochar amendment was due to increases in soil pH and decreases in the magnitude of mineral-N in soil. Although, both dolomite and biochar increased cumulative CO2 emission, only biochar amendment had a significant effect. The present study suggests that application of dolomite and biochar to acidic tea field soil can mitigate N2O emissions.

  4. Differential effects of biochar on soils within an eroded field

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schumacher, Thomas; Chintala, Rajesh; Sandhu, Saroop; Kumar, Sandeep; Clay, Dave; Gelderman, Ron; Papiernik, Sharon; Malo, Douglas; Clay, Sharon; Julson, Jim

    2015-04-01

    Future uses of biochar will in part be dependent not only on the effects of biochar on soil processes but also on the availability and economics of biochar production. If pyrolysis for production of bio-oil and syngas becomes wide-spread, biochar as a by-product of bio-oil production will be widely available and relatively inexpensive compared to the production of biochar as primary product. Biochar produced as a by-product of optimized bio-oil production using regionally available feedstocks was examined for properties and for use as an amendment targeted to contrasting soils within an eroded field in an on-farm study initiated in 2013 at Brookings, South Dakota, USA. Three plant based biochar materials produced from carbon optimized gasification of corn stover (Zea mays L.), Ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa Lawson and C. Lawson) wood residue, and switchgrass (Panicum virgatum L.) were applied at a 1% (w/w) rate to a Maddock soil (Sandy, Mixed, Frigid Entic Hapludolls) located in an eroded upper landscape position and a Brookings soil (Fine-Silty, Mixed, Superactive, Frigid Pachic Hapludolls) located in a depositional landscape position. The cropping system within this agricultural landscape was a corn (Zea mays L.) and soybean (Glycine max L.) rotation. Biochar physical and chemical properties for each of the feedstocks were determined including pH, surface area, surface charge potential, C-distribution, ash content, macro and micro nutrient composition. Yields, nutrient content, and carbon isotope ratio measurements were made on the harvested seed. Soil physical properties measured included water retention, bulk density, and water infiltration from a ponded double ring infiltrometer. Laboratory studies were conducted to determine the effects of biochar on partitioning of nitrate and phosphorus at soil surface exchange complex and the extracellular enzymes activity of C and N cycles. Crop yields were increased only in the Maddock soil. Biochar interacted with each

  5. Efficiency of sewage sludge biochar in improving urban soil properties and promoting grass growth.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yue, Yan; Cui, Liu; Lin, Qimei; Li, Guitong; Zhao, Xiaorong

    2017-04-01

    It is meaningful to quickly improve poor urban soil fertility in order to establish the green land vegetation. In this study, a series rates (0%, 1%, 5%, 10%, 20% and 50%, in mass ratio) of biochar derived from municipal sewage sludge was applied into an urban soil and then turf grass was grown in pots. The results showed that biochar amendment induced significant increases in soil total nitrogen, organic carbon, black carbon, and available phosphorus and potassium by more than 1.5, 1.9, 4.5, 5.6 and 0.4 times, respectively. Turf grass dry matter increased proportionally with increasing amount of added biochar (by an average of 74%), due to the improvement in plant mineral nutrition. Biochar amendment largely increased the total amounts of soil heavy metals. However, 43-97% of the heavy metals in the amended soil were concentrated in the residual fraction with low bioavailability. So the accumulation of heavy metals in turf grass aboveground biomass was highly reduced by the addition of biochar. These results indicated that sewage sludge biochar could be recommended in the poor urban raw soil as a soil conditioner at a rate of 50%. However, the environmental risk of heavy metal accumulation in soil amended with sewage sludge biochar should be carefully considered. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  6. Biochar soil application to mitigate climate change

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bruun, Esben; Hauggaard-Nielsen, Henrik; Ambus, Per

    2009-01-01

    Production of energy carriers (oil, gas) and biochar from pyrolysis of biomass is by many considered a promising technology for combined production of bioenergy and recalcitrant C suitable for sequestration in soil. The mechanism behind biochar-C sequestration is straightforward: Due to its...... recalcitrant characteristics the microbial decomposition of biochar is much slower in comparison to the mineralization of the original feedstock. Conversion of organic residues like household waste or cereal straw to biochar is hence proposed a way to withdraw CO2 from the atmosphere and sequester it on a long...... term basis in the soil. The experiments presented here illustrate the C sequestration potentials of biochar originating from fast pyrolysis of wheat straw. It is documented that after 47 days in soil 95 % of the added biochar-C is still present in the soil as compared to only 56 % if straw is applied...

  7. Impacts of Biochar on Physical Properties and Erosion Potential of a Mudstone Slopeland Soil

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chien, Wei-Hsin; Liou, Ruei-Cheng

    2014-01-01

    Food demand and soil sustainability have become urgent issues recently because of the global climate changes. This study aims to evaluate the application of a biochar produced by rice hull, on changes of physiochemical characteristics and erosion potential of a degraded slopeland soil. Rice hull biochar pyrolized at 400°C was incorporated into the soil at rates of 2.5%, 5%, and 10% (w/w) and was incubated for 168 d in this study. The results indicated that biochar application reduced the Bd by 12% to 25% and the PR by 57% to 92% after incubation, compared with the control. Besides, porosity and aggregate size increased by 16% to 22% and by 0.59 to 0.94 mm, respectively. The results presented that available water contents significantly increased in the amended soils by 18% to 89% because of the obvious increase of micropores. The water conductivity of the biochar-amended soils was only found in 10% biochar treatment, which might result from significant increase of macropores and reduction of soil strength (Bd and PR). During a simulated rainfall event, soil loss contents significantly decreased by 35% to 90% in the biochar-amended soils. In conclusion, biochar application could availably raise soil quality and physical properties for tilth increasing in the degraded mudstone soil. PMID:25548787

  8. Impacts of Biochar on Physical Properties and Erosion Potential of a Mudstone Slopeland Soil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zeng-Yei Hseu

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Food demand and soil sustainability have become urgent issues recently because of the global climate changes. This study aims to evaluate the application of a biochar produced by rice hull, on changes of physiochemical characteristics and erosion potential of a degraded slopeland soil. Rice hull biochar pyrolized at 400°C was incorporated into the soil at rates of 2.5%, 5%, and 10% (w/w and was incubated for 168 d in this study. The results indicated that biochar application reduced the Bd by 12% to 25% and the PR by 57% to 92% after incubation, compared with the control. Besides, porosity and aggregate size increased by 16% to 22% and by 0.59 to 0.94 mm, respectively. The results presented that available water contents significantly increased in the amended soils by 18% to 89% because of the obvious increase of micropores. The water conductivity of the biochar-amended soils was only found in 10% biochar treatment, which might result from significant increase of macropores and reduction of soil strength (Bd and PR. During a simulated rainfall event, soil loss contents significantly decreased by 35% to 90% in the biochar-amended soils. In conclusion, biochar application could availably raise soil quality and physical properties for tilth increasing in the degraded mudstone soil.

  9. Characterization and influence of biochars on nitrous oxide emission from agricultural soil

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wang, Zhenyu; Zheng, Hao; Luo, Ye; Deng, Xia; Herbert, Stephen; Xing, Baoshan

    2013-01-01

    Extensive use of biochar to mitigate N 2 O emission is limited by the lack of understanding on the exact mechanisms altering N 2 O emissions from biochar-amended soils. Biochars produced from giant reed were characterized and used to investigate their influence on N 2 O emission. Responses of N 2 O emission varied with pyrolysis temperature, and the reduction order of N 2 O emission by biochar (BC) was: BC200 ≈ BC600 > BC500 ≈ BC300 ≈ BC350 > BC400. The reduced emission was attributed to enhanced N immobilization and decreased denitrification in the biochar-amended soils. The remaining polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in low-temperature biochars (300–400 °C) played a major role in reducing N 2 O emission, but not for high-temperature biochars (500–600 °C). Removal of phenolic compounds from low-temperature (200–400 °C) biochars resulted in a surprising reduction of N 2 O emission, but the mechanism is still unknown. Overall, adding giant reed biochars could reduce N 2 O evolution from agricultural soil, thus possibly mitigating global warming. -- Highlights: ► C content of biochar increased with temperature but O and H content decreased. ► Biochars produced at 200–600 °C reduced N 2 O emissions from agricultural soil. ► PAHs in biochars (300–400 °C) seem a dominant factor for the reduced N 2 O emission. ► Phenolic compounds in biochars ( 2 O emission. -- Biochars (200–600 °C) produced from giant reed reduced N 2 O emissions from a soil due to enhanced N immobilization and decreased denitrification

  10. Effect of biochar on the fate of volatile petroleum hydrocarbons in an aerobic sandy soil

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bushnaf, Khaled M.; Puricelli, Sara; Saponaro, Sabrina; Werner, David

    2011-11-01

    Biochar addition to soil is currently being investigated as a novel technology to remediate polluted sites. A critical consideration is the impact of biochar on the intrinsic microbial pollutant degradation, in particular at sites polluted with a mixture of readily biodegradable and more persistent organic pollutants. We therefore studied the impact of biochar (2% on dry weight basis) on the fate of volatile petroleum hydrocarbons in an aerobic sandy soil with batch and column studies. The soil-water partitioning coefficient, K d, was enhanced in the biochar-amended soil up to a factor 36, and petroleum hydrocarbon vapor migration was retarded accordingly. Despite increased sorption, in particular of monoaromatic hydrocarbons, the overall microbial respiration was comparable in the biochar-amended and unamended soil. This was due to more rapid biodegradation of linear, cyclic and branched alkanes in the biochar amended soil. We concluded that the total petroleum hydrocarbon degradation rate was controlled by a factor other than substrate availability and the reduced availability of monoaromatic hydrocarbons in the biochar amended soil led to greater biodegradation of the other petroleum compounds.

  11. Gasified grass and wood biochars facilitate plant establishment in acid mine soils

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heavy metals in exposed mine tailings threaten ecosystems that surround thousands of abandoned mines in the U.S. Biochars derived from the pyrolysis or gasification of biomass may serve as a valuable soil amendment to revegetate mine sites. We evaluated the ability of two biochar...

  12. Influence of biochar on isoproturon partitioning and bioaccessibility in soil

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Reid, B.J.; Pickering, F.L.; Freddo, A.; Whelan, M.J.; Coulon, F.

    2013-01-01

    The influence of biochar (5%) on the loss, partitioning and bioaccessibility of 14 C-isoproturon ( 14 C-IPU) was evaluated. Results indicated that biochar had a dramatic effect upon 14 C-IPU partitioning: 14 C-IPU extractability (0.01 M CaCl 2 ) in biochar-amended treatments was reduced to 14 C-IPU extractability in biochar free treatments decreased with ageing from 90% to 40%. A partitioning model was constructed to derive an effective partition coefficient for biochar:water (K BW of 7.82 × 10 4 L kg −1 ). This was two orders of magnitude greater than the apparent K foc value of the soil organic carbon:water (631 L kg −1 ). 14 C-radiorespirometry assays indicated high competence of microorganisms to mineralise 14 C-IPU in the absence of biochar (40.3 ± 0.9%). Where biochar was present 14 C-IPU mineralisation never exceeded 2%. These results indicate reduced herbicide bioaccessibility. Increasing IPU application to ×10 its recommended dose was ineffective at redressing IPU sequestration and its low bioaccessibility. Highlights: •Biochar had a dramatic effect on IPU partitioning. •IPU extractability was reduced to BW ) was 7.82 × 10 4 L kg −1 . •K BW was 124 times greater than the apparent K foc value of the control. •Biochar precluded microbial bioaccessibility – no catabolic response was observed. -- Biochar dramatically reduced 14 C-IPU extractability ( BW being ×123 greater than the apparent K foc . Correspondingly, microbial bioaccessibility of IPU was negligible

  13. Biochar amendment to coarse sandy subsoil improves root growth and increases water retention

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bruun, Esben; Petersen, C. T.; Hansen, E.

    2014-01-01

    Crop yields and yield potentials on Danish coarse sandy soils are strongly limited due to restricted root growth and poor water and nutrient retention. We investigated if biochar amendment to subsoil can improve root development in barley and significantly increase soil water retention. Spring...... barley (Hordeum vulgare cv. Anakin) was grown in soil columns (diameter: 30 cm) prepared with 25 cm topsoil, 75 cm biochar-amended subsoil, and 30 cm un-amended subsoil lowermost placed on an impervious surface. Low-temperature gasification straw-biochar (at 0, 0.50, 1.0, 2.0, and 4.0 wt%) and slow...... pyrolysis hardwood-biochar (at 2 wt%) were investigated. One wt% can be scaled up to 102 Mg/ha of char. After full irrigation and drainage, the in-situ moisture content at 30-80 cm depth increased linearly (R2 = 0.99) with straw-biochar content at a rate corresponding to 0.029 m3/m3/%. The lab determined...

  14. Biochar Decelerates Soil Organic Nitrogen Cycling but Stimulates Soil Nitrification in a Temperate Arable Field Trial

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prommer, Judith; Wanek, Wolfgang; Hofhansl, Florian; Trojan, Daniela; Offre, Pierre; Urich, Tim; Schleper, Christa; Sassmann, Stefan; Kitzler, Barbara; Soja, Gerhard; Hood-Nowotny, Rebecca Clare

    2014-01-01

    Biochar production and subsequent soil incorporation could provide carbon farming solutions to global climate change and escalating food demand. There is evidence that biochar amendment causes fundamental changes in soil nutrient cycles, often resulting in marked increases in crop production, particularly in acidic and in infertile soils with low soil organic matter contents, although comparable outcomes in temperate soils are variable. We offer insight into the mechanisms underlying these findings by focusing attention on the soil nitrogen (N) cycle, specifically on hitherto unmeasured processes of organic N cycling in arable soils. We here investigated the impacts of biochar addition on soil organic and inorganic N pools and on gross transformation rates of both pools in a biochar field trial on arable land (Chernozem) in Traismauer, Lower Austria. We found that biochar increased total soil organic carbon but decreased the extractable organic C pool and soil nitrate. While gross rates of organic N transformation processes were reduced by 50–80%, gross N mineralization of organic N was not affected. In contrast, biochar promoted soil ammonia-oxidizer populations (bacterial and archaeal nitrifiers) and accelerated gross nitrification rates more than two-fold. Our findings indicate a de-coupling of the soil organic and inorganic N cycles, with a build-up of organic N, and deceleration of inorganic N release from this pool. The results therefore suggest that addition of inorganic fertilizer-N in combination with biochar could compensate for the reduction in organic N mineralization, with plants and microbes drawing on fertilizer-N for growth, in turn fuelling the belowground build-up of organic N. We conclude that combined addition of biochar with fertilizer-N may increase soil organic N in turn enhancing soil carbon sequestration and thereby could play a fundamental role in future soil management strategies. PMID:24497947

  15. Biochar decelerates soil organic nitrogen cycling but stimulates soil nitrification in a temperate arable field trial.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Judith Prommer

    Full Text Available Biochar production and subsequent soil incorporation could provide carbon farming solutions to global climate change and escalating food demand. There is evidence that biochar amendment causes fundamental changes in soil nutrient cycles, often resulting in marked increases in crop production, particularly in acidic and in infertile soils with low soil organic matter contents, although comparable outcomes in temperate soils are variable. We offer insight into the mechanisms underlying these findings by focusing attention on the soil nitrogen (N cycle, specifically on hitherto unmeasured processes of organic N cycling in arable soils. We here investigated the impacts of biochar addition on soil organic and inorganic N pools and on gross transformation rates of both pools in a biochar field trial on arable land (Chernozem in Traismauer, Lower Austria. We found that biochar increased total soil organic carbon but decreased the extractable organic C pool and soil nitrate. While gross rates of organic N transformation processes were reduced by 50-80%, gross N mineralization of organic N was not affected. In contrast, biochar promoted soil ammonia-oxidizer populations (bacterial and archaeal nitrifiers and accelerated gross nitrification rates more than two-fold. Our findings indicate a de-coupling of the soil organic and inorganic N cycles, with a build-up of organic N, and deceleration of inorganic N release from this pool. The results therefore suggest that addition of inorganic fertilizer-N in combination with biochar could compensate for the reduction in organic N mineralization, with plants and microbes drawing on fertilizer-N for growth, in turn fuelling the belowground build-up of organic N. We conclude that combined addition of biochar with fertilizer-N may increase soil organic N in turn enhancing soil carbon sequestration and thereby could play a fundamental role in future soil management strategies.

  16. Biochar decelerates soil organic nitrogen cycling but stimulates soil nitrification in a temperate arable field trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prommer, Judith; Wanek, Wolfgang; Hofhansl, Florian; Trojan, Daniela; Offre, Pierre; Urich, Tim; Schleper, Christa; Sassmann, Stefan; Kitzler, Barbara; Soja, Gerhard; Hood-Nowotny, Rebecca Clare

    2014-01-01

    Biochar production and subsequent soil incorporation could provide carbon farming solutions to global climate change and escalating food demand. There is evidence that biochar amendment causes fundamental changes in soil nutrient cycles, often resulting in marked increases in crop production, particularly in acidic and in infertile soils with low soil organic matter contents, although comparable outcomes in temperate soils are variable. We offer insight into the mechanisms underlying these findings by focusing attention on the soil nitrogen (N) cycle, specifically on hitherto unmeasured processes of organic N cycling in arable soils. We here investigated the impacts of biochar addition on soil organic and inorganic N pools and on gross transformation rates of both pools in a biochar field trial on arable land (Chernozem) in Traismauer, Lower Austria. We found that biochar increased total soil organic carbon but decreased the extractable organic C pool and soil nitrate. While gross rates of organic N transformation processes were reduced by 50-80%, gross N mineralization of organic N was not affected. In contrast, biochar promoted soil ammonia-oxidizer populations (bacterial and archaeal nitrifiers) and accelerated gross nitrification rates more than two-fold. Our findings indicate a de-coupling of the soil organic and inorganic N cycles, with a build-up of organic N, and deceleration of inorganic N release from this pool. The results therefore suggest that addition of inorganic fertilizer-N in combination with biochar could compensate for the reduction in organic N mineralization, with plants and microbes drawing on fertilizer-N for growth, in turn fuelling the belowground build-up of organic N. We conclude that combined addition of biochar with fertilizer-N may increase soil organic N in turn enhancing soil carbon sequestration and thereby could play a fundamental role in future soil management strategies.

  17. Evaluation of biochars from different stock materials as carriers of bacterial strain for remediation of heavy metal-contaminated soil

    OpenAIRE

    Wang, Ting; Sun, Hongwen; Ren, Xinhao; Li, Bing; Mao, Hongjun

    2017-01-01

    Two kinds of biochars, one derived from corn straw and one from pig manure, were studied as carriers of a mutant genotype from Bacillus subtilis (B38) for heavy metal contaminated soil remediation. After amendment with biochar, the heavy metal bioavailability decreased. Moreover, the heavy metal immobilization ability of the biochar was enhanced by combining it with B38. The simultaneous application of B38 and pig manure-derived biochar exhibited a superior effect on the promotion of plant gr...

  18. Changes on aggregation in mine waste amended with biochar and marble mud

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ángeles Muñoz, María; Guzmán, Jose; Zornoza, Raúl; Moreno-Barriga, Fabián; Faz, Ángel; Lal, Rattan

    2016-04-01

    Mining activities have produced large amounts of wastes over centuries accumulated in tailing ponds in Southeast Spain. Applications of biochar may have a high potential for reclamation of degraded soils. Distribution, size and stability of aggregates are important indices of soil physical quality. However, research data on aggregation processes at amended mining tailings with biochar are scanty. Therefore, the aim of this study was to determine the effects of seven different treatments involving biochar and marble mud (MM) on the aggregation in mine waste (MW). Seven different treatments were tested after 90 days of incubation in the laboratory. These treatments were the mix of MW and: biochar from solid pig manure (PM), biochar from cotton crop residues (CR), biochar from municipal solid waste (MSW), marble mud (MM), PM+MM, CR+MM, MSW+MM and control without amendment. High sand percentages were identified in the MW. The biochars made from wastes (PM, CR, MSW) were obtained through pyrolysis of feedstocks. The water stability of soil aggregates was studied. The data on total aggregation were corrected for the primary particles considering the sandy texture of the MW. Moreover, partial aggregation was determined for each fraction and the mean weight diameter (MWD) of aggregates was computed. Soil bulk density and total porosity were also determined. No significant differences were observed in total aggregation and MWD among treatments including the control. For the size range of >4.75 mm, there were significant differences in aggregates > 4.75 mm between CR+MM in comparison with that for CT. There were also significant differences between MSW and PM+MM for the 1-0.425 mm fraction, and between CT and MM and CR for 0.425-0.162 mm aggregate size fractions. Therefore, CR-derived biochar applied with MM enhanced stability of macro-aggregates. Furthermore, soil bulk density was also the lowest bulk density and total porosity the highest for the CR-derived biochar

  19. Influence of wood-derived biochar on the physico-mechanical and chemical characteristics of agricultural soils

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ahmed, Ahmed S. F.; Raghavan, Vijaya

    2018-01-01

    Amendment of soil with biochar has been shown to enhance fertility and increase crop productivity, but the specific influence of biochar on soil workability remains unclear. Select physico-mechanical and chemical properties of clay loam and sandy loam soils were measured after amendment with wood-derived biochar of two particle size ranges (0.5-425 and 425-850 µm) at five dosages ranging from 0.5 to 10% dry weight. Whereas the clay loam soil workability decreased when the finer wood-derived biochar was applied at rates of 6 or 10%, soil fertility was not enhanced. The sandy loam soil, due to Proctor compaction, significantly decreased in bulk density with 6 and 10% wood-derived biochar amendments indicating higher soil resistance to compaction.

  20. Soil properties, greenhouse gas emissions and crop yield under compost, biochar and co-composted biochar in two tropical agronomic systems

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bass, Adrian M., E-mail: adrian.bass@glasgow.ac.uk [Centre for Tropical Environmental and Sustainability Science, College of Science, Technology and Engineering, James Cook University, Cairns, Queensland 4870 (Australia); Bird, Michael I. [Centre for Tropical Environmental and Sustainability Science, College of Science, Technology and Engineering, James Cook University, Cairns, Queensland 4870 (Australia); Kay, Gavin [Terrain Natural Resource Management, 2 Stitt Street, Innisfail, Queensland 4860 (Australia); Muirhead, Brian [Northern Gulf Resource Management Group, 317 Byrnes Street, Mareeba, Queensland 4880 (Australia)

    2016-04-15

    ABSTRACT: The addition of organic amendments to agricultural soils has the potential to increase crop yields, reduce dependence on inorganic fertilizers and improve soil condition and resilience. We evaluated the effect of biochar (B), compost (C) and co-composted biochar (COMBI) on the soil properties, crop yield and greenhouse gas emissions from a banana and a papaya plantation in tropical Australia in the first harvest cycle. Biochar, compost and COMBI organic amendments improved soil properties, including significant increases in soil water content, CEC, K, Ca, NO{sub 3}, NH{sub 4} and soil carbon content. However, increases in soil nutrient content and improvements in physical properties did not translate to improved fruit yield. Counter to our expectations, banana crop yield (weight per bunch) was reduced by 18%, 12% and 24% by B, C and COMBI additions respectively, and no significant effect was observed on the papaya crop yield. Soil efflux of CO{sub 2} was elevated by addition of C and COMBI amendments, likely due to an increase in labile carbon for microbial processing. Our data indicate a reduction in N{sub 2}O flux in treatments containing biochar. The application of B, C and COMBI amendments had a generally positive effect on soil properties, but this did not translate into a crop productivity increase in this study. The benefits to soil nutrient content, soil carbon storage and N{sub 2}O emission reduction need to be carefully weighed against potentially deleterious effects on crop yield, at least in the short-term. - Highlights: • Biochar and compost amendment has potential to improve tropical agriculture. • We monitored soil health, gas fluxes and crop yield under biochar and compost. • Biochar improved soil nutrient content, water retention and reduced N{sub 2}O emissions. • Biochar significantly reduced banana yield performance and did not affect papaya yield. • Organic amendment is not an ‘always win’ scenario for tropical

  1. Soil properties, greenhouse gas emissions and crop yield under compost, biochar and co-composted biochar in two tropical agronomic systems

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bass, Adrian M.; Bird, Michael I.; Kay, Gavin; Muirhead, Brian

    2016-01-01

    ABSTRACT: The addition of organic amendments to agricultural soils has the potential to increase crop yields, reduce dependence on inorganic fertilizers and improve soil condition and resilience. We evaluated the effect of biochar (B), compost (C) and co-composted biochar (COMBI) on the soil properties, crop yield and greenhouse gas emissions from a banana and a papaya plantation in tropical Australia in the first harvest cycle. Biochar, compost and COMBI organic amendments improved soil properties, including significant increases in soil water content, CEC, K, Ca, NO 3 , NH 4 and soil carbon content. However, increases in soil nutrient content and improvements in physical properties did not translate to improved fruit yield. Counter to our expectations, banana crop yield (weight per bunch) was reduced by 18%, 12% and 24% by B, C and COMBI additions respectively, and no significant effect was observed on the papaya crop yield. Soil efflux of CO 2 was elevated by addition of C and COMBI amendments, likely due to an increase in labile carbon for microbial processing. Our data indicate a reduction in N 2 O flux in treatments containing biochar. The application of B, C and COMBI amendments had a generally positive effect on soil properties, but this did not translate into a crop productivity increase in this study. The benefits to soil nutrient content, soil carbon storage and N 2 O emission reduction need to be carefully weighed against potentially deleterious effects on crop yield, at least in the short-term. - Highlights: • Biochar and compost amendment has potential to improve tropical agriculture. • We monitored soil health, gas fluxes and crop yield under biochar and compost. • Biochar improved soil nutrient content, water retention and reduced N 2 O emissions. • Biochar significantly reduced banana yield performance and did not affect papaya yield. • Organic amendment is not an ‘always win’ scenario for tropical agriculture.

  2. Investigation of biochar effects as a non-structural BMP on soil erosional properties using a rainfall simulator

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Khademalrasoul, Ataalah; Kuhn, Nikolaus J; Hu, Yaxian

    Recent studies have shown the potential of biochar for improving overall soil quality including soil aggregation and structure. Erodibility is an inherent soil property that amongst others is highly dependent on soil organic matter content which affects aggregate stability and crusting during...... runoff events. We hypothesized that erodibility is reduced in biochar-amended soils and tested this in controlled rainfall-runoff simulations. The specific objectives of our study were (1) to compare runoff and sediment generation between a biochar and an unamended control treatment on an arable sandy...... loam soil and (2) to determine the effect of the biochar treatment on SOC erodibility. A field experiment with eight plots was established at Risø, Denmark, in 2011; four biochar-amended and four unamended control plots. Biochar produced from birch wood at 500 ºC was applied at a rate of 2 kg m-2...

  3. Applicability of five models to simulate water infiltration into soil with added biochar

    Science.gov (United States)

    As a soil amendment, biochar can reduce soil bulk density, increase soil porosity, and alter soil aggregates and thus affect the infiltration. Researchers have proposed and revised several theoretical models to describe the process of soil infiltration. Although these models have been successfully u...

  4. Nitrogen and Carbon Leaching in Repacked Sandy Soil with Added Fine Particulate Biochar

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bruun, Esben W.; Petersen, Carsten; Strobel, Bjarne W.

    2012-01-01

    Biochar amendment to soil may affect N turnover and retention, and may cause translocation of dissolved and particulate C. We investigated effects of three fine particulate biochars made of wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) straw (one by slow pyrolysis and two by fast pyrolysis) on N and C leaching from...... repacked sandy soil columns (length: 51 cm). Biochar (2 wt%), ammonium fertilizer (NH4+, amount corresponding to 300 kg N ha-1) and an inert tracer (bromide) were added to a 3-cm top layer of sandy loam, and the columns were then irrigated with constant rate (36 mm d-1) for 15 d. The total amount...... of leachate came to about 3.0 water filled pore volumes (WFPVs). Our study revealed a high mobility of labile C components originating from the fine particulate fast pyrolysis biochar. This finding highlights a potential risk of C leaching coupled with the use of fast pyrolysis biochars for soil amendment...

  5. Effect of biochar produced at different pyrolysis temperature on the soil respiration of abandoned mine soil

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Yong Seong; Kim, Juhee; Hwang, Wonjae; Hyun, Seunghun

    2015-04-01

    Contaminated soils near an abandoned mine site included the high acidic mine tailing have received great interest due to potential risk to human health, because leachable elements in low pH continuously release from mine site soil with ground water and precipitation event. Biochar, which is the obtained pyrolysis process of biomass, is used as a soil amendments and carbon storage. Especially, many researchers report that the biochar application to soil show increasing soil pH, CEC, adsorption capacity of various elements, as well as, enhanced microbial activity. Therefore, biochar application to contaminated soil near abandoned mine site is expected to have a positive effects on management of these site and soils through the decreased leachability of contaminants. However, effects of biochar application to these site on the soil respiration, as a common measure of soil health, are poorly understood. The objective of this study is to evaluate the effects of biochar application to abandoned mine site soil on the microbial activity with soil respiration test. Biochar was obtained from giant Miscanthus in a slow pyrolysis process (heating rate of 10° C min-1 and N2 gas flow rate of 1.2 L min-1) at the temperature of 400° C (BC4) and 700° C (BC7), respectively. All biochar samples were prepared with grinding and sieving for particle size control (150~500μm). Soil sample was collected from abandoned mine site at Korea (36° 58'N, 128° 10'E). Main contaminants of this soil were As (12.5 g kg-1), Pb (7.3 g kg-1), and Zn (1.1 g kg-1). Biochars were applied (5% by dry weight) to the soil (final mixture weight were 800g), and then moisture contents were adjusted to 100% field capacity (-0.33 bar) in the respirometer with vacuum pump. CO2 efflux of each samples was continuously assessed using continuous aeration system (air flow rate 25 cc min-1) using air cylinder during 130hr (at 20° C and darkness condition). The CO2 emitted from the samples were carried to the

  6. Biochar Effects on Soil Aggregate Properties Under No-Till Maize

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Khademalrasoul, Ataalah; Naveed, Muhammad; Heckrath, Goswin Johann

    2014-01-01

    Soil aggregates are useful indicators of soil structure and stability, and the impact on physical and mechanical aggregate properties is critical for the sustainable use of organic amendments in agricultural soil. In this work, we evaluated the short-term soil quality effects of applying biochar (0......-over-end shaking, a Yoder-type wet-sieving method, and an unconfined compression test in soil samples collected 7 and 19 months after final biochar application. The highest rates of biochar and swine manure application resulted in the highest aggregate stability and lowest clay dispersibility. Applying both...... amendments systematically increased TS and SRE for large aggregates (4–8 and 8–16 mm) but not for small aggregates (1–2 and 2–4 mm). Increased biochar application also decreased the friability index of soil aggregates. Based on X-ray visualization, it was found that aggregates containing larger amounts...

  7. Biochar derived from corn straw affected availability and distribution of soil nutrients and cotton yield

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tian, Xiaofei; Zhang, Min; Wan, Yongshan; Xie, Zhihua; Chen, Baocheng; Li, Wenqing

    2018-01-01

    Biochar application as a soil amendment has been proposed as a strategy to improve soil fertility and increase crop yields. However, the effects of successive biochar applications on cotton yields and nutrient distribution in soil are not well documented. A three-year field study was conducted to investigate the effects of successive biochar applications at different rates on cotton yield and on the soil nutrient distribution in the 0–100 cm soil profile. Biochar was applied at 0, 5, 10, and 20 t ha-1 (expressed as Control, BC5, BC10, and BC20, respectively) for each cotton season, with identical doses of chemical fertilizers. Biochar enhanced the cotton lint yield by 8.0–15.8%, 9.3–13.9%, and 9.2–21.9% in 2013, 2014, and 2015, respectively, and high levels of biochar application achieved high cotton yields each year. Leaching of soil nitrate was reduced, while the pH values, soil organic carbon, total nitrogen (N), and available K content of the 0–20 cm soil layer were increased in 2014 and 2015. However, the changes in the soil available P content were less substantial. This study suggests that successive biochar amendments have the potential to enhance cotton productivity and soil fertility while reducing nitrate leaching. PMID:29324750

  8. Biochar derived from corn straw affected availability and distribution of soil nutrients and cotton yield.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tian, Xiaofei; Li, Chengliang; Zhang, Min; Wan, Yongshan; Xie, Zhihua; Chen, Baocheng; Li, Wenqing

    2018-01-01

    Biochar application as a soil amendment has been proposed as a strategy to improve soil fertility and increase crop yields. However, the effects of successive biochar applications on cotton yields and nutrient distribution in soil are not well documented. A three-year field study was conducted to investigate the effects of successive biochar applications at different rates on cotton yield and on the soil nutrient distribution in the 0-100 cm soil profile. Biochar was applied at 0, 5, 10, and 20 t ha-1 (expressed as Control, BC5, BC10, and BC20, respectively) for each cotton season, with identical doses of chemical fertilizers. Biochar enhanced the cotton lint yield by 8.0-15.8%, 9.3-13.9%, and 9.2-21.9% in 2013, 2014, and 2015, respectively, and high levels of biochar application achieved high cotton yields each year. Leaching of soil nitrate was reduced, while the pH values, soil organic carbon, total nitrogen (N), and available K content of the 0-20 cm soil layer were increased in 2014 and 2015. However, the changes in the soil available P content were less substantial. This study suggests that successive biochar amendments have the potential to enhance cotton productivity and soil fertility while reducing nitrate leaching.

  9. Review on utilization of biochar for metal-contaminated soil and sediment remediation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Mingming; Zhu, Yi; Cheng, Lirong; Andserson, Bruce; Zhao, Xiaohui; Wang, Dayang; Ding, Aizhong

    2018-01-01

    Biochar is a carbon-neutral or even carbon-negative material produced through thermal decomposition of plant- and animal-based biomass under oxygen-limited conditions. Recently, there has been an increasing interest in the application of biochar as an adsorbent, soil ameliorant and climate mitigation approach in many types of applications. Metal-contaminated soil remediation using biochar has been intensively investigated in small-scale and pilot-scale trials with obtained beneficial results and multifaceted effects. But so far, the study and application of biochar in contaminated sediment management has been very limited, and this is also a worldwide problem. Nonetheless, there is reason to believe that the same multiple benefits can also be realized with these sediments due to similar mechanisms for stabilizing contaminants. This paper provides a review on current biochar properties and its use as a sorbent/amendment for metal-contaminated soil/sediment remediation and its effect on plant growth, fauna habits as well as microorganism communities. In addition, the use of biochar as a potential strategy for contaminated sediment management is also discussed, especially as regards in-situ planning. Finally, we highlight the possibility of biochar application as an effective amendment and propose further research directions to ensure the safe and sustainable use of biochar as an amendment for remediation of contaminated soil and sediment. Copyright © 2017. Published by Elsevier B.V.

  10. Characterisation of agricultural waste-derived biochars and their sorption potential for sulfamethoxazole in pasture soil: A spectroscopic investigation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Srinivasan, Prakash; Sarmah, Ajit K.

    2015-01-01

    We investigated the effects of feedstock type and pyrolysis temperatures on the sorptive potential of a model pastoral soil amended with biochars for sulfamethoxazole (SMO), using laboratory batch sorption studies. The results indicated that high temperature chars exhibited enhanced adsorptive potential, compared to low temperature chars. Pine sawdust (PSD) biochar produced at 700 °C using the steam gasification process exhibited the highest sorptive capacity (2-fold greater than the control treatment) for SMO among the three biochars used. Soils amended with green waste (GW) biochars produced at three different pyrolysis temperatures showed a small increase in SMO sorption with the increases in temperature. The NMR spectra, the elemental molar ratios (H/C, O/C) and polarity index (O + N)/C of the biochars revealed that PSD biochar possessed the highest degree of aromatic condensation compared to CC and GW chars. These results correlated well with the sorption affinity of each biochar, with effective distribution coefficient (K d eff ) being highest for PSD and lowest for GW biochars. X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy results for the biochars showed a relatively large difference in oxygen containing surface functional groups amongst the GW biochars. However, they exhibited nearly identical sorption affinity to SMO, indicating negligible role of oxygen containing surface functional groups on SMO sorption. These observations provide important information on the use of biochars as engineered sorbents for environmental applications, such as reducing the bioavailability of antibiotics and/or predicting the fate of sulfonamides in biochar-amended soils. - Highlights: • High temperature chars showed enhanced adsorptive potential, compared to low temperature chars. • Oxygen containing acidic functional groups of biochar play negligible role in sorption. • Biochar properties like specific surface area and aromaticity enhanced its sorption capacity. • Amendment of

  11. Stabilizing effect of biochar on soil extracellular enzymes after a denaturing stress.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Elzobair, Khalid A; Stromberger, Mary E; Ippolito, James A

    2016-01-01

    Stabilizing extracellular enzymes may maintain enzymatic activity while protecting enzymes from proteolysis and denaturation. A study determined whether a fast pyrolysis hardwood biochar (CQuest™) would reduce evaporative losses, subsequently stabilizing soil extracellular enzymes and prohibiting potential enzymatic activity loss following a denaturing stress (microwaving). Soil was incubated in the presence of biochar (0%, 1%, 2%, 5%, or 10% by wt.) for 36 days and then exposed to microwave energies (0, 400, 800, 1600, or 3200 J g(-1) soil). Soil enzymes (β-glucosidase, β-d-cellobiosidase, N-acetyl-β-glucosaminidase, phosphatase, leucine aminopeptidase, β-xylosidase) were analyzed by fluorescence-based assays. Biochar amendment reduced leucine aminopeptidase and β-xylosidase potential activity after the incubation period and prior to stress exposure. The 10% biochar rate reduced soil water loss at the lowest stress level (400 J microwave energy g(-1) soil). Enzyme stabilization was demonstrated for β-xylosidase; intermediate biochar application rates prevented a complete loss of this enzyme's potential activity after soil was exposed to 400 (1% biochar treatment) or 1600 (5% biochar treatment) J microwave energy g(-1) soil. Remaining enzyme potential activities were not affected by biochar, and activities decreased with increasing stress levels. We concluded that biochar has the potential to reduce evaporative soil water losses and stabilize certain extracellular enzymes where activity is maintained after a denaturing stress; this effect was biochar rate and enzyme dependent. While biochar may reduce the potential activity of certain soil extracellular enzymes, this phenomenon was not universal as the majority of enzymes assayed in this study were unaffected by exposure to biochar. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  12. Impact of biochar application on nitrogen nutrition of rice, greenhouse-gas emissions and soil organic carbon dynamics in two paddy soils of China

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Xie, Zubin; Xu, Yanping; Liu, Gang; Liu, Qi; Zhu, Jianguo; Tu, Cong; Amonette, James E.; Cadisch, Georg; Yong, Jean W.; Hu, Shuijin

    2013-09-01

    Two field microcosm experiments and 15N labeling techniques were used to investigate the first-year effects of biochar addition on rice N nutrition and GHG emissions in an Inceptisol and an Ultisol. Biochar N bioavailability and effect of biochar on fertilizer nitrogen-use efficiency (NUE) were studied by 15N-enriched wheat biochar (7.8803 atom% 15N) and fertilizer urea (5 atom% 15N) (Experiment I). Corn biochar and corn stalks were applied at 12 Mg ha-1 to study their effects on GHG emissions (Experiment II). Biochar had no significant impact on rice production and less than 2% of the biochar N was available to plants in the first season. Biochar addition increased soil C and N contents and decreased urea NUE.. Seasonal cumulative CH4 emissions with biochar were similar to the controls, but significantly lower than the local practice of straw amendment. Soil emissions of N2O with biochar amendment were similar to the control in the acidic Ultisol, but significantly higher in the slightly alkaline Inceptisol. Carbon-balance calculations found no major losses of biochar-C. Low bio-availability of biochar N did not make a significant impact on rice production or N nutrition during the first year.. Replacement of straw amendments with biochar could decrease CH4 emissions and increase SOC stocks.

  13. Effects of poultry litter biochar on soil enzyme activities and tomato, pepper and lettuce plants growth

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Muhittin Onur Akça

    2015-07-01

    Full Text Available Biochar application to soils is being considered as a means to sequester carbon (C while concurrently improving soil functions. A greenhouse experiment was carried out to determine the effects of biochar from the pyrolysis poultry litter (PL on the soil enzyme activities, organic matter content and growth of tomato, pepper and lettuce plants. In the experiment, the combination of 15.15.15 composite fertilizer with 0, 200, 400 and 600kg/da doses of PL biochar were applied into the clay loam soil. Compared to the control and chemical fertilizer alone, the soil organic matter was significantly increased after biochar amendments. β-glucosidase, alkaline phosphatase, urease and arylsulphatase enzyme activities in soils were increased by the biochar applications significantly (P<0.05. Plant fresh and dry weight of tomato, pepper and lettuce plants were higher in 4kg/ha PL biochar treatment than in the other treatments. The results showed that PL biochar amendment to soils in the agricultural use increased yield of plants and enzyme activities with increasing soil organic matter content as well as improving soil properties.

  14. Sulfate sorption on rape (Brassica campestris L.) straw biochar, loess soil and a biochar-soil mixture.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhao, Baowei; Nan, Xujun; Xu, Huan; Zhang, Tao; Ma, Fengfeng

    2017-10-01

    The effects of biochar amendment on sulfur behavior in soils are unknown. In this paper, sulfate (SO 4 2- ) sorption on rape (Brassica campestris L.) straw biochar produced at 600 °C (BC), loess soil (soil) and a 1:9 (w/w) biochar-soil mixture (BC-soil) was investigated by batch experiments. The effects of contact time, initial SO 4 2- concentration, temperature and solution pH value on sorption were tested. Kinetics, isotherms and thermodynamics for sorption were investigated. Pre- and post-sorption characterizations of BC and soil were respectively studied using Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) and X-ray diffraction (XRD) spectroscopy, respectively. It has been shown that SO 4 2- sorption on three sorbents was well described by pseudo-second-order kinetic model. The sorption isotherms could be fitted using Langmuir and Freundlich models. BC amendment did not increase the sorption capacity of soil for SO 4 2- . The values of ΔG 0 , ΔH 0 and ΔS 0 indicated that the nature of sorption was spontaneous, endothermic and feasible. Increasing solution pH value led to a slight reduction in the sorption amount of SO 4 2- . Sulfate was mainly sorbed onto BC through electrostatic interaction, whereas onto the soil via electrostatic interaction and formation of poorly soluble CaSO 4 . Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  15. Effects of biochar, compost and biochar-compost on growth and nutrient status of maize in two Mediterranean soils

    Science.gov (United States)

    Manolikaki, Ioanna; Diamadopoulos, Evan

    2017-04-01

    During the past years, studies have shown that biochar alone or combined with compost, has the potential to improve soil fertility and maize yield mostly on tropical soils whereas experiments on Mediterranean soils are rare. Therefore, the influence of biochar, compost and mixtures of the two, on maize (Zea mays L.) growth and nutrient status were investigated, in this study. Biochars were produced from 2 feedstocks: grape pomace (GP) and rice husks (RH) pyrolyzed at 300°C. Maize was grown for 30 days in a greenhouse pot trial on two Mediterranean soils amended with biochar or/with compost at application rates of 0% and 2% (w/w) (equivalent to 0 and 16 t ha-1) and N fertilization. Total aboveground dry matter yield of maize was significantly improved relative to the control for all organic amendments, with increases in yield 43-60.8%, in sandy loam soil, while, in loam soil a statistically significant increase of 70.6-81.3% was recorded for all the amendments apart from compost. Some morphological traits, such as aboveground height of plants, shoot diameter and belowground dry matter yield were significantly increased by the organic treatments. Aboveground concentration of P was significantly increased from 1.46 mg g-1 at control to 1.69 mg g-1 at 2% GP biochar in sandy loam soil, whereas GP biochar combined with compost gave an increase of 2.03 mg g-1 compared to control 1.23 mg g-1. K and Mn concentrations of above ground tissues were significantly increased only in sandy loam soil, while Fe in both soils. N concentration of aboveground tissues declined for all the amendments in loam soil and in sandy loam soil apart from compost amendment. Significant positive impacts of amended soils on nutrients uptake were observed in both soils as compared to the control related to the improved dry matter yield of plant. The current study demonstrated that maize production could be greatly improved by biochar and compost because of the nutrients they supply and their

  16. Impact of wheat straw biochar addition to soil on the sorption, leaching, dissipation of the herbicide (4-chloro-2-methylphenoxy)acetic acid and the growth of sunflower (Helianthus annuus L.).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tatarková, Veronika; Hiller, Edgar; Vaculík, Marek

    2013-06-01

    Biochar addition to agricultural soils might increase the sorption of herbicides, and therefore, affect other sorption-related processes such as leaching, dissipation and toxicity for plants. In this study, the impact of wheat straw biochar on the sorption, leaching and dissipation in a soil, and toxicity for sunflower of (4-chloro-2-methylphenoxy)acetic acid (MCPA), a commonly used ionizable herbicide, was investigated. The results showed that MCPA sorption by biochar and biochar-amended soil (1.0wt% biochar) was 82 and 2.53 times higher than that by the non-amended soil, respectively. However, desorption of MCPA from biochar-amended soil was only 1.17 times lower than its desorption in non-amended soil. Biochar addition to soil reduced both MCPA leaching and dissipation. About 35% of the applied MCPA was transported through biochar-amended soil, while up to 56% was recovered in the leachates transported through non-amended soil. The half-life value of MCPA increased from 5.2d in non-amended soil to 21.5 d in biochar-amended soil. Pot experiments with sunflower (Helianthus annuus L.) grown in MCPA-free, but biochar-amended soil showed no positive effect of biochar on the growth of sunflower in comparison to the non-amended soil. However, biochar itself significantly reduced the content of photosynthetic pigments (chlorophyll a, b) in sunflower. There was no significant difference in the phytotoxic effects of MCPA on sunflowers between the biochar-amended soil and the non-amended soil. Furthermore, MCPA had no effect on the photosynthetic pigment contents in sunflower. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  17. Biochar reduces yield-scaled emissions of reactive nitrogen gases from vegetable soils across China

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fan, Changhua; Chen, Hao; Li, Bo; Xiong, Zhengqin

    2017-06-01

    Biochar amendment to soil has been proposed as a strategy for sequestering carbon, mitigating climate change and enhancing crop productivity. However, few studies have compared the general effect of different feedstock-derived biochars on the various gaseous reactive nitrogen emissions (GNrEs) of N2O, NO and NH3 simultaneously across the typical vegetable soils in China. A greenhouse pot experiment with five consecutive vegetable crops was conducted to investigate the effects of two contrasting biochars, namely wheat straw biochar (Bw) and swine manure biochar (Bm) on GNrEs, vegetable yield and gaseous reactive nitrogen intensity (GNrI) in four typical soils which are representative of the intensive vegetable cropping systems across mainland China: an Acrisol from Hunan Province, an Anthrosol from Shanxi Province, a Cambisol from Shandong Province and a Phaeozem from Heilongjiang Province. Results showed that remarkable GNrE mitigation induced by biochar occurred in Anthrosol and Phaeozem, whereas enhancement of yield occurred in Cambisol and Phaeozem. Additionally, both biochars decreased GNrI through reducing N2O and NO emissions by 36.4-59.1 and 37.0-49.5 % for Bw (except for Cambisol), respectively, and by improving yield by 13.5-30.5 % for Bm (except for Acrisol and Anthrosol). Biochar amendments generally stimulated the NH3 emissions with greater enhancement from Bm than Bw. We can infer that the biochar's effects on the GNrEs and vegetable yield strongly depend on the attributes of the soil and biochar. Therefore, in order to achieve the maximum benefits under intensive greenhouse vegetable agriculture, both soil type and biochar characteristics should be seriously considered before conducting large-scale biochar applications.

  18. Biochar in Co-Contaminated Soil Manipulates Arsenic Solubility and Microbiological Community Structure, and Promotes Organochlorine Degradation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gregory, Samuel J.; Anderson, Christopher W. N.; Camps-Arbestain, Marta; Biggs, Patrick J.; Ganley, Austen R. D.; O’Sullivan, Justin M.; McManus, Michael T.

    2015-01-01

    We examined the effect of biochar on the water-soluble arsenic (As) concentration and the extent of organochlorine degradation in a co-contaminated historic sheep-dip soil during a 180-d glasshouse incubation experiment. Soil microbial activity, bacterial community and structure diversity were also investigated. Biochar made from willow feedstock (Salix sp) was pyrolysed at 350 or 550°C and added to soil at rates of 10 g kg-1 and 20 g kg-1 (representing 30 t ha-1 and 60 t ha-1). The isomers of hexachlorocyclohexane (HCH) alpha-HCH and gamma-HCH (lindane), underwent 10-fold and 4-fold reductions in concentration as a function of biochar treatment. Biochar also resulted in a significant reduction in soil DDT levels (P biochar treatments after 60 days of treatment compared to the control. 16S amplicon sequencing revealed that biochar-amended soil contained more members of the Chryseobacterium, Flavobacterium, Dyadobacter and Pseudomonadaceae which are known bioremediators of hydrocarbons. We hypothesise that a recorded short-term reduction in the soluble As concentration due to biochar amendment allowed native soil microbial communities to overcome As-related stress. We propose that increased microbiological activity (dehydrogenase activity) due to biochar amendment was responsible for enhanced degradation of organochlorines in the soil. Biochar therefore partially overcame the co-contaminant effect of As, allowing for enhanced natural attenuation of organochlorines in soil. PMID:25923541

  19. Crafting biochars to reduce N2O and CO2 emissions while also improving soil quality

    Science.gov (United States)

    Novak, Jeff; Ippolito, Jim; Spokas, Kurt; Sigua, Gilbert; Kammann, Claudia; Wrage-Monnig, Nicole; Borchard, Nils; Schirrmann, Michael; Estavillo, Jose Maria; Fuertes-Mendizabal, Teresa; Menendez, Sergio; Cayuela, Maria Luz

    2017-04-01

    Biochar used as an amendment has been linked to nitrous oxide (N2O) emission reductions, a decrease in nitrogen (N) leaching, and soil quality improvements (e.g., soil carbon sequestration, pH, etc.). While numerous articles will support these three facts, conversely, there are reports of no to marginal influences. One reason for the mixed biochar performance could be related to applying biochar with incorrect chemical and physical characteristics. As a means to increase biochar efficiency, we introduced the concept of crafting biochars with properties attuned to specific soil deficiencies. Implementing this concept requires a literature review to identify salient biochar characteristics that reduces N2O emissions, impacts N availability, while also improving soil quality. Thus, scientists from the USDA-ARS and through a coalition of European scientists under the FACCE-JPI umbrella have conceived the DesignChar4food (d4f) project. In this project, scientists are working collaboratively to further this concept to match the appropriate biochar for selective soil quality improvement, retain N for crops, and promote greenhouse gas reductions. This presentation will highlight results from the d4f team compromising a meta-analysis of articles on biochar:N2O dynamics, N availability, and how designer biochars can target specific soil quality improvements.

  20. Effects of biochar on soil microbial biomass after four years of consecutive application in the north China Plain.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Qing-zhong Zhang

    Full Text Available The long term effect of biochar application on soil microbial biomass is not well understood. We measured soil microbial biomass carbon (MBC and nitrogen (MBN in a field experiment during a winter wheat growing season after four consecutive years of no (CK, 4.5 (B4.5 and 9.0 t biochar ha(-1 yr(-1 (B9.0 applied. For comparison, a treatment with wheat straw residue incorporation (SR was also included. Results showed that biochar application increased soil MBC significantly compared to the CK treatment, and that the effect size increased with biochar application rate. The B9.0 treatment showed the same effect on MBC as the SR treatment. Treatments effects on soil MBN were less strong than for MBC. The microbial biomass C∶N ratio was significantly increased by biochar. Biochar might decrease the fraction of biomass N mineralized (KN, which would make the soil MBN for biochar treatments underestimated, and microbial biomass C∶N ratios overestimated. Seasonal fluctuation in MBC was less for biochar amended soils than for CK and SR treatments, suggesting that biochar induced a less extreme environment for microorganisms throughout the season. There was a significant positive correlation between MBC and soil water content (SWC, but there was no significant correlation between MBC and soil temperature. Biochar amendments may therefore reduce temporal variability in environmental conditions for microbial growth in this system thereby reducing temporal fluctuations in C and N dynamics.

  1. Effects of Biochar on Soil Microbial Biomass after Four Years of Consecutive Application in the North China Plain

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Qing-zhong; Dijkstra, Feike A.; Liu, Xing-ren; Wang, Yi-ding; Huang, Jian; Lu, Ning

    2014-01-01

    The long term effect of biochar application on soil microbial biomass is not well understood. We measured soil microbial biomass carbon (MBC) and nitrogen (MBN) in a field experiment during a winter wheat growing season after four consecutive years of no (CK), 4.5 (B4.5) and 9.0 t biochar ha−1 yr−1 (B9.0) applied. For comparison, a treatment with wheat straw residue incorporation (SR) was also included. Results showed that biochar application increased soil MBC significantly compared to the CK treatment, and that the effect size increased with biochar application rate. The B9.0 treatment showed the same effect on MBC as the SR treatment. Treatments effects on soil MBN were less strong than for MBC. The microbial biomass C∶N ratio was significantly increased by biochar. Biochar might decrease the fraction of biomass N mineralized (K N), which would make the soil MBN for biochar treatments underestimated, and microbial biomass C∶N ratios overestimated. Seasonal fluctuation in MBC was less for biochar amended soils than for CK and SR treatments, suggesting that biochar induced a less extreme environment for microorganisms throughout the season. There was a significant positive correlation between MBC and soil water content (SWC), but there was no significant correlation between MBC and soil temperature. Biochar amendments may therefore reduce temporal variability in environmental conditions for microbial growth in this system thereby reducing temporal fluctuations in C and N dynamics. PMID:25025330

  2. Biochar degradation in different soils

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilske, B.; Bai, M.; Eckhardt, C.; Kammann, C.; Kraft, P.; Bach, M.; Frede, H.-G.; Breuer, L.

    2012-04-01

    Current expectations in biochar products (BC) are numerous, e.g., including improved soil fertility & plant growth, support to combat desertification, and an increase in the carbon sequestration of soils. Costs for biochar production & application must be covered by a positive budget of benefits, which may crucially depend on the residence time (or half life T1/2, yr) of BC in soils. The objective of the present study was to assess the biodegradation rates of BC in different soils by means of a cost-efficient and standardized laboratory method. Investigated BC were from the source material of the C4 plant Miscanthus, and converted via (1) pyrolysis (pyrBC) and (2) hydrothermal carbonization (htcBC). The high-labelling of the educt allowed the quantification of degradation by measurement of the 13CO2 efflux. The pyrBC and htcBC were mixed with four different agricultural soils ranging in texture from sand to loam and in soil organic carbon (SOC) from 0.63% to 2.53%. Four samples of each BC-soil combination (1% BC wt/wt in a 300-g sample mixture) and soil-only reference were incubated in 1-L glass bottles at 40% water holding capacity and 25° C. Biodegradation of BC was monitored weekly over a period of 7 months using an automated open-dynamic chamber system. The system couples the batch of samples to microprocessor- controlled valves, by which flushing is provided for the batch, while individual samples are consecutively connected through to a wavelength scan cavity ring down spectrometer (WS-CRDS). Net 13CO2 efflux from BC was obtained by subtracting the 13CO2 efflux from "soil-only" samples. T1/2 was calculated based on the ln(k)-based algorithm recently suggested by Zimmerman et al. (2010). Results show an orders-of-magnitude larger T1/2 of BC in poor sandy soil than in SOC-richer soils (T1/2 up to 106 yrs) but not a statistically clear trend of biodegradability along the four-point SOC gradient. This was similar in both BC types, although T1/2 was generally

  3. Effects of biochar produced from different feedstocks on soil properties and sunflower growth

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alburquerque, J. A.; Calero, J. M.; Villar, R.; Barrón, V.; Torrent, J.; del Campillo, M. C.; Gallardo, A.

    2012-04-01

    The use of biochar obtained from biomass pyrolysis as a soil amendment has potential benefits, such as reduction in gas emissions, increase in soil carbon sequestration and improvements in soil fertility and crop yield. These constitute a great incentive for the implementation of biochar-based strategies, which could contribute to improvement of the sustainability of agricultural systems. However, to date, the results of research studies show great variability as a result of differences in both the raw materials and the pyrolysis conditions used to produce biochar, as well as in the experimental setting (crop, soil type, pedo-climatic conditions, etc.). The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of five types of biochar produced from representative agricultural and forestry wastes (olive husk, almond shell, wheat straw, pine woodchips and olive tree prunings), and applied to soil at different rates, on soil properties and sunflower (Helianthus annuus L.) growth. The biochars had a high organic matter content, alkaline pH, variable soluble salt content and non-phytotoxic properties. The addition of biochar to soil increased pH, electrical conductivity and water retention capacity, and decreased soil bulk density compared to control (unamended soil). However, these effects differed depending on biochar type. In contrast, no consistent effects on sunflower growth variables were observed due to the addition of biochar: increases were observed in some variables (plant dry weight, leaf area and height), but these increases were, in general, not statistically significant when compared to the unamended soil. This can be explained by the nature of biochar, being rich in carbon but relatively poor in nutrients. In summary, our results indicate that biochar is capable of improving soil properties which can impact positively on soil-plant water relations, without negative effects on sunflower growth, and therefore it is suitable for use as a long-term carbon sink in

  4. Biochar reduces N2O emissions from soils: A meta-analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schirrmann, Michael; Cayuela, Maria Luz; Fuertes-Mendizábal, Teresa; Estavillo, José-María; Ippolito, Jim; Spokas, Kurt; Novak, Jeff; Kammann, Claudia; Wrage-Mönnig, Nicole; Borchard, Nils

    2017-04-01

    Global efforts to mitigate climate change and to increase food security are challenging. Technologies that reduce greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture while increasing crop yields simultaneously are not well characterized for their efficiency. For instance, biochar used to sequester carbon and to increase crop yields also alters the soil nitrogen cycle. This in turn affects N2O emissions from soil, where N2O has a higher global warming potential than emitted CO2. However, the mechanisms of biochar regarding the N2O emission process are not well understood due to complex interactions between soil organic and inorganic materials and their impact on the physical soil structure. To further understand the complex relationship, a single experimental study may not provide critical answers. Therefore, we conducted a meta-analysis by reviewing literature published between 2010 and 2016 that focused on N2O emission from soils amended with biochars. A meta-analysis is a quantitative technique that allows estimating an overall treatment effect from many divergent research experiments. In our case, we included 92 publications that contained a total of 437 comparisons between biochar treated soils and biochar non-treated soils. We used a random effects model and bootstrapping with 1000 intervals to estimate the general percentage increase or decrease of N2O emission through biochar amendment. Our results showed that biochar treatment leads to a significant decrease of N2O emissions between 33% and 45%. This promising result highlights the need to increase investigations to more fully assess (i) the multitude of mechanisms involved in the observed N2O emission reductions such as soil pH changes, alterations in the soil microbial community and soil N cycling, a shift in the ratio of denitrifier end products (N2O/(N2O+N2) ratio) or nitrate capture by biochar particles, and (ii) the impact of biochar characteristics, soil properties and land use types on the multiple mechanisms

  5. Biochar Soil Additions Affect Herbicide Fate: Importance of Application Timing and Feedstock Species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gámiz, Beatriz; Velarde, Pilar; Spokas, Kurt A; Hermosín, M Carmen; Cox, Lucía

    2017-04-19

    Biochar (BC), solid biomass subjected to pyrolysis, can alter the fate of pesticides in soil. We investigated the effect of soil amendment with several biochars on the efficacy of two herbicides, clomazone (CMZ) and bispyribac sodium (BYP). To this aim, we evaluated CMZ and BYP sorption, persistence, and leaching in biochar-amended soil. Sorption of CMZ and BYP was greater in soil amended with BC produced at high temperature (700 °C). Significant sorption of the neutral CMZ herbicide also occurred in amended soil with BC prepared at low temperature (350 and 500 °C). For both herbicides, desorption possessed higher hysteretic behavior in soil amended with BC made at 700 °C (pyrolysis temperature). Dissipation of CMZ was enhanced after addition of BCs to soil, but no correlation between persistence and sorption was observed. Persistence of BYP was up to 3 times greater when BC made at 700 °C was added to soil. All BCs suppressed the leaching of CMZ and BYP as compared to the unamended soil. Amendment with 700 °C BC inhibited the action of CMZ against weeds, but 350 and 500 °C BCs had no such effect when added to soil. BYP activity was similar to that exhibited by unamended soil after the addition of 700 °C BC. From these results, biochar amendments can be a successful strategy to reduce the environmental impact of CMZ and BYP in soil. However, the phytotoxicity of soil-applied herbicides will depend on BC sorption characteristics and the pesticide's chemical properties, as well as the pesticide application timing (e.g., pre- or postemergence). According to our results, proper biochar screening with intended pesticides in light of the application mode (pre- or postemergence) is required prior to use to ensure adequate efficacy.

  6. Application of fast pyrolysis biochar to a loamy soil - Effects on carbon and nitrogen dynamics and potential for carbon sequestration

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bruun, E.W.

    2011-05-15

    of FP-biochar (10 wt%) in a sandy loam soil improved the water holding capacity (WHC) by 32 %, while the SP-biochar reference only increased it moderately. Moreover, soil amendment of FP-biochar caused immobilization of considerable amounts of soil N, whereas SP-biochar resulted in a net mineralization of N after two months of soil incubation. Nitrogen immobilisation can be detrimental to crop yields, as shown in a Barley pot trial in this thesis, but may, on the other hand, constitute an advantage during e.g. fallow periods by preventing N leaching. Moreover, when it comes to the mobility of biochar in soil, FP-biochars acted considerably differently to SP-biochar. FP-biochar contained highly mobile carbon components (nm-scale), which followed the downward movement of water. By contrast, C components from slow pyrolysis biochar were retained in the topsoil. In summary, the research of this thesis shows that, compared to its more inert 'traditional biochar counter-part' made by slow pyrolysis, FP-biochar, in a number of ways, acts more like the original organic matter feedstock when added to soil. Yet, on the longer term the effects are likely a transient phenomenon, as the labile part is used up after a few months, leaving a much more recalcitrant FP-biochar. It is still too early to recommend - or discourage - FP-biochar for agronomic use, since field trials are needed in order to verify potential benefits or drawbacks on soil fertility and crop yields. However, this thesis has improved the mechanistic understanding of the effects of applying FP-biochar to soil, and shows that wheat-straw FP-biochar has properties beneficial for agricultural soil, e.g. it improves soil WHC, adds minerals, enhances microbial activity/biomass, and increases the N and C turnover dynamics. (Author)

  7. Soil water retention, air flow and pore structure characteristics after corn cob biochar application to a tropical sandy loam

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Amoakwah, Emmanuel; Frimpong, Kwame Agyei; Okae-Anti, D

    2017-01-01

    Soil structure is a key soil physical property that affects soil water balance, gas transport, plant growth and development, and ultimately plant yield. Biochar has received global recognition as a soil amendment with the potential to ameliorate the structure of degraded soils. We investigated how...... corn cob biochar contributed to changes in soil water retention, air flow by convection and diffusion, and derived soil structure indices in a tropical sandy loam. Intact soil cores were taken from a field experiment that had plots without biochar (CT), and plots each with 10 t ha− 1 (BC-10), 20 t ha...... to significant increase in soil water retention compared to the CT and BC-10 as a result of increased microporosity (pores biochar had minimal impact. No significant influence of biochar was observed for ka and Dp/D0 for the BC treatments compared to the CT despite...

  8. Impact of activated carbon, biochar and compost on the desorption and mineralization of phenanthrene in soil

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Marchal, Geoffrey; Smith, Kilian E.C.; Rein, Arno; Winding, Anne; Wollensen de Jonge, Lis; Trapp, Stefan; Karlson, Ulrich G.

    2013-01-01

    Sorption of PAHs to carbonaceous soil amendments reduces their dissolved concentrations, limiting toxicity but also potentially biodegradation. Therefore, the maximum abiotic desorption of freshly sorbed phenanthrene (≤5 mg kg −1 ) was measured in three soils amended with activated carbon (AC), biochar or compost. Total amounts of phenanthrene desorbed were similar between the different soils, but the amendment type had a large influence. Complete desorption was observed in the unamended and compost amended soils, but this reduced for biochar (41% desorbed) and AC (8% desorbed). Cumulative amounts mineralized were 28% for the unamended control, 19% for compost, 13% for biochar and 4% for AC. Therefore, the effects of the amendments in soil in reducing desorption were also reflected in the extents of mineralization. Modeling was used to analyze key processes, indicating that for the AC and charcoal treatments bacterial activity did not limit mineralization, but rather desorption into the dissolved phase. -- Highlights: •Phenanthrene desorption and mineralization compared in soils with activated carbon, charcoal or compost. •Only activated charcoal and biochar hindered both desorption and mineralization. •A linear relationship was found between the extents desorbed and mineralized. •Modelling indicated that bacterial activity was not limiting but that desorption was. -- Extraction into an exhaustive silicone sink measures the maximum phenanthrene desorption from soils with amendments, and this is reflected in the extent of mineralization

  9. Effect of low dosage biochar amendment on plant physiology parameters of sunflowers

    Science.gov (United States)

    María De la Rosa, José; Paneque, Marina; Franco-Navarro, Juan D.; Colmenero-Flores, José Manuel; Knicker, Heike

    2017-04-01

    Four different biochars were used as organic ameliorants in a typical agricultural soil of the Mediterranean region a (Calcic Cambisol). This field study was performed with plants of sunflower (Helianthus annuus L.) at the experimental station "La Hampa", located in the Guadalquivir river valley (SW Spain). The soil was amended with doses equivalent to 1.5 and 15 t ha-1 of the four biochars in two independent plantations. In addition, un-amended plots were prepared for comparison purposes 1. This study showed that the amendment with 1.5 t biochar ha-1 did not modify significantly soil properties, or the agronomic productivity of sunflowers. However, in spite of this low dose of biochar, positive effects on plant physiology were observed. The efficiency of Photosystem-II (quantum yield (QYPSII)), is a stress marker, related to the water status of the plant, and is reduced under drought stress. The QYPSII values of the plants grown with 1.5 t biochar ha-1 were higher than in the control and ranged between 72 and 77%. Values between 70 and 80% correspond to non-stressed (well-watered) sunflower plants. Biochar reduced stomatal conductance (gs, leaf transpiration) in both treatments. Therefore, the dependence of agronomic productivity on biochar dose was not observed, since both doses resulted in similar gs reductions. In C3 plants, such as sunflower, an increase of leaf area (LA) is usually associated to a decrease of gs caused by a reduction of stomatal frequency and increases the water use efficiency and drought tolerance 2. However, here no clear correlation could be established between biochar-induced LA stimulation and gs response after application of biochar. Thus, gs reduction was evident but not a consequence of LA increase. We hypothesize that biochar addition to soils alters anatomical and/or physiological parameters of the plants that in turn reduces stomatal conductance and increases water use efficiency of sunflower plants. After the last rain, increasing

  10. Mycorrhizal responses to biochar in soil-concepts and mechanisms.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Warnock, D.D.; Lehmann, J.; Kuyper, T.W.; Rillig, M.C.

    2007-01-01

    Experiments suggest that biomass-derived black carbon (biochar) affects microbial populations and soil biogeochemistry. Both biochar and mycorrhizal associations, ubiquitous symbioses in terrestrial ecosystems, are potentially important in various ecosystem services provided by soils, contributing

  11. In situ application of activated carbon and biochar to PCB-contaminated soil and the effects of mixing regime

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Denyes, Mackenzie J.; Rutter, Allison; Zeeb, Barbara A.

    2013-01-01

    The in situ use of carbon amendments such as activated carbon (AC) and biochar to minimize the bioavailability of organic contaminants is gaining in popularity. In the first in situ experiment conducted at a Canadian PCB-contaminated Brownfield site, GAC and two types of biochar were statistically equal at reducing PCB uptake into plants. PCB concentrations in Cucurbita pepo root tissue were reduced by 74%, 72% and 64%, with the addition of 2.8% GAC, Burt's biochar and BlueLeaf biochar, respectively. A complementary greenhouse study which included a bioaccumulation study of Eisenia fetida (earthworm), found mechanically mixing carbon amendments with PCB-contaminated soil (i.e. 24 h at 30 rpm) resulted in shoot, root and worm PCB concentrations 66%, 59% and 39% lower than in the manually mixed treatments (i.e. with a spade and bucket). Therefore, studies which mechanically mix carbon amendments with contaminated soil may over-estimate the short-term potential to reduce PCB bioavailability. Highlights: •Biochar and GAC reduced PCB uptake into plants and earthworms. •Biochar offered additional benefits, including increased plant and earthworm biomass. •BSAF reductions are greater when amendments are mechanically vs. manually mixed. •Mechanically mixing carbon amendments may over-estimate their remediation potential. -- In situ AC and biochar soil amendments perform equally well at reducing PCB uptake, however, laboratory-based mixing methods may exaggerate the sorptive capacities of both amendments

  12. Soil nitrogen retention over winter: biochar application increases total soil nitrogen retention, but increases nitrous oxide emissions when combined with severe freezing

    Science.gov (United States)

    Henry, H. A. L.; Zhou, Y.; Berruti, F.; Greenhalf, C.

    2016-12-01

    Soil freeze-thaw cycles can decrease soil nitrogen retention over winter by increasing nitrogen leaching and trace gas losses. Biochar as a soil amendment could mitigate these effects, but there nevertheless is often variation in the effectiveness of different biochar formulations with respect to soil nitrogen retention.We added 15N tracer to soil mesocosms to examine the effects of biochar produced under a series of pyrolysis temperatures (250-600oC) on soil nitrogen retention in response to variation in soil freeze-thaw cycle intensity (-10 oC vs. 0 oC following spring melt). We also examined the subsequent effects on plant nitrogen uptake by the test crop Arugula (Eruca sativa), soil nitrous oxide (N2O) emissions and nitrogen leaching losses. As we predicted, increased soil freezing increased inorganic nitrogen losses through leaching and decreased plant biomass the following growing season. Biochar amendment increased both soil 15N retention over winter and the subsequent plant 15N uptake, with the biochar generated at the highest temperature exhibiting the strongest effects on plant 15N uptake. Biochar addition also significantly mitigated the negative soil freezing effect on subsequent plant biomass. Nevertheless, biochar addition combined with freezing increased N2O emissions. Overall, our results confirm that biochar application can mitigate soil nitrogen losses over winter, although it may also interact with soil freezing to increase emissions of the greenhouse gas N2O.

  13. Biochar effects on wet and dry regions of the soil water retention curve of a sandy loam

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Arthur, Emmanuel; Moldrup, Per; Sun, Zhencai

    2014-01-01

    Reported beneficial effects of biochar on soil physical properties and processes include decreased soil density, and increased soil water transport, water holding capacity and retention (mainly for the wet region). Research is limited on biochar effects on the full soil water retention curve (wet...... and dry regions) for a given soil and biochar amendment scenarios. This study evaluates how biochar applied to a sandy loam field at rates from 0 to 50 Mg ha−1 yr–1 in 2011, 2012, or both years (2011+2012) influences the full water retention curve. Inorganic fertilizer and pig slurry were added to all...... treatments. Six months after the last biochar application, intact and disturbed soil samples were collected for analyses. Soil water retention was measured from −1 kPa to −100 kPa using tension tables and ceramic plates and from −10 MPa to −480 MPa using a Vapor Sorption Analyzer. Soil specific area...

  14. Properties of biochars from conventional and alternative feedstocks and their suitability for metal immobilization in industrial soil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gusiatin, Zygmunt Mariusz; Kurkowski, Radosław; Brym, Szczepan; Wiśniewski, Dariusz

    2016-11-01

    In contaminated soils, excessive concentrations of metals and their high mobility pose a serious environmental risk. A suitable soil amendment can minimize the negative effect of metals in soil. This study investigated the effect of different biochars on metal (Cu, Pb, Zn) immobilization in industrial soil. Biochars produced at 300 and 600 °C from conventional (MS, maize silage; WP, wooden pellets) and alternative (SC, sewage sludge compost; DR, digestate residue) feedstocks were used as soil amendments at a dosage of 10 % (w/w). The type of feedstock and pyrolysis temperature affected the properties of the biochars and their ability to immobilize metal in soil. Compared to production at 300 °C, all biochars produced at 600 °C had higher pH (6.2-10.7), content of ash (7.2-69.0 %) and fixed carbon (21.1-56.7 %), but lower content of volatile matter (9.7-37.2 %). All biochars except DR biochar had lower dissolved organic carbon (DOC) content (1.4-2.3 g C/L) when made at 600 °C. Only MS and SC biochars had higher cation exchange capacity (25.2 and 44.7 cmol/kg, respectively) after charring at 600 °C. All biochars contained low concentrations of Cd, Cu, Ni, Pb and Zn; Cd was volatilized to the greatest extent during pyrolysis. Based on FTIR analysis and molar ratios of H/C and O/C, biochars had a greater degree of carbonization and aromaticity after charring at 600 °C. The efficiency of the biochars in metal immobilization depended mainly on their pH, ash content, and concentration of DOC. SC and DR biochars were more effective for Cu and Zn immobilization than MS and WP biochars, which makes them attractive options for large-scale soil amendment.

  15. Manure biochar influence upon soil properties, phosphorus distribution and phosphatase activities: A microcosm incubation study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jin, Yi; Liang, Xinqiang; He, Miaomiao; Liu, Yu; Tian, Guangming; Shi, Jiyan

    2016-01-01

    Using manure-derived-biochar as an alternative phosphorus (P) source has bright future prospects to improve soil P status. A 98-day microcosm incubation experiment was set up for two soils which were amended with manure biochar at proportions of 0, 0.5% and 1.5%. Swine manure samples were air-dried and manure biochar was prepared by pyrolysis at 400 °C for 4 h. As determined by P-31 nuclear magnetic resonance ((31)P NMR) spectroscopy, manure biochar mainly increased the contents and fractions of orthophosphate and pyrophosphate in two soils, while decreased those of monoesters (P<0.05). At the end of incubation, 1.5% of manure biochar raised soil pH by 0.5 and 0.6 units, cation exchange capacity by 16.9% and 32.2%, and soil total P by 82.1% and 81.1% for silt loam and clay loam soils, respectively, as compared with those soils without biochar. Simultaneously, 1.5% of manure biochar decreased acid phosphomonoesterase activities by 18.6% and 34.0% for clay loam and silt loam, respectively; while it increased alkaline phosphomonoesterase activities by 28.5% and 95.1% for clay loam and silt loam, respectively. The enhancement of soil P availability after manure biochar addition was firstly due to the orthophosphate and pyrophosphate as the major P species in manure biochar which directly increased contents of soil inorganic P, and also attributed to the decomposition of some organic P like monoesters by enhanced alkaline phosphomonoesterase activities from manure biochar addition. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  16. Comparison of the effects of biochar and activating biochar application on selected soil properties

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dvořáčková, Helena; Záhora, Jaroslav; Elbl, Jakub; Kynický, Jindřich; Hladký, Jan; Brtnický, Martin

    2017-04-01

    In our experiment we worked with three different type of biochar. Biochar represents carbonized organic matter. Its influence on soil and plant grow strongly depend on feedstock and conditions during combusted process. Different types of biochar were compared by pot experiment: as substrate we used biochar from sewage sludge, biochar from residual biomass, activated biochar. Moreover two other variants were fertilized by digestate and mineral fertilizer - DAM 390 (mixture of ammonium and nitrate nitrogen). Lettuce Sativa L. was used as indicator plant and experiment was located in growth box. Activated biochar was prepared in water environment and activating took two weeks. Several studies have demonstrated that biochar can have toxic properties and its application to soil can negatively affect plant yield. This toxicity is cost by aromatic substances which are native part of biochar. The concentration of these substances depends especially on temperature during pyrolysis. Our aim was eliminate aromatic substance by application of biochar which were activated. The biomass production, mycorrhizal colonization and dehydrogenase enzymatic activity was determined after end of experiment. The significant differences in all parameters were found between conventional biochar and activating biochar. Above all we didn't found statistical different in dehydrogenase activity between all treatments except substrates with activated biochar where was activity third higher than in comparison with other variants. The presented results indicate that the production and use of activating biochar represents potential technology for decrease in toxicity of conventional biochar.

  17. Effect of biochars produced from solid organic municipal waste on soil quality parameters.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Randolph, P; Bansode, R R; Hassan, O A; Rehrah, Dj; Ravella, R; Reddy, M R; Watts, D W; Novak, J M; Ahmedna, M

    2017-05-01

    New value-added uses for solid municipal waste are needed for environmental and economic sustainability. Fortunately, value-added biochars can be produced from mixed solid waste, thereby addressing solid waste management issues, and enabling long-term carbon sequestration. We hypothesize that soil deficiencies can be remedied by the application of municipal waste-based biochars. Select municipal organic wastes (newspaper, cardboard, woodchips and landscaping residues) individually or in a 25% blend of all four waste streams were used as feedstocks of biochars. Three sets of pyrolysis temperatures (350, 500, and 750 °C) and 3 sets of pyrolysis residence time (2, 4 and 6 h) were used for biochar preparation. The biochar yield was in the range of 21-62% across all feedstocks and pyrolysis conditions. We observed variations in key biochar properties such as pH, electrical conductivity, bulk density and surface area depending on the feedstocks and production conditions. Biochar increased soil pH and improved its electrical conductivity, aggregate stability, water retention and micronutrient contents. Similarly, leachate from the soil amended with biochar showed increased pH and electrical conductivity. Some elements such as Ca and Mg decreased while NO 3 -N increased in the leachates of soils incubated with biochars. Overall, solid waste-based biochar produced significant improvements to soil fertility parameters indicating that solid municipal wastes hold promising potential as feedstocks for manufacturing value-added biochars with varied physicochemical characteristics, allowing them to not only serve the needs for solid waste management and greenhouse gas mitigation, but also as a resource for improving the quality of depleted soils. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  18. Inactivation of E.coli 0157:H7 in cultivable soil by fast and slow pyrolysis-generated biochars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Biochar is a byproduct of incomplete combustion of organic matter, producing a fine, grainy, highly porous material. Benefits of biochar production include generation of bio-fuels, useful soil amendments for fertilizing crops, binding heavy metals, sequestering environmental biocarbon, and reducing...

  19. Efficacy of woody biomass and biochar for alleviating heavy metal bioavailability in serpentine soil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bandara, Tharanga; Herath, Indika; Kumarathilaka, Prasanna; Hseu, Zeng-Yei; Ok, Yong Sik; Vithanage, Meththika

    2017-04-01

    Crops grown in metal-rich serpentine soils are vulnerable to phytotoxicity. In this study, Gliricidia sepium (Jacq.) biomass and woody biochar were examined as amendments on heavy metal immobilization in a serpentine soil. Woody biochar was produced by slow pyrolysis of Gliricidia sepium (Jacq.) biomass at 300 and 500 °C. A pot experiment was conducted for 6 weeks with tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum L.) at biochar application rates of 0, 22, 55 and 110 t ha -1 . The CaCl 2 and sequential extractions were adopted to assess metal bioavailability and fractionation. Six weeks after germination, plants cultivated on the control could not survive, while all the plants were grown normally on the soils amended with biochars. The most effective treatment for metal immobilization was BC500-110 as indicated by the immobilization efficiencies for Ni, Mn and Cr that were 68, 92 and 42 %, respectively, compared to the control. Biochar produced at 500 °C and at high application rates immobilized heavy metals significantly. Improvements in plant growth in biochar-amended soil were related to decreasing in metal toxicity as a consequence of metal immobilization through strong sorption due to high surface area and functional groups.

  20. Effects of Biochar and Lime on Soil Physicochemical Properties and Tobacco Seedling Growth in Red Soil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    ZHU Pan

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available Red soil, mainly found in the southern China, is developed in a warm, moist climate. The main property of the soils is strong acidity, aluminum toxicity, and low available nutrients. In this study, different effects of biochar and lime on soil physicochemical properties and tobacco growth were determined in red soil, so as to provide a scientific foundation for soil improvement tobacco field. A pot experiment was designed and conducted at four biochar levels(0, 0.5%, 1%, 2% and normal lime level (0.3% to study effects of two different soil amendments on red soil pH, exchangeable aluminum(Exc-Al and exchangeable manganese(Exc-Mn, available nutrients and organic carbon (SOC. Meanwhile, agronomic traits, biomass and leaves elements of tobacco were also tested. Results showed that the agronomic characters and biomass of tobacco seedling had changed effectively after biochar or lime was added. Under 0.5%, 1% biochar treatment, the content of nitrogen(N, phosphorus(P, potassium(K, calcium(Ca and magnesium(Mg in tobacco leaves substantially raised. However, when 2% biochar was applied, leaves N content declined by 9.3%. Compared with the control, leaves N, P and Ca content increased observably in the lime treatment. However, its K and Mg content decreased by 9.0% and 13.3% respectively. Alkaline nitrogen(SAN, available phosphorus (SAP, available potassium (SAK, and exchangeable calcium (Exc-Ca and exchangeable magnesium (Exc-Mg were improved obviously in soil applied with biochar. Only the content of Exc-Ca was significantly increased in lime treatment. In addition, it was beneficial to improve soil pH and reduce soil Exc-Al when biochar or lime had been used. Thus, both biochar and lime are propitious to increase soil pH value, lessen soil Exc-Al content, and improve the growth of tobacco seedling. Furthermore, biochar application also can raise the content of available nutrient and SOC in red soil.

  1. Effects of gasification biochar on plant-available water capacity and plant growth in two contrasting soil types

    OpenAIRE

    Hansen, Veronika; Hauggaard-Nielsen, Henrik; Petersen, Carsten Tilbæk; Mikkelsen, Teis Nørgaard; Müller-Stöver, Dorette Sophie

    2016-01-01

    Abstract Gasification biochar (GB) contains recalcitrant carbon that can contribute to soil carbon sequestration and soil quality improvement. However, the impact of GB on plant-available water capacity (AWC) and plant growth in diverse soil types still needs to be explored. A pot experiment with spring barley (Hordeum vulgare L.) was conducted to investigate the effect of soil amendment by 1% straw and wood gasification biochar (SGB and WGB), respectively, on AWC and plant growth responses u...

  2. The influence comparing of activated biochar and conventional biochar on the soil biological properties

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dvořáčková, Helena; Mykajlo, Irina; Záhora, Jaroslav

    2016-04-01

    In our experiment we have used biochar. This material is the product of the pyrolysis that has shown a positive effect on numerous physical and chemical soil properties. However, its influence on the biological component of the soil is very variable. A number of toxic substances that inhibit the soil productivity may be produced during pyrolysis process. The experiment dealt with the hypothesis concerning biochar toxicity reduction by simulating natural processes in the soil. Biochar has been exposed to aeration in the aquatic environment, enriched with nutrients and a source of native soil microflora. It has been created 6 variants in total, each with four replications. The soils samples have been placed in a phytotron for 90 days. Variants consisted of the soil with fertilizers adding (compost, biochar, activated biochar) and have been prepared as well as variants containing compost and biochar and activated biochar optionally. The highest aboveground biomass production has been estimated in variants containing compost, while the lowest production - in the variants containing conventional biochar. During production comparing of the variants with the conventional biochar, activated biochar and control samples it has been evident that activated biochar promotes plant growth, and in contradiction conventional biochar inhibits it. We will approach to the same conclusions when comparing variants with a combination of conventional biochar + compost and activated biochar + compost. Mineral nitrogen leaching has been another investigated parameter. The highest leaching has occurred in the control variant, while the lowest - in the variant with activated biochar (the leaching of nitrate nitrogen has been negligeable). Our results suggest that activated biochar has the potential; however, it is necessary to carry out similar experiments in the field conditions.

  3. Petroleum hydrocarbon remediation in frozen soil using a meat and bonemeal biochar plus fertilizer.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Karppinen, Erin M; Stewart, Katherine J; Farrell, Richard E; Siciliano, Steven D

    2017-04-01

    Petroleum hydrocarbon (PHC) degradation slows significantly during the winter which substantially increases the time it takes to remediate soil in Arctic landfarms. The aim of this laboratory trial was to assess the potential of a meat and bonemeal (MBM) biochar to stimulate PHC degradation in contaminated soil collected from Iqaluit, Canada. Over 90 days, 3% (w/w) MBM biochar significantly increased F3- (equivalent nC 16 -C 34 ) PHC degradation rate constants (k) in frozen soils when compared to the fertilizer (urea and monoammonium phosphate) control. Taking into consideration extensive variability within treatments and negative k values, this difference may not reflect significant remediation. Decreasing C 17 /Pr and C 18 /Ph ratios in the frozen soil suggest that this reduction is a result of microbial degradation rather than volatilization. Amendment type and application rate affected the immediate abiotic losses of F2 and F3-PHC in sterile soils, with the greatest losses occurring in compost-amended treatments in the first 24 h. In frozen soils, MBM biochar was found to increase liquid water content (θ liquid ) but not nutrient supply rates. Under frozen but not thawed conditions, genes for aromatic (C2,3O and nahAc) but not aliphatic (alkB) PHC degradation increased over time in both biochar-amended and control treatments but total viable PHC-degrading populations only increased in biochar-amended soils. Based on these results, it is possible that PHC degradation in biochar-amended soils is active and even enhanced under frozen conditions, but further investigation is required. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  4. Rice straw biochar affects water retention and air movement in a sand-textured tropical soil

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Arthur, Emmanuel; Ahmed, Fauziatu

    2017-01-01

    Despite the current global attention on biochar (BC) as a soil amendment, knowledge is limited on how BC impacts the physical properties of coarse-textured soils (sand > 95%), particularly in tropical regions. A two-season field-study was conducted to investigate the effect of rice straw BC (3% w...

  5. Improving Phosphorus Availability in an Acid Soil Using Organic Amendments Produced from Agroindustrial Wastes

    OpenAIRE

    Ch’ng, Huck Ywih; Ahmed, Osumanu Haruna; Majid, Nik Muhamad Ab.

    2014-01-01

    In acid soils, soluble inorganic phosphorus is fixed by aluminium and iron. To overcome this problem, acid soils are limed to fix aluminium and iron but this practice is not economical. The practice is also not environmentally friendly. This study was conducted to improve phosphorus availability using organic amendments (biochar and compost produced from chicken litter and pineapple leaves, resp.) to fix aluminium and iron instead of phosphorus. Amending soil with biochar or compost or a mixt...

  6. Interactive effects of straw-derived biochar and N fertilization on soil C storage and rice productivity in rice paddies of Northeast China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sui, Yanghui; Gao, Jiping; Liu, Caihong; Zhang, Wenzhong; Lan, Yu; Li, Shuhang; Meng, Jun; Xu, Zhengjin; Tang, Liang

    2016-02-15

    Impacts of biochar on greenhouse gas emissions and C sequestration in agricultural soils have been considered as the key to mitigate climate change. There is limited knowledge regarding the effects of rice straw-derived biochar and interaction with N fertilization on soil C sequestration and rice productivity in fertile paddy fields. A 2-year (2013 and 2014) consecutive field trial was performed using straw treatment (5.05 t ha(-1)) and biochar amendment (0, 1.78, 14.8 and 29.6 t ha(-1)) with or without urea application in a rice paddy in Northeast China. A super high yielding rice variety (Oryza sativa L. subsp. Japonica cv. 'Shennong 265') was cultivated with permanent flooding. Results showed that biochar amendments significantly decreased CH4 emissions relative to straw treatment irrespective of N fertilization, especially in N-fertilized soils with 1.78 t ha(-1) biochar. There were no differences in CO2 emissions with respect to biochar amendments, except for 14.8 t ha(-1) biochar with N fertilization. Straw treatment had the highest global warming potential over a 100-year time frame, which was nearly 1.5 times that of 14.8 t ha(-1) biochar amendment without N fertilization. Biochar addition increased total soil C by up to 5.75 mg g(-1) and 11.69 mg g(-1) (with 14.8 and 29.6 t ha(-1) biochar, respectively), whereas straw incorporation increased this value by only 3.92 mg g(-1). The aboveground biomass of rice in biochar-amended soils increased to varying degrees compared with that in straw-treated soils. However, biochar application had no effects on rice yield, regardless of N fertilization. This study indicated that transforming straw to biochar was more stabilized and more suitable to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions and increase C storage in agriculture soils in Northeast China. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  7. Biochar from Sugarcane Filtercake Reduces Soil CO2 Emissions Relative to Raw Residue and Improves Water Retention and Nutrient Availability in a Highly-Weathered Tropical Soil

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eykelbosh, Angela Joy; Johnson, Mark S.; Santos de Queiroz, Edmar; Dalmagro, Higo José; Guimarães Couto, Eduardo

    2014-01-01

    In Brazil, the degradation of nutrient-poor Ferralsols limits productivity and drives agricultural expansion into pristine areas. However, returning agricultural residues to the soil in a stabilized form may offer opportunities for maintaining or improving soil quality, even under conditions that typically promote carbon loss. We examined the use of biochar made from filtercake (a byproduct of sugarcane processing) on the physicochemical properties of a cultivated tropical soil. Filtercake was pyrolyzed at 575°C for 3 h yielding a biochar with increased surface area and porosity compared to the raw filtercake. Filtercake biochar was primarily composed of aromatic carbon, with some residual cellulose and hemicellulose. In a three-week laboratory incubation, CO2 effluxes from a highly weathered Ferralsol soil amended with 5% biochar (dry weight, d.w.) were roughly four-fold higher than the soil-only control, but 23-fold lower than CO2 effluxes from soil amended with 5% (d.w.) raw filtercake. We also applied vinasse, a carbon-rich liquid waste from bioethanol production typically utilized as a fertilizer on sugarcane soils, to filtercake- and biochar-amended soils. Total CO2 efflux from the biochar-amended soil in response to vinasse application was only 5% of the efflux when vinasse was applied to soil amended with raw filtercake. Furthermore, mixtures of 5 or 10% biochar (d.w.) in this highly weathered tropical soil significantly increased water retention within the plant-available range and also improved nutrient availability. Accordingly, application of sugarcane filtercake as biochar, with or without vinasse application, may better satisfy soil management objectives than filtercake applied to soils in its raw form, and may help to build soil carbon stocks in sugarcane-cultivating regions. PMID:24897522

  8. Biochar from sugarcane filtercake reduces soil CO2 emissions relative to raw residue and improves water retention and nutrient availability in a highly-weathered tropical soil.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Angela Joy Eykelbosh

    Full Text Available In Brazil, the degradation of nutrient-poor Ferralsols limits productivity and drives agricultural expansion into pristine areas. However, returning agricultural residues to the soil in a stabilized form may offer opportunities for maintaining or improving soil quality, even under conditions that typically promote carbon loss. We examined the use of biochar made from filtercake (a byproduct of sugarcane processing on the physicochemical properties of a cultivated tropical soil. Filtercake was pyrolyzed at 575°C for 3 h yielding a biochar with increased surface area and porosity compared to the raw filtercake. Filtercake biochar was primarily composed of aromatic carbon, with some residual cellulose and hemicellulose. In a three-week laboratory incubation, CO2 effluxes from a highly weathered Ferralsol soil amended with 5% biochar (dry weight, d.w. were roughly four-fold higher than the soil-only control, but 23-fold lower than CO2 effluxes from soil amended with 5% (d.w. raw filtercake. We also applied vinasse, a carbon-rich liquid waste from bioethanol production typically utilized as a fertilizer on sugarcane soils, to filtercake- and biochar-amended soils. Total CO2 efflux from the biochar-amended soil in response to vinasse application was only 5% of the efflux when vinasse was applied to soil amended with raw filtercake. Furthermore, mixtures of 5 or 10% biochar (d.w. in this highly weathered tropical soil significantly increased water retention within the plant-available range and also improved nutrient availability. Accordingly, application of sugarcane filtercake as biochar, with or without vinasse application, may better satisfy soil management objectives than filtercake applied to soils in its raw form, and may help to build soil carbon stocks in sugarcane-cultivating regions.

  9. Biochar from sugarcane filtercake reduces soil CO2 emissions relative to raw residue and improves water retention and nutrient availability in a highly-weathered tropical soil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eykelbosh, Angela Joy; Johnson, Mark S; Santos de Queiroz, Edmar; Dalmagro, Higo José; Guimarães Couto, Eduardo

    2014-01-01

    In Brazil, the degradation of nutrient-poor Ferralsols limits productivity and drives agricultural expansion into pristine areas. However, returning agricultural residues to the soil in a stabilized form may offer opportunities for maintaining or improving soil quality, even under conditions that typically promote carbon loss. We examined the use of biochar made from filtercake (a byproduct of sugarcane processing) on the physicochemical properties of a cultivated tropical soil. Filtercake was pyrolyzed at 575°C for 3 h yielding a biochar with increased surface area and porosity compared to the raw filtercake. Filtercake biochar was primarily composed of aromatic carbon, with some residual cellulose and hemicellulose. In a three-week laboratory incubation, CO2 effluxes from a highly weathered Ferralsol soil amended with 5% biochar (dry weight, d.w.) were roughly four-fold higher than the soil-only control, but 23-fold lower than CO2 effluxes from soil amended with 5% (d.w.) raw filtercake. We also applied vinasse, a carbon-rich liquid waste from bioethanol production typically utilized as a fertilizer on sugarcane soils, to filtercake- and biochar-amended soils. Total CO2 efflux from the biochar-amended soil in response to vinasse application was only 5% of the efflux when vinasse was applied to soil amended with raw filtercake. Furthermore, mixtures of 5 or 10% biochar (d.w.) in this highly weathered tropical soil significantly increased water retention within the plant-available range and also improved nutrient availability. Accordingly, application of sugarcane filtercake as biochar, with or without vinasse application, may better satisfy soil management objectives than filtercake applied to soils in its raw form, and may help to build soil carbon stocks in sugarcane-cultivating regions.

  10. Changes in heavy metal mobility and availability from contaminated wetland soil remediated with combined biochar-compost.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liang, Jie; Yang, Zhaoxue; Tang, Lin; Zeng, Guangming; Yu, Man; Li, Xiaodong; Wu, Haipeng; Qian, Yingying; Li, Xuemei; Luo, Yuan

    2017-08-01

    The combination of biochar and compost has been proven to be effective in heavy metals contaminated wetland soil restoration. However, the influence of different proportions between biochar and compost on immobilization of heavy metals in soil has been less studied up to date. Therefore, we investigated the effect of different ratios of biochar-compost mixtures on availability and speciation distribution of heavy metals (Cd, Zn and Cu) in wetland soil. The results showed that applying all amendment combinations into wetland soil increased gradually the total organic carbon (TOC) and water-extract organic carbon (WEOC) as the compost percentage rose in biochar-composts. The higher pH was obtained in a certain biochar addition (20% and 40%) in combinations due to efficient interaction of biochar with compost. All amendments could significantly decrease availability of Cd and Zn mainly from pH change, but increase available Cu concentration as the result of increased water-extract organic carbon and high total Cu content in compost. Moreover, amendments can decrease easily exchangeable fraction and increase reducible of Cd and Zn greatly with increase of compost content in combinations, while amendments containing compost promote transformation of Cu from Fe/Mn oxide and residual fractions to organic bindings. These results demonstrate that different ratios of biochar and compost have a significant effect on availability and speciation of heavy metals in multi-metal-contaminated wetland soil. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  11. Assessment of biochar and iron filing amendments for the remediation of a metal, arsenic and phenanthrene co-contaminated spoil

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sneath, Helen E.; Hutchings, Tony R.; Leij, Frans A.A.M. de

    2013-01-01

    Sites contaminated with mixtures of metals, metalloids and organics are difficult to remediate as each contaminant type may require a different treatment. Biochar, with high metal sorption capacity, used singly and in combination with iron filings, is investigated in microcosm trials to immobilise metal(loid)s within a contaminated spoil, thereby enabling revegetation and degradation of organic pollutants. A mine spoil, contaminated with heavy metals, arsenic and spiked with phenanthrene was treated with either 1%w/w biochar, 5%w/w iron or their combination, enhancing phenanthrene degradation by 44–65%. Biochar treatment reduced Cu leaching and enabled sunflower growth, but had no significant effect on As mobility. Iron treatment reduced Cu and As leaching but negatively impacted soil structure and released high levels of Fe causing sunflower plant mortality. The combined treatment reduced both Cu and As leaching and enabled sunflower growth suggesting this could be a useful approach for treating co-contaminated sites. -- Highlights: ► 56 day microcosm trials examine biochar for remediation of co-contaminated sites. ► Biochar reduces leachable Cu concentrations but phytotoxicity remains. ► Iron filings are investigated as a co-amendment with biochar to reduce As leaching. ► Removal of metal toxicity stimulates phenanthrene degradation. ► Biochar could enable revegetation of contaminated sites. -- Biochar and iron filings incorporated into contaminated spoils reduce Cu and As leaching and stimulate phenanthrene degradation, but do not prevent phytotoxicity to sunflowers

  12. Engineering Biochar Hydrophobicity to Mitigate Risk of Top-Soil Erosion

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kinney, T. J.; Dean, M. R.; Hockaday, W. C.; Masiello, C. A.

    2009-12-01

    biochar to study the origin of biochar hydrophobicity and to assess the possibility of reducing hydrophobicity prior to soil amendment. We used correlative analysis to study the relationship between hydrophobicity, biomass and pyrolysis characteristics, as well as chemical treatments. Future work will focus on engineering designer biochars which minimize hydrophobicity while maximizing positive benefits, such as ion exchange capacity.

  13. Characterization and selection of biochar for an efficient retention of tricyclazole in a flooded alluvial paddy soil

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    García-Jaramillo, Manuel; Cox, Lucía; Knicker, Heike E.; Cornejo, Juan; Spokas, Kurt A.; Hermosín, M.Carmen

    2015-01-01

    Highlights: • Biochar CEC was inversely correlated with HTT. • Enhanced aromaticity was associated to an improved biochar adsorption of tricyclazole. • The SSA of the biochars was inversely correlated with DOC contents. • Adsorption of tricyclazole was related to high SSA and low DOC content of biochars. • The use of AC and biochar in conjunction provides the slow release of tricyclazole. - Abstract: Biochars, from different organic residues, are increasingly proposed as soil amendments for their agronomic and environmental benefits. A systematic detection method that correlates biochar properties to their abilities to adsorb organic compounds is still lacking. Seven biochars obtained after pyrolysis at different temperatures and from different feedstock (alperujo compost, rice hull, and woody debris), were characterized and tested to reveal potential remedial forms for pesticide capture in flooded soils. Biochar properties were determined by nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, specific surface area (SSA) assessment and scanning electron microscopy. In addition, dissolved organic matter (DOM) from these biochars was extracted and quantified in order to evaluate the effect on pesticide sorption. The biochars from alperujo compost presented very high affinity to the fungicide tricyclazole (55.9, 83.5, and 90.3% for B1, B4, and B5, respectively). This affinity was positively correlated with the pyrolysis temperature, the pH, the increased SSA of the biochars, and the enhanced aromaticity. Sorptive capacities were negatively related to DOM contents. The amendment with a mixture of compost and biochar endows the alluvial soil with high sorptive properties (from K fads(soil) = 9.26 to K fads(mixture) = 17.89) without impeding the slow release of tricyclazole

  14. Characterization and selection of biochar for an efficient retention of tricyclazole in a flooded alluvial paddy soil

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    García-Jaramillo, Manuel, E-mail: mgarcia@irnas.csic.es [Instituto de Recursos Naturales y Agrobiología de Sevilla (IRNAS-CSIC), P.O. Box 1052, 41080 Seville (Spain); Cox, Lucía; Knicker, Heike E.; Cornejo, Juan [Instituto de Recursos Naturales y Agrobiología de Sevilla (IRNAS-CSIC), P.O. Box 1052, 41080 Seville (Spain); Spokas, Kurt A. [United States Department of Agriculture–Agricultural Research Service, 1991 Upper Buford Circle, Saint Paul 55108, MN (United States); Hermosín, M.Carmen [Instituto de Recursos Naturales y Agrobiología de Sevilla (IRNAS-CSIC), P.O. Box 1052, 41080 Seville (Spain)

    2015-04-09

    Highlights: • Biochar CEC was inversely correlated with HTT. • Enhanced aromaticity was associated to an improved biochar adsorption of tricyclazole. • The SSA of the biochars was inversely correlated with DOC contents. • Adsorption of tricyclazole was related to high SSA and low DOC content of biochars. • The use of AC and biochar in conjunction provides the slow release of tricyclazole. - Abstract: Biochars, from different organic residues, are increasingly proposed as soil amendments for their agronomic and environmental benefits. A systematic detection method that correlates biochar properties to their abilities to adsorb organic compounds is still lacking. Seven biochars obtained after pyrolysis at different temperatures and from different feedstock (alperujo compost, rice hull, and woody debris), were characterized and tested to reveal potential remedial forms for pesticide capture in flooded soils. Biochar properties were determined by nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, specific surface area (SSA) assessment and scanning electron microscopy. In addition, dissolved organic matter (DOM) from these biochars was extracted and quantified in order to evaluate the effect on pesticide sorption. The biochars from alperujo compost presented very high affinity to the fungicide tricyclazole (55.9, 83.5, and 90.3% for B1, B4, and B5, respectively). This affinity was positively correlated with the pyrolysis temperature, the pH, the increased SSA of the biochars, and the enhanced aromaticity. Sorptive capacities were negatively related to DOM contents. The amendment with a mixture of compost and biochar endows the alluvial soil with high sorptive properties (from K{sub fads(soil)} = 9.26 to K{sub fads(mixture)} = 17.89) without impeding the slow release of tricyclazole.

  15. [Effects of biochar and PAM application on saline soil hydraulic properties of coastal reclamation region].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cao, Yu Tong; She, Dong Li

    2017-11-01

    Disc infiltration tests were carried out to study the soil infiltration characteristics under different rates of soil amendments application, and to investigate the effects of biochar and polyacrylamide (PAM) application on saline soil hydraulic properties, pore characteristics and contribution of each pore to soil water flow in coastal reclamation region. The results showed that soil satura-ted hydraulic conductivity increased by 46.4% when biochar was applied at 2% compared with the control, and decreased with increasing PAM application. The total effective soil porosity and r>100 μm pores were increased by 8.3% and 10.2% (PPAM application. Particularly, the total effective soil porosity decreased markedly when PAM was applied at 1‰ and the reduction was up to 88%. With the application of biochar and PAM, the contribution of r500 μm played a major role in determining water flows.

  16. Impact of Different Agricultural Waste Biochars on Maize Biomass and Soil Water Content in a Brazilian Cerrado Arenosol

    OpenAIRE

    Alicia B. Speratti; Mark S. Johnson; Heiriane Martins Sousa; Gilmar Nunes Torres; Eduardo Guimarães Couto

    2017-01-01

    Arenosols in the Brazilian Cerrado are increasingly being used for agricultural production, particularly maize. These sandy soils are characterized by low soil organic matter, low available nutrients, and poor water-holding capacity. For this reason, adding biochar as a soil amendment could lead to improved water and nutrient retention. A greenhouse experiment was carried out using twelve biochars derived from four feedstocks (cotton husks, swine manure, eucalyptus sawmill residue, sugarcane ...

  17. Biochar for soil fertility and natural carbon sequestration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rostad, C.E.; Rutherford, D.W.

    2011-01-01

    Biochar is charcoal (similar to chars generated by forest fires) that is made for incorporation into soils to increase soil fertility while providing natural carbon sequestration. The incorporation of biochar into soils can preserve and enrich soils and also slow the rate at which climate change is affecting our planet. Studies on biochar, such as those cited by this report, are applicable to both fire science and soil science.

  18. Effects of biochar and elevated soil temperature on soil microbial activity and abundance in an agricultural system

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bamminger, Chris; Poll, Christian; Marhan, Sven

    2014-05-01

    As a consequence of Global Warming, rising surface temperatures will likely cause increased soil temperatures. Soil warming has already been shown to, at least temporarily, increase microbial activity and, therefore, the emissions of greenhouse gases like CO2 and N2O. This underlines the need for methods to stabilize soil organic matter and to prevent further boost of the greenhouse gas effect. Plant-derived biochar as a soil amendment could be a valuable tool to capture CO2 from the atmosphere and sequestrate it in soil on the long-term. During the process of pyrolysis, plant biomass is heated in an oxygen-low atmosphere producing the highly stable solid matter biochar. Biochar is generally stable against microbial degradation due to its chemical structure and it, therefore, persists in soil for long periods. Previous experiments indicated that biochar improves or changes several physical or chemical soil traits such as water holding capacity, cation exchange capacity or soil structure, but also biotic properties like microbial activity/abundance, greenhouse gas emissions and plant growth. Changes in the soil microbial abundance and community composition alter their metabolism, but likely also affect plant productivity. The interaction of biochar addition and soil temperature increase on soil microbial properties and plant growth was yet not investigated on the field scale. To investigate whether warming could change biochar effects in soil, we conducted a field experiment attached to a soil warming experiment on an agricultural experimental site near the University of Hohenheim, already running since July 2008. The biochar field experiment was set up as two-factorial randomized block design (n=4) with the factors biochar amendment (0, 30 t ha-1) and soil temperature (ambient, elevated=ambient +2.5° C) starting from August 2013. Each plot has a dimension of 1x1m and is equipped with combined soil temperature and moisture sensors. Slow pyrolysis biochar from the C

  19. Effect of biochar and liming on soil nitrous oxide emissions from a temperate maize cropping system

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hüppi, R.; Felber, R.; Neftel, A.; Six, J.; Leifeld, J.

    2015-12-01

    Biochar, a carbon-rich, porous pyrolysis product of organic residues may positively affect plant yield and can, owing to its inherent stability, promote soil carbon sequestration when amended to agricultural soils. Another possible effect of biochar is the reduction in emissions of nitrous oxide (N2O). A number of laboratory incubations have shown significantly reduced N2O emissions from soil when mixed with biochar. Emission measurements under field conditions however are more scarce and show weaker or no reductions, or even increases in N2O emissions. One of the hypothesised mechanisms for reduced N2O emissions from soil is owing to the increase in soil pH following the application of alkaline biochar. To test the effect of biochar on N2O emissions in a temperate maize cropping system, we set up a field trial with a 20t ha-1 biochar treatment, a limestone treatment adjusted to the same pH as the biochar treatment (pH 6.5), and a control treatment without any addition (pH 6.1). An automated static chamber system measured N2O emissions for each replicate plot (n = 3) every 3.6 h over the course of 8 months. The field was conventionally fertilised at a rate of 160 kg N ha-1 in three applications of 40, 80 and 40 kg N ha-1 as ammonium nitrate. Cumulative N2O emissions were 52 % smaller in the biochar compared to the control treatment. However, the effect of the treatments overall was not statistically significant (p = 0.27) because of the large variability in the data set. Limed soils emitted similar mean cumulative amounts of N2O as the control. There is no evidence that reduced N2O emissions with biochar relative to the control is solely caused by a higher soil pH.

  20. Immobilization of copper by biochar in Cu-enriched agricultural soils depends on interactions with soil organic carbon

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mlinkov, Slađana; Zehetner, Franz; Rosner, Franz; Dersch, Georg; Soja, Gerhard

    2017-04-01

    The appearance of downy mildew (Plasmopara viticola) in European vineyards of the 19th century was the starting point for the search of effective fungicides to avoid severe yield losses. Copper has been found as an important ingredient for several fungicides that have been used in agriculture and horticulture. For organic viticulture, several diseases can only be antagonized with Cu-containing fungicides as the application of organic fungicides is not permitted. This long-lasting dependence on Cu-fungicides has led to a gradual Cu enrichment of vineyard soils in traditional wine-growing areas, locally exceeding 300 mg/kg. Although these concentrations do not affect the vines or wine quality, they may impair soil microbiological functions in the top soil layer or the root growth of green cover plants. Therefore, measures are demanded that reduce the bioavailability of copper, thereby reducing the ecotoxicological effects. The use of biochar and compost as soil amendment has been suggested as a strategy to immobilize Cu and reduce the exchangeable fractions. In our study we have tested the hypothesis that biochar immobilizes the bioavailability of Cu for soil cover crops and reduces soil pore water concentrations. This study had the objective to test the interactions of compost and biochar with respect to Cu immobilization in vineyard soils. A Cu-enriched vineyard soil (250 mg Cu kg-1) was analyzed both in greenhouse and field experiments. In both experiments, soil with or without biochar and/or compost and mixtures of the two components were used. In the greenhouse experiments, was used as test plant Lolium multiflorum for Cu uptake; in the field, Lolium perenne and Trifolium repens were analyzed. Greenhouse experiment: Soil pore water concentrations showed clearer differences in Cu concentration than Lolium multiflorum shoots. Compost increased dissolved organic carbon (DOC) and Cu in soil pore water and biochar reduced it significantly. The mixtures of compost and

  1. The effects of straw or straw-derived gasification biochar applications on soil quality and crop productivity

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hansen, Veronika; Müller-Stöver, Dorette; Imparato, Valentina

    2017-01-01

    Thermal gasification of straw is a highly efficient technology that produces bioenergy and gasification biochar that can be used as a soil amendment, thereby returning non-renewable nutrients and stable carbon, and securing soil quality and crop productivity. A Danish on-farm field study investig......Thermal gasification of straw is a highly efficient technology that produces bioenergy and gasification biochar that can be used as a soil amendment, thereby returning non-renewable nutrients and stable carbon, and securing soil quality and crop productivity. A Danish on-farm field study...... investigated the impact of traditional straw incorporation vs. straw removal for thermal gasification bioenergy production and the application of straw gasification biochar (GB) on soil quality and crop production. Two rates of GB were applied over three successive years in which the field was cropped...... long-term effects and to identify the optimum balance between straw removal and biochar application rate....

  2. Comparison of DNA extraction protocols for microbial communities from soil treated with biochar

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    D.C.A. Leite

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Many studies have evaluated the effects of biochar application on soil structure and plant growth. However, there are very few studies describing the effect of biochar on native soil microbial communities. Microbial analysis of environmental samples requires accurate and reproducible methods for the extraction of DNA from samples. Because of the variety among microbial species and the strong adsorption of the phosphate backbone of the DNA molecule to biochar, extracting and purifying high quality microbial DNA from biochar-amended soil is not a trivial process and can be considerably more difficult than the extraction of DNA from other environmental samples. The aim of this study was to compare the relative efficacies of three commercial DNA extraction kits, the FastDNA® SPIN Kit for Soil (FD kit, the PowerSoil® DNA Isolation Kit (PS kit and the ZR Soil Microbe DNA Kit MiniprepTM (ZR kit, for extracting microbial genomic DNA from sand treated with different types of biochar. The methods were evaluated by comparing the DNA yields and purity and by analysing the bacterial and fungal community profiles generated by PCR-DGGE. Our results showed that the PCR-DGGE profiles for bacterial and fungal communities were highly affected by the purity and yield of the different DNA extracts. Among the tested kits, the PS kit was the most efficient with respect to the amount and purity of recovered DNA and considering the complexity of the generated DGGE microbial fingerprint from the sand-biochar samples.

  3. Biochar amendment of fluvio-glacial temperate sandy subsoil: Effects on maize water uptake, growth and physiology

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ahmed, Fauziatu; Arthur, Emmanuel; Plauborg, Finn

    2018-01-01

    Coarse sandy soils have poor water retention capacity, which may constrain crop growth during drought. We investigated the effect of biochar amendment to subsoil on crop physiological processes and maize yield, comparing irrigated and drought conditions. A two-year greenhouse experiment was condu......Coarse sandy soils have poor water retention capacity, which may constrain crop growth during drought. We investigated the effect of biochar amendment to subsoil on crop physiological processes and maize yield, comparing irrigated and drought conditions. A two-year greenhouse experiment...... was conducted with one-time application of straw biochar at concentrations of 0%, 1%, 2% and 3% (B0, B1, B2 and B3). Maize was planted twice in the same large pots one week and again 12 months after biochar application. Plants were fully irrigated until flowering; thereafter, half of them were subjected...... to drought. Our results indicate B2 and B3 increased soil water content at field capacity. Leaf water potential, stomatal conductance, photosynthesis and transpiration were maintained in B2 and B3 during the drying cycle in year one and in all biochar levels in year two. In the first year, B3 induced...

  4. Effects of biochar and Arbuscular mycorrhizae on bioavailability of potentially toxic elements in an aged contaminated soil

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Qiao, Yuhui; Crowley, David; Wang, Kun; Zhang, Huiqi; Li, Huafen

    2015-01-01

    Biochar pyrolyzed from corn stalks at 300 °C/500 °C and arbuscular mycorrhizae (AMF) were examined independently and in combination as possible treatments for soil remediation contaminated with Cd, Cr, Ni, Cu, Pb, Zn after 35 years following land application of sewage sludge in the 1970s. The results showed that biochar significantly decreased the heavy metal concentrations and their bioavailability for plants, and both biochars had similar such effects. AMF inoculation of corn plants had little effect on heavy metal bioavailability in either control or biochar amended soil, and no interaction between biochar and AMF was observed. Changes in DTPA extractable metals following biochar addition to soil were correlated with metal uptake by plants, whereas pore water metal concentrations were not predictive indicators. This research demonstrates positive benefits from biochar application for contaminated soil remediation, but remain ambiguous with regard to the benefits of simultaneous AMF inoculation on reduction of heavy metal bioavailability. - Highlights: • Biochar pyrolyzed from corn stalks at 300 °C/500 °C can increase the biomass of corn growing in a heavily contaminated soil. • Biochar could significantly decrease bioavailability of heavy metals (Cd, Cr, Ni, Cu, Zn) for plants. • Effects were not augmented by the addition of AMF although the production of glomalin is promoted by biochars. • AMF had not reduced bioavailability of PTEs, no significant interaction between biochar and AMF inoculation was observed. - Biochar could significantly decrease bioavailability of heavy metals (Cd, Cr, Ni, Cu, Zn) for plants, but AMF had little such effects, biochar and AMF interaction is not valid.

  5. Influence of conventional biochar and ageing biochar application to arable soil on soil fertility and plant yield

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dvořáčková, Helena; Záhora, Jaroslav; Elbl, Jakub; Kynický, Jindřich; Hladký, Jan; Brtnický, Martin

    2017-04-01

    Biochar represents very controversial material which is product of pyrolysis. According to many studies biochar has positive effect on physical and chemical properties such as pH, conductivity, aggregates stability etc. Unfortunately biochar is product of combustion, so it can content toxic substance as are aromatic compound. These substances may have a negative effect on yield and microbial activities in soil. Our aim was eliminated concentration of toxic compound but preserved positive effect of biochar on soil properties. We was ageing/ activating of biochar in water environment and for soil inoculum we used native soil from landscape. Moreover two types of biochar was tested by pot experiment with seven variants, where conventional biochar from residual biomass and ageing biochar were applied in different doses: 10 t/ha, 20t/ha and 50 t/ha. Pots were placed in green house for 90 days and after the end of experiment the following parameters of soil fertility, health and quality were evaluated: content of soil organic matter, arbuscular mycorrhizal colonisation of Lactuca sativa L. roots, leaching of mineral nitrogen, changes in plant available nutrient content, EC and pH. Above all the total yield of indicator plant was observed. The significant (P plant yield and soil properties were found. The application of conventional biochar didn't have positive effect on plant yield in comparison with ageing biochar. The positive effect of ageing biochar addition on soil fertility was directly proportional to the dose which were applied - increasing in dose of ageing biochar resulted in increase of plant yield. Moreover the special experimental containers were used, where we was able to monitor the development of root in soil with and without addition of biochar (conventional or ageing). The positive influence of ageing biochar addition into soil on development of Lactuca sativa L. roots was observed.

  6. Investigating biochar as a tool for environmental remediation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Biochar is being proposed as a cost-effective, carbon negative soil amendment for environmental remediation. Research has demonstrated the efficacy of biochar to sorb heavy metals and agricultural chemicals from contaminated soils, thus effectively reducing the potential for met...

  7. Native Soil Charcoal as a Model for Designing Biochar for Carbon Sequestration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Under changing climate a variety of mechanisms for removing carbon from the atmosphere and sequestering it elsewhere are being considered to reduce the forcing of the atmosphere. Amending soils with biochar has been proposed as one long-term means of sequestering carbon originat...

  8. Direct impacts of biochar on N2O production during denitrification by a soil microbial community

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mishra, Akanksha; Harter, Johannes; Hagemann, Nikolas; Kappler, Andreas

    2017-04-01

    Biochar, i.e. biomass heated under O2 limitation to 350-1000°C (pyrolysis), is suggested as a beneficial soil amendment to mitigate climate change and to maintain and restore the fertility of agro-ecosystems. Its stability enables long-term carbon sequestration and biochar effectively reduces soil-borne N2O emissions. Biochar's ability to reduce N2O emissions is well recognized through field and laboratory experiments as well as meta-analyses. However, the underlying mechanisms remain widely debated. Microbial nitrogen transformations, especially denitrification, the stepwise reduction of nitrate/nitrite via NO and N2O to N2, are considered to be a major source of N2O emissions. Soil microcosm experiments showed lower N2O emissions in the presence of biochar often correlate with a higher abundance and/or activity of N2O reducing bacteria in the presence of biochar. However, it is still unknown whether these shifts in the microbial community and/or activity is cause or effect of reduced N2O production. Biochar has the potential to change the physico-chemical environment towards conditions that favor complete denitrification, i.e. decrease the N2O/(N2O+N2) product ratio. Specifically, biochar can increase soil pH, reduce the availability of nitrate and increase the entrapment of gases, including N2O. These effects are known to decrease the N2O/(N2O+N2) ratio. In addition to the observed effects in the physio-chemical environment, we hypothesized that biochar has a direct impact on the soil microbial community. For instance, it has been shown to provide a suitable habitat to microorganisms, or facilitate electron transfer between microbe and substrates by acting as an electron shuttle or as a temporary acceptor/donor of electrons. To test this hypothesis, our experiment consisted of a microbial community extracted from soil and cultivated under anoxic conditions. It was introduced as an inoculum into three different treatments: biochar, quartz (control with a solid

  9. Induction of systemic resistance in plants by biochar, a soil-applied carbon sequestering agent.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Elad, Yigal; David, Dalia Rav; Harel, Yael Meller; Borenshtein, Menahem; Kalifa, Hananel Ben; Silber, Avner; Graber, Ellen R

    2010-09-01

    Biochar is the solid coproduct of biomass pyrolysis, a technique used for carbon-negative production of second-generation biofuels. The biochar can be applied as a soil amendment, where it permanently sequesters carbon from the atmosphere as well as improves soil tilth, nutrient retention, and crop productivity. In addition to its other benefits in soil, we found that soil-applied biochar induces systemic resistance to the foliar fungal pathogens Botrytis cinerea (gray mold) and Leveillula taurica (powdery mildew) on pepper and tomato and to the broad mite pest (Polyphagotarsonemus latus Banks) on pepper. Levels of 1 to 5% biochar in a soil and a coconut fiber-tuff potting medium were found to be significantly effective at suppressing both diseases in leaves of different ages. In long-term tests (105 days), pepper powdery mildew was significantly less severe in the biochar-treated plants than in the plants from the unamended controls although, during the final 25 days, the rate of disease development in the treatments and controls was similar. Possible biochar-related elicitors of systemic induced resistance are discussed.

  10. Impact of Different Agricultural Waste Biochars on Maize Biomass and Soil Water Content in a Brazilian Cerrado Arenosol

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alicia B. Speratti

    2017-07-01

    Full Text Available Arenosols in the Brazilian Cerrado are increasingly being used for agricultural production, particularly maize. These sandy soils are characterized by low soil organic matter, low available nutrients, and poor water-holding capacity. For this reason, adding biochar as a soil amendment could lead to improved water and nutrient retention. A greenhouse experiment was carried out using twelve biochars derived from four feedstocks (cotton husks, swine manure, eucalyptus sawmill residue, sugarcane filtercake pyrolized at 400, 500 and 600 °C and applied at 5% w/w. The biochars’ effect on maize biomass was examined, along with their contribution to soil physical properties including water retention, electrical conductivity (EC, and grain size distribution. After six weeks, maize plants in soils with eucalyptus and particularly filtercake biochar had higher biomass compared to those in soils with cotton and swine manure biochars. The latter’s low biomass was likely related to excessive salinity. In general, our biochars showed potential for increasing θ in sandy soils compared to the soil alone. Filtercake and eucalyptus biochars may improve soil aeration and water infiltration, while applying cotton and swine manure biochars at levels <5% to avoid high salinity could contribute to improved soil water retention in Cerrado Arenosols.

  11. Biochar Effect on Maize Yield and Soil Characteristics in Five Conservation Farming Sites in Zambia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alfred Obia

    2013-04-01

    Full Text Available Biochar addition to agricultural soils can improve soil fertility, with the added bonus of climate change mitigation through carbon sequestration. Conservation farming (CF is precision farming, often combining minimum tillage, crop rotation and residue retention. In the present farmer-led field trials carried out in Zambia, the use of a low dosage biochar combined with CF minimum tillage was tested as a way to increase crop yields. Using CF minimum tillage allows the biochar to be applied to the area where most of the plant roots are present and mirrors the fertilizer application in CF practices. The CF practice used comprised manually hoe-dug planting 10-L sized basins, where 10%–12% of the land was tilled. Pilot trials were performed with maize cob biochar and wood biochar on five soils with variable physical/chemical characteristics. At a dosage as low as 4 tons/ha, both biochars had a strong positive effect on maize yields in the coarse white aeolian sand of Kaoma, West-Zambia, with yields of 444% ± 114% (p = 0.06 and 352% ± 139% (p = 0.1 of the fertilized reference plots for maize and wood biochar, respectively. Thus for sandy acidic soils, CF and biochar amendment can be a promising combination for increasing harvest yield. Moderate but non-significant effects on yields were observed for maize and wood biochar in a red sandy clay loam ultisol east of Lusaka, central Zambia (University of Zambia, UNZA, site with growth of 142% ± 42% (p > 0.2 and 131% ± 62% (p > 0.2 of fertilized reference plots, respectively. For three other soils (acidic and neutral clay loams and silty clay with variable cation exchange capacity, CEC, no significant effects on maize yields were observed (p > 0.2. In laboratory trials, 5% of the two biochars were added to the soil samples in order to study the effect of the biochar on physical and chemical soil characteristics. The large increase in crop yield in Kaoma soil was tentatively explained by a combination

  12. Biochar effect on maize yield and soil characteristics in five conservation farming sites in Zambia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cornelissen, Gerard; Martinsen, Vegard; Shitumbanuma, Victor; Alling, Vanja; Breedveld, Gijs D.; Rutherford, David W.; Sparrevik, Magnus; Hale, Sarah E.; Obia, Alfred; Mulder, Jan

    2013-01-01

    Biochar addition to agricultural soils can improve soil fertility, with the added bonus of climate change mitigation through carbon sequestration. Conservation farming (CF) is precision farming, often combining minimum tillage, crop rotation and residue retention. In the present farmer-led field trials carried out in Zambia, the use of a low dosage biochar combined with CF minimum tillage was tested as a way to increase crop yields. Using CF minimum tillage allows the biochar to be applied to the area where most of the plant roots are present and mirrors the fertilizer application in CF practices. The CF practice used comprised manually hoe-dug planting 10-L sized basins, where 10%–12% of the land was tilled. Pilot trials were performed with maize cob biochar and wood biochar on five soils with variable physical/chemical characteristics. At a dosage as low as 4 tons/ha, both biochars had a strong positive effect on maize yields in the coarse white aeolian sand of Kaoma, West-Zambia, with yields of 444% ± 114% (p = 0.06) and 352% ± 139% (p = 0.1) of the fertilized reference plots for maize and wood biochar, respectively. Thus for sandy acidic soils, CF and biochar amendment can be a promising combination for increasing harvest yield. Moderate but non-significant effects on yields were observed for maize and wood biochar in a red sandy clay loam ultisol east of Lusaka, central Zambia (University of Zambia, UNZA, site) with growth of 142% ± 42% (p > 0.2) and 131% ± 62% (p > 0.2) of fertilized reference plots, respectively. For three other soils (acidic and neutral clay loams and silty clay with variable cation exchange capacity, CEC), no significant effects on maize yields were observed (p > 0.2). In laboratory trials, 5% of the two biochars were added to the soil samples in order to study the effect of the biochar on physical and chemical soil characteristics. The large increase in crop yield in Kaoma soil was tentatively explained by a combination of an

  13. Biochar effect on maize yield and soil characteristics in five conservation farming sites in Zambia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cornelissen, Gerard; Martinsen, Vegard; Shitumbanuma, Victor; Alling, Vanja; Breedveld, Gijs D.; Rutherford, David W.; Sparrevik, Magnus; Hale, Sarah E.; Obia, Alfred; Mulder, Jan

    2013-01-01

    Biochar addition to agricultural soils can improve soil fertility, with the added bonus of climate change mitigation through carbon sequestration. Conservation farming (CF) is precision farming, often combining minimum tillage, crop rotation and residue retention. In the present farmer-led field trials carried out in Zambia, the use of a low dosage biochar combined with CF minimum tillage was tested as a way to increase crop yields. Using CF minimum tillage allows the biochar to be applied to the area where most of the plant roots are present and mirrors the fertilizer application in CF practices. The CF practice used comprised manually hoe-dug planting 10-L sized basins, where 10%–12% of the land was tilled. Pilot trials were performed with maize cob biochar and wood biochar on five soils with variable physical/chemical characteristics. At a dosage as low as 4 tons/ha, both biochars had a strong positive effect on maize yields in the coarse white aeolian sand of Kaoma, West-Zambia, with yields of 444% ± 114% (p = 0.06) and 352% ± 139% (p = 0.1) of the fertilized reference plots for maize and wood biochar, respectively. Thus for sandy acidic soils, CF and biochar amendment can be a promising combination for increasing harvest yield. Moderate but non-significant effects on yields were observed for maize and wood biochar in a red sandy clay loam ultisol east of Lusaka, central Zambia (University of Zambia, UNZA, site) with growth of 142% ± 42% (p > 0.2) and 131% ± 62% (p > 0.2) of fertilized reference plots, respectively. For three other soils (acidic and neutral clay loams and silty clay with variable cation exchange capacity, CEC), no significant effects on maize yields were observed (p > 0.2). In laboratory trials, 5% of the two biochars were added to the soil samples in order to study the effect of the biochar on physical and chemical soil characteristics. The large increase in crop yield in Kaoma soil was tentatively explained by a combination of an

  14. Effect of almond shell biochar addition on the hydro-physical properties of an arable Central Valley soil

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lopez, V.; Ghezzehei, T. A.

    2014-12-01

    Biochar is composed of any carbonaceous matter pyrolyzed under low oxygen exposure. Its use as a soil amendment to address soil infertility has been accelerated by studies reporting positive effects of enhanced nutrient retention, cation exchange capacity, microbial activity, and vegetative growth over time. Biochar has also been considered as a carbon sequestration method because of its reported environmental persistence. While the aforementioned effects are positive benefits of biochar's use, its impact on soil physical properties and water flow are equally important in maintaining soil fertility. This study aims to show how soil physical and hydraulic properties change over time with biochar addition. To address these aims, we conducted a 9 week microcosm incubation experiment with local arable loamy sand soils amended with biochar. Biochar was created from locally collected almond shells and differs by pyrolysis temperatures (350°C, 700°C) and size (water flow properties were analyzed by infiltration or pressure cell experiments immediately after creating our soil-biochar mixtures. These experiments were repeated during and after the incubation period to observe if and how flow is altered over time. Following incubation and hydraulic experiments, a water drop penetration time (WDPT) test was conducted to observe any alterations in surface hydrophobicity. Changes in soil physical properties were analyzed by determining content of water stable aggregates remaining after wet sieving. This series of experiments is expected to provide a greater understanding on the impact biochar addition on soil physical and hydraulic properties. Furthermore, it provides insight into whether or not converting local agricultural waste into biochar for soil use will be beneficial, especially in agricultural systems undergoing climate stress.

  15. Enhanced biodegradation of PAHs in historically contaminated soil by M. gilvum inoculated biochar.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xiong, Bijing; Zhang, Youchi; Hou, Yanwei; Arp, Hans Peter H; Reid, Brian J; Cai, Chao

    2017-09-01

    The inoculation of rice straw biochar with PAH-degrading Mycobacterium gilvum (1.27 × 10 11  ± 1.24 × 10 10  cell g -1 ), and the subsequent amendment of this composite material to PAHs contaminated (677 mg kg -1 ) coke plant soil, was conducted in order to investigate if would enhance PAHs biodegradation in soils. The microbe-biochar composite showed superior degradation capacity for phenanthrene, fluoranthene and pyrene. Phenanthrene loss in the microbe-biochar composite, free cell alone and biochar alone treatments was, respectively, 62.6 ± 3.2%, 47.3 ± 4.1% and non-significant (P > 0.05); whereas for fluoranthene loss it was 52.1 ± 2.3%; non-significant (P > 0.05) and non-significant (P > 0.05); and for pyrene loss it was 62.1 ± 0.9%; 19.7 ± 6.5% and 13.5 ± 2.8%. It was hypothesized that the improved remediation was underpinned by i) biochar enhanced mass transfer of PAHs from the soil to the carbonaceous biochar "sink", and ii) the subsequent degradation of the PAHs by the immobilized M. gilvum. To test this mechanism, a surfactant (Brij 30; 20 mg g -1 soil), was added to impede PAHs mass transfer to biochar and sorption. The surfactant increased solution phase PAH concentrations and significantly (P biochar immobilized M. gilvum treatments; indicating the enhanced degradation occurred between the immobilized M. gilvum and biochar sorbed PAHs. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  16. Ameliorating effects of designer biochars in a hard-setting subsoil layer: soil fertility and plant biomass

    Science.gov (United States)

    Soils in the southeastern U.S. Coastal Plain region have meager soil fertility and frequently have compacted subsoil layers (E horizon). Designer biochar has gained global interest as an amendment to improve the fertility, chemical, and physical properties of degraded agricultural soils. We hypothes...

  17. Using Biochar composts for improving sandy vineyard soils while reducing the risk of

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kammann, Claudia; Mengel, Jonathan; Mohr, Julia; Muskat, Stefan; Schmidt, Hans-Peter; Löhnertz, Otmar

    2016-04-01

    In recent years, biochar has increasingly been discussed as an option for sustainable environmentalmanagement, combining C sequestration with the aim of soil fertility improvement. Biochar has shownpositive effects in viticulture before (Genesio et al. 2015) which were largely attributed to improved water supply to the plants. However, in fertile temperate soils, the use of pure, untreated biochar does not guarantee economic benefits on the farm level (Ruysschaert et al., 2016). Hence, recent approaches started introducing biochar in management of nutrient-rich agricultural waste, e.g. in compost production (Kammann et al. 2015). Compost is frequently used in German vineyards for humus buildup and as a slow-release organic fertilizer. This, and increasingly mild, precipitation-rich winters, promoting mineralization, increase the risk of unwanted nitrate leaching losses into surface and ground waters during winter. To investigate if biochar pure, or biochar-compost mixtures and -products may have the potential to reduce nitrate leaching, we set up the following experiment: Either 30 or 60 t ha-1 of the following additives were mixed into the top 30 cm of sandy soil in large (120 L) containers, and planted with oneRiesling grapevine (Clone 198-30 GM) per container: Control (no addition), pure woody biochar, pure compost, biochar-compost (produced from the same organic feedstock than the compost, with 20 vol. - % of a woody biochar added), and pure compost plus pure biochar (same mixing ratio as in the former product). Once monthly, containers were exposed to simulated heavy rainfall that caused drainage. Leachates were collected from an outlet at the bottom of the containers, and analyzed for nutrients. The nutrient-rich additives containing compost all improved grape biomass and yield, most markedly pure compost and biochar-compost; same amendments were not significantly different. However,while the addition of the lower amount (30 t ha-1) of compost reduced nitrate

  18. Biochar increased water holding capacity but accelerated organic carbon leaching from a sloping farmland soil in China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Chen; Wang, Honglan; Tang, Xiangyu; Guan, Zhuo; Reid, Brian J; Rajapaksha, Anushka Upamali; Ok, Yong Sik; Sun, Hui

    2016-01-01

    A hydrologically contained field study, to assess biochar (produced from mixed crop straws) influence upon soil hydraulic properties and dissolved organic carbon (DOC) leaching, was conducted on a loamy soil (entisol). The soil, noted for its low plant-available water and low soil organic matter, is the most important arable soil type in the upper reaches of the Yangtze River catchment, China. Pore size distribution characterization (by N2 adsorption, mercury intrusion, and water retention) showed that the biochar had a tri-modal pore size distribution. This included pores with diameters in the range of 0.1-10 μm that can retain plant-available water. Comparison of soil water retention curves between the control (0) and the biochar plots (16 t ha(-1) on dry weight basis) demonstrated biochar amendment to increase soil water holding capacity. However, significant increases in DOC concentration of soil pore water in both the plough layer and the undisturbed subsoil layer were observed in the biochar-amended plots. An increased loss of DOC relative to the control was observed upon rainfall events. Measurements of excitation-emission matrix (EEM) fluorescence indicated the DOC increment originated primarily from the organic carbon pool in the soil that became more soluble following biochar incorporation.

  19. Bioavailability and toxicity of pyrene in soils upon biochar and compost addition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bielská, Lucie; Kah, Melanie; Sigmund, Gabriel; Hofmann, Thilo; Höss, Sebastian

    2017-10-01

    The study investigates the role of biochar and/or compost in mitigating the toxic effects of pyrene in soils using reproduction of nematodes and porewater concentration as measures of pyrene toxicity and bioavailability, respectively. Two soils were spiked with increasing levels of pyrene to achieve a concentration-response relationship for the reproduction of Caenorhabditis elegans. The observed EC50 values (pyrene concentration causing 50% inhibition of reproduction) were 14mg/kg and 31mg/kg (dry mass) for these soils, corresponding to equilibrium porewater concentrations of 37μg/L and 47μg/L, respectively. Differences in organic carbon content were not sufficient to explain the variability in toxicity between the different soils. Soils causing a significant inhibition of reproduction were further amended with 10%-compost, 5%-biochar, or both, and the effects on reproduction and porewater concentration determined. Combined addition of compost and biochar was identified as the most effective strategy in reducing pyrene concentration in soil porewater, which was also partly reflected in soil toxicity. However, porewater concentrations predicted only 52% of pyrene toxicity to nematodes, pointing to particle-bound or dietary exposure pathways. Capsule: Amending pyrene-spiked soil with biochar and compost effectively reduced pyrene porewater concentrations and toxicity to nematodes, which were significantly related. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  20. Biochar reduces the bioaccumulation of PAHs from soil to carrot (Daucus carota L.) in the rhizosphere: A mechanism study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ni, Ni; Song, Yang; Shi, Renyong; Liu, Zongtang; Bian, Yongrong; Wang, Fang; Yang, Xinglun; Gu, Chenggang; Jiang, Xin

    2017-12-01

    The aim of this study was to reveal the mechanisms on how biochar reduces bioaccumulation of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in tuberous vegetables. Corn straw-derived biochar pyrolyzed at 300°C (CB300) or bamboo-derived biochar pyrolyzed at 700°C (BB700) was amended into PAH-contaminated soil planted with carrot (Daucus carota L.). After 150days, 2% CB300 or 2% BB700 amendments significantly reduced the bioaccumulation of PAHs in carrot root (pbiochars both showed better effectiveness at reducing the bioavailability of high-molecular-weight PAHs than the low-molecular-weight PAHs in the rhizosphere. Therefore, the mechanisms on how biochar reduces the PAH uptake into carrot are dependent on the type of biochar (e.g., pyrolysis temperature and feedstock) and root presence. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  1. An assessment of emergy, energy, and cost-benefits of grain production over 6 years following a biochar amendment in a rice paddy from China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Lei; Li, Lianqing; Cheng, Kun; Ji, Chunying; Yue, Qian; Bian, Rongjun; Pan, Genxing

    2018-04-01

    Biochar soil amendment had been increasingly advocated for improving crop productivity and reducing carbon footprint in agriculture worldwide. However, the long-term benefits of biochar application with farming systems had not been thoroughly understood. This study quantified and assessed emergy, energy, and economic benefits of rice and wheat production throughout 6 rotation years following a single biochar amendment in a rice paddy from Southeastern China. Using the data from farm inventory, the quantified emergy indices included grain outputs, unit emergy value, and relative percentage of free renewable resources, environmental loading ratio, emergy yield ratio, and emergy sustainability index (ESI). The results indicated contrasting differences in these emergy values between biochar-amended and unamended production systems over the 6 years. The overall emergy efficiency of rice and wheat productions in biochar-amended system were higher by 11-28 and 15-47%, respectively, than that of unamended one of which the production being highly resource intensive. Moreover, ESI on average was 0.46 for rice and 0.63 for wheat in amended system, compared to 0.35 for rice and 0.39 for wheat in unamended one. Furthermore, over the 6 years following a single application, the ESI values showed considerable variation in the unamended system but consistently increasing in the amended system. Again, the biochar-amended system exerted significantly higher energy and economic return than the unamended one. Nonetheless, there was a tradeoff between rice and wheat in grain yield and net economic gain. Overall, biochar amendment could be a viable measure to improve the resilience of grain production while to reduce resource intensity and environment impacts in paddy soil from China.

  2. Influence of wood-derived biochar on the compactibility and strength of silt loam soil

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ahmed, Ahmed; Gariepy, Yvan; Raghavan, Vijaya

    2017-04-01

    Biochar is proven to enhance soil fertility and increase crop productivity. Given that the influence of biochar on soil compaction remains unclear, selected physico-mechanical properties of soil amended with wood-derived biochar were assessed. For unamended silt loam, the bulk density, maximum bulk density, optimum moisture content, plastic limit, liquid limit, and plasticity index were 1.05 Mg m-3, 1.69 Mg m-3, 16.55, 17.1, 29.3, and 12.2%, respectively. The penetration resistance and shear strength of the unamended silt loam compacted in the standard compaction Proctor mold and at its optimum moisture content were 1800 kPa and 850 kPa, respectively. Results from amending the silt loam with 10% particle size ranges (0.5-212 μm) led to relative decreases of 18.1, 17.75, 66.66, and 97.4% in bulk density, maximum bulk density, penetration resistance, and shear strength, respectively; a 26.8% relative increase in optimum moisture content; along with absolute increases in plastic limit, liquid limit, and plasticity index of 5.3, 13.7, and 8.4%, respectively. While the biochar-amended silt loam soil was more susceptible to compaction, however, soil mechanical impedance enhanced.

  3. Amelioration of soil PAH and heavy metals by combined application of fly ash and biochar

    Science.gov (United States)

    Masto, Reginald; George, Joshy; Ansari, Md; Ram, Lal

    2016-04-01

    Generation of electricity through coal combustion produces huge quantities of fly ash. Sustainable disposal and utilization of these fly ash is a major challenge. Fly ash along with other amendments like biochar could be used for amelioration of soil. In this study, fly ash and biochar were used together for amelioration of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) contaminated soil. Field experiment was conducted to investigate the effects of fly ash and biochar on the amelioration of soil PAH, and the yield of Zea mays. The treatments were control, biochar (4 t/ha), fly ash (4 t/ha), ash + biochar ( 2 + 2 t/ha). Soil samples were collected after the harvest of maize crop and analysed for chemical and biological parameters. Thirteen PAHs were analysed in the postharvest soil samples. Soil PAHs were extracted in a microwave oven at 120 °C using hexane : acetone (1:1) mixture. The extracted solutions were concentrated, cleaned and the 13 PAHs [Acenaphthene (Ace), fluorene (Flr), phenanthrene (Phn), anthracene(Ant), pyrene(Pyr), benz(a)anthracene (BaA), chrysene (Chy), benzo(b)fluoranthene (BbF), benzo(k)fluoranthene (BkF), benzo(a)pyrene, benzo(g,h,i)perylene (BghiP), dibenzo(a,h)anthracene, and indeno(1,2,3-cd)pyrene)(Inp)] were analysed using GC-MS. The mean pH increased from 6.09 in control to 6.64 and 6.58 at biochar and fly ash treated soils, respectively. N content was not affected, whereas addition of biochar alone and in combination with fly ash, has significantly increased the soil organic carbon content. P content was almost double in combined (9.06 mg/kg) treatment as compared to control (4.32 mg/kg). The increase in K due to biochar was 118%, whereas char + ash increased soil K by 64%. Soil heavy metals were decreased: Zn (-48.4%), Ni (-41.4%), Co (-36.9%), Cu (-35.7%), Mn (-34.3%), Cd (-33.2%), and Pb (-30.4%). Soil dehydrogenase activity was significantly increased by ash and biochar treatments and the maximum activity was observed for the combined

  4. Reduced carbon sequestration potential of biochar in acidic soil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sheng, Yaqi; Zhan, Yu; Zhu, Lizhong

    2016-12-01

    Biochar application in soil has been proposed as a promising method for carbon sequestration. While factors affecting its carbon sequestration potential have been widely investigated, the number of studies on the effect of soil pH is limited. To investigate the carbon sequestration potential of biochar across a series of soil pH levels, the total carbon emission, CO 2 release from inorganic carbon, and phospholipid fatty acids (PLFAs) of six soils with various pH levels were compared after the addition of straw biochar produced at different pyrolysis temperatures. The results show that the acidic soils released more CO 2 (1.5-3.5 times higher than the control) after the application of biochar compared with neutral and alkaline soils. The degradation of both native soil organic carbon (SOC) and biochar were accelerated. More inorganic CO 2 release in acidic soil contributed to the increased degradation of biochar. Higher proportion of gram-positive bacteria in acidic soil (25%-36%) was responsible for the enhanced biochar degradation and simultaneously co-metabolism of SOC. In addition, lower substrate limitation for bacteria, indicated by higher C-O stretching after the biochar application in the acidic soil, also caused more CO 2 release. In addition to the soil pH, other factors such as clay contents and experimental duration also affected the phsico-chemical and biotic processes of SOC dynamics. Gram-negative/gram-positive bacteria ratio was found to be negatively related to priming effects, and suggested to serve as an indicator for priming effect. In general, the carbon sequestration potential of rice-straw biochar in soil reduced along with the decrease of soil pH especially in a short-term. Given wide spread of acidic soils in China, carbon sequestration potential of biochar may be overestimated without taking into account the impact of soil pH. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  5. Effect of soil biochar concentration on the mitigation of emerging organic contaminant uptake in lettuce.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hurtado, Carlos; Cañameras, Núria; Domínguez, Carmen; Price, Gordon W; Comas, Jordi; Bayona, Josep M

    2017-02-05

    Although crop uptake of emerging organic contaminants (EOC) from irrigation water and soils has been previously reported, successful mitigation strategies have not yet been established. In this study, soil was amended with a wood-based biochar (BC) at two rates (0, 2.5 and 5% w/w) to evaluate the effect on mitigation of EOC uptake (i.e. bisphenol A, caffeine, carbamazepine, clofibric acid, furosemide, ibuprofen, methyl dihydrojasmonate, tris(2-chloroethyl)phosphate, triclosan, and tonalide) in lettuce (Lactuca sativa L.). After 28 days of irrigation with water containing EOCs at 15μgL -1 , the average EOC concentration in roots and leaves decreased by 20-76% in biochar amended soil relative to non BC-amended soil. In addition, the enantiomeric fractions (EF) of ibuprofen (IBU) in biochar amended soils (EF=0.58) and unamended soils (EF=0.76) suggest that the IBU sorbed fraction in BC is more recalcitrant to its biodegradation. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  6. Gasification biochar has limited effects on functional and structural diversity of soil microbial communities in a temperate agroecosystem

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Imparato, Valentina; Hansen, Veronika; Santos, Susana

    2016-01-01

    Biochar may enhance soil fertility and carbon (C) sequestration but there is still a lack of comprehensive understanding of its effects on soil microbial communities and functioning. This study tested the differential effects of two doses (6e8 and 0.8e1.4 t ha1 for High and Low doses, respectively......) of wheat straw gasification biochar (GBC) and fresh straw incorporated as soil amendments into an agricultural field in Denmark. Soils were analysed three months after the amendments for pH, total organic matter, microbial biomass (ATP), ten enzymatic activities, catabolic potential by substrate......-induced respiration (MicroResp™), soil toxicity test (BioTox™) and bacterial community structure (Illumina 16S rRNA gene sequencing). No significant effect of biochar treatment was observed regarding ATP content, catabolic community profiles and soil toxicity. The higher dose of GBC increased phenol oxidase activity...

  7. Interactive effects of straw-derived biochar and N fertilization on soil C storage and rice productivity in rice paddies of Northeast China

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sui, Yanghui; Gao, Jiping; Liu, Caihong; Zhang, Wenzhong; Lan, Yu; Li, Shuhang; Meng, Jun; Xu, Zhengjin; Tang, Liang

    2016-01-01

    Impacts of biochar on greenhouse gas emissions and C sequestration in agricultural soils have been considered as the key to mitigate climate change. There is limited knowledge regarding the effects of rice straw-derived biochar and interaction with N fertilization on soil C sequestration and rice productivity in fertile paddy fields. A 2-year (2013 and 2014) consecutive field trial was performed using straw treatment (5.05 t ha −1 ) and biochar amendment (0, 1.78, 14.8 and 29.6 t ha −1 ) with or without urea application in a rice paddy in Northeast China. A super high yielding rice variety (Oryza sativa L. subsp. Japonica cv. ‘Shennong 265’) was cultivated with permanent flooding. Results showed that biochar amendments significantly decreased CH 4 emissions relative to straw treatment irrespective of N fertilization, especially in N-fertilized soils with 1.78 t ha −1 biochar. There were no differences in CO 2 emissions with respect to biochar amendments, except for 14.8 t ha −1 biochar with N fertilization. Straw treatment had the highest global warming potential over a 100-year time frame, which was nearly 1.5 times that of 14.8 t ha −1 biochar amendment without N fertilization. Biochar addition increased total soil C by up to 5.75 mg g −1 and 11.69 mg g −1 (with 14.8 and 29.6 t ha −1 biochar, respectively), whereas straw incorporation increased this value by only 3.92 mg g −1 . The aboveground biomass of rice in biochar-amended soils increased to varying degrees compared with that in straw-treated soils. However, biochar application had no effects on rice yield, regardless of N fertilization. This study indicated that transforming straw to biochar was more stabilized and more suitable to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions and increase C storage in agriculture soils in Northeast China. - Highlights: • Rice straw-derived biochar significantly reduced CH 4 emission. • Rice straw-derived biochar interacted with the effects of N fertilizers on

  8. Interactive effects of straw-derived biochar and N fertilization on soil C storage and rice productivity in rice paddies of Northeast China

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sui, Yanghui [Rice Research Institute, Shenyang Agricultural University, Shenyang 110866 (China); Gao, Jiping [Rice Research Institute, Shenyang Agricultural University, Shenyang 110866 (China); Liaoning Biochar Engineering & Technology Research Center, Shenyang Agricultural University, Dongling Rd, Shenyang 110866 (China); Liu, Caihong; Zhang, Wenzhong [Rice Research Institute, Shenyang Agricultural University, Shenyang 110866 (China); Lan, Yu [Liaoning Biochar Engineering & Technology Research Center, Shenyang Agricultural University, Dongling Rd, Shenyang 110866 (China); Li, Shuhang [Rice Research Institute, Shenyang Agricultural University, Shenyang 110866 (China); Meng, Jun [Liaoning Biochar Engineering & Technology Research Center, Shenyang Agricultural University, Dongling Rd, Shenyang 110866 (China); Xu, Zhengjin, E-mail: xuzhengjin@126.com [Rice Research Institute, Shenyang Agricultural University, Shenyang 110866 (China); Tang, Liang, E-mail: tl_rice@126.com [Rice Research Institute, Shenyang Agricultural University, Shenyang 110866 (China)

    2016-02-15

    Impacts of biochar on greenhouse gas emissions and C sequestration in agricultural soils have been considered as the key to mitigate climate change. There is limited knowledge regarding the effects of rice straw-derived biochar and interaction with N fertilization on soil C sequestration and rice productivity in fertile paddy fields. A 2-year (2013 and 2014) consecutive field trial was performed using straw treatment (5.05 t ha{sup −1}) and biochar amendment (0, 1.78, 14.8 and 29.6 t ha{sup −1}) with or without urea application in a rice paddy in Northeast China. A super high yielding rice variety (Oryza sativa L. subsp. Japonica cv. ‘Shennong 265’) was cultivated with permanent flooding. Results showed that biochar amendments significantly decreased CH{sub 4} emissions relative to straw treatment irrespective of N fertilization, especially in N-fertilized soils with 1.78 t ha{sup −1} biochar. There were no differences in CO{sub 2} emissions with respect to biochar amendments, except for 14.8 t ha{sup −1} biochar with N fertilization. Straw treatment had the highest global warming potential over a 100-year time frame, which was nearly 1.5 times that of 14.8 t ha{sup −1} biochar amendment without N fertilization. Biochar addition increased total soil C by up to 5.75 mg g{sup −1} and 11.69 mg g{sup −1} (with 14.8 and 29.6 t ha{sup −1} biochar, respectively), whereas straw incorporation increased this value by only 3.92 mg g{sup −1}. The aboveground biomass of rice in biochar-amended soils increased to varying degrees compared with that in straw-treated soils. However, biochar application had no effects on rice yield, regardless of N fertilization. This study indicated that transforming straw to biochar was more stabilized and more suitable to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions and increase C storage in agriculture soils in Northeast China. - Highlights: • Rice straw-derived biochar significantly reduced CH{sub 4} emission. • Rice straw

  9. Carbon Mineralization in Two Ultisols Amended with Different Sources and Particle Sizes of Pyrolyzed Biochar

    Science.gov (United States)

    Biochar produced during pyrolysis has the potential to enhance soil fertility and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The influence of biochar properties (e.g., particle size) on both short- and long-term carbon (C) mineralization of biochar remains unclear. There is minimal informa...

  10. Book review of biochar application: Essential soil microbiology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Biochar, charcoal produced following biomass pyrolysis, has the potential to positively impact soil physical and chemical properties, improving soil fertility and water holding capacity as well as adsorbing contaminants. In addition, a large proportion of biochar carbon is highly recalcitrant and s...

  11. Biochar alters the resistance and resilience to drought in a tropical soil

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Liang, Chenfei; Zhu, Xiaolin; Fu, Shenglei; Paz-Ferreiro, Jorge; Méndez, Ana; Gascó, Gabriel

    2014-01-01

    Soil microbes play a key role in nutrient cycling and carbon sequestration. Global change can alter soil microbial population composition and behavior. Biochar addition has been explored in the last years as a way to mitigate global warming. However, responses of microbial communities to biochar addition in particular in relation to abiotic disturbances are seldom documented. An example of these disturbances, which is predicted to be exacerbated with global warming, is regional drought. It has been known that fungal-based food webs are more resistant to drought than their bacterial counterparts. Our study found that biochar addition can increase the resistance of both the bacterial and fungal networks to drought. Contrary to expected, this result was not related to a change in the dominance of fungal or bacteria. In general, soil amended with biochar was characterized by a faster recovery of soil microbial properties to its basal values. Biochar addition to the soil also suppressed the Birch effect, a result that has not been previously reported. (papers)

  12. Effects of biochar on reducing the abundance of oxytetracycline, antibiotic resistance genes, and human pathogenic bacteria in soil and lettuce.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Duan, Manli; Li, Haichao; Gu, Jie; Tuo, Xiaxia; Sun, Wei; Qian, Xun; Wang, Xiaojuan

    2017-05-01

    Antibiotics and antibiotic resistance genes (ARGs) in soil can affect human health via the food chain. Biochar is a soil amendment but its impacts on ARGs and the microbial communities associated with soil and vegetables are unclear. Therefore, we established three lettuce pot culture experiments, i.e., O300: 300 mg/kg oxytetracycline (OTC), BO300: 300 mg/kg OTC + 2% biochar, and a control without OTC or biochar. We found that under BO300, the relative abundances of ARGs were reduced by 51.8%, 43.4%, and 44.1% in lettuce leaves, roots, and soil, respectively, compared with O300. intI1 was highly abundant in soil and lettuce, and it co-occurred with some ARGs (tetW, ermF, and sul1). Redundancy analysis and network analysis indicated that the bacterial community succession was the main mechanism that affected the variations in ARGs and intI1. The reduction of Firmicutes due to the biochar treatment of soil and lettuce was the main factor responsible for the removal of tetracycline resistance genes in leaves. Biochar application led to the disappearance of human pathogenic bacteria (HPB), which was significantly correlated with the abundances of ermF and ermX. In summary, biochar is an effective farmland amendment for reducing the abundances of antibiotics, ARGs, and HPB in order to ensure the safety of vegetables and protect human health. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  13. Amending Jasper County, Missouri soils with biochar and other amendments following chat removal to facilitate soil restoration/revitalization and establishment of a soil-stabilizing plant cover: An ORD and Region 7 Collaboration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abandoned mines and the residuals from mining across the U.S. pose a considerable, pervasive risk to human health and the environment. Many soils in the Tri-State-Mining District (TSMD), located where Missouri, Kansas and Oklahoma meet, have been affected by the residuals of his...

  14. Soil properties, greenhouse gas emissions and crop yield under compost, biochar and co-composted biochar in two tropical agronomic systems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bass, Adrian M; Bird, Michael I; Kay, Gavin; Muirhead, Brian

    2016-04-15

    The addition of organic amendments to agricultural soils has the potential to increase crop yields, reduce dependence on inorganic fertilizers and improve soil condition and resilience. We evaluated the effect of biochar (B), compost (C) and co-composted biochar (COMBI) on the soil properties, crop yield and greenhouse gas emissions from a banana and a papaya plantation in tropical Australia in the first harvest cycle. Biochar, compost and COMBI organic amendments improved soil properties, including significant increases in soil water content, CEC, K, Ca, NO3, NH4 and soil carbon content. However, increases in soil nutrient content and improvements in physical properties did not translate to improved fruit yield. Counter to our expectations, banana crop yield (weight per bunch) was reduced by 18%, 12% and 24% by B, C and COMBI additions respectively, and no significant effect was observed on the papaya crop yield. Soil efflux of CO2 was elevated by addition of C and COMBI amendments, likely due to an increase in labile carbon for microbial processing. Our data indicate a reduction in N2O flux in treatments containing biochar. The application of B, C and COMBI amendments had a generally positive effect on soil properties, but this did not translate into a crop productivity increase in this study. The benefits to soil nutrient content, soil carbon storage and N2O emission reduction need to be carefully weighed against potentially deleterious effects on crop yield, at least in the short-term. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  15. Remediation of biochar on heavy metal polluted soils

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Shuguang; Xu, Yan; Norbu, Namkha; Wang, Zhan

    2018-01-01

    Unreasonable mining and smelting of mineral resources, solid waste disposal, sewage irrigation, utilization of pesticides and fertilizers would result in a large number of heavy metal pollutants into the water and soil environment, causing serious damage to public health and ecological safety. In recent years, a majority of scholars tried to use biochar to absorb heavy metal pollutants, which has some advantages of extensive raw material sources, low-cost and high environmental stability. This paper reviewed the definition, properties of biochar, the mechanism of heavy metal sorption by biochar and some related problems and prospects, to provide some technical support for the application of biochar into heavy metal polluted soils.

  16. Impacts of biochar and oyster shells waste on the immobilization of arsenic in highly contaminated soils.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Yongshan; Xu, Jinghua; Lv, Zhengyong; Xie, Ruijia; Huang, Liumei; Jiang, Jinping

    2018-07-01

    Soil contamination is a serious problem with deleterious impacts on global sustainability. Readily available, economic, and highly effective technologies are therefore urgently needed for the rehabilitation of contaminated sites. In this study, two readily available materials prepared from bio-wastes, namely biochar and oyster shell waste, were evaluated as soil amendments to immobilize arsenic in a highly As-contaminated soil (up to 15,000 mgAs/kg). Both biochar and oyster shell waste can effectively reduce arsenic leachability in acid soils. After application of the amendments (2-4% addition, w/w), the exchangeable arsenic fraction decreased from 105.8 to 54.0 mg/kg. The application of 2%biochar +2% oyster shell waste most effectively reduced As levels in the column leaching test by reducing the arsenic concentration in the porewater by 62.3% compared with the treatment without amendments. Biochar and oyster shell waste also reduced soluble As(III) from 374.9 ± 18.8 μg/L to 185.9 ± 16.8 μg/L and As(V) from 119.8 ± 13.0 μg/L to 56.4 ± 2.6 μg/L at a pH value of 4-5. The treatment using 4% (w/w) amendments did not result in sufficient As immobilization in highly contaminated soils; high soluble arsenic concentrations (upto193.0 μg/L)were found in the soil leachate, particularly in the form of As(III), indicating a significant potential to pollute shallow groundwater aquifers. This study provides valuable insights into the use of cost-effective and readily available materials for soil remediation and investigates the mechanisms underlying arsenic immobilization in acidic soils. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  17. Reducing the bioavailability of PCBs in soil to plant by biochars assessed with triolein-embedded cellulose acetate membrane technique

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wang, Yu; Wang, Yu-Jun; Wang, Lei; Fang, Guo-Dong; Cang, Long; Herath, H.M.S.K.; Zhou, Dong-Mei

    2013-01-01

    Coupling with triolein-embedded cellulose acetate membrane (TECAM) technique, hydroxypropyl β-cyclodextrins (HPCD) extraction method, and the greenhouse pot experiments, the influences of biochars on polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) bioavailability in soil to plant (Brassica chinensis L. and Daucus carota) were investigated. Addition of 2% biochars to soils significantly reduced the uptake of PCBs in plant, especially for di-, tri- and tetra-chlorobiphenyls. PCBs concentrations in the roots of B. chinensis and D. carota were reduced for 61.5–93.7%, and 12.7–62.4%, respectively in the presence of biochars. The kinetic study showed that in the soils amended with/without biochars, PCBs concentrations accumulated in TECAM, as well as in the HPCD extraction solution, followed significant linear relationships with those in plant roots. Application of biochars to soil is a potentially promising method to reduce PCBs bioavailability whereas TECAM technique can be a useful tool to predict the bioavailability of PCBs in soil. -- Highlights: ► Application of biochars significantly reduced the uptake of PCBs in plant. ► TECAM was a new and effective method to predict the PCBs bioavailability in soil. ► PCBs accumulated in TECAM followed significant linear relationships with plant. ► PCBs in TECAM were more similar with the plant uptake than HPCD solution. -- The reduced PCBs concentrations in plant roots by biochars show good linear relationship with those in TECAM

  18. An interesting biochar effect that suppressed dechlorination of pentachlorophenol while promoted iron/sulfate reduction and methanogenesis in flooded soil

    Science.gov (United States)

    He, Yan; Zhu, Min

    2017-04-01

    Biochar has received increasing attention for its many environmental impacts in recent years, but there is still a lack of comprehensive understanding of its effects on the fate of reducible organic pollutants and soil biogeochemical processes under anaerobic environments. In this study, anaerobic batch experiments were conducted to explore the effect of biochar on reductive transformation of PCP and other soil redox processes in anaerobic incubation environment. Results showed that biochar had little impact on the system Eh and pH, both of which decreased gradually to a stable value during the incubation. Dissimilatory iron reduction and sulfate reduction were significantly enhanced following biochar addition, with the promoting effect more prominent in the treatment with 1% (w/w) than that with 5% biochar added. In addition, biochar accelerated the formation of carbon dioxide and methane, but there was no difference in the final content of these two greenhouse gases at the end of incubation between biochar amended and control treatments. Unexpectedly, compared to biochar-free controls, the reductively dechlorinated degradation of PCP was inhibited following biochar addition, with the inhibition extent increased with the increase of biochar amount. These revealed an interesting biochar effect that suppressed the dechlorination of PCP, but promoted the iron/sulfate reduction and accelerated the methanogenesis. It might be simultaneously mediated by the functional microbial groups that responded sensitively to the addition of biochar and/or PCP, including the potential dechlorinators, the potential iron/sulfate reducers, and the typical methanogenic archaea. Specific function of biochar as electron shuttle was also likely involved in underpinning this interesting effect, since biochar would be capable of splitting the limited electrons from the inferior electron acceptors (in our case, the PCP) to the dominant more competitive ones (in our case, Fe(III) and SO42

  19. Use of biochar amendments for removing bacteria from simulated tile-drainage waters

    Science.gov (United States)

    The addition of biochar has been shown to increase bacterial removal rates by several orders of magnitude in sand-packed columns, suggesting that biochar may be a suitable amendment for use in end-of-tile filter systems to remove indicator and pathogenic microorganisms in tile-drainage waters. Addit...

  20. Contribution of wastes and biochar amendment to the sorption capacity of heavy metals by a minesoil

    Science.gov (United States)

    Forján, Rubén; Asensio, Verónica; Vega, Flora A.; Andrade, Luisa; Covelo, Emma F.

    2013-04-01

    The use of wastes as soil amendments is a technique applied to reduce the available concentration of heavy metals in polluted sites (Pérez-de-Mora et al., 2005). However, the used wastes sometimes have high concentration of metals such as Cu, Pb, and Zn. Therefore, the sorption capacity of the amendments is important to understand its behavior in soil. The settling pond soil in a mine (S) located at Touro (Spain) was amended with a mixture of sewage sludges, sludges from an aluminum plant, ash, food industry wastes, sands from a wastewater treatment plant and biochar (A). The present study was performed to determine the influence of the addition of the amendment (A) in the sorption capacity of Cu, Pb, and Zn of the studied soil (S). The amendment (A) and the soil (S) were mixed (SA) at 20, 40, 60% and then introduced into glass vessels. The amendment A and S the soil at 100% were also introduced in glass vials as control samples. Mixtures and controls were incubated to field capacity for one month. To evaluate the sorption capacity of the soil and the mixtures soil-amendment, sorption isotherms were constructed using multiple-metal solutions of Cu, Pb and Zn nitrates (0.03, 0.05, 0.08, 0.1 and 0.5 mmol L-1) containing 0.01 M NaNO3 as background electrolyte (Vega et al., 2009). The overall capacity of the soil to sorb Cu, Pb y Zn was evaluated as the slope Kr (Vega et al., 2008). The sorption capacity of the amendment (A) is higher than the soil (S) for the three studied elements, which reflects that this amendment has a binding capacity of Cu, Pb and Zn higher than soil (S) (P <0.05). The soil-amendment mixtures (SA) in all proportions used, except 20% for Zn, also showed higher sorption capacity than the soil (S). The amended soil has higher sorption capacity of Cu, Pb and Zn than the soil without amending (P < 0.05). The element preferably sorbed by SA in the proportions 20, 40 and 60% is Pb and the least sorbed is Zn. The amendment without mixing with the soil

  1. Can biochar in combination with compost improve degraded soils?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Friesl-Hanl, Wolfgang; Zehetner, Franz; Dunst, Gerald; Wagner, Mario; Puschenreiter, Markus; Karer, Jasmin; Soja, Gerhard

    2016-04-01

    As global demand for agricultural commodities is growing, the use and improvement of degraded land could at least partly meet this demand. Based on the Renewable Energy Directive 2009/28/EC (RED) which endorses the use of degraded land for biomass production on the one hand, and the emerging conflict of the 4 F's (food, feed, fiber and fuel production) on the other hand, the application of biochar to ameliorate degraded land could be a strategy to improve the productivity of soils on marginal agricultural land. The aim of our study was to investigate the effects of biochar/compost mixtures (w/w; 50/50) on two agricultural soils low in organic matter - one sandy, the other clayey. The suitability of the biochar/compost-amended (BC) soils for renewable biomass production using maize or Miscanthus was tested in the field. We conducted two field experiments with different treatments based on the results of previous pot experiments with the same soils. The following treatments were applied: • Co … Control (no BC but fertilized with (NH4)2SO4 corresponding to T3) • T1 … 1 % BC • T2 … 0.5 % BC + 175 kg N ha-1 • T3 … 1 % BC + 350 kg N ha-1 The treatments influenced water holding capacity (WHC), organic carbon content (Corg) in soil and biomass productivity (BM). WHC increased significantly upon 3 % BC addition in the previous pot experiment, but not significantly upon 1 % addition in the field (T1, T3). Due to heterogeneity in the field Corg did not show significant differences between treatments. The two test soils responded differently for BM productivity. Miscanthus (perennial) grown on sandy Eschenau soil was not influenced by the treatments in 2013 but showed a positive reaction trend in 2014. Miscanthus will need at least one further growing season to show its full yield potential. Maize (annual) grown on clayey Kaindorf soil increased BM significantly 2013 upon T3 but not in 2014 due to erosion events on sloping terrain. Keywords: Soil quality

  2. Stabilization of carbon in composts and biochars in relation to carbon sequestration and soil fertility.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bolan, N S; Kunhikrishnan, A; Choppala, G K; Thangarajan, R; Chung, J W

    2012-05-01

    There have been increasing interests in the conversion of organic residues into biochars in order to reduce the rate of decomposition, thereby enhancing carbon (C) sequestration in soils. However energy is required to initiate the pyrolysis process during biochar production which can also lead to the release of greenhouse gasses. Alternative methods can be used to stabilize C in composts and other organic residues without impacting their quality. The objectives of this study include: (i) to compare the rate of decomposition among various organic amendments and (ii) to examine the effect of clay materials on the stabilization of C in organic amendments. The decomposition of a number of organic amendments (composts and biochars) was examined by monitoring the release of carbon-dioxide using respiration experiments. The results indicated that the rate of decomposition as measured by half life (t(1/2)) varied between the organic amendments and was higher in sandy soil than in clay soil. The half life value ranged from 139 days in the sandy soil and 187 days in the clay soil for poultry manure compost to 9989 days for green waste biochar. Addition of clay materials to compost decreased the rate of decomposition, thereby increasing the stabilization of C. The half life value for poultry manure compost increased from 139 days to 620, 806 and 474 days with the addition of goethite, gibbsite and allophane, respectively. The increase in the stabilization of C with the addition of clay materials may be attributed to the immobilization of C, thereby preventing it from microbial decomposition. Stabilization of C in compost using clay materials did not impact negatively the value of composts in improving soil quality as measured by potentially mineralizable nitrogen and microbial biomass carbon in soil. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  3. Distinct effects of struvite and biochar amendment on the class 1 integron antibiotic resistance gene cassettes in phyllosphere and rhizosphere.

    Science.gov (United States)

    An, Xin-Li; Chen, Qing-Lin; Zhu, Dong; Su, Jian-Qiang

    2018-03-11

    Struvite recovered from wastewater is promising for recycling phosphorus into soil as fertilizers. However, struvite application may prompt the proliferation of antibiotic resistance in soil and plant. This study examined the impacts of struvite application and biochar amendment on integrons abundance and gene cassette contexts in rhizosphere soil and phyllosphere using quantitative PCR and clone library analysis. Microcosm experiments revealed that class 1 integron was the most prevalent in all samples, with higher concentration and higher relative abundance in rhizosphere than those in phyllosphere. The majority of resistance gene cassettes were associated with genes encoding resistance to aminoglycosides, beta-lactams and chloramphenicols. Struvite application significantly increased the genetic diversity of antibiotic resistance gene cassettes in both rhizosphere and phyllosphere. However, biochar amendment attenuated the increasing effect of struvite application exerting on the class 1 integron antibiotic resistance gene cassette pool in phyllosphere. These findings highlighted human activities to be the source of integron gene cassette pool and raised the possibility of using biochar amendment as an alternative mean for mitigating antibiotic resistance in environments. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  4. Biochar from commercially cultivated seaweed for soil amelioration

    OpenAIRE

    Roberts, David A.; Paul, Nicholas A.; Dworjanyn, Symon A.; Bird, Michael I.; de Nys, Rocky

    2015-01-01

    Seaweed cultivation is a high growth industry that is primarily targeted at human food and hydrocolloid markets. However, seaweed biomass also offers a feedstock for the production of nutrient-rich biochar for soil amelioration. We provide the first data of biochar yield and characteristics from intensively cultivated seaweeds (Saccharina, Undaria and Sargassum ? brown seaweeds, and Gracilaria, Kappaphycus and Eucheuma ? red seaweeds). While there is some variability in biochar properties as ...

  5. Effects of biochars on the availability of heavy metals to ryegrass in an alkaline contaminated soil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Guixiang; Guo, Xiaofang; Zhao, Zhihua; He, Qiusheng; Wang, Shuifeng; Zhu, Yuen; Yan, Yulong; Liu, Xitao; Sun, Ke; Zhao, Ye; Qian, Tianwei

    2016-11-01

    A pot experiment was conducted to investigate the effects of biochars on the availability of heavy metals (Cd, Cu, Mn, Ni, Pb, and Zn) to ryegrass in an alkaline contaminated soil. Biochars only slightly decreased or even increased the availability of heavy metals assesses by chemical extractant (a mixture of 0.05 mol L -1 ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid disodium, 0.01 mol L -1 CaCl 2 , and 0.1 mol L -1 triethanolamine). The significantly positive correlation between most chemical-extractable heavy metals and the ash content in biochars indicated the positive role of ash in this extraction. Biochars significantly reduced the plant uptake of heavy metals, excluding Mn. The absence of a positive correlation between the chemical-extractable heavy metals and the plant uptake counterparts (except for Mn) indicates that chemical extractability is probably not a reliable indicator to predict the phytoavailability of most heavy metals in alkaline soils treated with biochars. The obviously negative correlation between the plant uptake of heavy metals (except for Mn) and the (O + N)/C and H/C indicates that biochars with more polar groups, which were produced at lower temperatures, had higher efficiency for reducing the phytoavailability of heavy metals. The significantly negative correlations between the plant uptake of Mn and ryegrass biomass indicated the "dilution effect" caused by the improvement of biomass. These observations will be helpful for designing biochars as soil amendments to reduce the availability of heavy metals to plants in soils, especially in alkaline soils. Copyright © 2016. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  6. Impacts of biochar addition on soil dissolved organic matter characteristics in a wheat-maize rotation system in Loess Plateau of China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Afeng; Zhou, Xu; Li, Ming; Wu, Haiming

    2017-11-01

    Biochar amendment in soil has the potential to sequester carbon, improve soil quality and mitigate greenhouse gas (GHG) emission in agriculture, but the impact of biochar amendments on dissolved organic matter (DOM) properties of soils in the fertilized agro-ecosystem has received little research attention. This study performed a long-term field experiment to assess the influence of biochar amendments (different addition rate: 4 t ha -1 and 8 t ha -1 ) on DOM characteristics in soils in wheat-maize rotation system in Loess Plateau of China by exploiting fluorescence excitation-emission spectrophotometry and parallel factor analysis (EEM-PARAFAC). Our results showed that the content of soil DOM was significantly influenced by the addition of biochar, and the higher biochar addition markedly increased the mean concentration of dissolved organic carbon (DOC) (from 83.99 mg kg -1 to 144.27 mg kg -1 ) in soils under the same fertilizer application. Three identified fluorescent components (fulvic acid-like, humic acid-like and tryptophan-like) were found, and fluorescence intensity of those components (especially humic-like material) was enhanced with the increasing DOC in the biochar treatments but the composition of DOM was not changed. These findings would be beneficial to understand the biochar's effects and processes in decreasing GHG emissions from soils. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  7. Emissions intensity and carbon stocks of a tropical Ultisol after amendment with Tithonia green manure, urea and biochar.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fungo, Bernard; Lehmann, Johannes; Kalbitz, Karsten; Tenywa, Moses; Thionģo, Margaret; Neufeldt, Henry

    2017-08-01

    Biochar has been shown to reduce soil emissions of CO 2 , CH 4 and N 2 O in short-term incubation and greenhouse experiments. Such controlled experiments failed to represent variable field conditions, and rarely included crop growth feedback. The objective of this study was to assess the effect of biochar, in comparison to green manure and mineral nitrogen, on greenhouse gas Emissions Intensity (EI = emissions in CO 2 equivalents per ton of grain yield) in a low-fertility tropical Ultisol. Using a field trial in western Kenya, biochar (0 and 2.5 t ha -1 ; made from Eucalyptus wood) was integrated with urea (0 and 120 kg N ha -1 ) and green manure ( Tithonia diversifolia ; 0, 2.5 and 5 t ha -1 ) in a factorial design for four consecutive seasons from October 2012 to August 2014. Compared to the control, biochar increased soil CO 2 emissions (9-33%), reduced soil CH 4 uptake (7-59%) and reduced soil N 2 O emissions (1-42%) in each season, with no seasonal differences. N 2 O emissions increased following amendment with T. diversifolia (6%) and urea (13%) compared to the control. Generally, N 2 O emissions decreased where only biochar was applied. The greatest decrease in N 2 O (42%) occurred where all three amendments were applied compared to when they were added separately. EI in response to any of the amendments was lower than the control, ranging from 9 to 65% (33.0 ± 3.2 = mean ± SE). The amendments increased SOC stocks by 0.1-1.2 t ha -1  year -1 (mean ± SE of 0.8 ± 0.09 t ha -1  year -1 ). The results suggest decreased net EI with biochar in low fertility soils mainly through greater net primary productivity (89% of the decrease).

  8. Biomass, Bioenergy and the Sustainability of Soils and Climate: What Role for Biochar?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sohi, Saran

    2013-04-01

    Biochar is the solid, carbon rich product of heating biomass with the exclusion of air (pyrolysis). Whereas charcoal is derived from wood, biochar is a co-product of energy capture and can derive from waste or non-waste, virgin or non-virgin biomass resources. But also, biochar is not a fuel - rather it is intended for the beneficial amendment of soil in agriculture, forestry and horticulture. This results in long-term storage of plant-derived carbon that could improve yield or efficiency of crop production, and/or mitigate trace gas emissions from the land. Life cycle analysis (LCA) shows that pyrolysis bioenergy with biochar production should offer considerably more carbon abatement than combustion, or gasification of the same feedstock. This has potential to link climate change mitigation to bioenergy and sustainable use of soil. But, in economic terms, the opportunity cost of producing biochar (reflecting the calorific value of its stored carbon) is inflated by bioenergy subsidies. This, combined with a lack of clear regulatory position and no mature pyrolysis technologies at large scale, means that pyrolysis-biochar systems (PBS) remain largely conceptual at the current time. Precise understanding of its function and an ability to predict its impact on different soils and crops with certainty, biochar should acquire a monetary value. Combining such knowledge with a system that monetizes climate change mitigation potential (such as carbon markets), could see schemes for producing and using biochar escalate - including a context for its deployment in biomass crops, or through pyrolysis of residues from other bioenergy processes. This talk explores the opportunity, challenges and risks in pursuing biochar production in various bioenergy contexts including enhanced sustainability of soil use in biomass crop production, improving the carbon balance and value chain in biofuel production, and using organic waste streams more effectively (including the processing of

  9. Total and bioavailable PAH concentrations in biochar - a future soil improver

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hilber, I.; Blum, F.; Hale, S.; Cornelissen, G.; Schmidt, H. P.; Bucheli, T. D.

    2012-04-01

    Biochar is pyrolyzed organic feedstock. It has become more and more important as soil conditioner and received broad attention as a possible measure against climate change. Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) are formed during biochar production due to incomplete combustion. These PAHs will enter the environment when the biochar is applied as soil conditioner to avoid leaching of nutrients, to increase microbial biomass and activity, to remediate the soil of organic pollutants, etc. Such positive effects are undermined if PAH exposure is concomitantly increased. We have determined the total PAH concentrations of about 40 commercially produced biochars with an analytical method based on Soxhlet extraction with toluene optimized in our laboratory (Hilber et al.). The bioavailability of the PAHs in these biochars was assessed with polyoxymethylene (POM), a passive sampler, which measures the truly dissolved concentration of organic pollutants in the pore water, according to Hale et al. Samples from total and POM extractions where measured by GC-MS to determine the total and bioavailable concentrations of the 16 EPA PAHs, respectively. Preliminary results showed that the total concentrations of the biochars ranged from 0.4 to 355 mgΣ16 EPA PAH/kgBC. The bioavailable concentrations were in the nanograms per liter for the Σ16 EPA PAH and goes in line with findings of recently published data of Hale et al. The fraction desorbed by POM in relation to the total concentrations is in the permill range. Although the bioavailable concentration appears very small, it has to be considered that biochars might be applied to an agricultural field several times. Thus, the source of amended PAHs to the soil is renewed not only for the bioavailable but also for the total concentration. Biochar applications might become a problem especially for legislation accounting for total concentrations. The only guideline for biochars is from the International Biochar Initiative which set

  10. Enhanced bioremediation of PAH-contaminated soil by immobilized bacteria with plant residue and biochar as carriers

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Chen, Baoliang; Yuan, Miaoxin; Qian, Linbo [Zhejiang Univ., Hangzhou (China). Dept. of Environmental Science; Zhejiang Provincial Key Laboratory of Organic Pollution Process and Control, Hangzhou (China)

    2012-10-15

    Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) are largely accumulated in soils in China. The immobilized-microorganism technique (IMT) is a potential approach for abating soil contamination with PAHs. However, few studies about the application of IMT to contaminated soil remediation were reported. Due to recalcitrance to decomposition, biochar application to soil may enhance soil carbon sequestration, but few studies on the application of biochars to remediation of contaminated soil were reported. In this study, we illustrated enhanced bioremediation of soil having a long history of PAH contamination by IMT using plant residues and biochars as carriers. Two PAH-degrading bacteria, Pseudomonas putida and an unidentified indigenous bacterium, were selected for IMT. The extractability and biodegradation of 15 PAHs in solution and an actual PAH-contaminated soil amended with immobilized-bacteria materials were investigated under different incubation periods. The effects of carriers and the molecular weight of PAHs on bioremediation efficiency were determined to illustrate their different bio-dissipation mechanisms of PAHs in soil. The IMT can considerably enhance the removal of PAHs. Carriers impose different effects on PAH bio-dissipation by amended soil with immobilized-bacteria, which can directly degrade the carrier-associated PAHs. The removal of PAHs from soil depended on PAH molecular weight and carrier types. Enhanced bio-dissipation by IMT was much stronger for 4- and 5-ring PAHs than for 3- and 6-ring ones in soil. Only P400 biochar-immobilized bacteria enhanced bio-dissipation of all PAHs in contaminated soil after a 90-day incubation. Biochar can promote bioremediation of contaminated soil as microbial carriers of IMT. It is vital to select an appropriate biochar as an immobilized carrier to stimulate biodegradation. It is feasible to use adsorption carriers with high sorptive capabilities to concentrate PAHs as well as microorganisms and thereby enhance

  11. Effects of gasification biochar on plant-available water capacity and plant growth in two contrasting soil types

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hansen, Veronika; Hauggaard-Nielsen, Henrik; Petersen, Carsten Tilbæk

    2016-01-01

    Abstract Gasification biochar (GB) contains recalcitrant carbon that can contribute to soil carbon sequestration and soil quality improvement. However, the impact of GB on plant-available water capacity (AWC) and plant growth in diverse soil types still needs to be explored. A pot experiment...... with spring barley (Hordeum vulgare L.) was conducted to investigate the effect of soil amendment by 1% straw and wood gasification biochar (SGB and WGB), respectively, on AWC and plant growth responses under two levels of water supply in a temperate sandy loam and a coarse sandy subsoil. In the sandy loam...

  12. Effects of Two Kinds of Biochars on Soil Cu Availability in Contaminated Soil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    WANG Xiao-qi

    2016-07-01

    Full Text Available This paper is aimed to research the impacts of different biochars(0,1%,2%,4%, including maize biochar and phytolacca root biochar, on rape growth and the soil Cu availability in the Cu-contaminated red soil via a series of pot experiments. The results showed that, compared with the control, the addition of two kinds of biochars could increase the biomass of the rape. In low Cu-contaminated red soil, added 4% maize biochar and phytolacca root biochar increased the biomass by 21.2 times and 67.9 times; however, the biomass were increased by 8.6 times and 109.6 times under high Cu-contaminated soil. The addition of phytolacca root biochar could increase the soil pH significantly, which has been increased by 0.4~1.6 units with the addition of phytolacca root biochar in low Cu-contaminated red soil, and it had 0.25~1.35 units more than that with maize biochar; In high Cu-contaminated red soil, with the addition of phytolacca root biochar, soil pH was increased by 0.33~1.52 units, which was 0.3~1.25 units higher than maize biochar. There was a significant effect on reducing the soil Cu availability with the addition of the two biochars. Among them, 4% addition of maize biochar and phytolacca root biochar could reduce soil available Cu content by 21.9% and 45.2% in low Cu-contaminated soil, however, it was decreased by 41.9% and 53.8% in high Cu-contaminated soil. Both of the two biochars were able to reduce the Cu accumulation in rape, where there was a decrease by 21.2% and 67.8% with he addition of 4% maize biochar and phytolacca root biochar under low Cu-contaminated soil, and it was decreased by 19.9% and 66.8% in high Cu-contaminated soil respectively. Both of the biochars could ameliorate the acidity and Cu availability in the red soil, enhance the biomass of the rape and reduce the Cu accumulation in rape, but phytolacca root biochar had more effective influence than maize biochar.

  13. Biochar from commercially cultivated seaweed for soil amelioration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roberts, David A.; Paul, Nicholas A.; Dworjanyn, Symon A.; Bird, Michael I.; de Nys, Rocky

    2015-01-01

    Seaweed cultivation is a high growth industry that is primarily targeted at human food and hydrocolloid markets. However, seaweed biomass also offers a feedstock for the production of nutrient-rich biochar for soil amelioration. We provide the first data of biochar yield and characteristics from intensively cultivated seaweeds (Saccharina, Undaria and Sargassum – brown seaweeds, and Gracilaria, Kappaphycus and Eucheuma – red seaweeds). While there is some variability in biochar properties as a function of the origin of seaweed, there are several defining and consistent characteristics of seaweed biochar, in particular a relatively low C content and surface area but high yield, essential trace elements (N, P and K) and exchangeable cations (particularly K). The pH of seaweed biochar ranges from neutral (7) to alkaline (11), allowing for broad-spectrum applications in diverse soil types. We find that seaweed biochar is a unique material for soil amelioration that is consistently different to biochar derived from ligno-cellulosic feedstock. Blending of seaweed and ligno-cellulosic biochar could provide a soil ameliorant that combines a high fixed C content with a mineral-rich substrate to enhance crop productivity. PMID:25856799

  14. Biochar from commercially cultivated seaweed for soil amelioration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roberts, David A.; Paul, Nicholas A.; Dworjanyn, Symon A.; Bird, Michael I.; de Nys, Rocky

    2015-04-01

    Seaweed cultivation is a high growth industry that is primarily targeted at human food and hydrocolloid markets. However, seaweed biomass also offers a feedstock for the production of nutrient-rich biochar for soil amelioration. We provide the first data of biochar yield and characteristics from intensively cultivated seaweeds (Saccharina, Undaria and Sargassum - brown seaweeds, and Gracilaria, Kappaphycus and Eucheuma - red seaweeds). While there is some variability in biochar properties as a function of the origin of seaweed, there are several defining and consistent characteristics of seaweed biochar, in particular a relatively low C content and surface area but high yield, essential trace elements (N, P and K) and exchangeable cations (particularly K). The pH of seaweed biochar ranges from neutral (7) to alkaline (11), allowing for broad-spectrum applications in diverse soil types. We find that seaweed biochar is a unique material for soil amelioration that is consistently different to biochar derived from ligno-cellulosic feedstock. Blending of seaweed and ligno-cellulosic biochar could provide a soil ameliorant that combines a high fixed C content with a mineral-rich substrate to enhance crop productivity.

  15. Biochar from commercially cultivated seaweed for soil amelioration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roberts, David A; Paul, Nicholas A; Dworjanyn, Symon A; Bird, Michael I; de Nys, Rocky

    2015-04-09

    Seaweed cultivation is a high growth industry that is primarily targeted at human food and hydrocolloid markets. However, seaweed biomass also offers a feedstock for the production of nutrient-rich biochar for soil amelioration. We provide the first data of biochar yield and characteristics from intensively cultivated seaweeds (Saccharina, Undaria and Sargassum--brown seaweeds, and Gracilaria, Kappaphycus and Eucheuma--red seaweeds). While there is some variability in biochar properties as a function of the origin of seaweed, there are several defining and consistent characteristics of seaweed biochar, in particular a relatively low C content and surface area but high yield, essential trace elements (N, P and K) and exchangeable cations (particularly K). The pH of seaweed biochar ranges from neutral (7) to alkaline (11), allowing for broad-spectrum applications in diverse soil types. We find that seaweed biochar is a unique material for soil amelioration that is consistently different to biochar derived from ligno-cellulosic feedstock. Blending of seaweed and ligno-cellulosic biochar could provide a soil ameliorant that combines a high fixed C content with a mineral-rich substrate to enhance crop productivity.

  16. Nutrient leaching in a Colombian savanna Oxisol amended with biochar.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Major, Julie; Rondon, Marco; Molina, Diego; Riha, Susan J; Lehmann, Johannes

    2012-01-01

    Nutrient leaching in highly weathered tropical soils often poses a challenge for crop production. We investigated the effects of applying 20 t ha biochar (BC) to a Colombian savanna Oxisol on soil hydrology and nutrient leaching in field experiments. Measurements were made over the third and fourth years after a single BC application. Nutrient contents in the soil solution were measured under one maize and one soybean crop each year that were routinely fertilized with mineral fertilizers. Leaching by unsaturated water flux was calculated using soil solution sampled with suction cup lysimeters and water flux estimates generated by the model HYDRUS 1-D. No significant difference ( > 0.05) was observed in surface-saturated hydraulic conductivity or soil water retention curves, resulting in no relevant changes in water percolation after BC additions in the studied soils. However, due to differences in soil solution concentrations, leaching of inorganic N, Ca, Mg, and K measured up to a depth of 0.6 m increased ( soil solution concentrations and downward movement of nutrients in the root zone and decreased leaching of Ca, Mg, and Sr at 1.2 m, possibly by a combination of retention and crop nutrient uptake. Copyright © by the American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America, and Soil Science Society of America, Inc.

  17. Effect of biochars and microorganisms on cadmium accumulation in rice grains grown in Cd-contaminated soil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Suksabye, Parinda; Pimthong, Apinya; Dhurakit, Prapai; Mekvichitsaeng, Phenjun; Thiravetyan, Paitip

    2016-01-01

    Cadmium (Cd) contaminated in rice grains is a serious problem because most Asians consume rice on a daily basis. Rice grown in Cd-contaminated soil normally did not have high concentration of Cd. However, soil samples used in this study had high concentrations of Cd. The purpose of this study was to clearly see the effects of biochar and microorganism addition in rice growing in Cd-contaminated soil. The initial Cd concentration in Cd-contaminated soil used in this study was about 650 mg kg(-1). Cadmium concentration in rice plants grown in Cd-contaminated soil with the addition of 1% (w/w) different biochars such as sawdust fly ash (SDFA), bagasse fly ash (BGFA), and rice husk ash (RHA) was investigated. The results showed that SDFA was the best biochar in terms of reducing cadmium accumulation in rice grains when compared to BGFA and RHA under the same conditions. In addition, rice plants grown in Cd-contaminated soil with the addition of various nonpathogenic microorganisms, such as Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Bacillus subtilis, and Beauveria bassiana were also studied. The results showed that the addition of 2% (v/v) microorganisms can reduce Cd accumulation in grains. It was found that grains obtained from Cd-contaminated soil with the addition of P. aeruginosa had the lowest cadmium concentration compared to the ones from soil amended with other strains. This was due to the fact that P. aeruginosa adsorbed more Cd itself into its cells than other strains. The rice plants grown in Cd-contaminated soil with the addition of biochars and microorganisms were also compared. The results showed that adding 2% (v/v) microorganisms seemed to reduce Cd accumulation in rice grains better than adding 1% (w/w) biochars. In addition, the amounts of calcium and magnesium in rice grains and the dry weight of plant in Cd-contaminated soil amended with P. aeruginosa were the highest in comparison to other microorganisms, biochars, and the soil without any amendments (Cd-soil

  18. Lead and copper immobilization in a shooting range soil using soybean stover- and pine needle-derived biochars: Chemical, microbial and spectroscopic assessments

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ahmad, Mahtab; Ok, Yong Sik; Rajapaksha, Anushka Upamali; Lim, Jung Eun; Kim, Byung-Yong; Ahn, Jae-Hyung; Lee, Young Han; Al-Wabel, Mohammad I; Lee, Sung-Eun; Lee, Sang Soo

    2016-01-01

    Highlights: • Biochar immobilizes Pb and Cu in a contaminated shooting range soil. • Soybean stover-biochar is an efficient metal immobilizer than pine needle-biochar. • Biochar produced at 700 °C showed significant potential of sequestering C in soil. • Biochar showed less impact on the bacterial community than feedstock biomass. - Abstract: Biochar (BC) could be a potential candidate for the remediation of metal contaminated soil. Mechanistic understandings are needed for the appropriate selection of BC and investigating molecular microbial ecological interactions. The soybean stover-derived BCs were more effective in immobilizing Pb (88%) and Cu (87%) than the pine needle-derived BCs in a contaminated shooting range soil. The sequential chemical extractions indicated that BCs stimulated the geochemical transformation of metal species. Spectroscopic investigations using scanning electron microscopic elemental dot mapping and extended X-ray absorption fine structure spectroscopic measurements showed that Pb in the BCs amended soils was immobilized by the formation of stable chloropyromorphite. Soil organic C and microbial activity were also enhanced by BC. The non-labile C fraction in the soil amended with BCs produced at 700 °C was increased. Biochars showed less impact on the bacterial community than feedstock biomass as promulgated by the pyrosequencing of 16S rRNA gene. The feedstock type (namely soybean stover and pine needles) was the main factor influencing the BCs efficacy on metals’ (im) mobilization and bacterial health in soils.

  19. Lead and copper immobilization in a shooting range soil using soybean stover- and pine needle-derived biochars: Chemical, microbial and spectroscopic assessments

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ahmad, Mahtab [Korea Biochar Research Center & Department of Biological Environment, Kangwon National University, Chuncheon 200-701 (Korea, Republic of); Soil Sciences Department, College of Food and Agricultural Sciences, King Saud University, PO Box 2460, Riyadh 11451 (Saudi Arabia); Ok, Yong Sik; Rajapaksha, Anushka Upamali; Lim, Jung Eun [Korea Biochar Research Center & Department of Biological Environment, Kangwon National University, Chuncheon 200-701 (Korea, Republic of); Kim, Byung-Yong; Ahn, Jae-Hyung [Agricultural Microbiology Division, National Academy of Agricultural Science, Rural Development Administration, Wanju 565-851 (Korea, Republic of); Lee, Young Han [Division of Plant Environment Research, Gyeongsangnam-do Agricultural Research and Extension Service, Jinju 660-360 (Korea, Republic of); Al-Wabel, Mohammad I [Soil Sciences Department, College of Food and Agricultural Sciences, King Saud University, PO Box 2460, Riyadh 11451 (Saudi Arabia); Lee, Sung-Eun, E-mail: selpest@knu.ac.kr [School of Applied Biosciences, Kyungpook National University, Daegu 702-701 (Korea, Republic of); Lee, Sang Soo, E-mail: sslee97@kangwon.ac.kr [Korea Biochar Research Center & Department of Biological Environment, Kangwon National University, Chuncheon 200-701 (Korea, Republic of)

    2016-01-15

    Highlights: • Biochar immobilizes Pb and Cu in a contaminated shooting range soil. • Soybean stover-biochar is an efficient metal immobilizer than pine needle-biochar. • Biochar produced at 700 °C showed significant potential of sequestering C in soil. • Biochar showed less impact on the bacterial community than feedstock biomass. - Abstract: Biochar (BC) could be a potential candidate for the remediation of metal contaminated soil. Mechanistic understandings are needed for the appropriate selection of BC and investigating molecular microbial ecological interactions. The soybean stover-derived BCs were more effective in immobilizing Pb (88%) and Cu (87%) than the pine needle-derived BCs in a contaminated shooting range soil. The sequential chemical extractions indicated that BCs stimulated the geochemical transformation of metal species. Spectroscopic investigations using scanning electron microscopic elemental dot mapping and extended X-ray absorption fine structure spectroscopic measurements showed that Pb in the BCs amended soils was immobilized by the formation of stable chloropyromorphite. Soil organic C and microbial activity were also enhanced by BC. The non-labile C fraction in the soil amended with BCs produced at 700 °C was increased. Biochars showed less impact on the bacterial community than feedstock biomass as promulgated by the pyrosequencing of 16S rRNA gene. The feedstock type (namely soybean stover and pine needles) was the main factor influencing the BCs efficacy on metals’ (im) mobilization and bacterial health in soils.

  20. Effect of Digestate and Biochar Amendments on Photosynthesis Rate, Growth Parameters, Water Use Efficiency and Yield of Chinese Melon (Cucumis melo L. under Saline Irrigation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mohammed M. A. Elbashier

    2018-02-01

    Full Text Available Despite the recent interest in biochar and digestate as soil amendments for improving soil quality and increasing crop production, there is inadequate knowledge of the effect of the combination of biochar and digestate, particularly under saline irrigation conditions. A pot experiment with Chinese melon was conducted in a greenhouse, biochar (5% and digestate (500 mL/pot were used with and without the recommended mineral NPK (Nitrogen, Phosphorus and Potassium fertilizer dose (120-150-150 Kg ha−1. The plants were irrigated with tap water (SL0 and 2 dS/m (SL1 NaCl solution. The growth, photosynthesis rate, water use efficiency (WUE and yield of Chinese melon were affected positively when biochar was combined with digestate amendment, particularly under saline irrigation water with and without mineral NPK fertilizer. The maximum yield under normal water was obtained by digestate (SL0: 218.87 t ha−1 and biochar amendment combined with digestate (SL1: 118.8 t ha−1 under saline water. The maximum WUE values were noticed with the biochar and digestate combination under all water treatments (SL0: 32.2 t ha−1 mm−1 and SL1: 19.6 t ha−1 mm−1. It was concluded that digestate alone was more effective than the use of biochar, particularly with normal water. The combination of biochar with digestate had a significant effect on the Chinese melon growth, photosynthesis rate, water use efficiency and yield under saline irrigation, and it can be used as an alternative fertilizer for mineral NPK fertilizer.

  1. Biochar's effect on soil nitrous oxide emissions from a maize field with lime-adjusted pH treatment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hüppi, R.; Felber, R.; Neftel, A.; Six, J.; Leifeld, J.

    2015-07-01

    Biochar, a carbon-rich, porous pyrolysis product of organic residues may positively affect plant yield and can, owing to its inherent stability, promote soil carbon sequestration when amended to agricultural soils. Another possible effect of biochar is the reduction in emissions of nitrous oxide (N2O). A number of laboratory incubations have shown significantly reduced N2O emissions from soil when mixed with biochar. Emission measurements under field conditions however are more scarce and show weaker or no reductions, or even increases in N2O emissions. One of the hypothesized mechanisms for reduced N2O emissions from soil is owing to the increase in soil pH following the application of alkaline biochar. To test the effect of biochar on N2O emissions in a temperate maize system, we set up a field trial with a 20 t ha-1 biochar treatment, a limestone treatment adjusted to the same pH as the biochar treatment, and a control treatment without any addition. An automated static chamber system measured N2O emissions for each replicate plot (n = 3) every 3.6 h over the course of 8 months. The field was conventionally fertilised at a rate of 160 kg-N ha-1 in 3 applications of 40, 80 and 40 kg-N ha-1. Cumulative N2O emissions were 53 % smaller in the biochar compared to the control treatment. However, the effect of the treatments overall was not statistically significant (p = 0.26) because of the large variability in the dataset. Limed soils emitted similar mean cumulative amounts of N2O as the control. This indicates that the observed N2O reduction effect of biochar was not caused by a pH effect.

  2. Novel use of magnetic biochars for the remediation of soils contaminated by contaminants of emerging concerns (CECs)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sani, Badruddeen; Mrozik, Wojciech; Werner, David

    2016-04-01

    The advantage of using magnetic biochar over nonmagnetic biochar in amendments of contaminated soils is in the fact that the former can be easily removed from the soil matrix whenever the need arises, using simple principles of magnetism. In this study, magnetic biochar was produced using a simple co-precipitation technique. The resulting composite has about 33% (w/w) magnetic iron oxides, the presence of which resulted in modification of the biochar's surface characteristics such as BET surface area, porosity and point of zero charge. Modifications in these properties will most likely alter the CEC sorption properties of the biochar, hence the necessity for the proper evaluation of the possible trade off that exist between the need for magnetisation and altered sorption characteristics of the biochar. To achieve this, bottle point sorption experiments in aqueous solutions were conducted using activated and non-activated biochars in magnetic and nonmagnetic forms as sorbents and two pharmaceuticals -ibuprofen and diclofenac- as representative CECs. Sorption isotherms were evaluated and the data was fitted to Langmuir, Freundlich, Redlich-Peterson, Dubinin-Ashtakov and Polanyi-Dubinin-Manes isotherm models. Removal efficiencies and sorption capacities correlated well with the effective mass of pristine biochar used, therefore the sorption characteristics of both magnetic and nonmagnetic biochars are not detrimentally affected by the magnetite impregnation. Biochars in activated form show superior sorption capacities due to amplified surface area and better developed pores. Also, non-activated biochars needed to be used in higher amounts to achieve considerable level of CEC removal, thus they are more easily exhausted. Sorption was observed to decrease with a corresponding increase in solution pH. This suggests that sorption is favoured within the acidic pH range when the surfaces of the sorbents have net positive charge and the sorbates are in their neutral forms.

  3. Stabilization of carbon in composts and biochars in relation to carbon sequestration and soil fertility

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bolan, N.S.; Kunhikrishnan, A.; Choppala, G.K.; Thangarajan, R.; Chung, J.W.

    2012-01-01

    There have been increasing interests in the conversion of organic residues into biochars in order to reduce the rate of decomposition, thereby enhancing carbon (C) sequestration in soils. However energy is required to initiate the pyrolysis process during biochar production which can also lead to the release of greenhouse gasses. Alternative methods can be used to stabilize C in composts and other organic residues without impacting their quality. The objectives of this study include: (i) to compare the rate of decomposition among various organic amendments and (ii) to examine the effect of clay materials on the stabilization of C in organic amendments. The decomposition of a number of organic amendments (composts and biochars) was examined by monitoring the release of carbon-dioxide using respiration experiments. The results indicated that the rate of decomposition as measured by half life (t 1/2 ) varied between the organic amendments and was higher in sandy soil than in clay soil. The half life value ranged from 139 days in the sandy soil and 187 days in the clay soil for poultry manure compost to 9989 days for green waste biochar. Addition of clay materials to compost decreased the rate of decomposition, thereby increasing the stabilization of C. The half life value for poultry manure compost increased from 139 days to 620, 806 and 474 days with the addition of goethite, gibbsite and allophane, respectively. The increase in the stabilization of C with the addition of clay materials may be attributed to the immobilization of C, thereby preventing it from microbial decomposition. Stabilization of C in compost using clay materials did not impact negatively the value of composts in improving soil quality as measured by potentially mineralizable nitrogen and microbial biomass carbon in soil. - Graphical abstract: Stabilization of compost using clay materials (e.g. allophane) enhances carbon sequestration in soils. Highlights: ► Comparison of decomposition rate

  4. Negative interactive effects between biochar and phosphorus fertilization on phosphorus availability and plant yield in saline sodic soil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, Gang; Zhang, You; Sun, Junna; Shao, Hongbo

    2016-10-15

    Little is known about the interactive effects between biochar application and phosphorus (P) fertilization on plant growth and P uptake. For this purpose, five wheat straw biochars (produced at 25°C, 300°C, 400°C, 500°C and 600°C for 4h) with equal P (36mgkg(-1)) amount, with and without additional P fertilization (100mgkg(-1)) were applied in a pot experiment to investigate the growth of Suaeda salsa and their uptake of P from biochar and P fertilization amended saline sodic soil. Soil P fractions, dry matter yield, and plant P concentrations were determined after harvesting 90days. Our results confirmed that relatively lower pyrolysis temperature (soil. As revealed by statistical analysis, a significant (PB (0.569)≈P (0.568) based on the partial Eta squared values whereas the order changed as P (0.782)>B (0.562)>B×P (0.515) for plant P concentration. When biochar and P fertilization applied together, phosphate precipitation/sorption reaction occurred in saline sodic soil which explained the decreased plant P availability and plant yield in saline sodic soil. The negative interaction effects between biochar and P fertilization indicated limited utility value of biochar application in saline sodic soil. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  5. A comparison of corn (Zea mays L.) residue and its biochar on soil C and plant growth.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Calderón, Francisco J; Benjamin, Joseph; Vigil, Merle F

    2015-01-01

    In order to properly determine the value of charring crop residues, the C use efficiency and effects on crop performance of biochar needs to be compared to the un-charred crop residues. In this study we compared the addition of corn stalks to soil, with equivalent additions of charred (300 °C and 500 °C) corn residues. Two experiments were conducted: a long term laboratory mineralization, and a growth chamber trial with proso millet plants. In the laboratory, we measured soil mineral N dynamics, C use efficiency, and soil organic matter (SOM) chemical changes via infrared spectroscopy. The 300 °C biochar decreased plant biomass relative to a nothing added control. The 500°C biochar had little to no effect on plant biomass. With incubation we measured lower soil NO3 content in the corn stalk treatment than in the biochar-amended soils, suggesting that the millet growth reduction in the stalk treatment was mainly driven by N limitation, whereas other factors contributed to the biomass yield reductions in the biochar treatments. Corn stalks had a C sequestration use efficiency of up to 0.26, but charring enhanced C sequestration to values that ranged from 0.64 to 1.0. Infrared spectroscopy of the soils as they mineralized showed that absorbance at 3400, 2925-2850, 1737 cm-1, and 1656 cm-1 decreased during the incubation and can be regarded as labile SOM, corn residue, or biochar bands. Absorbances near 1600, 1500-1420, and 1345 cm-1 represented the more refractory SOM moieties. Our results show that adding crop residue biochar to soil is a sound C sequestration technology compared to letting the crop residues decompose in the field. This is because the resistance to decomposition of the chars after soil amendment offsets any C losses during charring of the crop residues.

  6. Friability and aggregate stability of loamy soil after 5 years of biochar application

    Science.gov (United States)

    Utomo, Wani; Ganika, Shaory; Wisnubroto, Erwin; Islami, Titiek

    2016-04-01

    The effect of biochar application on soil friability and aggregate stability of loamy soil was studied at Brawijaya University field experimental station, Jatikerto, Malang, Indonesia. The soil has been planted with cassava for 4 years continuously and 1 year planted with maiz. The biochar applied was made from cassava stem and farm yard manure. It was found that biochar application, either made from cassava stem or farm yard manure improved soil qualities. Soil applied with biochar was more friable compared to that of the no biochar soil, although biochar application did not influence Atterberg limits. It seems that the higher friability of biochar applied soil was associated with the higher soil organic matter. It was found that until 5 years application, the biochar treated soil had a higher soil organic matter content. Soil applied with biochar possessed a better soil aggregate stability, both dry and wet stability. This was shown by the higher aggregate mean weight diameter (MWD) of biochar applied soil. The cassava biochar applied soil had MWD of 2.22 mm (dry stability) and 1.56 mm (wet stability), whereas the control soil had MWD of 1.45 mm (dry stability) and 1.25 (wet stability). There was a significant positive correlation between soil friability and dry aggregate stability. The biochar applied soils also had higher soil permeability. Key words: soil qualities, soil physical properties, Atterberg limits, hydraulic conductivity

  7. Promoting Interspecies Electron Transfer with Biochar

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Shanshan; Rotaru, Amelia-Elena; Shrestha, Pravin Malla; Malvankar, Nikhil S.; Liu, Fanghua; Fan, Wei; Nevin, Kelly P.; Lovley, Derek R.

    2014-01-01

    Biochar, a charcoal-like product of the incomplete combustion of organic materials, is an increasingly popular soil amendment designed to improve soil fertility. We investigated the possibility that biochar could promote direct interspecies electron transfer (DIET) in a manner similar to that previously reported for granular activated carbon (GAC). Although the biochars investigated were 1000 times less conductive than GAC, they stimulated DIET in co-cultures of Geobacter metallireducens with Geobacter sulfurreducens or Methanosarcina barkeri in which ethanol was the electron donor. Cells were attached to the biochar, yet not in close contact, suggesting that electrons were likely conducted through the biochar, rather than biological electrical connections. The finding that biochar can stimulate DIET may be an important consideration when amending soils with biochar and can help explain why biochar may enhance methane production from organic wastes under anaerobic conditions. PMID:24846283

  8. Biochar, Tool for Climate Change Mitigation and Soil Management

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shackley, Simon; Sohi, Saran; Ibarrola, Rodrigo; Hammond, Jim; Mašek, Ondřej; Brownsort, Peter; Cross, Andrew; Prendergast-Miller, Miranda; Haszeldine, Stuart

    Biochar is the solid remains of any organic material that has been heated to at least 350oC in a zero-oxygen or oxygen-limited environment, which is intended to be mixed with soils. If the solid remains are not suitable for addition to soils, or will be burned as a fuel or used as an aggregate in construction, it is defined as char not biochar. There is a very wide range of potential biochar feedstocks, e.g., wood waste, timber, agricultural residues and wastes (straws, bagasse, manure, husks, shells, fibers, etc.), leaves, food wastes, paper and sewage sludge, green waste, distiller's grain, and many others. Pyrolysis is usually the technology of choice for producing biochar, though biomass gasification also produces smaller char yields. Syngas and pyrolytic bio-liquids, which have a potential use as energy carriers, are produced alongside biochar.

  9. Effect of biochar application and soil temperature on characteristics of organic matter associated with aggregate-size and density fractions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kaiser, Michael; Grunwald, Dennis; Marhan, Sven; Poll, Christian; Bamminger, Chris; Ludwig, Bernard

    2016-04-01

    Potential increases in soil temperature due to climate change might result in intensified soil organic matter (SOM) decomposition and thus higher CO2 emissions. Management options to increase and stabilize SOM include the application of biochar. However, the effects of biochar amendments under elevated soil temperatures on SOM dynamics are largely unknown. The objective of this study was to analyze the effect of biochar application and elevated soil temperature on the amount and composition of OM associated with fractions of different turnover kinetics. Samples were taken from four treatments of the Hohenheim Climate Change Experiment with the factors temperature (ambient or elevated by 2.5 °C in 4 cm depth, six years before sampling) and biochar (control and 30 t / ha Miscanthus pyrolysis biochar, one year before sampling) in two depths (0 - 5 and 5 - 15 cm). Basal respiration and microbial biomass C were analyzed within an incubation experiment. Aggregate size-fractions were separated by wet-sieving and the free light, occluded light (oLF), and heavy fractions were isolated by density fractionation. All fractions were analyzed for organic C and δ13C as well as by infrared spectroscopy. Preliminary data suggest that biochar significantly increased basal respiration and that the microbial biomass C was significantly affected by elevated temperature. No biochar-C was found in the microbial biomass. Biochar and elevated temperature had only minor effects on the organic C associated with aggregate-size classes, although biochar was incorporated into all fractions already after one year of application. Biochar application significantly increased the organic C associated with oLF. In most samples affected by biochar, the proportion of C=O groups was significantly increased. The results suggest that already after one year, biochar-mineral interactions were formed leading to an aggregate occlusion of applied biochar. At least in the short-term, the effect of biochar on

  10. Biochar-organic amendment mixtures added to simulated golf greens under reduced chemical fertilization increase creeping bentgrass growth

    Science.gov (United States)

    Simulated golf greens were used to test the growth of creeping bentgrass (Agrostis stolonifera L. "007") receiving suboptimal chemical fertilization in sand based substrates amended with 15% peat (control), a commercial biochar, a commercial biochar-compost (CarbonizPN), or seven formulated biochar...

  11. Biochar application to hardrock mine tailings: Soil quality, microbial activity, and toxic element sorption

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kelly, Charlene N.; Peltz, Christopher D.; Stanton, Mark R.; Rutherford, David W.; Rostad, Colleen E.

    2014-01-01

    Waste rock piles from historic mining activities remain unvegetated as a result of metal toxicity and high acidity. Biochar has been proposed as a low-cost remediation strategy to increase soil pH and reduce leaching of toxic elements, and improve plant establishment. In this laboratory column study, biochar made from beetle-killed pine wood was assessed for utility as a soil amendment by mixing soil material from two mine sites collected near Silverton, Colorado, USA with four application rates of biochar (0%, 10%, 20%, 30% vol:vol). Columns were leached seven times over 65 days and leachate pH and concentration of toxic elements and base cations were measured at each leaching. Nutrient availability and soil physical and biological parameters were determined following the incubation period. We investigated the hypotheses that biochar incorporation into acidic mine materials will (1) reduce toxic element concentrations in leaching solution, (2) improve soil parameters (i.e. increase nutrient and water holding capacity and pH, and decrease compaction), and (3) increase microbial populations and activity. Biochar directly increased soil pH (from 3.33 to 3.63 and from 4.07 to 4.77 in the two materials) and organic matter content, and decreased bulk density and extractable salt content in both mine materials, and increased nitrate availability in one material. No changes in microbial population or activity were detected in either mine material upon biochar application. In leachate solution, biochar increased base cations from both materials and reduced the concentrations of Al, Cd, Cu, Pb, and Zn in leachate solution from one material. However, in the material with greater toxic element content, biochar did not reduce concentrations of any measured dissolved toxic elements in leachate and resulted in a potentially detrimental release of Cd and Zn into solution at concentrations above that of the pure mine material. The length of time of effectiveness and specific

  12. Biochar impact on physiological and biochemical attributes of Spinach (Spinacia oleracea L. in nickel contaminated soil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    U. Younis

    2015-07-01

    Full Text Available Disastrous effect of nickel on spinach was discussed by number of authors but the effect of amendments like biochar with nickel on Spinacea oleraceaL. is not still discussed by any author of the world because biochar was used as soil amendments which play a vital role in reducing mobilization and uptake of nickel by spinach plants.  As nickel contaminated plants are very harmful for the consumption by living organisms. Nickel can be gathered in agronomic soils by anthropogenic actions such as Ni-Cd batteries. In this study, the growth, physiological, photosynthetic and biochemical responses of Spinacia oleracea grown in Ni-spiked soil (0, 25, 50 and 100 mg Ni/Kg soil at three levels of cotton-sticks-derived biochar “CSB” (0, 3 and 5 % were evaluated.  The results exposed significant decrease in growth, photosynthetic, physiological, and biochemical traits of S. oleracea when grown in Ni-polluted soil. However, this decrease was less pronounced in CSB amended soil.  A steady rise in the MDA (0.66 µg/g to 2.08 µg g-1, ascorbic acid (1.24 mg/g to 1.57 mg/gand sugar concentrations (1.73 mg/g to 2.16 mg/gwas observed with increased concentration of Ni.  The increasing percentages of CSB from 3 % to 5 % decreased Ni concentrations in root and shoot of experimental plant.  Higher production of chlorophyll, amino acids and protein with CSB amendment looked like alleviation in Ni toxicity.  Therefore, it is concluded that, Ni toxicity and availability to the plants can be reduced by CSB amendments.

  13. Biochar application does not improve the soil hydrological function of a sandy soil

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Jeffery, S.; Meinders, M.B.C.; Stoof, C.R.; Bezemer, T.M.; Van de Voorde, T.F.J.; Mommer, Liesje; Van Groenigen, J.W.

    2015-01-01

    Biochar application to soil is currently being widely posited as a means to improve soil quality and thereby increase crop yield. Next to beneficial effects on soil nutrient availability and retention, biochar is assumed to improve soil water retention. However, evidence for such an effect in the

  14. Successful implementation of biochar carbon sequestration in European soils requires additional benefits and close collaboration with the bioenergy sector

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hauggaard-Nielsen, Henrik; Müller-Stöver, Dorette; Bruun, Esben W.; Petersen, Carsten T.

    2014-05-01

    Biochar soil application has been proposed as a measure to mitigate climate change and on the same time improve soil fertility by increased soil carbon sequestration. However, while on tropical soils the beneficial effects of biochar application on crop growth often become immediately apparent, it has been shown to be more difficult to demonstrate these effects on the more fertile soils in temperate regions. Therefore and because of the lack of carbon credits for farmers, it is necessary to link biochar application to additional benefits, both related to agricultural as well as to bioenergy production. Thermal gasification of biomass is an efficient (95% energy efficiency) and flexible way (able to cope with many different and otherwise difficult-to-handle biomass fuels) to generate bioenergy, while producing a valuable by-product - gasification biochar, containing recalcitrant carbon and essential crop nutrients. The use of the residual char product in agricultural soils will add value to the technology as well as result in additional soil benefits such as providing plant nutrients and improving soil water-holding capacity while reducing leaching risks. From a soil column (30 x 130 cm) experiment with gasification straw biochar amendment to coarse sandy subsoil increased root density of barley at critical depths in the soil profile reducing the mechanical resistance was shown, increasing yields, and the soil's capacity to store plant available water. Incorporation of residuals from a bioenergy technology like gasification show great potentials to reduce subsoil constraints increasing yield potentials on poor soils. Another advantage currently not appropriately utilized is recovery of phosphorus (P). In a recent pot experiments char products originating from low-temperature gasification of various biofuels were evaluated for their suitability as P fertilizers. Wheat straw gasification biochar generally had a low P content but a high P plant availability. To improve

  15. Benefits of biochar, compost and biochar–compost for soil quality, maize yield and greenhouse gas emissions in a tropical agricultural soil

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Agegnehu, Getachew [College of Science, Technology and Engineering, Centre for Tropical Environmental and Sustainability Science, James Cook University, PO Box 6811, Cairns, Queensland 4870 (Australia); Bass, Adrian M. [Hawkesbury Institute for the Environment, University of Western Sydney, Science Road, Richmond, New South Wales 2753 (Australia); Nelson, Paul N.; Bird, Michael I. [College of Science, Technology and Engineering, Centre for Tropical Environmental and Sustainability Science, James Cook University, PO Box 6811, Cairns, Queensland 4870 (Australia)

    2016-02-01

    Soil quality decline represents a significant constraint on the productivity and sustainability of agriculture in the tropics. In this study, the influence of biochar, compost and mixtures of the two on soil fertility, maize yield and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions was investigated in a tropical Ferralsol. The treatments were: 1) control with business as usual fertilizer (F); 2) 10 t ha{sup −1} biochar (B) + F; 3) 25 t ha{sup −1} compost (Com) + F; 4) 2.5 t ha{sup −1} B + 25 t ha{sup −1} Com mixed on site + F; and 5) 25 t ha{sup −1} co-composted biochar–compost (COMBI) + F. Total aboveground biomass and maize yield were significantly improved relative to the control for all organic amendments, with increases in grain yield between 10 and 29%. Some plant parameters such as leaf chlorophyll were significantly increased by the organic treatments. Significant differences were observed among treatments for the δ{sup 15}N and δ{sup 13}C contents of kernels. Soil physicochemical properties including soil water content (SWC), total soil organic carbon (SOC), total nitrogen (N), available phosphorus (P), nitrate-nitrogen (NO{sub 3}{sup −} N), ammonium-nitrogen (NH{sub 4}{sup +}-N), exchangeable cations and cation exchange capacity (CEC) were significantly increased by the organic amendments. Maize grain yield was correlated positively with total biomass, leaf chlorophyll, foliar N and P content, SOC and SWC. Emissions of CO{sub 2} and N{sub 2}O were higher from the organic-amended soils than from the fertilizer-only control. However, N{sub 2}O emissions generally decreased over time for all treatments and emission from the biochar was lower compared to other treatments. Our study concludes that the biochar and biochar–compost-based soil management approaches can improve SOC, soil nutrient status and SWC, and maize yield and may help mitigate greenhouse gas emissions in certain systems. - Graphical abstract: Grain yield, cation exchange capacity (CEC), soil

  16. Benefits of biochar, compost and biochar–compost for soil quality, maize yield and greenhouse gas emissions in a tropical agricultural soil

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Agegnehu, Getachew; Bass, Adrian M.; Nelson, Paul N.; Bird, Michael I.

    2016-01-01

    Soil quality decline represents a significant constraint on the productivity and sustainability of agriculture in the tropics. In this study, the influence of biochar, compost and mixtures of the two on soil fertility, maize yield and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions was investigated in a tropical Ferralsol. The treatments were: 1) control with business as usual fertilizer (F); 2) 10 t ha −1 biochar (B) + F; 3) 25 t ha −1 compost (Com) + F; 4) 2.5 t ha −1 B + 25 t ha −1 Com mixed on site + F; and 5) 25 t ha −1 co-composted biochar–compost (COMBI) + F. Total aboveground biomass and maize yield were significantly improved relative to the control for all organic amendments, with increases in grain yield between 10 and 29%. Some plant parameters such as leaf chlorophyll were significantly increased by the organic treatments. Significant differences were observed among treatments for the δ 15 N and δ 13 C contents of kernels. Soil physicochemical properties including soil water content (SWC), total soil organic carbon (SOC), total nitrogen (N), available phosphorus (P), nitrate-nitrogen (NO 3 − N), ammonium-nitrogen (NH 4 + -N), exchangeable cations and cation exchange capacity (CEC) were significantly increased by the organic amendments. Maize grain yield was correlated positively with total biomass, leaf chlorophyll, foliar N and P content, SOC and SWC. Emissions of CO 2 and N 2 O were higher from the organic-amended soils than from the fertilizer-only control. However, N 2 O emissions generally decreased over time for all treatments and emission from the biochar was lower compared to other treatments. Our study concludes that the biochar and biochar–compost-based soil management approaches can improve SOC, soil nutrient status and SWC, and maize yield and may help mitigate greenhouse gas emissions in certain systems. - Graphical abstract: Grain yield, cation exchange capacity (CEC), soil organic carbon (SOC), soil water content (SWC) and N 2 O

  17. Date palm waste biochars alter a soil respiration, microbial biomass carbon, and heavy metal mobility in contaminated mined soil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Al-Wabel, Mohammad I; Usman, Adel Rabie A; Al-Farraj, Abdullah S; Ok, Yong Sik; Abduljabbar, Adel; Al-Faraj, Abdulelah I; Sallam, Abdelazeem S

    2017-04-19

    A 30-day incubation experiment was conducted using a heavy metal-contaminated mined soil amended with date palm feedstock (FS) and its derivative biochars (BCs) at three pyrolysis temperatures of 300 (BC-300), 500 (BC-500), and 700 °C (BC-700) with different application rates (0.0, 5, 15, and 30 g kg -1 ) to investigate their short-term effects on soil respiration (CO 2 -C efflux), microbial biomass carbon (MBC), soil organic carbon (SOC), mobile fraction of heavy metals (Cd, Cu, Pb, Zn, Mn, and Fe), pH, and electrical conductivity (EC). The results showed that FS and BC-300 with increasing addition rate significantly reduced soil pH, whereas SOC, CO 2 -C efflux, and soil MBC were increased compared to the control. On the contrary, BC-500 and BC-700 increased soil pH at early stage of incubation and have small or no effects on SOC, CO 2 -C efflux, and MBC. Based on the results, the date palm biochars exhibited much lower cumulative CO 2 -C efflux than feedstock, even with low-temperature biochar, indicating that BCs have C sequestration potential. Applying BC-700 at 15 and 30 g kg -1 significantly reduced cumulative CO 2 -C efflux by 21.8 and 45.4% compared to the control, respectively. The incorporation of FS into contaminated soil significantly increased the mobile content of Cd and Mn, but decreased the mobile content of Cu. However, BC-300 significantly reduced the mobile content of Cd, Cu, Pb, and Zn. It could be concluded that low-temperature biochar could be used as a soil amendment for reducing heavy metal mobility in mining contaminated soil in addition to minimize soil CO 2 -C efflux.

  18. Effect of biochar and Fe-biochar on Cd and As mobility and transfer in soil-rice system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yin, Daixia; Wang, Xin; Peng, Bo; Tan, Changyin; Ma, Lena Q

    2017-11-01

    In this study, the effects of biochar derived from rice-straw (biochar) and iron-impregnated biochar (Fe-biochar) on Cd and As mobility in rice rhizosphere and transfer from soil to rice were investigated with different application rates. 1-3% biochar reduced porewater Cd in rhizosphere but elevated soluble As, resulting in 49-68% and 26-49% reduction in the root and grain Cd, with a simultaneous increase in root As. Unlike biochar, 0.5% Fe-biochar decreased porewater As throughout rice growth, resulting in reduced root As, which, however, increased Cd uptake by root. Biochar-induced soil As mobilization was probably through competitive desorption and Fe-biochar-induced soil Cd mobilization was probably via soil acidification. The results suggested that biochar and Fe-biochar was effective in reducing Cd and As uptake by rice, respectively, so they may be used as emergency measures to cope with single Cd or As contamination in paddy soils. Copyright © 2017. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  19. Biochar application during reforestation alters species present and soil chemistry.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Drake, J A; Carrucan, A; Jackson, W R; Cavagnaro, T R; Patti, A F

    2015-05-01

    Reforestation of landscapes is being used as a method for tackling climate change through carbon sequestration and land restoration, as well as increasing biodiversity and improving the provision of ecosystem services. The success of reforestation activities can be reduced by adverse field conditions, including those that reduce germination and survival of plants. One method for improving success is biochar addition to soil, which is not only known to improve soil carbon sequestration, but is also known to improve growth, health, germination and survival of plants. In this study, biochar was applied to soil at rates of 0, 1, 3 and 6 t ha(-1) along with a direct-seed forest species mix at three sites in western Victoria, Australia. Changes in soil chemistry, including total carbon, and germination and survival of species were measured over an 18 month period. Biochar was found to significantly increase total carbon by up to 15.6% on soils low in carbon, as well as alter electrical conductivity, Colwell phosphorous and nitrate- and ammonium-nitrogen. Biochar also increased the number of species present, and stem counts of Eucalyptus species whilst decreasing stem counts of Acacia species. Biochar has the potential to positively benefit reforestation activities, but site specific and plant-soil-biochar responses require targeted research. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  20. Efficacy of Designer Biochars with or without Lime Application for Remediating Heavy Metals in Mine Spoil Soils

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sigua, Gilbert C.; Novak, Jeffrey; Johnson, Mark; Ippolito, James; Spokas, Kurt; Ducey, Thomas; Trippe, Kristin

    2017-04-01

    A multitude of research investigations have confirmed that biochars can increase soil carbon sequestration, improve critical plant nutrient concentrations, and improve the fertility, chemical, and physical properties of degraded agricultural soils. Recently, biochars ability to sequester metals has caught the attention of the mine reclamation sector. It is proposed that biochar is a suitable amendment to remediate heavy metals in mine spoils, as well as improve chemical conditions for enhanced plant growth. Better plant growth will improve phytostabilization, increase containment of metal-laden sediment, while also reducing potential metal uptake by plants. As such, utilization of a biochar with appropriate chemical and physical characteristics is crucial for effective binding of heavy metals while also improving plant growth conditions in mine spoils. Using two different mine spoils, we conducted laboratory and greenhouse experiments to determine the ability of designer biochar with or without lime application to favorably improve soil pH, reduce heavy metal bioavailability, and improve grass (e.g., wild blue rye) plant nutrient uptake. Preliminary results showed that our designer biochars did increase pH of acid mine spoils significantly (pheavy metals (e.g. aluminum, chromium, zinc, nickel, zinc, manganese, copper and cadmium) in the soils.

  1. Biochar reduces DOC but not NO3- leaching in relation to vinasse application in a tropical sugarcane soil

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eykelbosh, A. J.; Johnson, M. S.; Santos de Queiroz, E.; Couto, E. G.

    2013-12-01

    Objectives: Sugarcane cultivation for bioethanol production is associated with impacts on water quality, particularly those related to the application of vinasse, a corrosive, nutrient-dense effluent with high eutrophication potential (Martinelli et al. 2008 Ecol. Appl. 18:885-98). Vinasse is typically disposed of via soil application, which also recaptures waste nutrients and water (i.e., fertigation). However, vinasse constituents, including dissolved organic carbon (DOC) and nitrate (NO3-), are highly mobile in the soil and their presence can be observed at the catchment scale after vinasse application (Ometo et al. 2000 Freshwater Biol. 44:327-37). Biochar (charcoal produced from waste biomass via pyrolysis) has been investigated as a soil amendment to improve water and nutrient retention. Here, we evaluate the potential for biochar to mitigate carbon and nutrient leaching in a cultivated Oxisol in relation to vinasse application. Methods: Biochar was produced from dried filtercake (a solid organic waste obtained from cane juice filtration) via slow pyrolysis at 550°C for 3 h under N2. Sieved soil was packed into 12 PVC tubes (10 cm diameter, 50 cm tall) representing four treatments: soil alone as a control (S), soil with vinasse (S+V), soil with vinasse and 5% (w/w) biochar (S+V+B), and soil with 5% biochar (S+B). Columns were flushed with water, treated with 250 mL of water or vinasse (32 mm, equivalent to a moderate field application rate of ~300 m3 ha-1), and flushed again with water. Samples collected via vacuum filtration were analyzed for pH, ORP, conductivity and examined via UV-Vis and fluorescence spectroscopy. Soil samples were collected before and after leaching for residual soil nutrient analysis. Results: Biochar strongly attenuated the leaching of vinasse-derived DOC (p < 0.001). This was also related to a change in DOC composition as determined by fluorescence spectroscopy. Vinasse application greatly increased total NO3- flux (p < 0

  2. Assessing the Effect of Organoclays and Biochar on the Fate of Abscisic Acid in Soil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gámiz, Beatriz; Cox, Lucía; Hermosín, M Carmen; Spokas, Kurt; Celis, Rafael

    2017-01-11

    The potential use of allelopathic and signaling compounds as environmentally friendly agrochemicals is a subject of increasing interest, but the fate of these compounds once they reach the soil environment is poorly understood. This work studied how the sorption, persistence, and leaching of the two enantiomers of the phytohormone abscisic acid (ABA) in agricultural soil was affected by the amendments of two organoclays (SA-HDTMA and Cloi10) and a biochar derived from apple wood (BC). In conventional 24-h batch sorption experiments, higher affinity toward ABA enantiomers was displayed by SA-HDTMA followed by Cloi10 and then BC. Desorption could be ascertained only in BC, where ABA enantiomers presented difficulties to be desorbed. Dissipation of ABA in the soil was enantioselective with S-ABA being degraded more quickly than R-ABA, and followed the order unamended > Cloi10-amended > BC-amended > SA-HDTMA-amended soil for both enantiomers. Sorption determined during the incubation experiment indicated some loss of sorption capacity with time in organoclay-amended soil and increasing sorption in BC-amended soil, suggesting surface sorption mechanisms for organoclays and slow (potentially pore filling) kinetics in BC-amended soil. The leaching of ABA enantiomers was delayed after amendment of soil to an extent that depended on the amendment sorption capacity, and it was almost completely suppressed by addition of BC due to its irreversible sorption. Organoclays and BC affected differently the final behavior and enantioselectivity of ABA in soil as a consequence of dissimilar sorption capacities and alterations in sorption with time, which will affect the plant and microbial availability of endogenous and exogenous ABA in the rhizosphere.

  3. Stabilization of metal(loid)s in two contaminated agricultural soils: Comparing biochar to its non-pyrolysed source material.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Trakal, Lukáš; Raya-Moreno, Irene; Mitchell, Kerry; Beesley, Luke

    2017-08-01

    Two metal(loid) contaminated agricultural soils were amended with grape stalk (wine production by-product)-derived biochar as well as its pre-pyrolysed origin material, to investigate their geochemical impacts on As, Cr, Cu and Zn. Detailed physico-chemical evaluation combined with a column leaching test determined the retention of metal(loid)s from soil solution by each amendments. A pot experiment measured metal(loid)s in soil pore water and their uptake to ryegrass when the amendments were mixed into soils at 1 and 5% (w/w). Total Cr and Zn concentrations were reduced furthest in column leachates by the addition of raw material and biochar respectively, compared to the untreated soil; Cr(III) was the predominant specie initially due to rapid acidification of leachates and organic complexation resulting from raw material addition. Loadings of metal(loid)s to the amendments recovered from the post-leached columns were in the order Cu » Zn > Cr ≈ As. In the pot test ryegrass Cr uptake was initiated by the addition of both amendments, compared to the untreated soil, whereas only biochar addition resulted in significant increases in Zn uptake, explained by its significant enhancement of ryegrass biomass yield, especially at 5% dosage; raw material addition significantly decreased biomass yields. Inconsistent relationships between pore water parameters and ryegrass uptake were common to both soils investigated. Therefore, whilst both amendments modified soil metal(loid) geochemistry, their effects differed fundamentally; in environmental risk management terms these results highlight the need to investigate the detailed geochemical response of contaminated soils to diverse organic amendment additions. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  4. The effect of different pyrolysis temperatures on the speciation and availability in soil of P in biochar produced from the solid fraction of manure

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bruun, Sander; Harmer, Sarah L; Bekiaris, Georgios

    2017-01-01

    Biochar application to agricultural land has been proposed as a means for improving phosphorus (P) availability in soil. The purpose of the current study was to understand how pyrolysis temperature affects P speciation in biochar and how this affects availability of P in the amended soil. Biochar...... was produced at different temperatures from digestate solids. The primary species of P in digestate solids were simple calcium phosphates. However, a high co-occurrence of magnesium (Mg) and P, indicated that struvite or other magnesium phosphates may also be important species. At low temperatures, pyrolysis...

  5. Impact of pigeon pea biochar on cadmium mobility in soil and transfer rate to leafy vegetable spinach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coumar, M Vassanda; Parihar, R S; Dwivedi, A K; Saha, J K; Rajendiran, S; Dotaniya, M L; Kundu, S

    2016-01-01

    Introduction of heavy metals in the environment by various anthropogenic activities has become a potential treat to life. Among the heavy metals, cadmium (Cd) shows relatively high soil mobility and has high phyto-mammalian toxicity. Integration of soil remediation and ecosystem services, such as carbon sequestration in soils through organic amendments, may provide an attractive land management option for contaminated sites. The application of biochar in agriculture has recently received much attention globally due to its associated multiple benefits, particularly, long-term carbon storage in soil. However, the application of biochar from softwood crop residue for heavy metal immobilization, as an alternative to direct field application, has not received much attention. Hence, a pot experiment was conducted to study the effect of pigeon pea biochar on cadmium mobility in a soil-plant system in cadmium-spiked sandy loam soil. The biochar was prepared from pigeon pea stalk through a slow pyrolysis method at 300 °C. The experiment was designed with three levels of Cd (0, 5, and 10 mg Cd kg(-1) soil) and three levels of biochar (0, 2.5, and 5 g kg(-1) soil) using spinach as a test crop. The results indicate that with increasing levels of applied cadmium at 5 and 10 mg kg(-1) soil, the dry matter yield (DMY) of spinach leaf decreased by 9.84 and 18.29 %, respectively. However, application of biochar (at 2.5 and 5 g kg(-1) soil) significantly increased the dry matter yield of spinach leaf by 5.07 and 15.02 %, respectively, and root by 14.0 and 24.0 %, respectively, over the control. Organic carbon content in the post-harvest soil increased to 34.9 and 60.5 % due to the application of biochar 2.5 and 5 g kg(-1) soil, respectively. Further, there was a reduction in the diethylene triamine pentaacetic acid (DTPA)-extractable cadmium in the soil and in transfer coefficient values (soil to plant), as well as its concentrations in spinach leaf and root, indicating that

  6. Characterization of extractable soil organic matter pools from African Dark Earths (AfDE): A case study in historical biochar and organic waste amendments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fujiu, Manna; Plante, Alain; Ohno, Tsutomu; Solomon, Dawit; Lehmann, Johannes; Fraser, James; Leach, Melissa; Fairhead, James

    2014-05-01

    Anthropogenic Dark Earths are soils generated through long-term human inputs of organic and pyrogenic materials. These soils were originally discovered in the Amazon, and have since been found in Australia and in this case in Africa. African Dark Earths (AfDE) are black, highly fertile and carbon-rich soils that were formed from the original highly-weathered infertile yellowish to red Oxisols and Ultisols through an extant but hitherto overlooked climate-smart sustainable soil management system that has long been an important feature of the indigenous West African agricultural repertoire. Studies have demonstrated that ADE soils in general have significantly different organic matter properties compared to adjacent non-DE soils, largely attributable to the presence of high concentrations of ash-derived carbon. Quantification and characterization of bulk soil organic matter of several (n=11) AfDE and non-AfDE pairs of surface (0-15 cm) soils using thermal analysis techniques (TG-DSC-EGA) confirmed substantial differences in SOM composition and the presence of pyrogenic C. Such pyrogenic organic matter is generally considered recalcitrant or relatively stable, but the goal of the current study was to characterize the presumably labile, more rapidly cycling, pools of C in AfDEs through the characterization of hot water- and pyrophosphate-extractable fractions, referred to as HWEOC and PyroC respectively. Extracts were analyzed for carbon content, as well as composition using fluorescence (EEM/PARAFAC) and high resolution mass spectrometry (FTICR-MS). The amount of extractable C as a proportion of total soil C was relatively low: less than ~0.8% for HWEOC and 2.8% for PyroC. The proportion of HWEOC did not differ (P = 0.18, paired t-test) between the AfDE and the non-AfDE soils, while the proportions of PyroC were significantly larger (P = 0.001) in the AfDE soils compared to the non-AfDE soils. Preliminary analysis of the EEM/PARAFAC data suggests that AfDE samples had

  7. Evaluation of biochars from different stock materials as carriers of bacterial strain for remediation of heavy metal-contaminated soil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Ting; Sun, Hongwen; Ren, Xinhao; Li, Bing; Mao, Hongjun

    2017-09-21

    Two kinds of biochars, one derived from corn straw and one from pig manure, were studied as carriers of a mutant genotype from Bacillus subtilis (B38) for heavy metal contaminated soil remediation. After amendment with biochar, the heavy metal bioavailability decreased. Moreover, the heavy metal immobilization ability of the biochar was enhanced by combining it with B38. The simultaneous application of B38 and pig manure-derived biochar exhibited a superior effect on the promotion of plant growth and the immobilization of heavy metals in soil. The plant biomass increased by 37.9% and heavy metal concentrations in the edible part of lettuce decreased by 69.9-96.1%. The polymerase chain reaction-denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (PCR-DGGE) profiles revealed that pig manure-derived biochar could enhance the proliferation of both exotic B38 and native microbes. These results suggest that B38 carried by pig manure-derived biochar may be a promising candidate for the remediation of soils contaminated by multiple heavy metals.

  8. Promoting interspecies electron transfer with biochar

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Chen, Shanshan; Rotaru, Amelia-Elena; Shrestha, Pravin Malla

    2014-01-01

    Biochar, a charcoal-like product of the incomplete combustion of organic materials, is an increasingly popular soil amendment designed to improve soil fertility. We investigated the possibility that biochar could promote direct interspecies electron transfer (DIET) in a manner similar...... to that previously reported for granular activated carbon (GAC). Although the biochars investigated were 1000 times less conductive than GAC, they stimulated DIET in co-cultures of Geobacter metallireducens with Geobacter sulfurreducens or Methanosarcina barkeri in which ethanol was the electron donor. Cells were...... attached to the biochar, yet not in close contact, suggesting that electrons were likely conducted through the biochar, rather than biological electrical connections. The finding that biochar can stimulate DIET may be an important consideration when amending soils with biochar and can help explain why...

  9. Survival of Salmonella, Escherichia coli 0157:H7, non-0157 shiga toxin producing E.coli, and potential surrogate bacteria in crop soil as affected by the addition of fast pyrolysis-generated switchgrass biochar

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fast pyrolysis of switchgrass (and resultant biochar) can be used for bio-fuel production, soil amendments for fertilizing crops, binding heavy metals, and sequestering environmental biocarbon. To determine the influence of fast pyrolysis-generated switchgrass biochar on survival of foodborne path...

  10. Wood-derived-biochar combined with compost or iron grit for in situ stabilization of Cd, Pb, and Zn in a contaminated soil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oustriere, Nadège; Marchand, Lilian; Rosette, Gabriel; Friesl-Hanl, Wolfgang; Mench, Michel

    2017-03-01

    In situ stabilization of Cd, Pb, and Zn in an Austrian agricultural soil contaminated by atmospheric depositions from a smelter plant was assessed with a pine bark chip-derived biochar, alone and in combination with either compost or iron grit. Biochar amendment was also trialed in an uncontaminated soil to detect any detrimental effect. The pot experiment consisted in ten soil treatments (% w/w): untreated contaminated soil (Unt); Unt soil amended with biochar alone (1%: B1; 2.5%: B2.5) and in combination: B1 and B2.5 + 5% compost (B1C and B2.5C), B1 and B2.5 + 1% iron grit (B1Z and B2.5Z); uncontaminated soil (Ctrl); Ctrl soil amended with 1 or 2.5% biochar (CtrlB1, CtrlB2.5). After a 3-month reaction period, the soil pore water (SPW) was sampled in potted soils and dwarf beans were grown for a 2-week period. The SPW Cd, Pb, and Zn concentrations decreased in all amended-contaminated soils. The biochar effects increased with its addition rate and its combination with either compost or iron grit. Shoot Cd and Zn removals by beans were reduced and shoot Cd, Pb, and Zn concentrations decreased to common values in all amended soils except the B1 soil. Decreases in the SPW Cd/Pb/Zn concentrations did not improve the root and shoot yields of plants as compared to the Ctrl soil.

  11. Effect of peanut shell and wheat straw biochar on the availability of Cd and Pb in a soil-rice (Oryza sativa L.) system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, Chao; Chen, Hao-Xiang; Xiang, Qian; Zhu, Han-Hua; Wang, Shuai; Zhu, Qi-Hong; Huang, Dao-You; Zhang, Yang-Zhu

    2018-01-01

    Soil amendments, such as biochar, have been used to enhance the immobilization of heavy metals in contaminated soil. A pot experiment was conducted to immobilize the available cadmium (Cd) and lead (Pb) in soil using peanut shell biochar (PBC) and wheat straw biochar (WBC), and to observe the accumulation of these heavy metals in rice (Oryza sativa L.). The application of PBC and WBC led to significantly higher pH, soil organic carbon (SOC), and cation exchange capacity (CEC) in paddy soil, while the content of MgCl 2 -extractable Cd and Pb was lower than that of untreated soil. MgCl 2 -extractable Cd and Pb showed significant negative correlations with pH, SOC, and CEC (p rice plants. Specially, when compared to the corresponding concentrations in rice grown in control soils, 5% PBC addition lowered Cd and Pb concentrations in grains by 22.9 and 12.2%, respectively, while WBC addition lowered them by 29.1 and 15.0%, respectively. Compared to Pb content, Cd content was reduced to a greater extent in grain by PBC and WBC. These results suggest that biochar application is effective for immobilizing Cd and Pb in contaminated paddy soil, and reduces their bioavailability in rice. Biochar could be used as a soil amendment for the remediation of soils contaminated with heavy metals.

  12. Biochar physicochemical parameters as a result of feedstock material and pyrolysis temperature: predictable for the fate of biochar in soil?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Břendová, Kateřina; Száková, Jiřina; Lhotka, Miloslav; Krulikovská, Tereza; Punčochář, Miroslav; Tlustoš, Pavel

    2017-12-01

    Biochar application is a widely investigated topic nowadays, and precisely described biochar parameters are key information for the understanding of its behaviour in soil and other media. Pore structure and surface properties determine biochar fate. However, there is lack of complex, investigative studies describing the influence of biomass properties and pyrolysis conditions on the pore structure of biochars. The aim of our study was to evaluate a wide range of gathered agriculture residues and elevated pyrolysis temperature on the biochar surface properties and pore composition, predicting biochar behaviour in the soil. The biomass of herbaceous and wood plants was treated by slow pyrolysis, with the final temperature ranging from 400 to 600 °C. Specific surface ranged from 124 to 511 cm 2  g -1 at wood biochar and from 3.19 to 192 cm 2  g -1 at herbaceous biochar. The main properties influencing biochar pore composition were increasing pyrolysis temperatures and lignin (logarithmically) and ash contents (linearly) of biomass. Increasing lignin contents and pyrolysis temperatures caused the highest biochar micropore volume. The total biochar pore volume was higher of wood biomass (0.08-0.3 cm -3  g -1 ). Biochars of wood origin were characterised by skeletal density ranging from 1.479 to 2.015 cm 3  g -1 and herbaceous ones 1.506-1.943 cm 3  g -1 , and the envelope density reached 0.982 cm 3  g -1 at biochar of wheat grain origin and was generally higher at biochars of herbaceous origin. Density was not pyrolysis temperature dependent.

  13. Sorption of priority pollutants to biochars and activated carbons for application to soil and sediment remediation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beckingham, B.; Gomez-Eyles, J. L.; Kwon, S.; Riedel, G.; Gilmour, C.; Ghosh, U.

    2012-04-01

    The effectiveness of different biochars in comparison to 2 commercially available activated carbons (ACs) to sorb polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and mercury (Hg) was assessed, with the aim of identifying promising materials for application to soil and sediment remediation and elucidating material properties that may enhance pollutant binding potential. Biochars studied were produced from pine dust, peanut hull, barley straw, and acai pit in addition to steam-activated biochars made from poultry litter (chicken and turkey). Aqueous concentrations of PCBs were measured using a polyoxymethylene passive sampling technique allowing a very low environmentally-relevant concentration range to be examined. Mercury pH-edge isotherms were conducted at relatively high concentrations in a wide pH range (pH 3-11). Sorption of Hg at low concentrations was also performed with ACs and two other biochars made from a marsh reed and a hard wood. Organic contaminant isotherms were analyzed by the Freundlich model, and Freundlich sorption coefficients (KFr) were normalized to a single concentration to allow comparison among materials (i.e. Kd). Values of Kd were related to the sorbent surface area, with sorption being greater for ACs than activated biochars, followed by unactivated biochars. ACs also had higher carbon content (80-90%) than biochars (22 - 77%). This sorption trend would thus be expected for adsorption of hydrophobic compounds to black carbon surfaces. In contrast, at high concentration all biochars removed more Hg from solution than ACs. Steam-activated poultry litter biochars showed the best performance, with consistent removal of >99.7% Hg over the entire pH range. The relatively high sulfur and phosphate content of these materials likely contribute to this enhanced Hg sorption. Also, owing to their lower pyrolysis temperatures relative to ACs, biochars are reported to have a greater surface group functionality which can enhance cation sorption. The importance of

  14. [Effects of cotton stalk biochar on microbial community structure and function of continuous cropping cotton rhizosphere soil in Xinjiang, China].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gu, Mei-ying; Tang, Guang-mu; Liu, Hong-liang; Li, Zhi-qiang; Liu, Xiao-wei; Xu, Wan-li

    2016-01-01

    In this study, field trials were conducted to examine the effects of cotton stalk biochar on microbial population, function and structural diversity of microorganisms in rhizosphere soil of continuous cotton cropping field in Xinjiang by plate count, Biolog and DGGE methods. The experiment was a factorial design with four treatments: 1) normal fertilization with cotton stalk removed (NPK); 2) normal fertilization with cotton stalk powdered and returned to field (NPKS); 3) normal fertilization plus cotton stalk biochar at 22.50 t · hm⁻² (NPKB₁); and 4) normal fertilization plus cotton stalk biochar at 45.00 t · hm⁻² (NPKB₂). The results showed that cotton stalk biochar application obviously increased the numbers of bacteria and actinomycetes in the rhizospheric soil. Compared with NPK treatment, the number of fungi was significantly increased in the NPKB₁treatment, but not in the NPKB₂ treatment. However, the number of fungi was generally lower in the biochar amended (NPKB₁, NPKB₂) than in the cotton stalk applied plots (NPKS). Application of cotton stalk biochar increased values of AWCD, and significantly improved microbial richness index, suggesting that the microbial ability of utilizing carbohydrates, amino acids and carboxylic acids, especially phenolic acids was enhanced. The number of DGGE bands of NPKB₂ treatment was the greatest, with some species of Gemmatimonadetes, Acidobacteria, Proteobacteria and Actinobacteria being enriched. UPGMC Cluster analysis pointed out that bacterial communities in the rhizospheric soil of NPKB₂ treatment were different from those in the NPK, NPKS and NPKB₁treatments, which belonged to the same cluster. These results indicated that application of cotton stalk biochar could significantly increase microbial diversity and change soil bacterial community structure in the cotton rhizosphere soil, thus improving the health of soil ecosystem.

  15. Utilization of crops residues as compost and biochar for improving soil physical properties and upland rice productivity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J. Barus

    2016-07-01

    Full Text Available The abundance of crops waste in the agricultural field can be converted to organic fertilizer throughout the process of composting or pyrolysis to return back into the soil. The study aimed to elucidate the effect of compost and biochar application on the physical properties and productivity of upland rice at Village of Sukaraja Nuban, Batanghari Nuban Sub district, East Lampung Regency in 2015. The amendment treatments were A. control; B. 10 t rice husk biochar/ ha; C. 10 t maize cob biochar/ha; D. 10 t straw compost/ha; E. 10 t stover compost/ha, F. 10 t rice husk biochar/ha + 10 t straw compost/ha; F. 10 t maize cob biochar/ha + 10 t maize stover compost/ha. The treatments were arranged in randomized block design with four replicates. The plot size for each treatment was 10 x 20 m. After incubation for about one month, undisturbed soil samples were taken using copper ring at 10–20 cm depth for laboratory analyzes. Analyses of soil physical properties included bulk density, particle density, total porosity, drainage porosity, and soil water condition. Plant observations conducted at harvest were plant height, number of panicle, number of grain/panicle, and grain weight/plot. Results of the study showed that biochar and compost improved soil physical properties such as bulk density, total porosity, fast drainage pores, water content, and permeability of soil. The combination of rice husk biochar and straw compost gave better effect than single applications on rice production components (numbers of panicle and grains of rice, and gave the highest yield of 4.875 t/ha.

  16. Improving phosphorus availability in an acid soil using organic amendments produced from agroindustrial wastes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ch'ng, Huck Ywih; Ahmed, Osumanu Haruna; Majid, Nik Muhamad Ab

    2014-01-01

    In acid soils, soluble inorganic phosphorus is fixed by aluminium and iron. To overcome this problem, acid soils are limed to fix aluminium and iron but this practice is not economical. The practice is also not environmentally friendly. This study was conducted to improve phosphorus availability using organic amendments (biochar and compost produced from chicken litter and pineapple leaves, resp.) to fix aluminium and iron instead of phosphorus. Amending soil with biochar or compost or a mixture of biochar and compost increased total phosphorus, available phosphorus, inorganic phosphorus fractions (soluble inorganic phosphorus, aluminium bound inorganic phosphorus, iron bound inorganic phosphorus, redundant soluble inorganic phosphorus, and calcium bound phosphorus), and organic phosphorus. This was possible because the organic amendments increased soil pH and reduced exchangeable acidity, exchangeable aluminium, and exchangeable iron. The findings suggest that the organic amendments altered soil chemical properties in a way that enhanced the availability of phosphorus in this study. The amendments effectively fixed aluminium and iron instead of phosphorus, thus rendering phosphorus available by keeping the inorganic phosphorus in a bioavailable labile phosphorus pool for a longer period compared with application of Triple Superphosphate without organic amendments.

  17. Improving Phosphorus Availability in an Acid Soil Using Organic Amendments Produced from Agroindustrial Wastes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Huck Ywih Ch’ng

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available In acid soils, soluble inorganic phosphorus is fixed by aluminium and iron. To overcome this problem, acid soils are limed to fix aluminium and iron but this practice is not economical. The practice is also not environmentally friendly. This study was conducted to improve phosphorus availability using organic amendments (biochar and compost produced from chicken litter and pineapple leaves, resp. to fix aluminium and iron instead of phosphorus. Amending soil with biochar or compost or a mixture of biochar and compost increased total phosphorus, available phosphorus, inorganic phosphorus fractions (soluble inorganic phosphorus, aluminium bound inorganic phosphorus, iron bound inorganic phosphorus, redundant soluble inorganic phosphorus, and calcium bound phosphorus, and organic phosphorus. This was possible because the organic amendments increased soil pH and reduced exchangeable acidity, exchangeable aluminium, and exchangeable iron. The findings suggest that the organic amendments altered soil chemical properties in a way that enhanced the availability of phosphorus in this study. The amendments effectively fixed aluminium and iron instead of phosphorus, thus rendering phosphorus available by keeping the inorganic phosphorus in a bioavailable labile phosphorus pool for a longer period compared with application of Triple Superphosphate without organic amendments.

  18. Biochar Improves Performance of Plants for Mine Soil Revegetation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Biochar (the solid by-product of pyrolysis of biomass), has the potential to improve plant performance for revegetation of mine soils by improving soil chemistry, fertility, moisture holding capacity and by binding heavy metals. We investigated the effect of gasified conifer sof...

  19. Soil carbon sequestration and biochar as negative emission technologies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Pete

    2016-03-01

    Despite 20 years of effort to curb emissions, greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions grew faster during the 2000s than in the 1990s, which presents a major challenge for meeting the international goal of limiting warming to carbon capture and storage and afforestation/deforestation, showed that all NETs have significant limits to implementation, including economic cost, energy requirements, land use, and water use. In this paper, I assess the potential for negative emissions from soil carbon sequestration and biochar addition to land, and also the potential global impacts on land use, water, nutrients, albedo, energy and cost. Results indicate that soil carbon sequestration and biochar have useful negative emission potential (each 0.7 GtCeq. yr(-1) ) and that they potentially have lower impact on land, water use, nutrients, albedo, energy requirement and cost, so have fewer disadvantages than many NETs. Limitations of soil carbon sequestration as a NET centre around issues of sink saturation and reversibility. Biochar could be implemented in combination with bioenergy with carbon capture and storage. Current integrated assessment models do not represent soil carbon sequestration or biochar. Given the negative emission potential of SCS and biochar and their potential advantages compared to other NETs, efforts should be made to include these options within IAMs, so that their potential can be explored further in comparison with other NETs for climate stabilization. © 2016 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  20. Designing relevant biochars to revitalize soil quality: Current status and advances

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chemical and physical properties of biochars can be designed to improve specific soil quality issues. In order to make appropriate biochar selections, evaluations are required of different feedstocks, pyrolysis conditions, and gross biochar particle sizes. We conducted laboratory soil incubations us...

  1. Influence of sugarcane bagasse-derived biochar application on nitrate leaching in calcaric dark red soil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kameyama, K; Miyamoto, T; Shiono, T; Shinogi, Y

    2012-01-01

    Application of biochar has been suggested to improve water- and fertilizer-retaining capacity of agricultural soil. The objective of this study was to evaluate the effects of bagasse charcoal (sugarcane [ L.] bagasse-derived biochar) on nitrate (NO) leaching from Shimajiri Maji soil, which has low water- and fertilizer-retaining capacity. The nitrate adsorption properties of bagasse charcoal formed at five pyrolysis temperatures (400-800° C) were investigated to select the most suitable bagasse charcoal for NO adsorption. Nitrate was able to adsorb onto the bagasse charcoal formed at pyrolysis temperatures of 700 to 800° C. Nitrate adsorption by bagasse charcoal (formed at 800° C) that passed through a 2-mm sieve was in a state of nonequilibrium even at 20 h after the addition of 20 mg N L KNO solution. Measurements suggested that the saturated and unsaturated hydraulic conductivity of bagasse charcoal (800° C)-amended soils are affected by changes in soil tortuosity and porosity and the presence of meso- and micropores in the bagasse charcoal, which did not contribute to soil water transfer. In NO leaching studies using bagasse charcoal (800° C)-amended soils with different charcoal contents (0-10% [w/w]), the maximum concentration of NO in effluents from bagasse charcoal-amended soil columns was approximately 5% less than that from a nonamended soil column because of NO adsorption by bagasse charcoal (800° C). We conclude that application of bagasse charcoal (800°C) to the soil will increase the residence time of NO in the root zone of crops and provide greater opportunity for crops to absorb NO. Copyright © by the American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America, and Soil Science Society of America, Inc.

  2. In Situ Persistence and Migration of Biochar Carbon and Its Impact on Native Carbon Emission in Contrasting Soils under Managed Temperate Pastures.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bhupinder Pal Singh

    Full Text Available Pyrogenic carbon (PyC is an important component of the global soil carbon (C pool, but its fate, persistence, and loss dynamics in contrasting soils and environments under planted field conditions are poorly understood. To fill this knowledge gap, a 13C-labelled biochar, as a surrogate material for PyC, produced from Eucalyptus saligna by slow pyrolysis (450°C; δ13C -36.7‰ was surface (0-10 cm applied in C3 dominated temperate pasture systems across Arenosol, Cambisol and Ferralsol. The results show a low proportion of the applied biochar-C mineralised over 12 months in a relatively clay- and C-poor Arenosol (i.e., 2.0% loss via mineralisation, followed by a clay- and C-rich Cambisol (4.6%, and clay-, C- and earthworm-rich Ferralsol (7.0%. The biochar-C mean residence time (MRT, estimated by different models, varied between 44-1079 (Arenosol, 18-172 (Cambisol, and 11-29 (Ferralsol years, with the shorter MRT estimated by a one-pool exponential and the longer MRT by an infinite-pool power or a two-pool exponential model. The two-pool model was best fitted to biochar-C mineralisation. The biochar-C recovery in the 12-30 cm soil layer varied from between 1.2% (Arenosol, 2.5-2.7% (Cambisol and 13.8-15.7% (Ferralsol of the applied biochar-C after 8-12 months. There was a further migration of biochar-C below the 50-cm depth in the Arenosol, as the combined biochar-C recovery in the mineralised pool and soil profile (up to 30 or 50 cm was 82%, in contrast to 101% in the Cambisol and 104% in the Ferralsol after 12 months. These results indicate that the downward migration of biochar-C was greatest in the Arenosol (cf. Cambisol and Ferralsol. Cumulative CO2-C emission from native soil-plant sources was lower (p <0.10 in the biochar-amended vs. non-amended Ferralsol. This field-based study shows that the downward migration of biochar-C exceeded its loss via mineralisation in the Arenosol and Ferralsol, but not in the Cambisol. It is thus important to

  3. Impact of compost, vermicompost and biochar on soil fertility, maize yield and soil erosion in Northern Vietnam: a three year mesocosm experiment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Doan, Thuy Thu; Henry-des-Tureaux, Thierry; Rumpel, Cornelia; Janeau, Jean-Louis; Jouquet, Pascal

    2015-05-01

    Compost, vermicompost and biochar amendments are thought to improve soil quality and plant yield. However, little is known about their long-term impact on crop yield and the environment in tropical agro-ecosystems. In this study we investigated the effect of organic amendments (buffalo manure, compost and vermicompost) and biochar (applied alone or with vermicompost) on plant yield, soil fertility, soil erosion and water dynamics in a degraded Acrisol in Vietnam. Maize growth and yield, as well as weed growth, were examined for three years in terrestrial mesocosms under natural rainfall. Maize yield and growth showed high inter-annual variability depending on the organic amendment. Vermicompost improved maize growth and yield but its effect was rather small and was only significant when water availability was limited (year 2). This suggests that vermicompost could be a promising substrate for improving the resistance of agrosystems to water stress. When the vermicompost-biochar mixture was applied, further growth and yield improvements were recorded in some cases. When applied alone, biochar had a positive influence on maize yield and growth, thus confirming its interest for improving long-term soil productivity. All organic amendments reduced water runoff, soil detachment and NH₄(+) and NO₃(-) transfer to water. These effects were more significant with vermicompost than with buffalo manure and compost, highlighting that the beneficial influence of vermicompost is not limited to its influence on plant yield. In addition, this study showed for the first time that the combination of vermicompost and biochar may not only improve plant productivity but also reduce the negative impact of agriculture on water quality. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  4. Effect of biochar on soil structural characteristics: water retention and gas transport

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Sun, Zhencai; Møldrup, Per; Vendelboe, Anders Lindblad

    Biochar addition to agricultural soil has been reported to reduce climate gas emission, as well as improve soil fertility and crop productivity. Little, however, is known about biochar effects on soil structural characteristics. This study investigates if biochar-application changes soil structural...... characteristics, as indicated from water retention and gas transport measurements on intact soil samples. Soil was sampled from a field experiment on a sandy loam with four control plots (C) without biochar and four plots (B) with incorporated biochar at a rate of 20 tons per hectare (plot size, 6 x 8 m). The C......-gas diffusivity on intact 100cm3 soil samples (5 replicates in each plot). We found that biochar application significantly decreased soil bulk density, hereby creating higher porosity. At the same soil-water matric potential, all the soil-gas phase parameters (air-filled porosity, air permeability and gas...

  5. Grey relational analysis for evaluating the effects of different rates of wine lees-derived biochar application on a plant-soil system with multi-metal contamination.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, Min; Zhu, Qihong; Wu, Jun; He, Yan; Yang, Gang; Zhang, Xiaohong; Li, Li; Yu, Xiaoyu; Peng, Hong; Wang, Lilin

    2018-03-01

    In this study, grey relational analysis (GRA) was used to investigate the effects of different application rates of wine lees-derived biochar on a plant-soil system with multi-metal contamination. A pot experiment was conducted to determine rice growth in multi-metal-contaminated soil amended with samples of wine lees-derived biochar, and 47 indicators (including soil properties, microbial activity, and plant physiology) were selected as evaluation indexes to assess the plant-soil system. The results indicated that higher wine lees-derived biochar application rates (2% W/W) were favorable for soil fertility, the bioconcentration factor (BF), and the mobility factor (MF, %) (with the exception of Cr, Zn, and Hg), but an application of 1% produced the highest plant growth, enzymatic activities, and bacterial diversity. The richness of the bacterial communities was reduced in the soil amended with the wine lees-derived biochar. According to the GRA assessment, the 1% application rate of wine lees-derived biochar was more suitable for restoring the holistic plant-soil system than were the application rates of 0, 0.5, and 2% (W/W). Furthermore, this study shows that GRA is a useful method for evaluating plant-soil systems.

  6. [Effects of biochar on soil nutrients leaching and potential mechanisms: A review].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Yu-xue; Lyu, Hao-hao; Shi, Yan; Wang, Yao-feng; Zhong, Zhe-ke; Yang, Sheng-mao

    2015-01-01

    Controlling soil nutrient leaching in farmland ecosystems has been a hotspot in the research field of agricultural environment. Biochar has its unique physical and chemical properties, playing a significant role in enhancing soil carbon storage, improving soil quality and increasing crop yield. As a kind of new exogenous material, biochar has the potential in impacting soil nutrient cycling directly or indirectly, and has profound influences on soil nutrient leaching. This paper analyzed the intrinsic factors affecting how biochar affects soil nutrient leaching, such as the physical and chemical properties of biochar, and the interaction between biochar and soil organisms. Then the latest literatures regarding the external factors, including biochar application rates, soil types, depth of soil layer, fertilization conditions and temporal dynamics, through which biochar influences soil nutrient (especially nitrogen and phosphorus) leaching were reviewed. On that basis, four related action mechanisms were clarified, including direct adsorption of nutrients by biochar due to its micropore structure or surface charge, influencing nutrient leaching through increasing soil water- holding capacity, influencing nutrient cycling through the interaction with soil microbes, and preferential transport of absorbed nutrients by fine biochar particles. At last future research directions for better understanding the interactions between biochar and nutrient leaching in the soil were proposed.

  7. Mitigating yield-scaled greenhouse gas emissions through combined application of soil amendments: A comparative study between temperate and subtropical rice paddy soils

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ali, Muhammad Aslam, E-mail: litonaslam@yahoo.com [Dept. of Environmental Science, Bangladesh Agricultural University, Mymensingh 2202 (Bangladesh); Dept. of Agricultural Chemistry, Gyeongsang National University, Jinju (Korea, Republic of); Division of Environmental Horticulture, Chiba University, Matsudo, Chiba 271-8510 (Japan); Kim, P.J., E-mail: pjkim@nongae.gsnu.ac.kr [Dept. of Agricultural Chemistry, Gyeongsang National University, Jinju (Korea, Republic of); Inubushi, K. [Division of Environmental Horticulture, Chiba University, Matsudo, Chiba 271-8510 (Japan)

    2015-10-01

    Effects of different soil amendments were investigated on methane (CH{sub 4}) and nitrous oxide (N{sub 2}O) emissions, global warming potential (GWP) and yield scaled GWPs in paddy soils of Republic of Korea, Japan and Bangladesh. The experimental treatments were NPK only, NPK + fly ash, NPK + silicate slag, NPK + phosphogypsum(PG), NPK + blast furnace slag (BFS), NPK + revolving furnace slag (RFS), NPK + silicate slag (50%) + RFS (50%), NPK + biochar, NPK + biochar + Azolla-cyanobacteria, NPK + silicate slag + Azolla-cyanobacteria, NPK + phosphogypsum (PG) + Azolla-cyanobacteria. The maximum decrease in cumulative seasonal CH{sub 4} emissions was recorded 29.7% and 32.6% with Azolla-cyanobacteria plus phospho-gypsum amendments in paddy soils of Japan and Bangladesh respectively, followed by 22.4% and 26.8% reduction with silicate slag plus Azolla-cyanobacteria application. Biochar amendments in paddy soils of Japan and Bangladesh decreased seasonal cumulative N{sub 2}O emissions by 31.8% and 20.0% respectively, followed by 26.3% and 25.0% reduction with biochar plus Azolla-cyanobacteria amendments. Although seasonal cumulative CH{sub 4} emissions were significantly increased by 9.5–14.0% with biochar amendments, however, global warming potentials were decreased by 8.0–12.0% with cyanobacterial inoculation plus biochar amendments. The maximum decrease in GWP was calculated 22.0–30.0% with Azolla-cyanobacteria plus silicate slag amendments. The evolution of greenhouse gases per unit grain yield (yield scaled GWP) was highest in the NPK treatment, which was decreased by 43–50% from the silicate slag and phosphogypsum amendments along with Azolla-cyanobacteria inoculated rice planted soils. Conclusively, it is recommended to incorporate Azolla-cyanobacteria with inorganic and organic amendments for reducing GWP and yield scaled GWP from the rice planted paddy soils of temperate and subtropical countries. - Highlights: • Azolla-cyanobacteria with organic and

  8. Mitigating yield-scaled greenhouse gas emissions through combined application of soil amendments: A comparative study between temperate and subtropical rice paddy soils

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ali, Muhammad Aslam; Kim, P.J.; Inubushi, K.

    2015-01-01

    Effects of different soil amendments were investigated on methane (CH 4 ) and nitrous oxide (N 2 O) emissions, global warming potential (GWP) and yield scaled GWPs in paddy soils of Republic of Korea, Japan and Bangladesh. The experimental treatments were NPK only, NPK + fly ash, NPK + silicate slag, NPK + phosphogypsum(PG), NPK + blast furnace slag (BFS), NPK + revolving furnace slag (RFS), NPK + silicate slag (50%) + RFS (50%), NPK + biochar, NPK + biochar + Azolla-cyanobacteria, NPK + silicate slag + Azolla-cyanobacteria, NPK + phosphogypsum (PG) + Azolla-cyanobacteria. The maximum decrease in cumulative seasonal CH 4 emissions was recorded 29.7% and 32.6% with Azolla-cyanobacteria plus phospho-gypsum amendments in paddy soils of Japan and Bangladesh respectively, followed by 22.4% and 26.8% reduction with silicate slag plus Azolla-cyanobacteria application. Biochar amendments in paddy soils of Japan and Bangladesh decreased seasonal cumulative N 2 O emissions by 31.8% and 20.0% respectively, followed by 26.3% and 25.0% reduction with biochar plus Azolla-cyanobacteria amendments. Although seasonal cumulative CH 4 emissions were significantly increased by 9.5–14.0% with biochar amendments, however, global warming potentials were decreased by 8.0–12.0% with cyanobacterial inoculation plus biochar amendments. The maximum decrease in GWP was calculated 22.0–30.0% with Azolla-cyanobacteria plus silicate slag amendments. The evolution of greenhouse gases per unit grain yield (yield scaled GWP) was highest in the NPK treatment, which was decreased by 43–50% from the silicate slag and phosphogypsum amendments along with Azolla-cyanobacteria inoculated rice planted soils. Conclusively, it is recommended to incorporate Azolla-cyanobacteria with inorganic and organic amendments for reducing GWP and yield scaled GWP from the rice planted paddy soils of temperate and subtropical countries. - Highlights: • Azolla-cyanobacteria with organic and inorganic amendments

  9. Effects and mechanisms of biochar-microbe interactions in soil improvement and pollution remediation: A review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhu, Xiaomin; Chen, Baoliang; Zhu, Lizhong; Xing, Baoshan

    2017-08-01

    Biochars have attracted tremendous attention due to their effects on soil improvement; they enhance carbon storage, soil fertility and quality, and contaminant (organic and heavy metal) immobilization and transformation. These effects could be achieved by modifying soil microbial habitats and (or) directly influencing microbial metabolisms, which together induce changes in microbial activity and microbial community structures. This review links microbial responses, including microbial activity, community structures and soil enzyme activities, with changes in soil properties caused by biochars. In particular, we summarized possible mechanisms that are involved in the effects that biochar-microbe interactions have on soil carbon sequestration and pollution remediation. Special attention has been paid to biochar effects on the formation and protection of soil aggregates, biochar adsorption of contaminants, biochar-mediated transformation of soil contaminants by microorganisms, and biochar-facilitated electron transfer between microbial cells and contaminants and soil organic matter. Certain reactive organic compounds and heavy metals in biochar may induce toxicity to soil microorganisms. Adsorption and hydrolysis of signaling molecules by biochar interrupts microbial interspecific communications, potentially altering soil microbial community structures. Further research is urged to verify the proposed mechanisms involved in biochar-microbiota interactions for soil remediation and improvement. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  10. Effect of sewage sledge and their bio-char on some soil qualities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fathi, Hamed; Movahedi Naeini, Seyed Alireza; Mirzanejad, Mojan

    2015-04-01

    Bio char (BC) application as a soil amendment has achieved much interest and has been found that considerably improves soil nutrient status and crop yields on poor soils. However, information on the effect of BC on illitic soils in temperate climates is still insufficient. The primary objective in this study was to assess the influence of biochar on the soil physical properties, nutrient status and plant production. The result may also provide a reference for the use of biochars as a solution in agricultural waste management when sludge with considerable load of pathogens are involved. Soybean was already grown one year and will be repeated one more year with same treatments. The investigated soil properties included soil water content and mechanical resistance, pH, electrical conductivity (EC), calcium- acetate-lactate (CAL)-extractable P (PCAL) and K (KCAL), C, N, and nitrogen-supplying potential (NSP). The results show soil water content, potassium uptake and plant yield were increased. Heating sludge removed all pathogens and soybean yield was increased by 6%.

  11. In-situ biogas upgrading during anaerobic digestion of food waste amended with walnut shell biochar at bench scale.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Linville, Jessica L; Shen, Yanwen; Ignacio-de Leon, Patricia A; Schoene, Robin P; Urgun-Demirtas, Meltem

    2017-06-01

    A modified version of an in-situ CO 2 removal process was applied during anaerobic digestion of food waste with two types of walnut shell biochar at bench scale under batch operating mode. Compared with the coarse walnut shell biochar, the fine walnut shell biochar has a higher ash content (43 vs. 36 wt%) and higher concentrations of calcium (31 vs. 19 wt% of ash), magnesium (8.4 vs. 5.6 wt% of ash) and sodium (23.4 vs. 0.3 wt% of ash), but a lower potassium concentration (0.2 vs. 40% wt% of ash). The 0.96-3.83 g biochar (g VS added ) -1 fine walnut shell biochar amended digesters produced biogas with 77.5%-98.1% CH 4 content by removing 40%-96% of the CO 2 compared with the control digesters at mesophilic and thermophilic temperature conditions. In a direct comparison at 1.83 g biochar (g VS added ) -1 , the fine walnut shell biochar amended digesters (85.7% CH 4 content and 61% CO 2 removal) outperformed the coarse walnut shell biochar amended digesters (78.9% CH 4 content and 51% CO 2 removal). Biochar addition also increased alkalinity as CaCO 3 from 2800 mg L -1 in the control digesters to 4800-6800 mg L -1 , providing process stability for food waste anaerobic digestion.

  12. Engineered/designer biochar for contaminant removal/immobilization from soil and water: Potential and implication of biochar modification.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rajapaksha, Anushka Upamali; Chen, Season S; Tsang, Daniel C W; Zhang, Ming; Vithanage, Meththika; Mandal, Sanchita; Gao, Bin; Bolan, Nanthi S; Ok, Yong Sik

    2016-04-01

    The use of biochar has been suggested as a means of remediating contaminated soil and water. The practical applications of conventional biochar for contaminant immobilization and removal however need further improvements. Hence, recent attention has focused on modification of biochar with novel structures and surface properties in order to improve its remediation efficacy and environmental benefits. Engineered/designer biochars are commonly used terms to indicate application-oriented, outcome-based biochar modification or synthesis. In recent years, biochar modifications involving various methods such as, acid treatment, base treatment, amination, surfactant modification, impregnation of mineral sorbents, steam activation and magnetic modification have been widely studied. This review summarizes and evaluates biochar modification methods, corresponding mechanisms, and their benefits for contaminant management in soil and water. Applicability and performance of modification methods depend on the type of contaminants (i.e., inorganic/organic, anionic/cationic, hydrophilic/hydrophobic, polar/non-polar), environmental conditions, remediation goals, and land use purpose. In general, modification to produce engineered/designer biochar is likely to enhance the sorption capacity of biochar and its potential applications for environmental remediation. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  13. Mechanisms of nitrate capture in biochar: Are they related to biochar properties, post-treatment and soil environment?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cimo, Giulia; Haller, Andreas; Spokas, Kurt; Novak, Jeff; Ippolito, Jim; Löhnertz, Otmar; Kammann, Claudia

    2017-04-01

    Biochar use in soils is assumed to increase soil fertility and the efficiency of nutrient use, particularly nitrogen. It was demonstrated recently that biochar is able to capture considerable amounts of the mobile anion nitrate which was observed in co-composted as well as field aged biochar1,2. Moreover the nitrate was not sufficiently extractable with standard methods from biochar particles; extractions had to be repeated to effectively remove the nitrate1. Subsequently the co-composted nitrate-enriched biochar stimulated plant growth due to N supply to the plants2. However, in a field study in sandy soil in Germany, a different biochar also captured nitrate, increasing the topsoil nitrate concentration and likely reducing nitrate leaching to subsoils1. This was particularly seen after a dry year in the re-picked and analysed particles. However, in the field experiment this aged, nitrate-enriched biochar did not improve crop yields3. To better understand the way biochar interacts with nitrate we undertook several laboratory experiments with 13 well characterized biochars produced from cypress, pine and grapewood at 350, 500, 700 and 900 °C including one Kon-Tiki produced grapewood biochar (600-700°C). Our results showed that (1) pure, pristine (not post-treated) biochar captured more nitrate when they were air-moist and not totally dry; that (2) letting biochar particles dry in nitrate solution forces more nitrate into biochar particles than incubating them in the solution, but (3) that shaking during drying nevertheless caused a higher nitrate uptake into biochar particles; that(4) the counter ion K+ in nitrate solution was more effective than Na+ for N-loading of biochar; (5)that drying a soil-biochar mix in nitrate solution produced a higher nitrate loading of the mixture (i.e. the biochar) than drying both components separately in the same solution; (6)that a higher biochar production temperature caused higher nitrate capture up to 700-900°C. Furthermore

  14. Partitioning of carbon sources among functional pools to investigate short-term priming effects of biochar in soil: A 13C study

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kerré, Bart; Hernandez-Soriano, Maria C.; Smolders, Erik

    2016-01-01

    Biochar sequesters carbon (C) in soils because of its prolonged residence time, ranging from several years to millennia. In addition, biochar can promote indirect C-sequestration by increasing crop yield while, potentially, reducing C-mineralization. This laboratory study was set up to evaluate effects of biochar on C-mineralization with due attention to source appointment by using 13 C isotope signatures. An arable soil (S) (7.9 g organic C, OC kg −1 ) was amended (single dose of 10 g kg −1 soil) with dried, grinded maize stover (leaves and stalks), either natural (R) or 13 C enriched (R*), and/or biochar (B/B*) prepared from the maize stover residues (450 °C). Accordingly, seven different combinations were set up (S, SR, SB, SR*, SB*, SRB*, SR*B) to trace the source of C in CO 2 (180 days), dissolved organic-C (115 days) and OC in soil aggregate fractions (90 days). The application of biochar to soil reduced the mineralization of native soil organic C but the effect on maize stover-C mineralization was not consistent. Biochar application decreased the mineralization of the non-enriched maize stover after 90 days, this being consistent with a significant reduction of dissolved organic C concentration from 45 to 18 mg L −1 . However, no significant effect was observed for the enriched maize stover, presumably due to differences between the natural and enriched materials. The combined addition of biochar and enriched maize stover significantly increased (twofold) the presence of native soil organic C or maize derived C in the free microaggregate fraction relative to soil added only with stover. Although consistent effects among C sources and biochar materials remains elusive, our outcomes indicate that some biochar products can reduce mineralization and solubilization of other sources of C while promoting their physical protection in soil particles. - Highlights: • Biochar can reduce native soil organic carbon mineralization. • Biochar can promote storage

  15. Partitioning of carbon sources among functional pools to investigate short-term priming effects of biochar in soil: A {sup 13}C study

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kerré, Bart [Department of Earth and Environmental Science, KU Leuven, Kasteelpark Arenberg 20, B-3001 Heverlee (Belgium); Hernandez-Soriano, Maria C., E-mail: m.hernandezsoriano@uq.edu.au [Department of Earth and Environmental Science, KU Leuven, Kasteelpark Arenberg 20, B-3001 Heverlee (Belgium); The University of Queensland, School of Agriculture and Food Sciences, St. Lucia, Queensland 4072 (Australia); Smolders, Erik [Department of Earth and Environmental Science, KU Leuven, Kasteelpark Arenberg 20, B-3001 Heverlee (Belgium)

    2016-03-15

    Biochar sequesters carbon (C) in soils because of its prolonged residence time, ranging from several years to millennia. In addition, biochar can promote indirect C-sequestration by increasing crop yield while, potentially, reducing C-mineralization. This laboratory study was set up to evaluate effects of biochar on C-mineralization with due attention to source appointment by using {sup 13}C isotope signatures. An arable soil (S) (7.9 g organic C, OC kg{sup −1}) was amended (single dose of 10 g kg{sup −1} soil) with dried, grinded maize stover (leaves and stalks), either natural (R) or {sup 13}C enriched (R*), and/or biochar (B/B*) prepared from the maize stover residues (450 °C). Accordingly, seven different combinations were set up (S, SR, SB, SR*, SB*, SRB*, SR*B) to trace the source of C in CO{sub 2} (180 days), dissolved organic-C (115 days) and OC in soil aggregate fractions (90 days). The application of biochar to soil reduced the mineralization of native soil organic C but the effect on maize stover-C mineralization was not consistent. Biochar application decreased the mineralization of the non-enriched maize stover after 90 days, this being consistent with a significant reduction of dissolved organic C concentration from 45 to 18 mg L{sup −1}. However, no significant effect was observed for the enriched maize stover, presumably due to differences between the natural and enriched materials. The combined addition of biochar and enriched maize stover significantly increased (twofold) the presence of native soil organic C or maize derived C in the free microaggregate fraction relative to soil added only with stover. Although consistent effects among C sources and biochar materials remains elusive, our outcomes indicate that some biochar products can reduce mineralization and solubilization of other sources of C while promoting their physical protection in soil particles. - Highlights: • Biochar can reduce native soil organic carbon mineralization.

  16. Effect of biochar addition on short-term N2O and CO2 emissions during repeated drying and wetting of an anthropogenic alluvial soil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Fang; Lee, Xinqing; Theng, Benny K G; Wang, Bing; Cheng, Jianzhong; Wang, Qian

    2017-06-01

    Agricultural soils are an important source of greenhouse gases (GHG). Biochar application to such soils has the potential of mitigating global anthropogenic GHG emissions. Under irrigation, the topsoils in arid regions experience repeated drying and wetting during the crop growing season. Biochar incorporation into these soils would change the soil microbial environment and hence affect GHG emissions. Little information, however, is available regarding the effect of biochar addition on carbon dioxide (CO 2 ) and nitrous oxide (N 2 O) emissions from agricultural soils undergoing repeated drying and wetting. Here, we report the results of a 49-day aerobic incubation experiment, incorporating biochar into an anthropogenic alluvial soil in an arid region of Xinjiang Province, China, and measuring CO 2 and N 2 O emissions. Under both drying-wetting and constantly moist conditions, biochar amendment significantly increased cumulative CO 2 emission. At the same time, there was a significant reduction (up to ~20 %) in cumulative N 2 O emission, indicating that the addition of biochar to irrigated agricultural soils may effectively slow down global warming in arid regions of China.

  17. Impact of different feedstocks derived biochar amendment with cadmium low uptake affinity cultivar of pak choi (Brassica rapa ssb. chinensis L.) on phytoavoidation of Cd to reduce potential dietary toxicity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yasmin Khan, Kiran; Ali, Barkat; Cui, Xiaoqiang; Feng, Ying; Yang, Xiaoe; Joseph Stoffella, Peter

    2017-07-01

    Biochar has become eco-friendly amendment used for phytoavoidation with low cadmium (Cd) accumulating cultivars of crops to ensure food safety in Cd contaminated soils. In this study, biochar with different waste feedstock material were evaluated for their effectiveness on essential trace metals mobility, Cd bioavailability and its accumulation in two contrasting Cd accumulating cultivars of pak choi (Brassica rapa ssp. chinensis L.) grown in Cd contaminated Mollisol soil. A greenhouse experiment was conducted with plants grown in Cd contaminated soil that had been amended with biochar derived from barley straw, tomato green waste, chicken manure, duck manure and swine manure at application rate of 0%, 2.5% and 5.0% (w/w). The results showed that soil pH was significantly increased by all treatments. Biochar increased plant dry biomass, micronutrients bioavailability with significant differences in the Cd sorption capacity, with the effectiveness higher with increasing biochar application rate. However, tomato green waste (TGW) and chicken manure (CM) derived biochar were more effective than the other biochar in reducing Cd mobilization in soil by 35-54% and 26-43% and reduced its accumulation in shoots of pak choi cultivars by 34-76% and 33-72% in low Cd accumulator cultivar and 64-85% and 55-80% in high Cd accumulator cultivar than the control. Overall, results indicate that TGW and CM biochar can efficiently immobilize Cd, thereby reducing bioavailability in Cd contaminated Mollisol soil to ensure food safety. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  18. Effects of gasification biochar on plant-available water capacity and plant growth in two contrasting soil types

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hansen, Veronika; Hauggaard-Nielsen, Henrik; Petersen, Carsten Tilbæk

    2016-01-01

    Abstract Gasification biochar (GB) contains recalcitrant carbon that can contribute to soil carbon sequestration and soil quality improvement. However, the impact of GB on plant-available water capacity (AWC) and plant growth in diverse soil types still needs to be explored. A pot experiment...... with spring barley (Hordeum vulgare L.) was conducted to investigate the effect of soil amendment by 1% straw and wood gasification biochar (SGB and WGB), respectively, on AWC and plant growth responses under two levels of water supply in a temperate sandy loam and a coarse sandy subsoil. In the sandy loam......, the reduced water regime significantly affected plant growth and water consumption, whereas the effect was less pronounced in the coarse sand. Irrespective of the soil type, both GBs increased AWC by 17–42%, with the highest absolute effect in the coarse sand. The addition of SGB to coarse sand led...

  19. Effects of gasification biochar on plant-available water capacity and plant growth in two contrasting soil types

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hansen, Veronika; Hauggaard-Nielsen, Henrik; Petersen, Carsten Tilbæk

    2016-01-01

    , the reduced water regime significantly affected plant growth and water consumption, whereas the effect was less pronounced in the coarse sand. Irrespective of the soil type, both GBs increased AWC by 17–42%, with the highest absolute effect in the coarse sand. The addition of SGB to coarse sand led......Abstract Gasification biochar (GB) contains recalcitrant carbon that can contribute to soil carbon sequestration and soil quality improvement. However, the impact of GB on plant-available water capacity (AWC) and plant growth in diverse soil types still needs to be explored. A pot experiment...... with spring barley (Hordeum vulgare L.) was conducted to investigate the effect of soil amendment by 1% straw and wood gasification biochar (SGB and WGB), respectively, on AWC and plant growth responses under two levels of water supply in a temperate sandy loam and a coarse sandy subsoil. In the sandy loam...

  20. Biochar can restrict N2O emissions and the risk of nitrogen leaching from an agricultural soil during the freeze-thaw period

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Riitta Kettunen

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available Freeze-thaw (FT events in soils can cause a burst of nitrous oxide (N2O and enhance N leaching during the spring-thaw event. We studied whether a soil amended with wood-derived (spruce chips biochar (10 tonnes ha-1, produced at rather low temperatures (400-450°C, could reduce the burst of N2O and the risk of N leaching from an agricultural soil after a FT event. A short-term laboratory experiment (4 weeks was conducted with 24 vegetated (Phleum pratense mesocosms (12 controls, 12 biochar-treated that had spent a dormant season in the dark at 15°C for two months after the growing season. N2O efflux to the atmosphere and ammonium (NH4+-N and nitrate (NO3-N in the percolated soil water were monitored before and after the FT event. N2O was monitored with the dark chamber method and analyzed using a gas chromatograph. We found that soil amended biochar can significantly diminish the burst of N2O after the soil FT event (by 61% just after FT event and substantially reduce the risk of NO3-N and NH4+-N leaching from the agricultural soil. Compared to the control, the decrement in concentrations of NO3-N and NH4+-N in water percolated through the biochar amended soil in the mesocosms was 58% and 22%, respectively.

  1. Assessing the Potential of Using Biochar as a Soil Conditioner

    Science.gov (United States)

    Glazunova, D. M.; Kuryntseva, P. A.; Selivanovskaya, S. Y.; Galitskaya, P. Y.

    2018-01-01

    Biochar is a product of pyrolysis of biomass such as plant tissues, manures, sewage sludge, organic fraction of municipal solid wastes etc. Nowadays, biochar is being discussed as an alternative fertilizer that improves the air and water balance of the soil and provides soil microbiota with slow releasing biogenic elements. Many factors such as initial substrate properties, pyrolysis temperature and regime may influence biochar characteristics. In this study, characteristics of the two biochars prepared from chicken manure (ChM) and sewage sludge (SS) at 550 °C were analyzed in order to reveal their agricultural potential. It was found, that the ChM biochar had a pH value of 5.80±0.21, which was 1.6 lower than the pH of the SS sample. The electrical conductivity of the ChM sample was 6 times higher than that of the SS sample, being 6.42±0.30 mS cm-1 and 1.02±0.10 mS·cm-1, respectively. The cation exchange capacity was estimated to be 7.6±0.26 and 45±0.14 cmol·kg-1 in the ChM and SS samples, respectively. In the ChM sample total organic carbon content was 24.93±3.2%, which is nearly twice as large as that in the SS sample (12.36±4.1%), whereas total nitrogen content was estimated to be 0.33±0.03% and 0.10±0.01% for ChM and SS samples, respectively. Using scanning electronic microscopy and laser particle size distribution analysis, it was shown that the SS sample was more homogeneous in its structure and consisted of particles having a lower size of 1 to 200μm with particles of 10 to 100μm being the most frequent, while the ChM sample was nonhomogeneous and its particle size varied between 2 and 2000 μm. To observe the influence on plants, 1% of biochar was added to soil, and wheat seeds were planted. The germination index estimated for soil treated by SS biochar was estimated to be 97%, while that of soil treated by ChM biochar was lower at about 78%.

  2. Biochar- and phosphate-induced immobilization of heavy metals in contaminated soil and water: implication on simultaneous remediation of contaminated soil and groundwater.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liang, Yuan; Cao, Xinde; Zhao, Ling; Arellano, Eduardo

    2014-03-01

    Long-term wastewater irrigation or solid waste disposal has resulted in the heavy metal contamination in both soil and groundwater. It is often separately implemented for remediation of contaminated soil or groundwater at a specific site. The main objective of this study was to demonstrate the hypothesis of simultaneous remediation of both heavy metal contaminated soil and groundwater by integrating the chemical immobilization and pump-and-treat methods. To accomplish the objective, three experiments were conducted, i.e., an incubation experiment was first conducted to determine how dairy-manure-derived biochar and phosphate rock tailing induced immobilization of Cd in the Cd-contaminated soils; second, a batch sorption experiment was carried out to determine whether the pre-amended contaminated soil still had the ability to retain Pb, Zn and Cd from aqueous solution. BCR sequential extraction as well as XRD and SEM analysis were conducted to explore the possible retention mechanism; and last, a laboratory-scale model test was undertaken by leaching the Pb, Zn, and Cd contaminated groundwater through the pre-amended contaminated soils to demonstrate how the heavy metals in both contaminated soil and groundwater were simultaneously retained and immobilized. The incubation experiment showed that the phosphate biochar were effective in immobilizing soil Cd with Cd concentration in TCLP (toxicity characteristics leaching procedure) extract reduced by 19.6 % and 13.7 %, respectively. The batch sorption experiment revealed that the pre-amended soil still had ability to retain Pb, Zn, and Cd from aqueous solution. The phosphate-induced metal retention was mainly due to the metal-phosphate precipitation, while both sorption and precipitation were responsible for the metal stabilization in the biochar amendment. The laboratory-scale test demonstrated that the soil amended with phosphate removed groundwater Pb, Zn, and Cd by 96.4 %, 44.6 %, and 49.2 %, respectively, and the

  3. A method to simultaneously determining the reduction in PAH dissolved concentrations and bioaccessibility in carbon amended soils

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Marchal, Geoffrey; Smith, Kilian E. C.; Rein, Arno

    In order to investigate the potential of different soil amendments (activated charcoal (AC), charcoal (biochar), compost) to sorb PAHs and their effect on bioaccessibility and biodegradation of PAHs in soil, a method was developed that can determine simultaneously the changes in PAH dissolved...

  4. Effects of biochars on the bioaccessibility of phenanthrene/pyrene/zinc/lead and microbial community structure in a soil under aerobic and anaerobic conditions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ni, Ni; Shi, Renyong; Liu, Zongtang; Bian, Yongrong; Wang, Fang; Song, Yang; Jiang, Xin

    2018-01-01

    The immobilization of co-contaminants of organic and inorganic pollutants by biochar is an efficient remediation strategy. However, the effect of biochar amendments on the bioaccessibility of the co-contaminants in dry versus flooded soils has rarely been compared. In batch experiments, bamboo-derived biochar (BB) had a higher sorption capacity for phenanthrene (Phe)/pyrene (Pyr)/zinc (Zn) than corn straw-derived biochar (CB), while CB had a higher sorption capacity for lead (Pb) than BB. After 150days of incubation, the amendments of 2% CB, 0.5% BB and 2% BB effectively suppressed the dissipation and reduced the bioaccessibility of Phe/Pyr by 15.65%/18.02%, 17.07%/18.31% and 25.43%/27.11%, respectively, in the aerobic soils. This effectiveness was more significant than that in the anaerobic soils. The accessible Zn/Pb concentrations were also significantly lower in the aerobic soils than in the anaerobic soils, regardless of treatments. The Gram-negative bacterial biomass and the Shannon-Weaver index in the aerobic soil amended with 2% CB were the highest. The soil microbial community structure was jointly affected by changes in the bioaccessibility of the co-contaminants and the soil physiochemical properties caused by biochar amendments under the two conditions. Therefore, dry land farming may be more reliable than paddy soil cultivation at reducing the bioaccessibility of Phe/Pyr/Zn/Pb and enhancing the soil microbial diversity in the short term. Copyright © 2017. Published by Elsevier B.V.

  5. Effects of Bio-char on Soil Microbes in Herbicide Residual Soils

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    WANG Gen-lin

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available Effects of biological carbon (bio-char on soil microbial community were studied by pot experiments simulating long residual herbicide residues in soil environment, which clarifed the improvement of biochar and its structural properties on soil microenvironment. The results showed that fungi and actinomycetes had the same effect tendency within 0~0.72 mg·kg-1 in clomazone residue which increased the role of stimulation with crop growth process prolonged, especially in high residue treatment, but strong inhibitory effect on bacteria community was occured early which returned to normal until sugar beet growth to fiftieth day. Soil fungi community decreased with bio-char adding, but had no significant difference with the control. When clomazone residue in soil was below 0.24 mg·kg-1, soil actinomycetes community was higher than control without bio-char, bacteria increased first and then reduced after adding carbon as below 0.12 mg·kg-1. Biochar was ‘deep hole’ structure containing C, O, S and other elements. The results showed that a certain concentration clomazone residue in soil would stimulate soil fungi and actinomycetes to grow. After adding the biochar, the inhibition effect of high herbicides residual on bacterial would be alleviated.

  6. The Effect of sewage sledge bio-char as mulch and top-soil incorporated on Soil Physical Characteristics and plant growth in a loss soil with high specific surface area in a temperate climate.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fathi, Hamed; Movahedi Naeini, Seyed Alireza; Mirzanejad, Mojan

    2015-04-01

    Incorporation of biochar into agricultural soils has been proposed as a potential best management practice (BMP) to increase crop yield and sequester atmospheric carbon (C). Furthermore, the production of biochar, referred to as pyrolysis, yields biofuel that can offset fossil fuels. Current research involving biochar and soil is field scale experiments. Here, sewage sledge biochar was incorporated into a field-scale soybean (Glycine max) system for analysis of soil mechanical and hydrological properties correlated with crop yield. A randomized complete block design was implemented with two biochar application rates: 0 Mg ha-1 (TC), and 25 Mg ha-1 (MTB25 Mulch and ITB25 Incorporated). All plots were tilled using a tractor and rotovator in order to attain uniform incorporation of biochar. A small adjacent field was managed with no-till practices (NTC) to quantify the effects of tillage. Biochar is an effective soil conditioner, evident by MTB25 soil bulk density 9% and 18.5% less than that of TC and NTC, respectively. Analysis of soil pore size distribution resulted in MTB25 with significantly increased macro-pores (1500 μm) related to water transmission and micro-pores (0.5 μm) related to water retention. Furthermore, plant available water capacity (AWC) of MTB25 significantly increased by 9.6% and 29% over TC and NTC, respectively. Biochar amendment (MTB25) increased saturated hydraulic conductivity (Ks) by 33% and 78% over TC and NTC, respectively. Soybean above-ground biomass and grain yield of MTB25 resulted in respective 12.3% and 12.5% increases over TC. The results also showed that the ITB25 was less effective than MTB25. Correlation and linear regression analysis revealed significant positive trends with AWC, soil bulk density, total porosity, among other properties. Results suggest biochar is an effective soil amendment for temperate agricultural soils, yet long-term research will provide additional insight into the potential for biochar to improve soil

  7. Progress on Biochar Preparation and Its Assessement Methods of Stability

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    JIN Liang

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available As a promising pyrolysis product for mitigating climate changes, biochar can be remained in soil for thousands years after field application. The positive benefits of biochar amendment into soil include crop yield increase, soil fertility improvement and water-holding capacity enhancement. The objective of this study is to quantify specific stability of the biochar by screening the relative documents towards directions including feedstock classification, biochar preparation, unique stability, etc. Finally three types of methods were summarized, such as indirect measurement methods, direct measurement methods and molecule properties methods for biochar stability, which resulted from various production conditions and feedstocks. Wide range of biochar feedstocks and specific stability of biochar preparation required new evaluation mechanism in order to evaluate prospect of biochar production process and relative soil amelioration and limitation with multiple perspectives.

  8. A Quick-Test for Biochar Effects on Seed Germination

    Science.gov (United States)

    Biochar is being globally evaluated as a soil amendment to improve soil characteristics (e.g. soil water holding, nutrient exchange, microbiology, pesticides and chemical availability) to increase crop yields. Unfortunately, there are no quick tests to determine what biochar type...

  9. Biochar effects on methane emissions from soils

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Jeffery, Simon; Verheijen, Frank G.A.; Kammann, Claudia; Abalos Rodriguez, Diego

    2016-01-01

    Methane (CH4) emissions have increased by more than 150% since 1750, with agriculture being the major source. Further increases are predicted as permafrost regions start thawing, and rice and ruminant animal production expand. Biochar is posited to increase crop productivity while

  10. Influence of biochars, compost and iron grit, alone and in combination, on copper solubility and phytotoxicity in a Cu-contaminated soil from a wood preservation site.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oustriere, Nadège; Marchand, Lilian; Galland, William; Gabbon, Lunel; Lottier, Nathalie; Motelica, Mikael; Mench, Michel

    2016-10-01

    Two biochars, a green waste compost and iron grit were used, alone and in combination, as amendment to improve soil properties and in situ stabilize Cu in a contaminated soil (964mgCukg(-1)) from a wood preservation site. The pot experiment consisted in 9 soil treatments (% w/w): untreated Cu-contaminated soil (Unt); Unt soil amended respectively with compost (5%, C), iron grit (1%, Z), pine bark-derived biochar (1%, PB), poultry-manure-derived biochar (1%, AB), PB or AB+C (5%, PBC and ABC), and PB or AB+Z (1%, PBZ and ABZ). After a 3-month reaction period, the soil pore water (SPW) was sampled in potted soils and dwarf beans were grown for a 2-week period. In the SPW, all amendments decreased the Cu(2+) concentration, but total Cu concentration increased in all AB-amended soils due to high dissolved organic matter (DOM) concentration. No treatment improved root and shoot DW yields, which even decreased in the ABC and ABZ treatments. The PBZ treatment decreased total Cu concentration in the SPW while reducing the gap with common values for root and shoot yields of dwarf bean plants. A field trial is underway before any recommendation for the PB-based treatments. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  11. Catalytic degradation of the soil fumigant 1,3-dichloropropene in aqueous biochar slurry

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Qin, Jiaolong; Cheng, Yuxiao; Sun, Mingxing; Yan, Lili; Shen, Guoqing

    2016-01-01

    Biochar has been explored as a cost-effective sorbent of contaminants, such as soil fumigant. However, contaminant-loaded biochar probably becomes a source of secondary air pollution. In this study, biochars developed from cow manure and rice husk at 300 °C or 700 °C were used to investigate the catalytic degradation of the soil fumigant 1,3-dichloropropene (1,3-D) in aqueous biochar slurry. Results showed that the adsorption of 1,3-D on the biochars was influenced by Langmuir surface monolayer adsorption. The maximum adsorption capacity of cow manure was greater than that of rice husk at the same pyrolysis temperature. Batch experiments revealed that 1,3-D degradation was improved in aqueous biochar slurry. The most rapid 1,3-D degradation occurred on cow manure-derived biochar produced at 300 °C (C-300), with t 1/2 = 3.47 days. The degradation efficiency of 1,3-D on C-300 was 95.52%. Environmentally persistent free radicals (EPFRs) in biochars were detected via electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) techniques. Dissolved organic matter (DOM) and hydroxyl radical (·OH) in biochars were detected by using a fluorescence spectrophotometer coupled with a terephthalic acid trapping method. The improvement of 1,3-D degradation efficiency may be attributed to EPFRs and DOM in aqueous biochar slurry. Our results may pose implications in the development of effective reduction strategies for soil fumigant emission with biochar. - Highlights: • Hydrolysis of 1,3-D was accelerated in aqueous biochar slurry. • 1,3-D adsorption kinetics on biochars fitted well with Langmuir model. • Cow manure biochar showed higher catalytic degradation activity for 1,3-D than rice husk biochar did. • EPFRs and DOM have potential roles in 1,3-D degradation on biochar.

  12. Catalytic degradation of the soil fumigant 1,3-dichloropropene in aqueous biochar slurry

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Qin, Jiaolong [School of Agriculture and Biology, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, 800 Dongchuan Road, Shanghai 200240 (China); Cheng, Yuxiao; Sun, Mingxing [Shanghai Entry–Exit Inspection and Quarantine Bureau, Shanghai 200135 (China); Yan, Lili [School of Agriculture and Biology, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, 800 Dongchuan Road, Shanghai 200240 (China); Shen, Guoqing, E-mail: gqsh@sjtu.edu.cn [School of Agriculture and Biology, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, 800 Dongchuan Road, Shanghai 200240 (China)

    2016-11-01