WorldWideScience

Sample records for biochar soil amendment

  1. Phenanthrene sorption on biochar-amended soils

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2014-01-01

    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...... carbon, while it negatively correlated with clay content. The results also revealed that biochar-mineral interactions play an important role in the sorption of phenanthrene in biochar-amended soil....

  2. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  4. 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

  5. Determination of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in biochar and biochar amended soil

    Science.gov (United States)

    A method for the determination of the 16 USEPA polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in biochar and soil amended with biochar was developed. Samples were Soxhlet extracted with acetone:cyclohexane 1:1, and PAHs were analysed by GC-MS after silica gel clean-up. In a comparative study based on reflu...

  6. 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.

  7. 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 ...

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. Amendment of Acid Soils with Crop Residues and Biochars

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    YUAN Jin-Hua; XU Ren-Kou; WANG Ning; LI Jiu-Yu

    2011-01-01

    The liming potential of some crop residues and their biochars on an acid Ultisol was investigated using incubation experiments. Rice hulls showed greater liming potential than rice hull biochar, while soybean and pea straws had less liming potential than their biochars. Due to their higher alkalinity, biochars from legume materials increased soil pH much compared to biochars from non-legume materials. The alkalinity of biochars was a key factor affecting their liming potential,and the greater alkalinity of biochars led to greater reductions in soil acidity. The incorporation of biochars decreased soil exchangeable acidity and increased soil exchangeable base cations and base saturation, thus improving soil fertility.

  11. 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

  12. 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%).

  13. 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...... 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...

  14. [Impact of biochar amendment on the sorption and dissipation of chlorantraniliprole in soils].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Ting-Ting; Yu, Xiang-Yang; Shen, Yaen; Zhang, Chao-Lan; Liu, Xian-Jin

    2012-04-01

    The effects of biochar amendment on sorption and dissipation of chlorantraniliprole (CAP) in 5 different agricultural soils were studied. Red gum wood (Eucalyptus spp.) derived biochar was amended into a black soil, a yellow soil, a red soil, a purplish soil, and a fluvo-aquic soil at the rate of 0.5% (by weight). The sorption and dissipation behaviors of CAP in soils with and without biochar amendment were measured by batch equilibration technique and dissipation kinetic experiment, respectively. The objective was to investigate the impact of biochar application on the environmental fate of pesticides in agricultural soils with different physical-chemical properties, and evaluate the potential ecological impacts of field application of biochar materials. The results showed that biochar application in soils could enhance the sorption of CAP, but the magnitudes were varied among soils with different properties. Amendment of 0.5% (by weight) biochar in the black soil, which have high content of organic matter (4.59%), resulted in an increase of sorption coefficient (K(d)) by 2.17%; while for the fluvo-aquic soil with organic matter content of 1.16%, amendment of biochar at the same level led to an increase of 139.13%. The sorption capacity of biochar was partially suppressed when biochar was mixed with soils. The calculated K(Fbiochar) of biochar after mixed in the black soil, yellow soil, red soil, purplish soil, and fluvo-aquic soil were decreased by 96.94%, 90.6%, 91.31%, 68.26%, and 34.59%, respectively, compared to that of the original biochar. The half-lives of CAP in black soil, yellow soil, red soil, purplish soil, and fluvo-aquic soil were 115.52, 133.30, 154.03, 144.41 and 169.06 d, respectively. In soils amended with biochar, the corresponding half-lives of CAP were extended by 20.39, 35.76, 38.51, 79.19, and 119.75 d, respectively. Similar to the effects of biochar on CAP sorption, in soil with higher content of organic matter, the retardation of CAP

  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. 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...

  1. 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

  2. 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 ...

  3. Exposure of agricultural crops to nanoparticle CeO2 in 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  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. 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...

  10. Biochar as possible long-term soil amendment for phytostabilisation of TE-contaminated soils.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bopp, Charlotte; Christl, Iso; Schulin, Rainer; Evangelou, Michael W H

    2016-09-01

    Soils contaminated by trace elements (TEs) pose a high risk to their surrounding areas as TEs can spread by wind and water erosion or leaching. A possible option to reduce TE transfer from these sites is phytostabilisation. It is a long-term and cost-effective rehabilitation strategy which aims at immobilising TEs within the soil by vegetation cover and amendment application. One possible amendment is biochar. It is charred organic matter which has been shown to immobilise metals due to its high surface area and alkaline pH. Doubts have been expressed about the longevity of this immobilising effect as it could dissipate once the carbonates in the biochar have dissolved. Therefore, in a pot experiment, we determined plant metal uptake by ryegrass (Lolium perenne) from three TE-contaminated soils treated with two biochars, which differed only in their pH (acidic, 2.80; alkaline, 9.33) and carbonate (0.17 and 7.3 %) content. Root biomass was increased by the application of the alkaline biochar due to the decrease in TE toxicity. Zinc and Cu bioavailability and plant uptake were equally reduced by both biochars, showing that surface area plays an important role in metal immobilisation. Biochar could serve as a long-term amendment for TE immobilisation even after its alkalinity effect has dissipated.

  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. 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 ...

  13. 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....

  14. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-08-15

    Soil biochar amendment has been described as a promising tool to improve soil quality, sequester carbon, and mitigate nitrous oxide (N2O) emissions. N2O is a potent greenhouse gas. The main sources of N2O in soils are microbially-mediated nitrogen transformation processes such as nitrification and denitrification. While previous studies have focused on the link between N2O emission mitigation and the abundance and activity of N2O-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 N2O-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 N2O 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 N2O-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. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  16. 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

  17. Combination of biochar amendment and phytoremediation for hydrocarbon removal in petroleum-contaminated soil

    OpenAIRE

    Han, Tao; Zhao, Zhipeng; Bartlam, Mark; Wang, Yingying

    2016-01-01

    Remediation of soils contaminated with petroleum is a challenging task. Four different bioremediation strategies, including natural attenuation, biochar amendment, phytoremediation with ryegrass, and a combination of biochar and ryegrass, were investigated with greenhouse pot experiments over a 90-day period. The results showed that planting ryegrass in soil can significantly improve the removal rate of total petroleum hydrocarbons (TPHs) and the number of microorganisms. Within TPHs, the rem...

  18. Biochar amendment immobilizes lead in rice paddy soils and reduces its phytoavailability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Honghong; Liu, Yuting; Chen, Yanhui; Wang, Shanli; Wang, Mingkuang; Xie, Tuanhui; Wang, Guo

    2016-08-01

    This study aimed to determine effects of rice straw biochar on Pb sequestration in a soil-rice system. Pot experiments were conducted with rice plants in Pb-contaminated paddy soils that had been amended with 0, 2.5, and 5% (w/w) biochar. Compared to the control treatment, amendment with 5% biochar resulted in 54 and 94% decreases in the acid soluble and CaCl2-extractable Pb, respectively, in soils containing rice plants at the maturity stage. The amount of Fe-plaque on root surfaces and the Pb concentrations of the Fe-plaque were also reduced in biochar amended soils. Furthermore, lead species in rice roots were determined using Pb L3-edge X-ray absorption near edge structure (XANES), and although Pb-ferrihydrite complexes dominated Pb inventories, increasing amounts of organic complexes like Pb-pectins and Pb-cysteine were found in roots from the 5% biochar treatments. Such organic complexes might impede Pb translocation from root to shoot and subsequently reduce Pb accumulation in rice with biochar amendment.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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 7.4cm/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. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  20. 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.

  1. Soil biochar amendment shapes the composition of N_2O-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_2O) emissions. N_2O is a potent greenhouse gas. The main sources of N_2O in soils are microbially-mediated nitrogen transformation processes such as nitrification and denitrification. While previous studies have focused on the link between N_2O emission mitigation and the abundance and activity of N_2O-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_2O-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_2O 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_2O-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_2O-reducing microbial taxa. • Taxonomic shifts among N_2O-reducing microbes might explain lower N_2O emissions.

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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...

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. Combination of biochar amendment and phytoremediation for hydrocarbon removal in petroleum-contaminated soil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Han, Tao; Zhao, Zhipeng; Bartlam, Mark; Wang, Yingying

    2016-11-01

    Remediation of soils contaminated with petroleum is a challenging task. Four different bioremediation strategies, including natural attenuation, biochar amendment, phytoremediation with ryegrass, and a combination of biochar and ryegrass, were investigated with greenhouse pot experiments over a 90-day period. The results showed that planting ryegrass in soil can significantly improve the removal rate of total petroleum hydrocarbons (TPHs) and the number of microorganisms. Within TPHs, the removal rate of total n-alkanes (45.83 %) was higher than that of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (30.34 %). The amendment of biochar did not result in significant improvement of TPH removal. In contrast, it showed a clear negative impact on the growth of ryegrass and the removal of TPHs by ryegrass. The removal rate of TPHs was significantly lower after the amendment of biochar. The results indicated that planting ryegrass is an effective remediation strategy, while the amendment of biochar may not be suitable for the phytoremediation of soil contaminated with petroleum hydrocarbons.

  11. Effect of biochar amendment on soil's retention capacity for estrogenic hormones from poultry manure treatment

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Sukhjot MANN; Zhiming QI; Shiv O.PRASHER; Lanhai LI; Dongwei GUI; Qianjing JIANG

    2017-01-01

    Most animals,including humans,produce natural sex hormones such as estrogens:17β-estradiol (E2) and estrone (El).These compounds are able to disrupt the reproductive systems of living organisms at trace concentrations (ng.L-1).This experiment tests the hypothesis that 1% slow pyrolysis biochar-amended sandy soil could retain significant amount of estrogens (El,E2) from poultry manure in its second year of application.The experiment was conducted over 46 days and consisted of a series of lysimeters containing sandy soil with biocharamended topsoil.The application rate of poultry manure was kept at 2.47 kg.m-2.The biochar held a significant concentration of hormone during the first year of its application.However,in the following year (current study),there was no significant retention of hormones in the biochar-amended soil.During the first year after application,the biochar was fresh,so its pores were available for hydrophobic interactions and held significant concentration of hormones.As time passed there were several biotic and abiotic changes on the surface of the biochar so that after some physical fragmentation,pores on the surface were no longer available for hydrophobic interactions.The biochar started releasing dissolved organic carbon,which facilitated greater mobility of hormones from poultry manure down the soil profile.

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. Exposure of agricultural crops to nanoparticle CeO2 in biochar-amended soil

    Science.gov (United States)

    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 largely unknown. In the present study, corn (Zea mays), lettuce (Lactuca sativa), soybean (Glycine max) and zucchini...

  19. The impact of wood biochar as a soil amendment in aerobic rice systems of the Brazilian Savannah

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Carvalho, M.T.M.

    2015-01-01

    Abstract

    Keywords: tropical Savannah, biochar, soil fertility, aerobic rice, grain yield, N2O emission

    Márcia Thaís de Melo Carvalho (2015). The impact of wood biochar as a soil amendment in aerobic rice systems of the Brazilian Savannah. PhD thesis,

  20. The interactions of composting and biochar and their implications for soil amendment and pollution remediation: a review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Haipeng; Lai, Cui; Zeng, Guangming; Liang, Jie; Chen, Jin; Xu, Jijun; Dai, Juan; Li, Xiaodong; Liu, Junfeng; Chen, Ming; Lu, Lunhui; Hu, Liang; Wan, Jia

    2017-09-01

    Compost and biochar, used for the remediation of soil, are seen as attractive waste management options for the increasing volume of organic wastes being produced. This paper reviews the interaction of biochar and composting and its implication for soil amendment and pollution remediation. The interaction of biochar and composting affect each other's properties. Biochar could change the physico-chemical properties, microorganisms, degradation, humification and gas emission of composting, such as the increase of nutrients, cation exchange capacity (CEC), organic matter and microbial activities. The composting could also change the physico-chemical properties and facial functional groups of biochar, such as the improvement of nutrients, CEC, functional groups and organic matter. These changes would potentially improve the efficiency of the biochar and composting for soil amendment and pollution remediation. Based on the above review, this paper also discusses the future research required in this field.

  1. 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....

  2. 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.

  3. Influence of Pyrolysis Temperature and Production Conditions on Switchgrass Biochar for Use as a Soil Amendment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Amanda Joy Ashworth

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available Biochars form recalcitrant carbon and increase water and nutrient retention in soils; however, the magnitude is contingent upon production conditions and thermo-chemical conversion processes. Herein we aim at (i characterizing switchgrass (Panicum virgatum L.-biochar morphology, (ii estimating water-holding capacity under increasing ratios of char: soil; and, (iii determining nutrient profile variation as a function of pyrolysis conversion methodologies (i.e. continuous, auger pyrolysis system versus batch pyrolysis systems for terminal use as a soil amendment. Auger system chars produced at 600°C had the greatest lignin portion by weight among the biochars produced from the continuous system. On the other hand, a batch pyrolysis system (400 °C – 3h yielded biochar with 73.10% lignin (12 fold increases, indicating higher recalcitrance, whereas lower production temperatures (400 °C yielded greater hemicellulose (i.e. greater mineralization promoting substrate. Under both pyrolysis methods, increasing biochar soil application rates resulted in linear decreases in bulk density (g cm-3. Increases in auger-char (400 °C applications increased soil water-holding capacities; however, application rates of >2 Mt ha-1 are required. Pyrolysis batch chars did not influence water-holding abilities (P>0.05. Biochar macro and micronutrients increased, as the pyrolysis temperature increased in the auger system from 400 to 600 °C, and the residence time increased in the batch pyrolysis system from 1 to 3 h. Conversely, nitrogen levels tended to decrease under the two previously mentioned conditions. Consequently, not all chars are inherently equal, in that varying operation systems, residence times, and production conditions greatly affect uses as a soil amendment and overall rate of efficacy.

  4. 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...

  5. 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...

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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 corn). An omission of biochar addition at the same nitrogen addition rate resulted in a yield decrease of 10 % for barley although the total N uptake was 11 % higher but P and K uptake decreased by 14 and 6 %. This indicates that the

  12. 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...

  13. Effects of aging process on adsorption-desorption and bioavailability of fomesafen in an agricultural soil amended with rice hull biochar

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Mahdi Safaei Khorram; Dunli Lin; Qian Zhang; Yuan Zheng; Hua Fang; Yunlong Yu

    2017-01-01

    Biochar has been introduced as an acceptable soil amendment due to its environmental benefits such as sequestering soil contaminants.However,the aging process in biochar amended soil probably decreases the adsorption capacity of biochar through changing its physico-chemical properties.Adsorption,leaching and bioavailability of fomesafen to corn in a Chinese soil amended by rice hull biochar after 0,30,90 and 180 days were investigated.Results showed that the addition of 0.5%-2% fresh biochar significantly increases the adsorption of fomesafen 4-26 times compare to unamended soil due to higher SSA of biochar.Biochar amendment also decreases fomesafen concentration in soil pore water by 5%-23% resulting lower risk of the herbicide for cultivated plants.However,the aging process decreased the adsorption capacity ofbiochar since the adsorption coefficient values which was 1.9-12.4 in 0.5%-2% fresh biochar amended soil,declined to 1.36-4.16,1.13-2.78 and 0.95-2.31 in 1,3 and 6-month aged treatments,respectively.Consequently,higher desorption,leaching and bioavailable fraction of fomesafen belonged to 6-month aged treatment.Nevertheless,rice hull biochar was effective for sequestering fomesafen as the adsorption capacity of biochar amended soil after 6 months of aging was still 2.5-5 times higher compared to that of unamended soil.

  14. 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 ...

  15. 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.

  16. 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...

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

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    USER

    Biochar has a high surface area, highly porous, variable – charge organic material that has the potential to ... Keywords: Biochar, Lead–acid Battery, Fractionation and Heavy metals. INTRODUCTION .... toxicity of heavy metal ions in the soils.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. Effects on soil quality of biochar and straw amendment in conjunction with chemical fertilizers

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    HE Li-li; ZHONG Zhe-ke; YANG Hui-min

    2017-01-01

    The objective of this study was to evaluate the effects on chemical and microbiological properties of paddy soil of short-term biochar,straw,and chemical fertilizers compared with chemical fertilization alone.Five soil fertilization treatments were evaluated:regular chemical fertilizers (RF),straw+regular chemical fertilizers (SRF),straw biochar+regular chemical fertilizers (SCRF),bamboo biochar (BC)+regular chemical fertilizers (BCRF),and straw biochar+70% regular chemical fertilizers (SC+70%RF).Their effects were investigated after approximately 1.5 years.The soil pH and cation exchange capacity (CEC) were significantly higher in biochar-treated soils.The soil phosphorous (P) and potassium (K) contents increased with biochar application.The soil Colwell P content was significantly increased with the addition of straw biochar in the treatments of SCRF and SC+70%RF.The oxygen (O):carbon (C) ratio doubled in BC picked from the soil.This indicated that BC underwent a significant oxidation process in the soil.The denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) fingerprints of microbial communities differed among the treatments.Soils with added biochar had higher Shannon diversity and species richness indices than soils without biochars.The results suggest that biochar can improve soil fertility.

  1. 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.

  2. 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...

  3. Directed Selection of Biochars for Amending Metal Contaminated Mine Soils

    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 contami...

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. Bioavailability assessments following biochar and activated carbon amendment in DDT-contaminated soil.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-02-01

    The effects of 2.8% w/w granulated activated carbon (GAC) and two types of biochar (Burt's and BlueLeaf) on DDT bioavailability in soil (39 μg/g) were investigated using invertebrates (Eisenia fetida), plants (Cucurbita pepo spp. pepo) and a polyoxymethylene (POM) passive sampler method. Biochar significantly reduced DDT accumulation in E. fetida (49%) and showed no detrimental effects to invertebrate health. In contrast, addition of GAC caused significant toxic effects (invertebrate avoidance and decreased weight) and did not significantly reduce the accumulation of DDT into invertebrate tissue. None of the carbon amendments reduced plant uptake of DDT. Bioaccumulation of 4,4'DDT and 4,4'-DDE in plants (C. pepo spp. pepo) and invertebrates (E. fetida) was assessed using bioaccumulation factors (BAFs) and compared to predicted bioavailability using the freely-dissolved porewater obtained from a polyoxymethylene (POM) equilibrium biomimetic method. The bioavailable fraction predicted by the POM samplers correlated well with measured invertebrate uptake (DDT soil contamination levels and the inclusion of field data from a 2.5 μg/g DDT-contaminated site found that these plants exhibit a concentration threshold effect at [DDT](soil) > 10 μg/g. The results of these studies illustrate the importance of including plants in bioavailability studies as the use of carbon materials for in situ contaminant sorption moves from predominantly sediment to soil remediation technologies. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and volatile organic compounds in biochar and biochar-amended soil: A review

    Science.gov (United States)

    Residual pollutants including polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), volatile organic compounds (VOCs), and carbon(aceous) nanoparticles are inevitably generated during the pyrolysis of waste biomass, and remain on the solid co-product called biochar. Such pollutants could have adverse effects on ...

  11. Carbon flux from plants to soil microbes is highly sensitive to nitrogen addition and biochar amendment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kaiser, C.; Solaiman, Z. M.; Kilburn, M. R.; Clode, P. L.; Fuchslueger, L.; Koranda, M.; Murphy, D. V.

    2012-04-01

    The release of carbon through plant roots to the soil has been recognized as a governing factor for soil microbial community composition and decomposition processes, constituting an important control for ecosystem biogeochemical cycles. Moreover, there is increasing awareness that the flux of recently assimilated carbon from plants to the soil may regulate ecosystem response to environmental change, as the rate of the plant-soil carbon transfer will likely be affected by increased plant C assimilation caused by increasing atmospheric CO2 levels. What has received less attention so far is how sensitive the plant-soil C transfer would be to possible regulations coming from belowground, such as soil N addition or microbial community changes resulting from anthropogenic inputs such as biochar amendments. In this study we investigated the size, rate and sensitivity of the transfer of recently assimilated plant C through the root-soil-mycorrhiza-microbial continuum. Wheat plants associated with arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi were grown in split-boxes which were filled either with soil or a soil-biochar mixture. Each split-box consisted of two compartments separated by a membrane which was penetrable for mycorrhizal hyphae but not for roots. Wheat plants were only grown in one compartment while the other compartment served as an extended soil volume which was only accessible by mycorrhizal hyphae associated with the plant roots. After plants were grown for four weeks we used a double-labeling approach with 13C and 15N in order to investigate interactions between C and N flows in the plant-soil-microorganism system. Plants were subjected to an enriched 13CO2 atmosphere for 8 hours during which 15NH4 was added to a subset of split-boxes to either the root-containing or the root-free compartment. Both, 13C and 15N fluxes through the plant-soil continuum were monitored over 24 hours by stable isotope methods (13C phospho-lipid fatty acids by GC-IRMS, 15N/13C in bulk plant

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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...

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. Biochar amendment reduced methylmercury accumulation in rice plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shu, Rui; Wang, Yongjie; Zhong, Huan

    2016-08-05

    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. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  1. 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

    2018-08-15

    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.

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. Effects of biochar and greenwaste compost amendments on mobility, bioavailability and toxicity of inorganic and organic contaminants in a multi-element polluted soil

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Beesley, Luke, E-mail: L.Beesley@2007.ljmu.ac.u [Faculty of Science, Liverpool John Moores University, Liverpool L3 3AF (United Kingdom); Moreno-Jimenez, Eduardo [Departamento de Quimica Agricola, Universidad Autonoma de Madrid, 28049 Madrid (Spain); Gomez-Eyles, Jose L. [University of Reading, Department of Soil Science, Whiteknights, Reading RG6 6DW (United Kingdom)

    2010-06-15

    Applying amendments to multi-element contaminated soils can have contradictory effects on the mobility, bioavailability and toxicity of specific elements, depending on the amendment. Trace elements and PAHs were monitored in a contaminated soil amended with biochar and greenwaste compost over 60 days field exposure, after which phytotoxicity was assessed by a simple bio-indicator test. Copper and As concentrations in soil pore water increased more than 30 fold after adding both amendments, associated with significant increases in dissolved organic carbon and pH, whereas Zn and Cd significantly decreased. Biochar was most effective, resulting in a 10 fold decrease of Cd in pore water and a resultant reduction in phytotoxicity. Concentrations of PAHs were also reduced by biochar, with greater than 50% decreases of the heavier, more toxicologically relevant PAHs. The results highlight the potential of biochar for contaminated land remediation. - Biochar was more effective than greenwaste compost at reducing bioavailable fractions of phytotoxic Cd and Zn as well as the heavier, more toxicologically relevant PAHs.

  8. Crop residue decomposition in Minnesota biochar amended plots

    OpenAIRE

    S. L. Weyers; K. A. Spokas

    2014-01-01

    Impacts of biochar application at laboratory scales are routinely studied, but impacts of biochar application on decomposition of crop residues at field scales have not been widely addressed. The priming or hindrance of crop residue decomposition could have a cascading impact on soil processes, particularly those influencing nutrient availability. Our objectives were to evaluate biochar effects on field decomposition of crop residue, using plots that were amended with ...

  9. Remediation of an acidic mine spoil: Miscanthus biochar and lime amendment affects metal availability, plant growth and soil enzymatic activity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Biochar is proposed as an amendment for mine spoil remediation; however, its effectiveness at achieving this goal remains unclear. Miscanthus (Miscanthus giganteus) biochar was tested for potentially improving acidic mine spoil (pH < 3; Formosa mine near Riddle, Oregon) health conditions by sequeste...

  10. Crop residue decomposition in Minnesota biochar amended plots

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weyers, S. L.; Spokas, K. A.

    2014-02-01

    Impacts of biochar application at laboratory scales are routinely studied, but impacts of biochar application on decomposition of crop residues at field scales have not been widely addressed. The priming or hindrance of crop residue decomposition could have a cascading impact on soil processes, particularly those influencing nutrient availability. Our objectives were to evaluate biochar effects on field decomposition of crop residue, using plots that were amended with biochars made from different feedstocks and pyrolysis platforms prior to the start of this study. Litterbags containing wheat straw material were buried below the soil surface in a continuous-corn cropped field in plots that had received one of seven different biochar amendments or a non-charred wood pellet amendment 2.5 yr prior to start of this study. Litterbags were collected over the course of 14 weeks. Microbial biomass was assessed in treatment plots the previous fall. Though first-order decomposition rate constants were positively correlated to microbial biomass, neither parameter was statistically affected by biochar or wood-pellet treatments. The findings indicated only a residual of potentially positive and negative initial impacts of biochars on residue decomposition, which fit in line with established feedstock and pyrolysis influences. Though no significant impacts were observed with field-weathered biochars, effective soil management may yet have to account for repeat applications of biochar.

  11. 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.

  12. The effect of young biochar on soil respiration

    Science.gov (United States)

    The low temperature pyrolysis of organic material produces biochar, a charcoal like substance. Biochar is being promoted as a soil amendment to enhance soil quality, it is also seen as a mechanism of long-term sequestration of carbon. Our experiments tested the hypothesis that biochar is inert in so...

  13. 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.

  14. Crop residue decomposition in Minnesota biochar-amended plots

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weyers, S. L.; Spokas, K. A.

    2014-06-01

    Impacts of biochar application at laboratory scales are routinely studied, but impacts of biochar application on decomposition of crop residues at field scales have not been widely addressed. The priming or hindrance of crop residue decomposition could have a cascading impact on soil processes, particularly those influencing nutrient availability. Our objectives were to evaluate biochar effects on field decomposition of crop residue, using plots that were amended with biochars made from different plant-based feedstocks and pyrolysis platforms in the fall of 2008. Litterbags containing wheat straw material were buried in July of 2011 below the soil surface in a continuous-corn cropped field in plots that had received one of seven different biochar amendments or a uncharred wood-pellet amendment 2.5 yr prior to start of this study. Litterbags were collected over the course of 14 weeks. Microbial biomass was assessed in treatment plots the previous fall. Though first-order decomposition rate constants were positively correlated to microbial biomass, neither parameter was statistically affected by biochar or wood-pellet treatments. The findings indicated only a residual of potentially positive and negative initial impacts of biochars on residue decomposition, which fit in line with established feedstock and pyrolysis influences. Overall, these findings indicate that no significant alteration in the microbial dynamics of the soil decomposer communities occurred as a consequence of the application of plant-based biochars evaluated here.

  15. 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...

  16. 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.

  17. 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).

  18. 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 ...

  19. 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

  20. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-03-01

    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. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  2. Investigating biochar as a tool for mine soil remediation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Biochar is a cost-effective, carbon negative soil amendment that can lead to improved soil quality. Research has also demonstrated the efficacy of biochar to sorb heavy metals and agricultural chemicals from contaminated soils, thus effectively reducing the potential for metal and chemical contamin...

  3. 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.

  4. Biochar-Induced Changes in Soil Resilience: Effects of Soil Texture and Biochar Dosage

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Ayodele Ebenezer AJAYI; Rainer HORN

    2017-01-01

    Biochars are,amongst other available amendment materials,considered as an attractive tool in agriculture for carbon sequestration and improvement of soil functions.The latter is widely discussed as a consequence of improved physical quality of the amended soil.However,the mechanisms for this improvement are still poorly understood.This study investigated the effect of woodchip biochar amendment on micro-structural development,micro-and macro-structural stability,and resilience of two differently textured soils,fine sand (FS) and sandy loam (SL).Test substrates were prepared by adding 50 or 100 g kg-1 biochar to FS or SL.Total porosity and plant available water were significantly increased in both soils.Moreover,compressive strength of the aggregates was significantly decreased when biochar amount was doubled.Mechanical resilience of the aggregates at both micro-and macro-scale was improved in the biochar-amended soils,impacting the cohesion and compressive behavior.A combination of these effects will result in an improved pore structure and aeration.Consequently,the physicochemical environment for plants and microbes is improved.Furthermore,the improved stability properties will result in better capacity of the biochar-amended soil to recover from the myriad of mechanical stresses imposed under arable systems,including vehicle traffic,to the weight of overburden soil.However,it was noted that doubling the amendment rate did not in any case offer any remarkable additional improvement in these properties,suggesting a further need to investigate the optimal amendment rate.

  5. A three-year experiment confirms continuous immobilization of cadmium and lead in contaminated paddy field with biochar amendment

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bian, Rongjun; Joseph, Stephen; Cui, Liqiang; Pan, Genxing; Li, Lianqing; Liu, Xiaoyu; Zhang, Afeng; Rutlidge, Helen; Wong, Singwei; Chia, Chee; Marjo, Chris; Gong, Bin; Munroe, Paul; Donne, Scott

    2014-01-01

    Highlights: • Biochar significantly increased soil pH, organic matter and immobilized soil Cd and Pb. • Biochar treatment consistently reduced rice Cd and Pb content in three years. • Contaminated biochar from the study field contained much higher heavy metals than fresh biochar. • Biochar caused metal immobilization primarily due to the precipitation and surface adsorption. - Abstract: Heavy metal contamination in croplands has been a serious concern because of its high health risk through soil-food chain transfer. A field experiment was conducted in 2010–2012 in a contaminated rice paddy in southern China to determine if bioavailability of soil Cd and Pb could be reduced while grain yield was sustained over 3 years after a single soil amendment of wheat straw biochar. Contaminated biochar particles were separated from the biochar amended soil and microscopically analyzed to help determine where, and how, metals were immobilized with biochar. Biochar soil amendment (BSA) consistently and significantly increased soil pH, total organic carbon and decreased soil extractable Cd and Pb over the 3 year period. While rice plant tissues’ Cd content was significantly reduced, depending on biochar application rate, reduction in plant Pb concentration was found only in root tissue. Analysis of the fresh and contaminated biochar particles indicated that Cd and Pb had probably been bonded with the mineral phases of Al, Fe and P on and around and inside the contaminated biochar particle. Immobilization of the Pb and Cd also occurred to cation exchange on the porous carbon structure

  6. A three-year experiment confirms continuous immobilization of cadmium and lead in contaminated paddy field with biochar amendment

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bian, Rongjun [Institute of Resources, Ecosystem and Environment of Agriculture, Nanjing Agricultural University, 1 Weigang, Nanjing 210095 (China); Joseph, Stephen [Institute of Resources, Ecosystem and Environment of Agriculture, Nanjing Agricultural University, 1 Weigang, Nanjing 210095 (China); School of Materials Science and Engineering, University of New South Wales, Sydney, NSW 2052 (Australia); Discipline of Chemistry, University of Newcastle, Callaghan, NSW 2308 (Australia); Cui, Liqiang [Institute of Resources, Ecosystem and Environment of Agriculture, Nanjing Agricultural University, 1 Weigang, Nanjing 210095 (China); Pan, Genxing, E-mail: pangenxing@aliyun.com [Institute of Resources, Ecosystem and Environment of Agriculture, Nanjing Agricultural University, 1 Weigang, Nanjing 210095 (China); Li, Lianqing [Institute of Resources, Ecosystem and Environment of Agriculture, Nanjing Agricultural University, 1 Weigang, Nanjing 210095 (China); Jiangsu Collaborative Innovation Center for Solid Organic Waste Resource Utilization, Nanjing Agricultural University, 1 Weigang, Nanjing 210095 (China); Liu, Xiaoyu; Zhang, Afeng [Institute of Resources, Ecosystem and Environment of Agriculture, Nanjing Agricultural University, 1 Weigang, Nanjing 210095 (China); Rutlidge, Helen [Solid State and Elemental Analysis Unit, Mark Wainwright Analytical Centre, University of New South Wales, Kensington, NSW 2052 (Australia); Wong, Singwei [Electron Microscope Unit, University of Newcastle, Callaghan, NSW 2308 (Australia); Chia, Chee [School of Materials Science and Engineering, University of New South Wales, Sydney, NSW 2052 (Australia); Marjo, Chris; Gong, Bin [Solid State and Elemental Analysis Unit, Mark Wainwright Analytical Centre, University of New South Wales, Kensington, NSW 2052 (Australia); Munroe, Paul [School of Materials Science and Engineering, University of New South Wales, Sydney, NSW 2052 (Australia); Donne, Scott [Discipline of Chemistry, University of Newcastle, Callaghan, NSW 2308 (Australia)

    2014-05-01

    Highlights: • Biochar significantly increased soil pH, organic matter and immobilized soil Cd and Pb. • Biochar treatment consistently reduced rice Cd and Pb content in three years. • Contaminated biochar from the study field contained much higher heavy metals than fresh biochar. • Biochar caused metal immobilization primarily due to the precipitation and surface adsorption. - Abstract: Heavy metal contamination in croplands has been a serious concern because of its high health risk through soil-food chain transfer. A field experiment was conducted in 2010–2012 in a contaminated rice paddy in southern China to determine if bioavailability of soil Cd and Pb could be reduced while grain yield was sustained over 3 years after a single soil amendment of wheat straw biochar. Contaminated biochar particles were separated from the biochar amended soil and microscopically analyzed to help determine where, and how, metals were immobilized with biochar. Biochar soil amendment (BSA) consistently and significantly increased soil pH, total organic carbon and decreased soil extractable Cd and Pb over the 3 year period. While rice plant tissues’ Cd content was significantly reduced, depending on biochar application rate, reduction in plant Pb concentration was found only in root tissue. Analysis of the fresh and contaminated biochar particles indicated that Cd and Pb had probably been bonded with the mineral phases of Al, Fe and P on and around and inside the contaminated biochar particle. Immobilization of the Pb and Cd also occurred to cation exchange on the porous carbon structure.

  7. Turnover of soil carbon pools following addition of switchgrass-derived biochar to four soils

    Science.gov (United States)

    The amendment of soils with biochar may improve plant growth and sequester carbon, especially in marginal soils not suitable for the majority of commodity production. While biochar can persist in soils, it is not clear whether its persistence is affected by soil type. Moreover, we know little of how...

  8. Pyrolysis temperature influences ameliorating effects of biochars on acidic soil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wan, Qing; Yuan, Jin-Hua; Xu, Ren-Kou; Li, Xing-Hui

    2014-02-01

    The biochars were prepared from straws of canola, corn, soybean, and peanut at different temperatures of 300, 500, and 700 °C by means of oxygen-limited pyrolysis.Amelioration effects of these biochars on an acidic Ultisol were investigated with incubation experiments, and application rate of biochars was 10 g/kg. The incorporation of these biochars induced the increase in soil pH, soil exchangeable base cations, base saturation, and cation exchange capacity and the decrease in soil exchangeable acidity and exchangeable Al. The ameliorating effects of biochars on acidic soil increased with increase in their pyrolysis temperature. The contribution of oxygen-containing functional groups on the biochars to their ameliorating effects on the acidic soil decreased with the rise in pyrolysis temperature, while the contribution from carbonates in the biochars changed oppositely. The incorporation of the biochars led to the decrease in soil reactive Al extracted by 0.5mol/L CuCl2, and the content of reactive Al was decreased with the increase in pyrolysis temperature of incorporated biochars. The biochars generated at 300 °C increased soil organically complexed Al due to ample quantity of oxygen-containing functional groups such as carboxylic and phenolic groups on the biochars, while the biochars generated at 500 and 700 °C accelerated the transformation of soil exchangeable Al to hydroxyl-Al polymers due to hydrolysis of Al at higher pH. Therefore, the crop straw-derived biochars can be used as amendments for acidic soils and the biochars generated at relatively high temperature have great ameliorating effects on the soils.

  9. 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.

  10. 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)...

  11. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Uchimiya, Minori; Bannon, Desmond I

    2013-08-14

    Biochar is often considered a strong heavy metal stabilizing agent. However, biochar in some cases had no effects on, or increased the soluble concentrations of, heavy metals in soil. The objective of this study was to determine the factors causing some biochars to stabilize and others to dissolve heavy metals in soil. Seven small arms range soils with known total organic carbon (TOC), cation exchange capacity, pH, and total Pb and Cu contents were first screened for soluble Pb and Cu concentrations. Over 2 weeks successive equilibrations using weak acid (pH 4.5 sulfuric acid) and acetate buffer (0.1 M at pH 4.9), Alaska soil containing disproportionately high (31.6%) TOC had nearly 100% residual (insoluble) Pb and Cu. This soil was then compared with sandy soils from Maryland containing significantly lower (0.5-2.0%) TOC in the presence of 10 wt % (i) plant biochar activated to increase the surface-bound carboxyl and phosphate ligands (PS450A), (ii) manure biochar enriched with soluble P (BL700), and (iii) unactivated plant biochars produced at 350 °C (CH350) and 700 °C (CH500) and by flash carbonization (corn). In weak acid, the pH was set by soil and biochar, and the biochars increasingly stabilized Pb with repeated extractions. In pH 4.9 acetate buffer, PS450A and BL700 stabilized Pb, and only PS450A stabilized Cu. Surface ligands of PS450A likely complexed and stabilized Pb and Cu even under acidic pH in the presence of competing acetate ligand. Oppositely, unactivated plant biochars (CH350, CH500, and corn) mobilized Pb and Cu in sandy soils; the putative mechanism is the formation of soluble complexes with biochar-borne dissolved organic carbon. In summary, unactivated plant biochars can inadvertently increase dissolved Pb and Cu concentrations of sandy, low TOC soils when used to stabilize other contaminants.

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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....

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. Selected dark sides of biomass-derived biochars as environmental amendments

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Zien Chen; Lei Luo; Diyi Xiao; Jitao Lv; Bei Wen; Yibing Ma; Shuzhen Zhang

    2017-01-01

    With the rapid increase in the application of biochars as amendments,studies are needed to clarify the possible environmental risks derived from biochars to use safely the biomass resources.This work reported selected dark sides of maize straw-and swine manurederived biochars pyrolyzed at 300 and 500℃C.During the pyrolysis processes,total heavy metals in the biochars were enriched greatly accompanying with considerable emission of the heavy metals into atmosphere and the trends became increasingly obvious with pyrolysis temperature.Meanwhile,the biochars showed distinctly decreased available heavy metals compared with raw feedstocks,which could be mainly attributed to the sorption by the inorganics in the biochars.The water-and acid-washing treatments significantly increased the releasing risks of heavy metals from biochars into the environments.Electron paramagnetic resonance analysis indicated that persistent free radicals,emerged strongly in the biochars as a function of the aromatization of biomass feedstocks,were free from the influence of water-,acid-,or organic-washing of the biochars and could remain stable even after aged in soils for 30 days.Dissolved biochars,highly produced during pyrolysis processes,showed distinct properties including lower molecular weight distribution while higher aromaticity compared with soil dissolved organic carbon.The results of this study provide important perspectives on the safe usage of biochars as agricultural/environmental amendments.

  20. [Influences of biochar and nitrogen fertilizer on soil nematode assemblage of upland red soil].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lu, Yan-yan; Wang, Ming-wei; Chen, Xiao-vun; Liu, Man-qiang; Chen, Xiao-min; Cheng, Yan-hong; Huang, Qian-ru; Hu, Feng

    2016-01-01

    The use of biochar as soil remediation amendment has received more and more concerns, but little attention has been paid to its effect on soil fauna. Based on the field experiment in an upland red soil, we studied the influences of different application rates of biochar (0, 10, 20, 30, 40 t · hm⁻²) and nitrogen fertilizer (60, 90, 120 kg N · hm⁻²) on soil basic properties and nematode assemblages during drought and wet periods. Our results showed that the biochar amendment significantly affect soil moisture and pH regardless of drought or wet period. With the increasing of biochar application, soil pH significantly increased, while soil moisture increased first and then decreased. Soil microbial properties (microbial biomass C, microbial biomass N, microbial biomass C/N, basal respiration) were also significantly affected by the application of biochar and N fertilizer. Low doses of biochar could stimulate the microbial activity, while high doses depressed microbial activity. For example, averaged across different N application rates, biochar amendment at less than 30 t · hm⁻² could increase microbial activity in the drought and wet periods. Besides, the effects of biochar also depended on wet or drought period. When the biochar application rate higher than 30 t · hm⁻², the microbial biomass C was significantly higher in the drought period than the control, but no differences were observed in the wet period. On the contrary, microbial biomass N showed a reverse pattern. Dissolved organic matter and mineral N were affected by biochar and N fertilizer significantly in the drought period, however, in the wet period they were only affected by N fertilizer rather than biochar. There was significant interaction between biochar and N fertilizer on soil nematode abundance and nematode trophic composition independent of sampling period. Combined high doses of both biochar and N fertilization promoted soil nematode abundance. Moreover, the biochar amendment

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. Can Biochar Protect Labile Organic Matter Against Mineralization in Soil?

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Giovanna B.MELAS; Oriol ORTIZ; Josep M.ALACA(N)IZ

    2017-01-01

    Biochar could help to stabilize soil organic (SOM) matter,thus sequestering carbon (C) into the soil.The aim of this work was to determine an easy method i) to estimate the effects of the addition of biochar and nutrients on the organic matter (SOM)mineralization in an artificial soil,proposed by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD),amended with glucose and ii) to measure the amount of labile organic matter (glucose) that can be sorbed and thus be partially protected in the same soil,amended or not amended with biochar.A factorial experiment was designed to check the effects of three single factors (biochar,nutrients,and glucose) and their interactions on whole SOM mineralization.Soil samples were inoculated with a microbial inoculum and preincubated to ensure that their biological activities were not limited by a small amount of microbial biomass,and then they were incubated in the dark at 21 ℃ for 619 d.Periodical measurements of C mineralized to carbon dioxide (CO2) were carried out throughout the 619-d incubation to allow the mineralization of both active and slow organic matter pools.The amount of sorbed glucose was calculated as the difference between the total and remaining amounts of glucose added in a soil extract.Two different models,the Freundlich and Langmuir models,were selected to assess the equilibrium isotherms of glucose sorption.The CO2-C release strongly depended on the presence of nutrients only when no biochar was added to the soil.The mineralization of organic matter in the soil amended with both biochar and glucose was equal to the sum of the mineralization of the two C sources separately.Furthermore,a significant amount of glucose can be sorbed on the biochar-amended soil,suggesting the involvement of physico-chemical mechanisms in labile organic matter protection.

  5. 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

  6. 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...

  7. 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

  8. 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

    2016-04-01

    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.

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. Maize, switchgrass, and ponderosa pine biochar added to soil increased herbicide sorption and decreased herbicide efficacy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clay, Sharon A; Krack, Kaitlynn K; Bruggeman, Stephanie A; Papiernik, Sharon; Schumacher, Thomas E

    2016-08-02

    Biochar, a by-product of pyrolysis made from a wide array of plant biomass when producing biofuels, is a proposed soil amendment to improve soil health. This study measured herbicide sorption and efficacy when soils were treated with low (1% w/w) or high (10% w/w) amounts of biochar manufactured from different feedstocks [maize (Zea mays) stover, switchgrass (Panicum vigatum), and ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa)], and treated with different post-processing techniques. Twenty-four hour batch equilibration measured sorption of (14)C-labelled atrazine or 2,4-D to two soil types with and without biochar amendments. Herbicide efficacy was measured with and without biochar using speed of seed germination tests of sensitive species. Biochar amended soils sorbed more herbicide than untreated soils, with major differences due to biochar application rate but minor differences due to biochar type or post-process handling technique. Biochar presence increased the speed of seed germination compared with herbicide alone addition. These data indicate that biochar addition to soil can increase herbicide sorption and reduce efficacy. Evaluation for site-specific biochar applications may be warranted to obtain maximal benefits without compromising other agronomic practices.

  16. Nitrogen utilization and environmental losses in organic greenhouse lettuce amended with two distinct biochars.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pereira, Engil Isadora Pujol; Conz, Rafaela Feola; Six, Johan

    2017-11-15

    The potential of biochar to prevent nitrogen (N) losses and improve plant performance were studied across various levels of N input for two growing seasons in mesocosms simulating an organic lettuce production system. A silt loam soil was amended with pine chip (PC) and walnut shell (WS) biochar (10tha -1 ) in combination with five organic N fertilization rates (0, 56, 112, 168, and 225kgNha -1 ). The N output through harvest, leachate, and N 2 O emissions were measured to assess N utilization and environmental losses of biochar-amended soils. For both biochars, only at the 100% N fertilization rate was lettuce biomass production improved with significant increases in N use efficiency (NUE); however, only PC biochar decreased N losses via leaching (at 100% N fertilization rate) and seasonal N 2 O emissions (at 50% N fertilization rate). Thus, due to increases in plant biomass and decreases in N losses, PC biochar significantly decreased the ratio of N lost over N exported in biomass. Findings from this study suggest that both WS and PC biochars can improve organic lettuce production but only at 225kgNha -1 . Decreases in N losses via leachate and N 2 O emissions vary with fertilization level and biochar type. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. Effects of Rice Straw and Its Biochar Addition on Soil Labile Carbon and Soil Organic Carbon

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    YIN Yun-feng; HE Xin-hua; GAO Ren; MA Hong-liang; YANG Yu-sheng

    2014-01-01

    Whether the biochar amendment could affect soil organic matter (SOM) turnover and hence soil carbon (C) stock remains poorly understood. Effects of the addition of 13C-labelled rice straw or its pyrolysed biochar at 250 or 350°C to a sugarcane soil (Ferrosol) on soil labile C (dissolved organic C, DOC;microbial biomass C, MBC;and mineralizable C, MC) and soil organic C (SOC) were investigated after 112 d of laboratory incubation at 25°C. Four treatments were examined as (1) the control soil without amendment (Soil);(2) soil plus 13C-labelled rice straw (Soil+Straw);(3) soil plus 250°C biochar (Soil+B250) and (4) soil plus 350°C biochar (Soil+B350). Compared to un-pyrolysed straw, biochars generally had an increased aryl C, carboxyl C, C and nitrogen concentrations, a decreased O-alkyl C and C:N ratio, but similar alkyl C and d13C (1 742-1 877‰). Among treatments, signiifcant higher DOC, MBC and MC derived from the new C (straw or biochar) ranked as Soil+Straw>Soil+B250>Soil+B350, whilst signiifcant higher SOC from the new C as Soil+B250>Soil+Straw≈Soil+B350. Compared to Soil, DOC and MBC derived from the native soil were decreased under straw or biochar addition, whilst MC from the native soil was increased under straw addition but decreased under biochar addition. Meanwhile, native SOC was similar among the treatments, irrespective of the straw or biochar addition. Compared to Soil, signiifcant higher total DOC and total MBC were under Soil+Straw, but not under Soil+B250 and Soil+B350, whilst signiifcant higher total MC and total SOC were under straw or biochar addition, except for MC under Soil+B350. Our results demonstrated that the application of biochar to soil may be an appropriate management practice for increasing soil C storage.

  20. [Effects of biochar on microbial ecology in agriculture soil: a review].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ding, Yan-Li; Liu, Jie; Wang, Ying-Ying

    2013-11-01

    Biochar, as a new type of soil amendment, has been obtained considerable attention in the research field of environmental sciences worldwide. The studies on the effects of biochar in improving soil physical and chemical properties started quite earlier, and already covered the field of soil microbial ecology. However, most of the studies considered the soil physical and chemical properties and the microbial ecology separately, with less consideration of their interactions. This paper summarized and analyzed the interrelationships between the changes of soil physical and chemical properties and of soil microbial community after the addition of biochar. Biochar can not only improve soil pH value, strengthen soil water-holding capacity, increase soil organic matter content, but also affect soil microbial community structure, and alter the abundance of soil bacteria and fungi. After the addition of biochar, the soil environment and soil microorganisms are interacted each other, and promote the improvement of soil microbial ecological system together. This review was to provide a novel perspective for the in-depth studies of the effects of biochar on soil microbial ecology, and to promote the researches on the beneficial effects of biochar to the environment from ecological aspect. The methods to improve the effectiveness of biochar application were discussed, and the potential applications of biochar in soil bioremediation were further analyzed.

  1. 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...

  2. A three-year experiment confirms continuous immobilization of cadmium and lead in contaminated paddy field with biochar amendment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bian, Rongjun; Joseph, Stephen; Cui, Liqiang; Pan, Genxing; Li, Lianqing; Liu, Xiaoyu; Zhang, Afeng; Rutlidge, Helen; Wong, Singwei; Chia, Chee; Marjo, Chris; Gong, Bin; Munroe, Paul; Donne, Scott

    2014-05-15

    Heavy metal contamination in croplands has been a serious concern because of its high health risk through soil-food chain transfer. A field experiment was conducted in 2010-2012 in a contaminated rice paddy in southern China to determine if bioavailability of soil Cd and Pb could be reduced while grain yield was sustained over 3 years after a single soil amendment of wheat straw biochar. Contaminated biochar particles were separated from the biochar amended soil and microscopically analyzed to help determine where, and how, metals were immobilized with biochar. Biochar soil amendment (BSA) consistently and significantly increased soil pH, total organic carbon and decreased soil extractable Cd and Pb over the 3 year period. While rice plant tissues' Cd content was significantly reduced, depending on biochar application rate, reduction in plant Pb concentration was found only in root tissue. Analysis of the fresh and contaminated biochar particles indicated that Cd and Pb had probably been bonded with the mineral phases of Al, Fe and P on and around and inside the contaminated biochar particle. Immobilization of the Pb and Cd also occurred to cation exchange on the porous carbon structure. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  3. 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:...

  4. 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.

  5. [Effect of biochar addition on soil evaporation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, Jian; Niu, Wen Quan; Zhang, Ming Zhi; Li, Yuan; Lyu, Wang; Li, Kang-Yong; Zou, Xiao-Yang; Liang, Bo-Hui

    2016-11-18

    In order to determine the rational amount of biochar application and its effect on soil hydrological processes in arid area, soil column experiments were conducted in the laboratory using three biochar additions (5%, 10% and 15%) and four different biochar types (devaporation. The results showed that the addition of biochar could change the phreatic water recharge, soil water-holding capacity, capillary water upward movement and soil evaporation obviously. But the effects were different depending on the type of biochar raw material and the size of particle. The phreatic water recharge increased with the increasing amount of biochar addition. The addition of biochar could obviously enlarge the soil water-holding capacity and promote the capillary water upward movement rate. This effect was greater when using the material of bamboo charcoal compared with using wood charcoal, while biochar with small particle size had greater impact than that with big particle size. The biochar could effectively restrain the soil evaporation at a low addition amount (5%). But it definitely promoted the soil evaporation if the addition amount was very high. In arid area, biochar addition in appropriate amount could improve soil water retention capacity.

  6. N use efficiencies and N2O emissions in two contrasting, biochar amended soils under winter wheat—cover crop—sorghum rotation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hüppi, Roman; Neftel, Albrecht; Lehmann, Moritz F.; Krauss, Maike; Six, Johan; Leifeld, Jens

    2016-08-01

    Biochar, a carbon-rich, porous pyrolysis product of organic residues, is evaluated as an option to tackle major problems of the global food system. Applied to soil, biochar can sequester carbon and have beneficial effects on nitrogen (N) cycling, thereby enhancing crop yields and reducing nitrous oxide (N2O) emissions. There is little understanding of the underlying mechanisms, but many experiments indicated increased yields and manifold changes in N transformation, suggesting an increase in N use efficiency. Biochar’s effects can be positive in extensively managed tropical agriculture, however less is known about its use in temperate soils with intensive fertilisation. We tested the effect of slow pyrolysis wood chip biochar on N use efficiency, crop yields and N2O emissions in a lysimeter system with two soil types (sandy loamy Cambisol and silty loamy Luvisol) in a winter wheat—cover crop—sorghum rotation. 15N-labelled ammonium nitrate fertiliser (170 kg N ha-1 in 3 doses, 10% 15N) was applied to the first crop to monitor its fate in three ecosystem components (plants, soil, leachate). Green rye was sown as cover crop to keep the first year’s fertiliser N for the second year’s sorghum crop (fertilised with 110 kg N ha-1 in two doses and natural abundance 15N). We observed no effects of biochar on N fertiliser use efficiency, yield or N uptake for any crop. Biochar reduced leaching by 43 ± 19% but only towards the end of the experiment with leaching losses being generally low. For both soils N2O emissions were reduced by 15 ± 4% with biochar compared to the control treatments. Our results indicate that application of the chosen biochar induces environmental benefits in terms of N2O emission and N leaching but does not substantially affect the overall N cycle and hence crop performance in the analyzed temperate crop rotation.

  7. Remediation of an acidic mine spoil: Miscanthus biochar and lime amendment affects metal availability, plant growth, and soil enzyme activity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Novak, Jeffrey M; Ippolito, James A; Ducey, Thomas F; Watts, Donald W; Spokas, Kurt A; Trippe, Kristin M; Sigua, Gilbert C; Johnson, Mark G

    2018-08-01

    Biochar may be a tool for mine spoil remediation; however, its mechanisms for achieving this goal remain unclear. In this study, Miscanthus (Miscanthus giganteus) biochar was evaluated for its ability to reclaim acidic mine spoils (pH lime/no lime and fertilizer additions. Blue Wildrye (Elymus glaucus cv. 'Elkton') was planted and later the shoots and roots were collected and metal concentrations determined. Afterwards, each pot was leached with deionized water, and the leachate analyzed for pH, electrical conductivity (EC), dissolved organic carbon (DOC) and soluble metal concentrations. After drying, the spoil was extracted with 0.01 M CaCl 2 and Mehlich 3 (M3) to determine extractable Al, Cu, and Zn concentrations. Additionally, microbial activity was measured using a fluorescent β-glucosidase and N-acetyl-β-d-glucosaminidase assay. Spoil treated with lime and biochar had significantly greater pH and EC values. Significantly greater β-glucosidase activity occurred only in the 5% biochar plus lime treatment, while N-acetyl-β-d-glucosaminidase activities were not altered. Metal concentrations in rye shoot and roots were mixed. Lime additions significantly reduced extractable metal concentrations. Increasing biochar rates alone significantly reduced leachate DOC concentrations, and subsequently reduced leachable metal concentrations. Surprisingly, miscanthus biochar, by itself, was limited at mitigation, but when combined with lime, the combination was capable of further reducing extractable metal concentrations and improving β-glucosidase enzyme activity. Copyright © 2018 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.

  8. Pesticide leaching from two Swedish topsoils of contrasting texture amended with biochar

    Science.gov (United States)

    Larsbo, Mats; Löfstrand, Elisabeth; de Veer, David van Alphen; Ulén, Barbro

    2013-04-01

    The use of biochar as a soil amendment has recently increased because of its potential for long-term soil carbon sequestration and its potential for improving soil fertility. The objective of this study was to quantify the effects of biochar soil incorporation on pesticide adsorption and leaching for two Swedish topsoils, one clay soil and one loam soil. We used the non-reactive tracer bromide and the pesticides sulfosulfuron, isoproturon, imidacloprid, propyzamid and pyraclostrobin, substances with different mobility in soil. Adsorption was studied in batch experiments and leaching was studied in experiments using soil columns (20 cm high, 20 cm diameter) where 0.01 kg kg- 1 dw biochar powder originating from wheat residues had been mixed into the top 10 cm. After solute application the columns were exposed to simulated rain three times with a weekly interval and concentrations were measured in the effluent water. The biochar treatment resulted in significantly larger adsorption distribution coefficients (Kd) for the moderately mobile pesticides isoproturon and imidacloprid for the clay soil and for imidacloprid only for the loam soil. Relative leaching of the pesticides ranged from 0.0035% of the applied mass for pyraclostrobin (average Kd = 360 cm3 g- 1) to 5.9% for sulfosulfuron (average Kd = 5.6 cm3 g- 1). There were no significant effects of the biochar amendment on pesticide concentrations in column effluents for the loam soil. For the clay soil concentrations were significantly reduced for isoproturon, imidacloprid and propyzamid while they were significantly increased for the non-mobile fungicide pyraclostrobin suggesting that the transport was facilitated by material originating from the biochar amendment.

  9. 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...... and B plots were placed in a mixed sequence (C-B-C-B-C-B-C-B) and at the same time the eight plots formed a natural pH gradient ranging from pH 7.7 to 6.3. We determined bulk density, saturated hydraulic conductivity (K-sat), soil water retention characteristics, soil-air permeability, and soil...

  10. 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

  11. 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

    To assess the efficiency of seven treatments including biochars produced from dried faecal matter and manures as stabilizing agents of cadmium (Cd)-spiked soils, lettuce was grown in glasshouse on two contrasting soils. The soils used were moderately fertile silty loam and less fertile sandy loam...... and the applied treatments were 7 % w/w. The reduction of bioavailable Cd (ammonium nitrate extractable) and its phytoavailability for lettuce were used as assessment criteria in the evaluation of stabilization performance of each treatment. Moreover, the agronomic values of the treatments were also investigated...... extracts. The immobilization potential of faecal matter biochar and lime were superior than the other treatments. However, lime and egg shell promoted statistically lower yield and P, K and Zn concentrations response of lettuce plants compared to the biochar treatments. The lowest Cd and highest P tissue...

  12. 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...

  13. Controllability of runoff and soil loss from small plots treated by vinasse-produced biochar.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sadeghi, Seyed Hamidreza; Hazbavi, Zeinab; Harchegani, Mahboobeh Kiani

    2016-01-15

    Many different amendments, stabilizers, and conditioners are usually applied for soil and water conservation. Biochar is a carbon-enriched substance produced by thermal decomposition of organic material in the absence of oxygen with the goal to be used as a soil amendment. Biochar can be produced from a wide range of biomass sources including straw, wood, manure, and other organic wastes. Biochar has been demonstrated to restore soil fertility and crop production under many conditions, but less is known about the effects of its application on soil erosion and runoff control. Therefore, a rainfall simulation study, as a pioneer research, was conducted to evaluate the performance of the application of vinasse-produced biochar on the soil erosion control of a sandy clay loam soil packed in small-sized runoff 0.25-m(2) plots with 3 replicates. The treatments were (i) no biochar (control), (ii) biochar (8 tha(-1)) application at 24h before the rainfall simulation and (iii) biochar (8 tha(-1)) application at 48 h before the rainfall simulation. Rainfall was applied at 50 mm h(-1) for 15 min. The mean change of effectiveness in time to runoff could be found in biochar application at 24 and 48 h before simulation treatment with rate of +55.10% and +71.73%, respectively. In addition, the mean runoff volume 24 and 48 h before simulation treatments decreased by 98.46% and 46.39%, respectively. The least soil loss (1.12 ± 0.57 g) and sediment concentration (1.44 ± 0.48 gl(-1)) occurred in the biochar-amended soil treated 48 h before the rainfall simulation. In conclusion, the application of vinasse-produced biochar could effectively control runoff and soil loss. This study provided a new insight into the effects of biochar on runoff, soil loss, and sediment control due to water erosion in sandy clay loam soils. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. 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...

  17. Amending triple superphosphate with chicken litter biochar improves phosphorus availability

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Audrey Asap

    2018-04-01

    Full Text Available The reaction of H2PO42- and HPO4- with Al and Fe in acid soils to form a precipitate reduces P availability. Chicken litter biochar has been used to improve soil P availability for maize production but with limited information on optimum rates of biochar and Triple Superphosphate (TSP to increase P availability. This study determined the optimum amount of chicken litter biochar and TSP that could increase P availability. Different rates of chicken litter biochar and TSP were evaluated in an incubation study for 30, 60, and 90 days. Selected soil chemical properties before and after incubation were determined using standard procedures. Soil pH, total P, available P, and water soluble P increased in treatments with 75% and 50% biochar. Total acidity, exchangeable Al3+, and Fe2+ were significantly reduced by the chicken litter biochar. The chicken litter biochar also increased soil CEC and exchangeable cations (K, Ca, Mg and Na. The use of 75% and 50% of 5 t ha-1 biochar with 25% TSP of the existing recommendation can be used to increase P availability whilst minimizing soil Al and Fe content. This rates can be used to optimize chicken litter biochar and TSP use in acid soils for crop production especially maize and short term vegetables.

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. Transformation mechanism of nutrient elements in the process of biochar preparation for returning biochar to soil

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Shuangshuang Tian; Zhongxin Tan; Alfreda Kasiulienė; Ping Ai

    2017-01-01

    Returning biochar to soil is a heavily researched topic because biochar functions well for soil improvement. There is a significant loss of nutrients, which occurs during biochar preparation before biochar is returned to soil, thereby seriously undermining biochar's efficacy. Therefore, the transformation mechanisms of biochar pH, mass, nutrients and metals during pyrolysis under different atmospheres and temperatures were studied such that the best method for biochar preparation could be developed. Several conclusions can be reached: (1) a CO2 atmosphere is better than a N2 atmosphere for biochar preparation, although preparation in a CO2 atmosphere is not a common practice for biochar producers; (2) 350 ℃ is the best temperature for biochar preparation because the amount of nutrient loss is notably low based on the premise of straw transferred into biochar; and (3) transforming mechanisms of pH, N, P and K are also involved in the biochar preparation process.

  2. 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

  3. 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...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-10-01

    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 CaCl2) in biochar-amended treatments was reduced to <2% while, (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 (KBW of 7.82 × 10(4) L kg(-1)). This was two orders of magnitude greater than the apparent Kfoc 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. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  5. 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...

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. Effects of Biochar Addition on CO2 and N2O Emissions following Fertilizer Application to a Cultivated Grassland Soil.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jingjing Chen

    Full Text Available Carbon (C sequestration potential of biochar should be considered together with emission of greenhouse gases when applied to soils. In this study, we investigated CO2 and N2O emissions following the application of rice husk biochars to cultivated grassland soils and related gas emissions tos oil C and nitrogen (N dynamics. Treatments included biochar addition (CHAR, NO CHAR and amendment (COMPOST, UREA, NO FERT. The biochar application rate was 0.3% by weight. The temporal pattern of CO2 emissions differed according to biochar addition and amendments. CO2 emissions from the COMPOST soils were significantly higher than those from the UREA and NO FERT soils and less CO2 emission was observed when biochar and compost were applied together during the summer. Overall N2O emission was significantly influenced by the interaction between biochar and amendments. In UREA soil, biochar addition increased N2O emission by 49% compared to the control, while in the COMPOST and NO FERT soils, biochar did not have an effect on N2O emission. Two possible mechanisms were proposed to explain the higher N2O emissions upon biochar addition to UREA soil than other soils. Labile C in the biochar may have stimulated microbial N mineralization in the C-limited soil used in our study, resulting in an increase in N2O emission. Biochar may also have provided the soil with the ability to retain mineral N, leading to increased N2O emission. The overall results imply that biochar addition can increase C sequestration when applied together with compost, and might stimulate N2O emission when applied to soil amended with urea.

  10. Effects of Biochar Addition on CO2 and N2O Emissions following Fertilizer Application to a Cultivated Grassland Soil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Jingjing; Kim, Hyunjin; Yoo, Gayoung

    2015-01-01

    Carbon (C) sequestration potential of biochar should be considered together with emission of greenhouse gases when applied to soils. In this study, we investigated CO2 and N2O emissions following the application of rice husk biochars to cultivated grassland soils and related gas emissions tos oil C and nitrogen (N) dynamics. Treatments included biochar addition (CHAR, NO CHAR) and amendment (COMPOST, UREA, NO FERT). The biochar application rate was 0.3% by weight. The temporal pattern of CO2 emissions differed according to biochar addition and amendments. CO2 emissions from the COMPOST soils were significantly higher than those from the UREA and NO FERT soils and less CO2 emission was observed when biochar and compost were applied together during the summer. Overall N2O emission was significantly influenced by the interaction between biochar and amendments. In UREA soil, biochar addition increased N2O emission by 49% compared to the control, while in the COMPOST and NO FERT soils, biochar did not have an effect on N2O emission. Two possible mechanisms were proposed to explain the higher N2O emissions upon biochar addition to UREA soil than other soils. Labile C in the biochar may have stimulated microbial N mineralization in the C-limited soil used in our study, resulting in an increase in N2O emission. Biochar may also have provided the soil with the ability to retain mineral N, leading to increased N2O emission. The overall results imply that biochar addition can increase C sequestration when applied together with compost, and might stimulate N2O emission when applied to soil amended with urea.

  11. 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...

  12. Nitrogen transformation and nitrous oxide emissions affected by biochar amendment and fertilizer stabilizers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Biochar as a soil amendment and the use of fertilizer stabilizers (N transformation inhibitors) have been shown to reduce N2O emissions, but the mechanisms or processes involved are not well understood. The objective of this research was to investigate N transformation processes and the relationship...

  13. Biochar contribution to soil pH buffer capacity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tonutare, Tonu; Krebstein, Kadri; Utso, Maarius; Rodima, Ako; Kolli, Raimo; Shanskiy, Merrit

    2014-05-01

    Biochar as ecologically clean and stable form of carbon has complex of physical and chemical properties which make it a potentially powerful soil amendment (Mutezo, 2013). Therefore during the last decade the biochar application as soil amendment has been a matter for a great number of investigations. For the ecological viewpoint the trend of decreasing of soil organic matter in European agricultural land is a major problem. Society is faced with the task to find possibilities to stabilize or increase soil organic matter content in soil and quality. The availability of different functional groups (e.g. carboxylic, phenolic, acidic, alcoholic, amine, amide) allows soil organic matter to buffer over a wide range of soil pH values (Krull et al. 2004). Therefore the loss of soil organic matter also reduces cation exchange capacity resulting in lower nutrient retention (Kimetu et al. 2008). Biochar can retain elements in soil directly through the negative charge that develops on its surfaces, and this negative charge can buffer acidity in the soil. There are lack of investigations about the effect of biochar to soil pH buffering properties, The aim of our investigation was to investigate the changes in soil pH buffer capacity in a result of addition of carbonizated material to temperate region soils. In the experiment different kind of softwood biochars, activated carbon and different soil types with various organic matter and pH were used. The study soils were Albeluvisols, Leptosols, Cambisols, Regosols and Histosols . In the experiment the series of the soil: biochar mixtures with the biochar content 0 to 100% were used. The times of equiliberation between solid and liquid phase were from 1 to 168 hours. The suspension of soil: biochar mixtures was titrated with HCl solution. The titration curves were established and pH buffer capacities were calculated for the pH interval from 3.0 to 10.0. The results demonstrate the dependence of pH buffer capacity from soil type

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. Biochar and soil nitrous oxide emissions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carlos Francisco Brazão Vieira Alho

    2012-05-01

    Full Text Available The objective of this work was to evaluate the effect of biochar application on soil nitrous oxide emissions. The experiment was carried out in pots under greenhouse conditions. Four levels of ground commercial charcoal of 2 mm (biochar were evaluated in a sandy Albaqualf (90% of sand: 0, 3, 6, and 9 Mg ha-1. All treatments received 100 kg ha-1 of N as urea. A cubic effect of biochar levels was observed on the N2O emissions. Biochar doses above 5 Mg ha-1 started to mitigate the emissions in the evaluated soil. However, lower doses promote the emissions.

  17. 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

  18. 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_2O 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_2O 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_2O emissions. • Biochar significantly reduced banana yield performance and did not affect papaya yield. • Organic amendment is not an ‘always win’ scenario for tropical agriculture.

  19. 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...

  20. 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...

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hansen, Veronika

    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......New synergies between agriculture and the energy sector making use of agricultural residues for bioenergy production and recycling recalcitrant residuals to soil may offer climate change mitigation potential through the substitution of fossil fuels and soil carbon sequestration. However, concerns...... 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...

  2. 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...

  3. 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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xiaofei Tian

    Full Text Available 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. Effect of wheat and Miscanthus straw biochars on soil enzymatic activity, ecotoxicity, and plant yield

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mierzwa-Hersztek, Monika; Gondek, Krzysztof; Klimkowicz-Pawlas, Agnieszka; Baran, Agnieszka

    2017-07-01

    The variety of technological conditions and raw materials from which biochar is produced is the reason why its soil application may have different effects on soil properties and plant growth. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of the addition of wheat straw and Miscanthus giganteus straw (5 t DM ha-1) and biochar obtained from this materials in doses of 2.25 and 5 t DM ha-1 on soil enzymatic activity, soil ecotoxicity, and plant yield (perennial grass mixture with red clover). The research was carried out under field conditions on soil with the granulometric composition of loamy sand. No significant effect of biochar amendment on soil enzymatic activity was observed. The biochar-amended soil was toxic to Vibrio fischeri and exhibited low toxicity to Heterocypris incongruens. Application of wheat straw biochar and M. giganteus straw biochar in a dose of 5 t DM ha-1 contributed to an increase in plant biomass production by 2 and 14%, respectively, compared to the soil with mineral fertilisation. Biochars had a more adverse effect on soil enzymatic activity and soil ecotoxicity to H. incongruens and V. fischeri than non-converted wheat straw and M. giganteus straw, but significantly increased the grass crop yield.

  8. 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.

  9. 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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Srinivasan, Prakash; Sarmah, Ajit K., E-mail: a.sarmah@auckland.ac.nz

    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{sub d}{sup 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.

  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. Study of the mechanism of remediation of Cd-contaminated soil by novel biochars.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tan, Zhongxin; Wang, Yuanhang; Zhang, Limei; Huang, Qiaoyun

    2017-11-01

    This article used novel non-magnetized and magnetized biochars prepared under a CO 2 atmosphere returned to Cd-contaminated soil and compared these to the effects of conventional biochars prepared under a N 2 atmosphere with regard to Cd-contaminated soil remediation. A pot experiment with lettuce (Lactuca sativa) was conducted to investigate the relative soil remediation effects of these biochars. The soil used for the pot experiment was spiked with 20 mg kg -1 Cd and amended with 5% of a biochar before sowing. Through these research works, some important results were obtained as follows: (1) applying biochar treated by pyrolysis under a CO 2 atmosphere can obtain the best remediation effect of Cd-contaminated soil that the content of cadmium in the lettuce roots, stems, and leaves was reduced 67, 62, and 63%, respectively; (2) the magnetic biochar aggregation for the soil is weak, so the heavy metal cadmium in the soil could not be immobilized well by the magnetic biochar; (3) The remediation mechanism of novel biochars is that biochar includes a large number of organic functional groups (-C-OH, -C=O, COO-) that can act in a complexing reaction with heavy metal Cd(II) and the inorganic salt ions (Si, S, Cl, etc.) that can combine with cadmium and generate a stable combination.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Beesley, Luke, E-mail: luke.beesley@hutton.ac.uk [James Hutton Institute, Craigiebuckler, Aberdeen AB15 8QH (United Kingdom); Moreno-Jimenez, Eduardo [Departamento de Quimica Agricola, Universidad Autonoma de Madrid, 28049 Madrid (Spain); Gomez-Eyles, Jose L. [Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Maryland Baltimore County, Baltimore, MD 21250 (United States); Harris, Eva; Robinson, Brett [Department of Soil and Physical Sciences, Lincoln University, Lincoln 7647 (New Zealand); Sizmur, Tom [Soil Research Centre, Department of Geography and Environmental Science, University of Reading, Whiteknights, Reading RG6 6DW (United Kingdom)

    2011-12-15

    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.

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. Application of Fast Pyrolysis Biochar to a Loamy soil - Effects on carbon and nitrogen dynamics and potential for carbon sequestration

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bruun, Esben

    -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...... 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......Thermal decomposition of biomass in an oxygen-free environment (pyrolysis) produces bio-oil, syngas, and char. All three products can be used to generate energy, but an emerging new use of the recalcitrant carbon-rich char (biochar) is to apply it to the soil in order to enhance soil fertility...

  20. Biochar application for the remediation of salt-affected soils: Challenges and opportunities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saifullah; Dahlawi, Saad; Naeem, Asif; Rengel, Zed; Naidu, Ravi

    2018-06-01

    Soil salinization and sodification are two commonly occurring major threats to soil productivity in arable croplands. Salt-affected soils are found in >100 countries, and their distribution is extensive and widespread in arid and semi-arid regions of the world. In order to meet the challenges of global food security, it is imperative to bring barren salt-affected soils under cultivation. Various inorganic and organic amendments are used to reclaim the salt-affected lands. The selection of a sustainable ameliorant is largely determined by the site-specific geographical and soil physicochemical parameters. Recently, biochar (solid carbonaceous residue, produced under oxygen-free or oxygen-limited conditions at temperatures ranging from 300 to 1000°C) has attracted considerable attention as a soil amendment. An emerging pool of knowledge shows that biochar addition is effective in improving physical, chemical and biological properties of salt-affected soils. However, some studies have also found an increase in soil salinity and sodicity with biochar application at high rates. Further, the high cost associated with production of biochar and high application rates remains a significant challenge to its widespread use in areas affected by salinity and sodicity. Moreover, there is relatively limited information on the long-term behavior of salt-affected soils subjected to biochar applications. The main objective of the present paper was to review, analyze and discuss the recent studies investigating a role of biochar in improving soil properties and plant growth in salt-affected soils. This review emphasizes that using biochar as an organic amendment for sustainable and profitable use of salt-affected soils would not be practicable as long as low-cost methods for the production of biochar are not devised. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  1. 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)

  2. 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)

  3. 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...

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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...

  9. 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.

  10. 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...

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. Effects of apple branch biochar on soil C mineralization and nutrient cycling under two levels of N.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Shuailin; Liang, Chutao; Shangguan, Zhouping

    2017-12-31

    The incorporation of biochar into soil has been proposed as a strategy for enhancing soil fertility and crop productivity. However, there is limited information regarding the responses of soil respiration and the C, N and P cycles to the addition of apple branch biochar at different rates to soil with different levels of N. A 108-day incubation experiment was conducted to investigate the effects of the rate of biochar addition (0, 1, 2 and 4% by mass) on soil respiration and nutrients and the activities of enzymes involved in C, N and P cycling under two levels of N. Our results showed that the application of apple branch biochar at rates of 2% and 4% increased the C-mineralization rate, while biochar amendment at 1% decreased the C-mineralization rate, regardless of the N level. The soil organic C and microbial biomass C and P contents increased as the rate of biochar addition was increased to 2%. The biochar had negative effects on β-glucosidase, N-acetyl-β-glucosaminidase and urease activity in N-poor soil but exerted a positive effect on all of these factors in N-rich soil. Alkaline phosphatase activity increased with an increase in the rate of biochar addition, but the available P contents after all biochar addition treatments were lower than those obtained in the treatments without biochar. Biochar application at rates of 2% and 4% reduced the soil nitrate content, particularly in N-rich soil. Thus, apple branch biochar has the potential to sequester C and improve soil fertility, but the responses of soil C mineralization and nutrient cycling depend on the rate of addition and soil N levels. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  14. Contrasting effects of biochar versus manure on soil microbial communities and enzyme activities in an Aridisol.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Elzobair, Khalid A; Stromberger, Mary E; Ippolito, James A; Lentz, Rodrick D

    2016-01-01

    Biochar can increase microbial activity, alter microbial community structure, and increase soil fertility in arid and semi-arid soils, but at relatively high rates that may be impractical for large-scale field studies. This contrasts with organic amendments such as manure, which can be abundant and inexpensive if locally available, and thus can be applied to fields at greater rates than biochar. In a field study comparing biochar and manure, a fast pyrolysis hardwood biochar (22.4 Mg ha(-1)), dairy manure (42 Mg ha(-1) dry wt), a combination of biochar and manure at the aforementioned rates, or no amendment (control) was applied to an Aridisol (n=3) in fall 2008. Plots were annually cropped to corn (Zea maize L.). Surface soils (0-30 cm) were sampled directly under corn plants in late June 2009 and early August 2012, and assayed for microbial community fatty acid methyl ester (FAME) profiles and six extracellular enzyme activities involved in soil C, N, and P cycling. Arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungal colonization was assayed in corn roots in 2012. Biochar had no effect on microbial biomass, community structure, extracellular enzyme activities, or AM fungi root colonization of corn. In the short-term, manure amendment increased microbial biomass, altered microbial community structure, and significantly reduced the relative concentration of the AM fungal biomass in soil. Manure also reduced the percent root colonization of corn by AM fungi in the longer-term. Thus, biochar and manure had contrasting short-term effects on soil microbial communities, perhaps because of the relatively low application rate of biochar. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  15. 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.

  16. 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...

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2014-01-01

    of biochar particles had higher TS and SRE probably because of bonding effects. Based on the improved soil aggregate properties, we suggest that biochar can be effective for increasing and sustaining overall soil quality, for example, related to minimizing the soil erosion potential.......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......–10 kg m−2), in combination with swine manure (2.1 and 4.2 kg m−2), to a no-till maize (Zea mays L.) cropping system on a sandy loam soil in Denmark. Topsoil (0–20 cm) aggregates were analyzed for clay dispersibility, aggregate stability, tensile strength (TS), and specific rupture energy (SRE) using end...

  18. A Fourier-Transform Infrared Study of Biochar Aging in Soils

    Science.gov (United States)

    Singh, B.; Fang, Y.; Johnston, C.T.

    2018-01-01

    We used diffuse reflectance Fourier-transform infrared (DR-FTIR) spectroscopy, X-ray diffraction (XRD), and chemical and isotopic analyses to characterize the light fraction of four contrasting soils (control and biocharamended soils) to determine changes in biochar properties after aging. Two Eucalyptus saligna Sm. wood biochars, produced at 450°C (B450) and 550°C (B550), were incubated separately in each of the four soils for up to 12 mo at 20, 40, and 60°C. Total C and isotopic (δ13C) methods were used to quantify the amounts of biochar C and native C mineralized during incubation. The DR-FTIR spectra of the light fraction showed distinct absorption bands representing native soil organic C, biochar C, and mineral constituents present in the soils; the mineral bands were consistent with XRD data of the clay fraction of the four soils. Analysis of the DR-FTIR spectra in the ν(C–H) bands showed that the ratio of the aromatic ν(C–H) bands systematically increased relative to the aliphatic ν(C–H) bands with increasing mineralization of biochar C in the B550 amended soils, and this relationship was unique for each soil type. In contrast, this relationship was not observed for the B450 amended soils that contained a relatively smaller proportion of aromatic C. PMID:29657354

  19. Influence of biochar and compost on phytoremediation of oil-contaminated soil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saum, Lindsey; Jiménez, Macario Bacilio; Crowley, David

    2018-01-02

    The use of pyrolyzed carbon, biochar, as a soil amendment is of potential interest for improving phytoremediation of soil that has been contaminated by petroleum hydrocarbons. To examine this question, the research reported here compared the effects of biochar, plants (mesquite tree seedlings), compost and combinations of these treatments on the rate of biodegradation of oil in a contaminated soil and the population size of oil-degrading bacteria. The presence of mesquite plants significantly enhanced oil degradation in all treatments except when biochar was used as the sole amendment without compost. The greatest extent of oil degradation was achieved in soil planted with mesquite and amended with compost (44% of the light hydrocarbon fraction). Most probable number assays showed that biochar generally reduced the population size of the oil-degrading community. The results of this study suggest that biochar addition to petroleum-contaminated soils does not improve the rate of bioremediation. In contrast, the use of plants and compost additions to soil are confirmed as important bioremediation technologies.

  20. Water repellency of two forest soils after biochar addition

    Science.gov (United States)

    D. S. Page-Dumroese; P. R. Robichaud; R. E. Brown; J. M. Tirocke

    2015-01-01

    Practical application of black carbon (biochar) to improve forest soil may be limited because biochar is hydrophobic. In a laboratory, we tested the water repellency of biochar application (mixed or surface applied) to two forest soils of varying texture (a granitic coarse-textured Inceptisol and an ash cap fine-textured Andisol) at four different application rates (0...

  1. 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...

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. [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.

  10. Potential dual use of biochar for wastewater treatment and soil amelioration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marschner, Bernd; Werner, Steffen; Alfes, Karsten; Lübken, Manfred

    2013-04-01

    Irrigating crops with wastewater from open drainage channels is a common practice in urban agricultural production in many dry regions of Africa, Asia and Latin America. While the wastewater-borne nutrients reduce the need for inputs of mineral fertilizers or manures and thus reduce production costs, wastewater-borne pathogens and contaminants pose a health risk for the producers and consumers of the crops. Furthermore, the input of nutrients with the irrigation water may greatly exceed crop requirements and thus lead to unproductive leaching losses of nutrients. It is generally acknowledged that biochar additions can increase the soil's sorption and retention capacity for nutrients and water. However, positive effects on crop production are generally only observed, if this is combined with mineral fertilizers or manures due to the low nutrient content of biochars. Biochar possibly also has a high potential for use in water purification, replacing the coal-based activated carbon as a sorbent for contaminants and pathogens. It was therefore hypothesized that biochar can be used for pathogen removal from wastewater while at the same time being loaded with nutrients and contaminants. If contaminants are of minor concern the "loaded" biochar can be used as a soil amendment, providing not only long-term sorption capacity but also nutrients. Experiments were conducted with pyrochar from Miscanthus, rice husks and wood chips, which strongly differed in elemental composition, MIR-DRIFT spectra, surface charge properties and sorption potential for DOC and phosphate. When used as top filter layer in a sand column system, the biochars effectively reduced E. coli concentrations from raw wastewater by up to 2 log units. While biochars from rice husks and Miscanthus accumulated N substantially, wood chip biochar showed no N retention. On the other hand, P accumulation was most pronounced for wood chip biochar. Ongoing incubation experiments with the "loaded" and fresh biochar in

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. [Impacts of rice straw biochar on organic carbon and CO2 release in arable soil].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ke, Yue-Jin; Hu, Xue-Yu; Yi, Qing; Yu, Zhong

    2014-01-01

    In order to investigate the stability of biochar and the effect of biochar when added into soil on soil organic carbon, a 130-day incubation experiment was conducted with rice straw biochar produced at 500 degrees C and 700 degrees C (RBC500 and RBC700) and with addition rates of 0% (control), 3%, 6% and 100% (pure biochar), to detect the change of total organic carbon (TOC), easily oxidized carbon (EOC) and status of CO2 release, following addition of biochar in arable soil. Results showed that: the content of both TOC and EOC in soil increased with biochar addition rates comparing with the control. RBC500 had greater contributions to both TOC and EOC increasing amounts than those of RBC700 under the same biochar addition rate. TOC contents of all treatments decreased during the initial 30 days with the largest decreasing amplitude of 15.8%, and tended to be stable in late incubation stages. Same to that of TOC, EOC contents of all treatments also tended to remain stable after 30 days, but in the 30 days of early incubation, EOC in the soil decreased by 72.4% and 81.7% respectively when the added amount of RBC500 was 3% and 6% , while it was reduced by 61.3% and 69.8% respectively when the added amount of RBC700 was 3% and 6%. EOC contents of soil added with biochar produced at the same temperature were similar in the end of incubation. The reduction of soil EOC content in early incubation may be related to mineralization caused by labile fractions of biochar. During the 130-day incubation, the accumulated CO2 releases showed an order of soil and biochar mixtures soil could reduce CO2 release, the largest reduction amplitude is 41.05%. In a long time scale, biochar as a soil amendment is favorable to the deduction of greenhouse gas release and soil carbon immobilization. Biochar could be used as a soil carbon sequestration carrier.

  15. 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 Sophie; 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....

  16. Effect of activated carbon and biochars on the bioavailability of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in different industrially contaminated soils.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kołtowski, Michał; Hilber, Isabel; Bucheli, Thomas D; Oleszczuk, Patryk

    2016-06-01

    Coal production negatively affects the environment by the emission of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). Two soils (KOK and KB) from a coking plant area was investigated and their total PAH concentration was 40 and 17 mg/kg for the sum (∑) 16 US EPA PAHs, respectively. A third soil was sampled from a bitumen plant area and was characterized by 9 mg/kg ∑16 US EPA PAHs. To reduce the freely dissolved concentration (Cfree) of the PAHs in the soil pore water, active carbon (AC) and two biochars pyrolysed from wheat straw (biochar-S) and willow (biochar-W) were added to the soils at 0.5-5 % (w/w), each. The AC performed best and reduced the Cfree by 51-98 % already at the lowest dose. The biochars needed doses up to 2.5 % to significantly reduce the Cfree by 44-86 % in the biochar-S and by 37-68 % in the biochar-W amended soils. The high black carbon (BC) content of up to 2.3 % in the Silesian soils competed with the sorption sites of the carbon amendments and the performance of the remediation was a consequence of the contaminant's source and the distribution between the BC and the AC/biochars. In contrast, the carbon amendment could best reduce the Cfree in the Lublin soil where the BC content was normal (0.05 %). It is therefore crucial to know the contaminant's source and history of a sample/site to choose the appropriate carbon amendment not only for remediation success but also for economic reasons.

  17. Analyzing the impacts of three types of biochar on soil carbon fractions and physiochemical properties in a corn-soybean rotation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Biochar is a soil amendment produced from incomplete pyrolysis of organic materials in the absence of oxygen. In most previous studies, the impacts of biochar on soil physical properties and organic carbon was investigated under controlled conditions such as laboratory or greenhouse environments. Th...

  18. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leite, D.C.A.; Balieiro, F.C.; Pires, C.A.; Madari, B.E.; Rosado, A.S.; Coutinho, H.L.C.; Peixoto, R.S.

    2014-01-01

    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 Miniprep™ (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. PMID:24948928

  20. Biochar in co-contaminated soil manipulates arsenic solubility and microbiological community structure, and promotes organochlorine degradation.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Samuel J Gregory

    Full Text Available 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 < 0.01, and increased the DDE:DDT ratio. Soil microbial activity was significantly increased (P < 0.01 under all 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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...

  3. 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.

  4. 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...

  5. Sorption to soil, biochar and compost: is prediction to multicomponent mixtures possible based on single sorbent measurements?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Melanie Kah

    2018-06-01

    Full Text Available Amendment with biochar and/or compost has been proposed as a strategy to remediate soil contaminated with low levels of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons. The strong sorption potential of biochar can help sequestering contaminants while the compost may promote their degradation. An improved understanding of how sorption evolves upon soil amendment is an essential step towards the implementation of the approach. The present study reports on the sorption of pyrene to two soils, four biochars and one compost. Detailed isotherm analyzes across a wide range of concentration confirmed that soil amendments can significantly increase the sorption of pyrene. Comparisons of data obtained by a classical batch and a passive sampling method suggest that dissolved organic matter did not play a significant role on the sorption of pyrene. The addition of 10% compost to soil led to a moderate increase in sorption (<2-fold, which could be well predicted based on measurements of sorption to the individual components. Hence, our result suggest that the sorption of pyrene to soil and compost can be relatively well approximated by an additive process. The addition of 5% biochar to soil (with or without compost led to a major increase in the sorption of pyrene (2.5–4.7-fold, which was, however, much smaller than that suggested based on the sorption measured on the three individual components. Results suggest that the strong sorption to the biochar was attenuated by up to 80% in the presence of soil and compost, much likely due to surface and pore blockage. Results were very similar in the two soils considered, and collectively suggest that combined amendments with compost and biochar may be a useful approach to remediate soils with low levels of contamination. Further studies carried out in more realistic settings and over longer periods of time are the next step to evaluate the long term viability of remediation approaches based on biochar amendments.

  6. Changes in Soil Chemical Properties and Lettuce Yield Response Following Incorporation of Biochar and Cow Dung to Highly Weathered Acidic Soils

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Agyei Frimpong, Kwame; Amoakwah, Emmanuel; Osei, Benjamin A

    2016-01-01

    imposed on two highly weathered, acidic soils from the coastal savanna and tropical rainforest agroecological zones of Ghana, respectively, to elucidate their effect on yield of lettuce. The study showed that application of biochar solely or in combination with cow dung increased soil pH, total organic...... carbon, and cation exchange capacity, and temporarily increased soil respiration and microbial biomass carbon. Further, incorporation of combined application of cow dung and biochar increased lettuce yield more than sole incorporation of either amendment. The study demonstrated that corn cob biochar can...... improve soil chemical properties and lettuce yield if applied solely or in combination with cow dung....

  7. Soil Nematode Response to Biochar Addition in a Chinese Wheat Field

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    ZHANG Xiao-Ke; LI Qi; LIANG Wen-Ju; ZHANG Min; BAO Xue-Lian; XIE Zu-Bin

    2013-01-01

    While studies have focused on the use of biochar as soil amendment,little attention has been paid to its effect on soil fauna.The biochar was produced from slow pyrolysis of wheat straw in the present study.Four treatments,no addition (CK) and three rates of biochar addition at 2400 (B1),12000 (B5) and 48000 kg ha-1 (B20),were investigated to assess the effect of biochar addition to soil on nematode abundance and diversity in a microcosm trial in China.The B5 and B20 application significantly increased the total organic carbon and the C/N ratio.No significant difference in total nematode abundance was found among the treatments.The biochar addition to the soil significantly increased the abundance of fungivores,and decreased that of plant parasites.The diversity of soil nematodes was significantly increased by B1 compared to CK.Nematode trophic groups were more effectively indicative to biochar addition than total abundance.

  8. 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.

  9. The Interfacial Behavior between Biochar and Soil Minerals and Its Effect on Biochar Stability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Fan; Zhao, Ling; Gao, Bin; Xu, Xiaoyun; Cao, Xinde

    2016-03-01

    In this study, FeCl3, AlCl3, CaCl2, and kaolinite were selected as model soil minerals and incubated with walnut shell derived biochar for 3 months and the incubated biochar was then separated for the investigation of biochar-mineral interfacial behavior using XRD and SEM-EDS. The XPS, TGA, and H2O2 oxidation were applied to evaluate effects of the interaction on the stability of biochar. Fe8O8(OH)8Cl1.35 and AlCl3·6H2O were newly formed on the biochar surface or inside of the biochar pores. At the biochar-mineral interface, organometallic complexes such as Fe-O-C were generated. All the 4 minerals enhanced the oxidation resistance of biochar surface by decreasing the relative contents of C-O, C═O, and COOH from 36.3% to 16.6-26.5%. Oxidation resistance of entire biochar particles was greatly increased with C losses in H2O2 oxidation decreasing by 13.4-79.6%, and the C recalcitrance index (R50,bicohar) in TGA analysis increasing from 44.6% to 45.9-49.6%. Enhanced oxidation resistance of biochar surface was likely due to the physical isolation from newly formed minerals, while organometallic complex formation was probably responsible for the increase in oxidation resistance of entire biochar particles. Results indicated that mineral-rich soils seemed to be a beneficial environment for biochar since soil minerals could increase biochar stability, which displays an important environmental significance of biochar for long-term carbon sequestration.

  10. 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...

  11. 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

  12. 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

  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. 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.

  15. Reducing CH{sub 4} and CO{sub 2} emissions from waterlogged paddy soil with biochar

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Liu, Yuxue; Yang, Min; Chen, Yingxu; Wu, Weixiang [Zhejiang Univ., Hangzhou (China). Inst. of Environmental Science and Technology; Wu, Yimin [Hangzhou No. 2 High School, Hangzhou (China); Wang, Hailong [Scion, Rotorua (New Zealand)

    2011-09-15

    Purpose: A potential means to diminish increasing levels of CO{sub 2} in the atmosphere is the use of pyrolysis to convert biomass into biochar, which stabilizes the carbon (C) that is then applied to soil. Before biochar can be used on a large scale, especially in agricultural soils, its effects on the soil system need to be assessed. This is especially important in rice paddy soils that release large amounts of greenhouse gases to the atmosphere. Materials and methods: In this study, the effects of biochar on CH{sub 4} and CO{sub 2} emissions from paddy soil with and without rice straw added as an additional C source were investigated. The biochars tested were prepared from bamboo chips or rice straw which yielded bamboo char (BC) and straw char (SC), respectively. BC and SC were applied to paddy soil to achieve low, medium, and high rates, based on C contents of the biochars. The biochar-amended soils were incubated under waterlogged conditions in the laboratory. Results and discussion: Adding rice straw significantly increased CH{sub 4} and CO{sub 2} emissions from the paddy soil. However, when soils were amended with biochar, CH{sub 4} emissions were reduced. CH{sub 4} emissions from the paddy soil amended with BC and SC at high rate were reduced by 51.1% and 91.2%, respectively, compared with those without biochar. Methanogenic activity in the paddy soil decreased with increasing rates of biochar, whereas no differences in denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis patterns were observed. CO{sub 2} emission from the waterlogged paddy soil was also reduced in the biochar treatments. Conclusions: Our results showed that SC was more effective than BC in reducing CH{sub 4} and CO{sub 2} emissions from paddy soils. The reduction of CH{sub 4} emissions from paddy soil with biochar amendment may result from the inhibition of methanogenic activity or a stimulation of methylotrophic activity during the incubation period. (orig.)

  16. 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 < 0.05) reduced PAH degradation in the 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.

  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. 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...

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. Does Biochar Addition Inlfuence the Change Points of Soil Phosphorus Leaching?

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    ZHAO Xiao-rong; LI Dan; KONG Juan; LIN Qi-mei

    2014-01-01

    Phosphorus change point indicating the threshold related to P leaching, largely depends on soil properties. Increasing data have shown that biochar addition can improve soil retention capacity of ions. However, we have known little about weather biochar amendment inlfuence the change point of P leaching. In this study, two soils added with 0, 5, 10, 20, and 50 g biochar kg-1 were incubated at 25°C for 14 d following adjusting the soil moisture to 50%water-holding capacity (WHC). The soils with different available P values were then obtained by adding a series of KH2PO4 solution (ranging from 0 to 600 mg P kg-1 soil), and subjecting to three cycles of drying and rewetting. The results showed that biochar addition signiifcantly lifted the P change points in the tested soils, together with changes in soil pH, organic C, Olen-P and CaCl2-P but little on exchangeable Ca and Mg, oxalate-extractable Fe and Al. The Olsen-P at the change points ranged from 48.65 to 185.07 mg kg-1 in the alluvial soil and 71.25 to 98.65 mg kg-1 in the red soil, corresponding to CaCl2-P of 0.31-6.49 and 0.18-0.45 mg L-1, respectively. The change points of the alluvial soil were readily changed by adding biochar compared with that of the red soil. The enhancement of change points was likely to be explained as the improvement of phosphate retention ability in the biochar-added soils.

  4. The Effects of Biochar and Its Combination with Compost on Lettuce (Lactuca sativa L. Growth, Soil Properties, and Soil Microbial Activity and Abundance

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dalila Trupiano

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Impacts of biochar application in combination with organic fertilizer, such as compost, are not fully understood. In this study, we tested the effects of biochar amendment, compost addition, and their combination on lettuce plants grown in a soil poor in nutrients; soil microbiological, chemical, and physical characteristics were analyzed, together with plant growth and physiology. An initial screening was also done to evaluate the effect of biochar and compost toxicity, using cress plants and earthworms. Results showed that compost amendment had clear and positive effects on plant growth and yield and on soil chemical characteristics. However, we demonstrated that also the biochar alone stimulated lettuce leaves number and total biomass, improving soil total nitrogen and phosphorus contents, as well as total carbon, and enhancing related microbial communities. Nevertheless, combining biochar and compost, no positive synergic and summative effects were observed. Our results thus demonstrate that in a soil poor in nutrients the biochar alone could be effectively used to enhance soil fertility and plant growth and biomass yield. However, we can speculate that the combination of compost and biochar may enhance and sustain soil biophysical and chemical characteristics and improve crop productivity over time.

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  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. 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.

  11. Influence of biochar on the enantioselective behavior of the chiral fungicide metalaxyl in soil

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gámiz, Beatriz; Pignatello, Joseph J.; Hermosín, María Carmen; Cox, Lucía; Celis, Rafael

    2015-04-01

    Chiral pesticides comprise an emerging and important class of organic pollutants currently, accounting for more than a quarter of used pesticides. Consequently, the contamination problems caused by chiral pesticides are concern matter and factors affecting enantioselective processes of chiral pesticides in soil need to be understood. For example, certain soil management practices, such as the use of organic amendments, can affect the enantioselective behavior of chiral pesticides in soils. Recently, biochar (BC), i.e. organic matter subjected to pyrolysis, has been proposed as organic amendment due to beneficial properties such as its high stability against decay in soil environments and its apparent ability to influence the availability of nutrients. BC is considered to be more biologically inert as compared to otherforms of organic carbon. However, its side-effects on the enantioselectivity of processes affecting the fate of chiral pesticides is unknown. The aim of this study was to assess the effect of biochar (BC) on the enantioselectivity of sorption, degradation, and leaching of the chiral fungicide metalaxyl in an agricultural soil. Amending the soil with BC (2% w/w) resulted in 3 times higher sorption of metalaxyl enantiomers compared to unamended soil, but no enantioselectivity in the process was observed. Moreover, both enantiomers showed some resistance to be desorbed in BC-amended soil compared to unamended soil. Dissipation studies revealed that the degradation of metalaxylwas more enantioselective in the unamended soil than in BC-amended soil. In unamended soil, R-metalaxyl(biologically active) and S- metalaxyl had half-lives (t1/2) of 3 and 34 days, respectively. BC enhanced the persistence of both enantiomers in the soil, with R-metalaxyl being degraded faster (t1/2=43 days) than S-metalaxyl (t1/2= 100 days). The leaching of both S-and R-metalaxyl was almost suppressed after amending the soil with BC; less than 10% of the fungicide applied to soil

  12. Effects of biochar and clay amendment on nutrient sorption of an Arenosol in semi-arid NE-Brazil

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beusch, Christine; Kaupenjohann, Martin

    2014-05-01

    In the semi-arid Northeast of Brazil nutrient-poor Arenosol with a low capacity to retain water and nutrients is the predominant soil type. Our aim is to provide a long-term melioration of the soils with locally available and inexpensive materials. We hypothesize an increase in nutrient sorption by the addition of biochar and clay. We conducted adsorption experiments according to OECD 106 batch equilibrium method in order to test this hypothesis. Sandy Arenosol, locally produced pyrolized biochar made of Prosopis juliflora, and a clayey Vertisol with a clay content of 69.8 %, all from our project area in Pernambuco, NE-Brazil, were used. The percentage of biochar and Vertisol added were 0 % (pure Arenosol), 1 %, 2.5 %, 5 %, 10 %, 100 % (pure biochar respectively Vertisol). Samples were shaken for 24 hours in a 1:5 solid-solution ratio in six different concentrations of Ammonium-N, Nitrate-N (0 - 25 mg L-1 each), Phosphorus (0 - 19.8 mg L-1) and Potassium (0 - 50 mg L-1). These concentrations were chosen to represent a common range of nutrients in a prevalent quaternary fertilization scheme of N:P:K of 1:0.4:1, with half NH4-N and NO3-N each. Then, where possible, sorption isotherms according to Langmuir were derived. Addition of biochar and Vertisol only showed marginal effects on Ammonium sorption. We detected a high loss of Ammonium with pure biochar, we assume loss of gaseous NH3. High rates of biochar addition caused Nitrate retention. Biochar increased P sorption with a maximum adsorption capacity (qmax) of 27.35 mg kg-1 for the 5 % amendment, although some P was leached out (up to 1.58 mg kg-1 for the 10 % addition). Phosphate sorption on Vertisol was even higher with a qmax for the 5 % addition of 60.77 mg kg-1. Potassium did not sorb to biochar, but was strongly leached out (84.19 mg kg-1 out of the 5 % addition). For Vertisol we observed a strong Potassium sorption that is linear within the concentration range we tested. A possible enhancement of nutrient

  13. 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...... biochar may enhance methane production from organic wastes under anaerobic conditions....

  14. 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...

  15. Effect of activated carbon or biochars on toxicity of different soils contaminated by mixture of native polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and heavy metals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kołtowski, Michał; Oleszczuk, Patryk

    2016-05-01

    Activated carbon (AC), biochar from wheat straw (BCS), and biochar from willow (BCW) were added to the soils sampled from areas of strong anthropogenic influence at doses of 0.5%, 1%, 2.5%, or 5% (w/w) and incubated for 2 mo. At the end of this period, the toxicity of the soils was measured. The effect of AC and biochars on the toxicity of the soils varied based on soil, type of amendment, dose, and test organism. For most of the parameters tested, the highest effectiveness of AC in terms of reduction of toxicity was observed in soil POPI (from bitumen processing plant area). In the case of the remaining soils, after the addition of AC varied results were observed, in which a reduction or an increase of toxicity, relative to the control soil, occurred. As in the case of AC, biochars also caused a significant reduction of phytotoxicity of soil POPI. In soils KB (from coking plant area, industrial waste deposit) and KOK (from coking plant area, coking battery), the reduction or increase of toxicity depended on biochar dose. Compared with the biochars, the effectiveness of AC in the reduction of toxicity depended also on soil, type of amendment, dose, and test organism. Generally, the AC was more effective than biochars in relation to mortality and reproduction of Folsomia candida (in all soils) and for reduction of luminescence inhibition of Vibrio fischeri (in POPI soil). © 2015 SETAC.

  16. 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)

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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...

  3. 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...

  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. Biochar based remediation of water and soil contaminated by phenanthrene and pentachlorophenol.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rao, Maria A; Di Rauso Simeone, Giuseppe; Scelza, Rosalia; Conte, Pellegrino

    2017-11-01

    Phenanthrene (Phe) and pentachlorophenol (PCP) are classified as persistent organic pollutants and represent serious concern for the environment as they are toxic and ubiquitous. Biochar based remediation is an emerging technology used in water and soil contamination. In this study we used poplar (BP) and conifer (BC) biochars to remediate water and soil contaminated by Phe and PCP. BP and BC were able to remove completely either Phe or PCP from contaminated water within one to three days. When biochar was confined in a porous membrane, BC and BP maintained their sorption efficiency for several remediation cycles. However, in these conditions BC allowed faster Phe removal. In soil remediation experiments, addition of two biochar rates, i.e. 2.5 and 5 mg g -1 , strongly reduced Phe extractability (up to 2.7% of the initially added Phe with the larger BC dose). This was similar to the behavior observed when compost was applied in order to verify the role of soil organic matter in the fate of both contaminants. PCP extractability was reduced only up to 75% (in average) in all samples including those with compost amendment. Only larger amount of biochar (20 and 50 mg g -1 ) allowed reduction of the extractable PCP and nullified phytotoxicity of the contaminant. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  7. 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.

  8. 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

    2018-08-01

    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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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

  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. Evaluating cadmium bioavailability in contaminated rice paddy soils and assessing potential for contaminant immobilisation with biochar.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kosolsaksakul, Peerapat; Oliver, Ian W; Graham, Margaret C

    2018-06-01

    Cadmium (Cd) contaminated soils from the Mae Sot district in northwest Thailand, a region in which rice Cd concentrations often exceed health limits (0.4 mg/kg) set by the World Health Organisation, were examined for isotopically exchangeable Cd (Cd E values using a 111 Cd spike) to determine how this rates as a predictor of rice grain Cd in comparison with soil total Cd and solution extractable Cd (using the commonly applied BCR scheme and, in an attempt to distinguish carbonate bound forms, the Tessier soil sequential extraction scheme reagents). Step 1 of the BCR scheme (0.11 M CH 3 COOH) and step 1 of the Tessier scheme (1M MgCl 2 ) showed the highest R 2 values in regressions with rice Cd (91% and 90%, respectively), but all predictors were strongly linked to rice Cd (p soil, of the six tested, was an exception to this, where all predictors over-estimated grain Cd by a factor of 2.5-5.7, suggesting that rice grain Cd had been restricted here by the differing flooding regime and subsequent changes to redox conditions. E values and Tessier step 1 extractions were closely related, indicating that these measurements access similar pools of soil Cd. Separately, the isotopic exchangeability (representing bioavailability) of Cd was also assessed in two soils amended with rice husk and miscanthus biochars (0, 1, 5, 10, 15 and 20% w/w) in order to assess the utility of the biochars as a soil amendment for immobilising Cd in situ. One soil showed significant reductions in Cd E value at 5% rice husk biochar addition and at 15% miscanthus biochar addition however, based on the E value-rice grain Cd regression relationship previously established, the E values in the amended soils still predicted for a rice Cd concentration above the health limit. In the second soil, neither of the biochars successfully reduced the Cd E value. This indicates that further work is needed to customise biochar properties to suit specific soil and contaminant situations if they are to be

  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

    2015-01-01

    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

  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

    2015-04-01

    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.

  16. Mycoextraction by Clitocybe maxima combined with metal immobilization by biochar and activated carbon in an aged soil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Bin; Cheng, Guanglei; Jiao, Kai; Shi, Wenjin; Wang, Can; Xu, Heng

    2016-08-15

    To develop an eco-friendly and efficient route to remediate soil highly polluted with heavy metals, the idea of mycoextraction combined with metal immobilization by carbonaceous sorbents (biochar and activated carbon) was investigated in this study. Results showed that the application of carbonaceous amendments decreased acid soluble Cd and Cu by 5.13-14.06% and 26.86-49.58%, respectively, whereas the reducible and oxidizable fractions increased significantly as the amount of carbonaceous amendments added increased. The biological activities (microbial biomass, soil enzyme activities) for treatments with carbonaceous sorbents were higher than those of samples without carbonaceous amendments. Clitocybe maxima (C. maxima) simultaneously increased soil enzyme activities and the total number of microbes. Biochar and activated carbon both showed a positive effect on C. maxima growth and metal accumulation. The mycoextraction efficiency of Cd and Cu in treatments with carbonaceous amendments enhanced by 25.64-153.85% and 15.18-107.22%, respectively, in response to that in non-treated soil, which showed positive correlation to the augment of biochar and activated carbon in soil. Therefore, this work suggested the effectiveness of mycoextraction by C. maxima combined the application of biochar and activated carbon in immobilising heavy metal in contaminated soil. Copyright © 2016. Published by Elsevier B.V.

  17. A preliminary assessment on the use of biochar as a soil additive for reducing soil-to-plant uptake of cesium isotopes in radioactively contaminated environments

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hamilton, T.F.; Martinelli, R.E.; Kehl, S.R.; Peters, S.K.G.; Tamblin, M.W.; Schmitt, C.L.; Hawk, Daniel

    2016-01-01

    A series of K d tracer batch experiments were conducted to assess the absorptive-desorption properties of Biochar as a potential agent to selectively sequester labile soil Cs or otherwise help reduce the uptake of Cs isotopes into plants. A parallel experiment was conducted for strontium. Fine-grained fractionated Woodlands tree Biochar was found to have a relatively high affinity for Cs ions (K d > 100) relative to coral soil (K d < 10) collected from the Marshall Islands. The Biochar material also contains an abundance of K (and Mg). These findings support a hypothesis that the addition of Biochar as a soil amendment may provide a simple yet effective method for reducing soil-to-plant transfer of Cs isotopes in contaminated environments. (author)

  18. Decreased Soil Nitrification Rate with Addition of Biochar to Acid Soils

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Shiyu LI; Xiangshu DONG; Dandan LIU; Li LIU; Feifei HE

    2017-01-01

    This study was conducted to investigate the effects of mixed biochar on the nitrification rate in acidic soils. A 15N tracer experiment with (15NH4)2SO4 was conducted to determine the nitrification rates of 4 acidic agricultural soils with pH 4.03-6.02in Yunnan Province, Southern China. The accumulation of 15N-NO3 - and nitrification rates decreased with the addition of biochar at the end of incubation, suggesting that biochar could be a nitrification inhibitor in acidic fertilized soil. Nitrification rates in soil with pH 4.03 were evidently lower than those in soil with pH 4.81 -6.02 with or without biochar. Decreased nitrification rates were detected in the acidic soils with biochar. Soil pH controlled nitrification more than biochar in certain strongly acidic 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. 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.

  1. Enhanced rice production but greatly reduced carbon emission following biochar amendment in a metal-polluted rice paddy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Afeng; Bian, Rongjun; Li, Lianqing; Wang, Xudong; Zhao, Ying; Hussain, Qaiser; Pan, Genxing

    2015-12-01

    Soil amendment of biochar (BSA) had been shown effective for mitigating greenhouse gas (GHG) emission and alleviating metal stress to plants and microbes in soil. It has not yet been addressed if biochar exerts synergy effects on crop production, GHG emission, and microbial activity in metal-polluted soils. In a field experiment, biochar was amended at sequential rates at 0, 10, 20, and 40 t ha(-1), respectively, in a cadmium- and lead-contaminated rice paddy from the Tai lake Plain, China, before rice cropping in 2010. Fluxes of soil carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), and nitrous oxide (N2O) were monitored using a static chamber method during the whole rice growing season (WRGS) of 2011. BSA significantly reduced soil CaCl2 extractable pool of Cd, and DTPA extractable pool of Cd and Pb. As compared to control, soil CO2 emission under BSA was observed to have no change at 10 t ha(-1) but decreased by 16-24% at 20 and 40 t ha(-1). In a similar trend, BSA at 20 and 40 t ha(-1) increased rice yield by 25-26% and thus enhanced ecosystem CO2 sequestration by 47-55% over the control. Seasonal total N2O emission was reduced by 7.1, 30.7, and 48.6% under BSA at 10, 20, and 40 t ha(-1), respectively. Overall, a net reduction in greenhouse gas balance (NGHGB) by 53.9-62.8% and in greenhouse gas intensity (GHGI) by 14.3-28.6% was observed following BSA at 20 and 40 t ha(-1). The present study suggested a great potential of biochar to enhancing grain yield while reducing carbon emission in metal-polluted rice paddies.

  2. Influence of Biochar on C and N Transformation in Soil and Their Impact on Greenhouse Gas Emissions

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-12-01

    The capacity of pyrogenic biochar to mitigate soil surface exchange of greenhouse gases (GHG) is dependent on the influence of biochar on physiochemical transformations of C and N in soils. Incorporated biochar amendments are hypothesized to interfere with transformations of C and N as a result of the unique recalcitrant chemical structure and surface complexity of biochars. The nature of interference by biochar with C and N transformations are assumed to be dynamic not only due to their highly variable amphilicity inherited from feedstock source and controlled pyrolytic processing parameters but also to variation in soil factors. Experiments comprised of laboratory and field studies were designed to gain insight into the priming effect of incorporated non-native biochar materials on the transformations of C and N species in the soil. Molecular structure and surface functionality of 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 studied in the laboratory using NMR and SEM-EdX. Biochar materials were found to be highly hydrophobic (low H/C values) with high aromaticity. The surface morphology of all the biochar materials was highly heterogeneous and pore size ranged from 1-22µm with the faces and edges of ordered sheets. In the field study, all the three biochar types 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 crop rotation is a corn (Zea mays L.) followed by soybean (Glycine max L.). The priming effect of biochars on the transformations of C and N is determined by measuring the changes in soil C (total organic carbon, microbial biomass C, hydrolyzable C, and δ 13C) and N pools

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. Simultaneous alleviation of cadmium and arsenic accumulation in rice by applying zero-valent iron and biochar to contaminated paddy soils.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Qiao, Jiang-Tao; Liu, Tong-Xu; Wang, Xiang-Qin; Li, Fang-Bai; Lv, Ya-Hui; Cui, Jiang-Hu; Zeng, Xiao-Duo; Yuan, Yu-Zhen; Liu, Chuan-Ping

    2018-03-01

    The fates of cadmium (Cd) and arsenic (As) in paddy fields are generally opposite; thus, the inconsistent transformation of Cd and As poses large challenges for their remediation. In this study, the impacts of zero valent iron (ZVI) and/or biochar amendments on Cd and As bioavailability were examined in pot trials with rice. Comparison with the untreated soil, both Cd and As accumulation in different rice tissues decreased significantly in the ZVI-biochar amendments and the Cd and As accumulation in rice decreased with increasing ZVI contents. In particular, the concentrations of Cd (0.15 ± 0.01 mg kg -1 ) and As (0.17 ± 0.01 mg kg -1 ) in rice grains were decreased by 93% and 61% relative to the untreated soil, respectively. A sequential extraction analysis indicated that with increasing Fe ratios in the ZVI-biochar mixtures, bioavailable Cd and As decreased, and the immobilized Cd and As increased. Furthermore, high levels of Fe, Cd, and As were detected in Fe plaque of the ZVI-biochar amendments in comparison with the single biochar or single ZVI amendments. The ZVI-biochar mixture may have a synergistic effect that simultaneously reduces Cd and As bioavailability by increasing the formation of amorphous Fe and Fe plaque for Cd and As immobilization. The single ZVI amendment significantly decreased As bioavailability, while the single biochar amendment significantly reduced the bioavailability of Cd compared with the combined amendments. Hence, using a ZVI-biochar mixture as a soil amendment could be a promising strategy for safely-utilizing Cd and As co-contaminated sites in the future. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bolan, N.S., E-mail: Nanthi.Bolan@unisa.edu.au [Centre for Environmental Risk Assessment and Remediation (CERAR), University of South Australia, SA 5095 (Australia); Cooperative Research Centre for Contaminants Assessment and Remediation of the Environment (CRC CARE), University of South Australia, SA 5095 (Australia); Kunhikrishnan, A. [Chemical Safety Division, Department of Agro-Food Safety, National Academy of Agricultural Science, Suwon-si, Gyeonggi-do 441-707 (Korea, Republic of); Choppala, G.K.; Thangarajan, R. [Centre for Environmental Risk Assessment and Remediation (CERAR), University of South Australia, SA 5095 (Australia); Cooperative Research Centre for Contaminants Assessment and Remediation of the Environment (CRC CARE), University of South Australia, SA 5095 (Australia); Chung, J.W. [Department of Environmental Engineering, Gyeongnam National University of Science and Technology, Dongjin-ro 33, Jinju, Gyeongnam, 660-758 (Korea, Republic of)

    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{sub 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: Black

  11. 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...

  12. 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

  13. Integrated use of biochar: a tool for improving soil and wheat quality of degraded soil under wheat-maize cropping pattern

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ali, K.; Arif, M.; Jan, M.T.

    2015-01-01

    Wheat quality, nutrient uptake and nutrient use efficiency are significantly influenced by nutrient sources and application rate. To investigate the integrative effect of biochar, farmyard manure (FYM) and nitrogen (organic and inorganic soil amendments) in a wheat-maize cropping system, a two year study was designed to assess the interactive outcome of biochar, FYM and nitrogenous fertilizer on wheat nitrogen (N) parameters and associated soil quality parameters. Three levels of biochar (0, 25 and 50 t ha-1), two levels of FYM (5 and 10 t ha-1) and two levels of nitrogen fertilizer (60 and 120 kg ha-1) were used in the study. Biochar application displayed a significantly increased in wheat leaf, stem, straw and grain N content; grain and total N-uptake and grain protein content by 24, 20, 24, 56, 50, 17 and 20% respectively. Similarly, biochar application significantly increased soil total N (TN) and soil mineral N (SMN) by 63 and 40% respectively in second year. FYM application increased grain, leaf and straw N content by 20, 19.5 and 18% respectively, and increased total N-uptake and grain protein content by 49 and 19% respectively. FYM increased soil TN and SMN by 63 and 32% in both the years of the experiment. Mineral N application increased soil TN by over a half and SMN by a third, and grain protein content increased 16%. In contrast, nitrogen use efficiency (NUE) decreased for all amendments relative to the control. However, biochar treated plots improved NUE by 38% compared to plots without biochar. In conclusion, this field experiment has illustrated the potential of biochar to bring about short-term benefits in wheat and soil quality parameters in wheat-maize cropping systems. However, the long-term benefits remain to be quantified. (author)

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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"1"5N and δ"1"3C 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_2O were higher from the organic-amended soils than from the fertilizer-only control. However, N_2O 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_2O

  18. Storage and stability of biochar-derived carbon and total organic carbon in relation to minerals in an acid forest soil of the Spanish Atlantic area.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fernández-Ugalde, Oihane; Gartzia-Bengoetxea, Nahia; Arostegi, Javier; Moragues, Lur; Arias-González, Ander

    2017-06-01

    Biochar can largely contribute to enhance organic carbon (OC) stocks in soil and improve soil quality in forest and agricultural lands. Its contribution depends on its recalcitrance, but also on its interactions with minerals and other organic compounds in soil. Thus, it is important to study the link between minerals, natural organic matter and biochar in soil. In this study, we investigated the incorporation of biochar-derived carbon (biochar-C) into various particle-size fractions with contrasting mineralogy and the effect of biochar on the storage of total OC in the particle-size fractions in an acid loamy soil under Pinus radiata (C3 type) in the Spanish Atlantic area. We compared plots amended with biochar produced from Miscanthus sp. (C4 type) with control plots (not amended). We separated sand-, silt-, and clay-size fractions in samples collected from 0 to 20-cm depth. In each fraction, we analyzed clay minerals, metallic oxides and oxy-hydroxides, total OC and biochar-C. The results showed that 51% of the biochar-C was in fractions fractions (0.2-2μm, 0.05-0.2μm, fractions, as it occurred with the vermiculitic phases and metallic oxides and oxy-hydroxides. Biochar also affected to the distribution of total OC among particle-size fractions. Total OC concentration was greater in fractions 2-20μm, 0.2-2μm, 0.05-0.2μm in biochar-amended plots than in control plots. This may be explained by the adsorption of dissolved OC from fraction organic matter already occurred in the first year. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  19. Metal leaching in mine tailings: short-term impact of biochar and wood ash amendments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beauchemin, Suzanne; Clemente, Joyce S; MacKinnon, Ted; Tisch, Bryan; Lastra, Rolando; Smith, Derek; Kwong, John

    2015-01-01

    Biochar is perceived as a promising amendment to reclaim degraded, metal-contaminated lands. The objective of this study was to compare the potential of biochar and wood ash amendments to reduce metal(loid) leaching in mine tailings. A 2-mo leaching experiment was conducted in duplicate on acidic and alkaline tailings, each mixed with 5 wt.% of one of the following amendments: three wood-derived, fast-pyrolysis biochars (OC > 57 wt.%) and two wood ash materials (organic carbon [OC] ≤ 16 wt.%); a control test with no carbon input was also added. The columns were leached with water after 1, 2, 4, 8, 16, 32, and 64 d, and the leachates were monitored for dissolved metals, OC, and pH. For the acidic and alkaline tailings, the most significant impact on metal mobility was observed with wood ash materials due to their greater neutralization potential (>15% CaCO eq.) compared with biochar (≤3.3% CaCO eq.). An increase of 1 pH unit in the wood ash-treated alkaline tailings led to an undesirable mobilization of As and Se. The addition of biochar did not significantly reduce the leaching of the main contaminants (Cu and Ni in the acidic tailings and As in the alkaline tailings) over 2 mo. The Se attenuation noted in some biochar-treated acid tailings may be mainly due to a slight alkaline effect rather than Se removal by biochar, given the low capacity for the fresh biochars to retain Se under acidic conditions (pH 4.5). The increased loss of dissolved OC in the biochar-amended systems was of short duration and was not associated with metal(loid) mobilization. Copyright © Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Canada, as represented by the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada.

  20. Microscopy Observations of Habitable Space in Biochar for Colonization by Fungal Hyphae From Soil

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Noraini M. Jaafar; Peta L. Clode; Lynette K. Abbott

    2014-01-01

    Biochar is a potential micro-environment for soil microorganisms but evidence to support this suggestion is limited. We explored imaging techniques to visualize and quantify fungal colonization of habitable spaces in a biochar made from a woody feedstock. In addition to characterization of the biochar, it was necessary to optimize preparation and observation methodologies for examining fungal colonization of the biochar. Biochar surfaces and pores were investigated using several microscopy techniques. Biochar particles were compared in soilless media and after deposition in soil. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) observations and characterization of the biochar demonstrated structural heterogeneity within and among biochar particles. Fungal colonization in and on biochar particles was observed using light, fluorescence and electron microscopy. Fluorescent brightener RR 2200 was more effective than Calcolfuor White as a hyphal stain. Biochar retrieved from soil and observed using lfuorescence microscopy exhibited distinct hyphal networks on external biochar surfaces. The extent of hyphal colonization of biochar incubated in soil was much less than for biochar artiifcially inoculated with fungi in a soilless medium. The location of fungal hyphae was more clearly visible using SEM than with lfuorescence microscopy. Observations of biochar particles colonized by hyphae from soil posed a range of dififculties including obstruction by the presence of soil particles on biochar surfaces and inside pores. Extensive hyphal colonization of the surface of the biochar in the soilless medium contrasted with limited hyphal colonization of pores within the biochar. Both visualization and quantiifcation of hyphal colonization of surfaces and pores of biochar were restricted by two-dimensional imaging associated with uneven biochar surfaces and variable biochar pore structure. There was very little colonization of biochar from hyphae in the agricultural soil used in this study.

  1. 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.

  2. Application of biochar and nitrogen influences fluxes of CO2, CH4 and N2O in a forest soil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hawthorne, Iain; Johnson, Mark S; Jassal, Rachhpal S; Black, T Andrew; Grant, Nicholas J; Smukler, Sean M

    2017-05-01

    Nitrogen (N) fertilization of forests for increasing carbon sequestration and wood volume is expected to influence soil greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, especially to increase N 2 O emissions. As biochar application is known to affect soil GHG emissions, we investigated the effect of biochar application, with and without N fertilization, to a forest soil on GHG emissions in a controlled laboratory study. We found that biochar application at high (10%) application rates increased CO 2 and N 2 O emissions when applied without urea-N fertilizer. At both low (1%) and high biochar (10%) application rates CH 4 consumption was reduced when applied without urea-N fertilizer. Biochar application with urea-N fertilization did not increase CO 2 emissions compared to biochar amended soil without fertilizer. In terms of CO 2 -eq, the net change in GHG emissions was mainly controlled by CO 2 emissions, regardless of treatment, with CH 4 and N 2 O together accounting for less than 1.5% of the total emissions. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  3. Comparative short-term effects of sewage sludge and its biochar on soil properties, maize growth and uptake of nutrients on a tropical clay soil in Zimbabwe

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Willis Gwenzi; Moreblessing Muzava; Farai Mapanda; Tonny P Tauro

    2016-01-01

    Soil application of biochar from sewage could potentialy enhance carbon sequestration and close urban nutrient balances. In sub-Saharan Africa, comparative studies investigating plant growth effect and nutrients uptake on tropical soils amended with sewage sludge and its biochar are very limited. A pot experiment was conducted to investigate the effects of sewage sludge and its biochar on soil chemical properties, maize nutrient and heavy metal uptake, growth and biomass partitioning on a tropical clayey soil. The study compared three organic amendments; sewage sludge (SS), sludge biochar (SB) and their combination (SS+SB) to the unamended control and inorganic fertilizers. Organic amendments were applied at a rate of 15 t ha–1 for SS and SB, and 7.5 t ha–1 each for SS and SB. Maize growth, biomass production and nutrient uptake were signiifcantly improved in biochar and sewage sludge amendments compared to the unamended control. Comparable results were observed with F, SS and SS+SB on maize growth at 49 d of sowing. Maize growth for SB, SS, SS+SB and F increased by 42, 53, 47, and 49%, respectively compared to the unamended control. Total biomass for SB, SS, SS+SB, and F increased by 270, 428, 329, and 429%, respectively compared with the unamended control. Biochar amendments reduced Pb, Cu and Zn uptakes by about 22% compared with sludge alone treatment in maize plants. However, there is need for future research based on the current pot experiment to determine whether the same results can be produced under ifeld conditions.

  4. Stability of immobilization remediation of several amendments on cadmium contaminated soils as affected by simulated soil acidification.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guo, Fuyu; Ding, Changfeng; Zhou, Zhigao; Huang, Gaoxiang; Wang, Xingxiang

    2018-06-04

    Chemical immobilization is a practical approach to remediate heavy metal contamination in agricultural soils. However, the potential remobilization risks of immobilized metals are a major environmental concern, especially in acid rain zones. In the present study, changes in the immobilization efficiency of several amendments as affected by simulated soil acidification were investigated to evaluate the immobilization remediation stability of several amendments on two cadmium (Cd) contaminated soils. Amendments (hydrated lime, hydroxyapatite and biochar) effectively immobilized Cd, except for organic fertilizer, and their immobilizations were strongly decreased by the simulated soil acidification. The ratio of changes in CaCl 2 -extractable Cd: pH (△CaCl 2 -Cd/△pH) can represent the Cd remobilization risk of different amended soils. Hydroxyapatite and biochar had a stronger durable immobilizing effect than did hydrated lime, particularly in soil with a lower pH buffering capacity, which was further confirmed by the Cd concentration and accumulation in lettuce. These results can be attributed to that hydroxyapatite and biochar transformed greater proportions of exchangeable Cd to other more stable fractions than lime. After 48 weeks of incubation, in soil with a lower pH buffering capacity, the immobilization efficiencies of lime, hydroxyapatite, biochar and organic fertilizer in the deionized water group (pH 6.5) were 71.7%, 52.7%, 38.6% and 23.9%, respectively, and changed to 19.1%, 33.6%, 26.5% and 5.0%, respectively, in the simulated acid rain group (pH 2.5). The present study provides a simple method to preliminarily estimate the immobilization efficiency of amendments and predict their stability in acid rain regions before large-scale field application. In addition, hydrated lime is recommended to be combined with other acid-stable amendments (such as hydroxyapatite or biochar) to remediate heavy metal-contaminated agricultural soils in acid precipitation

  5. Remediating soils: Designing biochars to meet the need

    Science.gov (United States)

    Biochar, the porous, carbon-rich product of pyrolysis, may provide an additional tool for remediating both metal and organic contaminated soils and for reducing other soil limitations. Soils contaminated with metals, organics or limited in some other way is a world-wide problem...

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. Novel Biochar-Plant Tandem Approach for Remediating Hexachlorobenzene Contaminated Soils: Proof-of-Concept and New Insight into the Rhizosphere.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Song, Yang; Li, Yang; Zhang, Wei; Wang, Fang; Bian, Yongrong; Boughner, Lisa A; Jiang, Xin

    2016-07-13

    Volatilization of semi/volatile persistent organic pollutants (POPs) from soils is a major source of global POPs emission. This proof-of-concept study investigated a novel biochar-plant tandem approach to effectively immobilize and then degrade POPs in soils using hexachlorobenzene (HCB) as a model POP and ryegrass (Lolium perenne L.) as a model plant growing in soils amended with wheat straw biochar. HCB dissipation was significantly enhanced in the rhizosphere and near rhizosphere soils, with the greatest dissipation in the 2 mm near rhizosphere. This enhanced HCB dissipation likely resulted from (i) increased bioavailability of immobilized HCB and (ii) enhanced microbial activities, both of which were induced by ryegrass root exudates. As a major component of ryegrass root exudates, oxalic acid suppressed HCB sorption to biochar and stimulated HCB desorption from biochar and biochar-amended soils, thus increasing the bioavailability of HCB. High-throughput sequencing results revealed that the 2 mm near rhizosphere soil showed the lowest bacterial diversity due to the increased abundance of some genera (e.g., Azohydromonas, Pseudomonas, Fluviicola, and Sporocytophaga). These bacteria were likely responsible for the enhanced degradation of HCB as their abundance was exponentially correlated with HCB dissipation. The results from this study suggest that the biochar-plant tandem approach could be an effective strategy for remediating soils contaminated with semi/volatile organic contaminants.

  11. 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...

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  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. Mitigating yield-scaled greenhouse gas emissions through combined application of soil amendments: A comparative study between temperate and subtropical rice paddy soils.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ali, Muhammad Aslam; Kim, P J; Inubushi, K

    2015-10-01

    Effects of different soil amendments were investigated on methane (CH4) and nitrous oxide (N2O) 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 CH4 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 N2O 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 CH4 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. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  17. Effects of biochar on air and water permeability and colloid and phosphorus leaching in soils from a natural calcium carbonate gradient

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kahawaththa Gamage, Inoka Damayanthi Kumari; Møldrup, Per; Perez, Marcos Paradelo

    2014-01-01

    chemical properties (e.g., pH and ionic strength) which significantly affected air and water transport and colloid and phosphorous leaching. In denser soils (bulk density 1.57-1.69 g cm-3) preferential flow dominated the transport and caused an enhanced movement of air and water whereas in less dense soils......Application of biochar to agricultural fields to improve soil quality has increased in popularity in recent years, but limited attention is generally paid to existing field conditions prior to biochar application. This study examined the short-term physico-chemical effects of biochar amendment...... in an agricultural field in Denmark with a calcium carbonate (CaCO3) gradient. The field comprised four reference plots and four plots to which biochar (birch wood pyrolyzed at 500 C) was applied at a rate of 20 tons ha-1. Five undisturbed soil columns (10 cm dia., 8 cm height) were sampled from each plot seven...

  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 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. The promises of the Amazonian soil: shifts in discourses of Terra Preta and biochar

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Carlos Bezerra, J.; Turnhout, E.; Melo Vasquez, I.; Francischinelli Rittl, T.; Arts, B.J.M.; Kuijper, Thomas

    2016-01-01

    Biochar – a carbon-rich product used as a soil conditioner – is among the more recent technologies in environmental governance. In the spirit of ecological modernisation, biochar is claimed to deliver multiple benefits for soil fertility and climate change mitigation. However, biochar has a long

  1. Sewage sludge biochar influence upon rice (Oryza sativa L) yield, metal bioaccumulation and greenhouse gas emissions from acidic paddy soil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Khan, Sardar; Chao, Cai; Waqas, Muhammad; Arp, Hans Peter H; Zhu, Yong-Guan

    2013-08-06

    Biochar addition to soil has been proposed to improve plant growth by increasing soil fertility, minimizing bioaccumulation of toxic metal(liod)s and mitigating climate change. Sewage sludge (SS) is an attractive, though potentially problematic, feedstock of biochar. It is attractive because of its large abundance; however, it contains elevated concentrations of metal(loid)s and other contaminants. The pyrolysis of SS to biochar (SSBC) may be a way to reduce the availability of these contaminants to the soil and plants. Using rice plant pot experiments, we investigated the influence of SSBC upon biomass yield, bioaccumulation of nutrients, and metal(loid)s, and green housegas (GHG) emissions. SSBC amendments increased soil pH, total nitrogen, soil organic carbon and available nutrients and decreased bioavailable As, Cr, Co, Ni, and Pb (but not Cd, Cu, and Zn). Regarding rice plant properties, SSBC amendments significantly (P ≤ 0.01) increased shoot biomass (71.3-92.2%), grain yield (148.8-175.1%), and the bioaccumulation of phosphorus and sodium, though decreased the bioaccumulation of nitrogen (except in grain) and potassium. Amendments of SSBC significantly (P ≤ 0.05) reduced the bioaccumulation of As, Cr, Co, Cu, Ni, and Pb, but increased that of Cd and Zn, though not above limits set by Chinese regulations. Finally regarding GHG emissions, SSBC significantly (P rice paddy soil but the actual associated benefits will depend on site-specific conditions and source of SS; long-term effects remain a further unknown.

  2. Optimization of typical diffuse herbicide pollution control by soil amendment configurations under four levels of rainfall intensities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ouyang, Wei; Huang, Weijia; Wei, Peng; Hao, Fanghua; Yu, Yongyong

    2016-06-15

    Herbicides are a main source of agricultural diffuse pollution due to their wide application in tillage practices. The aim of this study is to optimize the control efficiency of the herbicide atrazine with the aid of modified soil amendments. The soil amendments were composed of a combination of biochar and gravel. The biochar was created from corn straw with a catalytic pyrolysis of ammonium dihydrogen phosphate. The leaching experiments under four rainfall conditions were measured for the following designs: raw soil, soil amended with gravel, biochar individually and together with gravel. The control efficiency of each design was also identified. With the designed equipment, the atrazine content in the contaminant load layer, gravel substrate layer, biochar amendment layer and soil layer was measured under four types of rainfall intensities (1.25 mm/h, 2.50 mm/h, 5.00 mm/h and 10.00 mm/h). Furthermore, the vertical distribution of atrazine in the soil sections was also monitored. The results showed that the herbicide leaching load increased under the highest rainfall intensity in all designs. The soil with the combination of gravel and biochar provided the highest control efficiency of 87.85% on atrazine when the additional proportion of biochar was 3.0%. The performance assessment under the four kinds of rainfall intensity conditions provided the guideline for the soil amendment configuration. The combination of gravel and biochar is recommended as an efficient method for controlling diffuse herbicide pollution. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. Biochars induced modification of dissolved organic matter (DOM) in soil and its impact on mobility and bioaccumulation of arsenic and cadmium.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Gang; Khan, Sardar; Ibrahim, Muhammad; Sun, Tian-Ran; Tang, Jian-Feng; Cotner, James B; Xu, Yao-Yang

    2018-04-15

    Biochar application has attracted great attention due to its diverse uses and benefits in the fields of environmental management and agriculture. Biochar modifies the composition of dissolved organic matter (DOM) in soil, which directly or indirectly controls the mobility of metal contaminants and their bioaccumulation. In this study, ten different hydrothermal biochars pyrolysed from mushroom waste (MSBC), soybean straw (SBBC), sewage sludge (SSBC), peanut shells (PNBC) and rice straw (RSBC) at two pyrolysis temperatures (200 °C and 350 °C) were used to investigate DOM changes in soil solution and their effects on metal availability and bioaccumulation. Biochar induced modification of soil DOM which was characterized by spectroscopic analysis of water soluble organic carbon, specific absorbance (SUVA 254 ), UV-vis absorption, spectral slope (S R ) and the absorption coefficient. Regarding rice plant growth, the biochar effects on biomass were greatly varied. Biochars (except for RSBC and MSBC) prepared at high temperature significantly (P ≤ 0.05) suppressed the availability of As and Cd in soil and their subsequent bioaccumulation in rice plants. The highest reduction (88%) in bioaccumulated As was observed in rice grown on soil amended with SBBC prepared at 350 °C (the highest temperature for hydrothermal technique). The addition of biochars (except RSBC and MSBC) prepared at high temperature markedly (p < 0.05) decreased AsIII (30-92%), while the effects on dimethylarsenic acid (DMA) and arsenate (AsV) concentrations were not significant except for SSBC350 (prepared at 350 °C) treatment. These results highlight the potential of biochar-DOM interactions as an important mechanism for suppressing the mobility and bioaccumulation of As and Cd in biochar-amended paddy agricultural systems. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  6. 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

  7. 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...

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. 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%.

  16. Interactive priming of biochar and labile organic matter mineralization in a smectite-rich soil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keith, Alexandra; Singh, Balwant; Singh, Bhupinder Pal

    2011-11-15

    Biochar is considered as an attractive tool for long-term carbon (C) storage in soil. However, there is limited knowledge about the effect of labile organic matter (LOM) on biochar-C mineralization in soil or the vice versa. An incubation experiment (20 °C) was conducted for 120 days to quantify the interactive priming effects of biochar-C and LOM-C mineralization in a smectitic clayey soil. Sugar cane residue (source of LOM) at a rate of 0, 1, 2, and 4% (w/w) in combination with two wood biochars (450 and 550 °C) at a rate of 2% (w/w) were applied to the soil. The use of biochars (~ -36‰) and LOM (-12.7‰) or soil (-14.3‰) with isotopically distinct δ(13)C values allowed the quantification of C mineralized from biochar and LOM/soil. A small fraction (0.4-1.1%) of the applied biochar-C was mineralized, and the mineralization of biochar-C increased significantly with increasing application rates of LOM, especially during the early stages of incubation. Concurrently, biochar application reduced the mineralization of LOM-C, and the magnitude of this effect increased with increasing rate of LOM addition. Over time, the interactive priming of biochar-C and LOM-C mineralization was stabilized. Biochar application possesses a considerable merit for long-term soil C-sequestration, and it has a stabilizing effect on LOM in soil.

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. The use of biochar to reduce nitrogen and potassium leaching from soil cultivated with maize

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    W Widowati

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available Nutrient leaching is often a problem especially in tropical areas with soil fertility constraints. This study aims to reveal the effect of biochars on leaching and uptake of nitrogen and potassium from degraded soils cultivated with maize. Each of three types of biochar originated from rice husk, wood, and coconut shell, was applied to the soil placed in PVC tube at four rates (0, 15, 30, and 45 t/ha. Maize was then planted in each pot. All pots received urea (135 kg N/ha, SP36 (36 kg P2O5/ha, and KCl (110 kg K2O/ha. Twelve treatments (three biochars and four application rates were arranged in a factorial randomized block design with three replicates. Results of the study showed interaction effects of biochar materials and biochar rates on nitrate leaching (except on day 1 to 30 and potassium, N uptake, and plant growth. On day 1-30, leaching of nitrate and potassium was reduced by biochar application. The lowest nitrate leaching was observed at rate of 45 t /ha of wood biochar, while application of 45 t coconut shell biochar / ha resulted in the highest K leaching. Beside, wood biochar resulted in a similar nitrate leaching with that of coconut shell biochar, but nitrate leaching increased with increasing rate of rice husk biochar on day 30-60. All biochar materials yielded similar potassium leaching at all rates. Application of 45 t rice husk biochar /ha resulted in the best maize growth.

  3. Sustainable biochar effects for low carbon crop production: A 5-crop season field experiment on a low fertility soil from Central China

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, X.

    2014-12-01

    Biochar's effects on improving soil fertility, enhancing crop productivity and reducing greenhouse gases (GHGs) emission from croplands had been well addressed in numerous short-term experiments with biochar soil amendment (BSA) mostly in a single crop season / cropping year. However, the persistence of these effects, after a single biochar application, has not yet been well known due to limited long-term field studies so far. Large scale BSA in agriculture is often commented on the high cost due to large amount of biochar in a single application. Here, we try to show the persistence of biochar effects on soil fertility and crop productivity improvement as well as GHGs emission reduction, using data from a field experiment with BSA for 5 crop seasons in central North China. A single amendment of biochar was performed at rates of 0 (C0), 20 (C20) and 40 t ha-1 (C40) before sowing of the first crop season. Emissions of CO2, CH4 and N2O were monitored with static closed chamber method throughout the crop growing season for the 1st, 2nd and 5th cropping. Crop yield was measured and topsoil samples were collected at harvest of each crop season. BSA altered most of the soil physic-chemical properties with a significant increase over control in soil organic carbon (SOC) and available potassium (K) content. The increase in SOC and available K was consistent over the 5 crop seasons after BSA. Despite a significant yield increase in the first maize season, enhancement of crop yield was not consistent over crop seasons without corresponding to the changes in soil nutrient availability. BSA did not change seasonal total CO2 efflux but greatly reduced N2O emissions throughout the five seasons. This supported a stable nature of biochar carbon in soil, which played a consistent role in reducing N2O emission, which showed inter-annual variation with changes in temperature and soil moisture conditions. The biochar effect was much more consistent under C40 than under C20 and with

  4. 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%.

  5. Alternation of Sediment Characteristics during Sediment Microbial Fuel Cells Amended Biochar

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Xunan; Chen, Shanshan

    2018-01-01

    Sediment microbial fuel cells (SMFCs) are considered as a new technology in sediment remediation, while biochars can promote interspecies electron transfer in bioelectrochemical systems. We conducted the SMFCs amended with biochars to investigate their effects on of sediment characteristics. Results showed that the anode of SMFCs could oxidize the chemical oxidizable matter in sediments (by 4%-16%) correlating with the maximum power density (r=0.982, palternations under SMFC operation, which gave information on the element pool related to pollutants and the risk of the application of SMFCs.

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. Interactive effects of biochar ageing in soils related to feedstock, pyrolysis temperature, and historic charcoal production.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heitkötter, Julian; Marschner, Bernd

    2015-04-01

    Biochar is suggested for soil amelioration and carbon sequestration, based on its assumed role as the key factor for the long-term fertility of Terra preta soils. Several studies have shown that certain biochar properties can undergo changes through ageing processes, especially regarding charge characteristics. However, only a few studies determined the changes of different biochars under the same incubation conditions and in different soils. The objective of this study was to characterize the changes of pine chip (PC)- and corn digestate (CD)-derived biochars pyrolyzed at 400 or 600 °C during 100 days of laboratory incubation in a historical kiln soil and an adjacent control soil. Separation between soil and biochar was ensured by using mesh bags. Especially, changes in charge characteristics depended on initial biochar properties affected by feedstock and pyrolysis temperature and on soil properties affected by historic charcoal production. While the cation exchange capacity (CEC) markedly increased for both CD biochars during incubation, PC biochars showed no or only slight increases in CEC. Corresponding to the changes in CEC, ageing of biochars also increased the amount of acid functional groups with increases being in average about 2-fold higher in CD biochars than in PC biochars. Further and in contrast to other studies, the surface areas of biochars increased during ageing, likely due to ash leaching and degradation of tar residues. Changes in CEC and surface acidity of CD biochars were more pronounced after incubation in the control soil, while surface area increase was higher in the kiln soil. Since the two acidic forest soils used in this this study did not greatly differ in physical or chemical properties, the main process for inducing these differences in the buried biochar most likely is related to the differences in dissolved organic carbon (DOC). Although the kiln soil contained about 50% more soil organic carbon due to the presence of charcoal

  9. 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.

  10. 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...

  11. 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...

  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

    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{sub 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. Combining phytoextraction and biochar addition improves soil biochemical properties in a soil contaminated with Cd.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lu, Huanping; Li, Zhian; Fu, Shenglei; Méndez, Ana; Gascó, Gabriel; Paz-Ferreiro, Jorge

    2015-01-01

    The main goal of phytoremediation is to improve ecosystem functioning. Soil biochemical properties are considered as effective indicators of soil quality and are sensitive to various environmental stresses, including heavy metal contamination. The biochemical response in a soil contaminated with cadmium was tested after several treatments aimed to reduce heavy metal availability including liming, biochar addition and phytoextraction using Amaranthus tricolor L. Two biochars were added to the soil: eucalyptus pyrolysed at 600 °C (EB) and poultry litter at 400 °C (PLB). Two liming treatments were chosen with the aim of bringing soil pH to the same values as in the treatments EB and PLB. The properties studied included soil microbial biomass C, soil respiration and the activities of invertase, β-glucosidase, β-glucosaminidase, urease and phosphomonoesterase. Both phytoremediation and biochar addition improved soil biochemical properties, although results were enzyme specific. For biochar addition these changes were partly, but not exclusively, mediated by alterations in soil pH. A careful choice of biochar must be undertaken to optimize the remediation process from the point of view of metal phytoextraction and soil biological activity. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  16. Impact of drying-rewetting events on the response of soil microbial functions to dairyfibre and Miscanthus biochars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bonnett, Sam; Vink, Stefanie; Baker, Kate; Saghir, Muhammad; Hornung, Andreas

    2014-05-01

    dissolution of alkaline minerals, high ash content (Lehmann et al. 2011) and solubility of DOC. Biochar treatments buffered changes in pH caused by drying and flooding but resulted in an increase in DOC. Biochar in general stabilised glucosidase activity whilst Miscanthus biochar stimulated chitinase and phosphatase activity that may have been due to adsorption of either enzyme or substrate as observed by Bailey et al. (2011). Surprisingly, alkaline phosphatase activity was not stimulated by the rise in pH in the diaryfibre treatment and was lower than the control along with the other hydrolase enzymes suggesting that deprotonation of soil phenols at higher pH inhibited activity via the enzyme-latch mechanism that in peatlands explains low rates of decomposition (Freeman et al., 2001; Sinsabaugh et al. 2010). This was supported by observation of higher phenol oxidase activity within the dairyfibre treatment that increased in response to greater availability of substrate and/or increases in pH. All biochars inhibited the production of N2O that was stimulated by the supply of labile carbon from SIR, suggesting that biochar decreased C-substrate availability through adsorption at its surface (Clough and Condron, 2010). Overall, this study has shown that specific feedstocks may be used to produce biochars to control microbial functions in soil such as inhibiting hydrolase enzymes for carbon sequestration as occurs naturally in peatlands or suppress the production of the potent greenhouse gas N2O. References Bailey, V., Fansler, S.J., Smith, J.L. Bolton, H. (2011) Reconciling apparent variability in effects of biochar amendment on soil enzyme activities by assay optimization. Soil Biology and Biochemistry 43, 296-301. Clough, T. and Condron, L. (2010) Biochar and the nitrogen cycle: introduction. Journal of Environmental Quality, 39,1218-1223. Freeman, C., Ostle, N. and Kang, H. (2001) An enzymic 'latch' on a global carbon store. Nature 409, 149. Lehmann, J and Joseph, S (2009