WorldWideScience

Sample records for biochar soil application

  1. 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 rangin

  2. 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...

  3. [Effect of Biochar Application on Soil Aggregates Distribution and Moisture Retention in Orchard Soil].

    Science.gov (United States)

    An, Yan; Ji, Qiang; Zhao, Shi-xiang; Wang, Xu-dong

    2016-01-15

    Applying biochar to soil has been considered to be one of the important practices in improving soil properties and increasing carbon sequestration. In order to investigate the effects of biochar application on soil aggregates distribution and its organic matter content and soil moisture constant in different size aggregates, various particle-size fractions of soil aggregates were obtained with the dry-screening method. The results showed that, compared to the treatment without biochar (CK), the application of biochar reduced the mass content of 5-8 mm and biochar application. The mean diameter of soil aggregates was reduced by biochar application at 0-10 cm soil horizon. However, the effect of biochar application on the mean diameter of soil aggregates at 10-20 cm soil horizon was not significant. Compared to CK, biochar application significantly increased soil organic carbon content in aggregates, especially in 1-2 mm aggregates which was increased by > 70% compared to CK. Both the water holding capacity and soil porosity were significantly increased by biochar application. Furthermore, the neutral biochar was more effective than alkaline biochar in increasing soil moisture. PMID:27078970

  4. Impact of Soil Biochar Applications on Nutrient Leaching

    Science.gov (United States)

    Soil applications of biochar, a co-product of lignocellulosic bioenergy production using the pyrolysis platform, has been proposed as a potential means of sequestering carbon, improving soil quality and of returning plant nutrients removed from soils by the harvesting of biomass crops. We used soil ...

  5. Friability and aggregate stability of loamy soil after 5 years of biochar application

    Science.gov (United States)

    Utomo, Wani; Ganika, Shaory; Wisnubroto, Erwin; Islami, Titiek

    2016-04-01

    The effect of biochar application on soil friability and aggregate stability of loamy soil was studied at Brawijaya University field experimental station, Jatikerto, Malang, Indonesia. The soil has been planted with cassava for 4 years continuously and 1 year planted with maiz. The biochar applied was made from cassava stem and farm yard manure. It was found that biochar application, either made from cassava stem or farm yard manure improved soil qualities. Soil applied with biochar was more friable compared to that of the no biochar soil, although biochar application did not influence Atterberg limits. It seems that the higher friability of biochar applied soil was associated with the higher soil organic matter. It was found that until 5 years application, the biochar treated soil had a higher soil organic matter content. Soil applied with biochar possessed a better soil aggregate stability, both dry and wet stability. This was shown by the higher aggregate mean weight diameter (MWD) of biochar applied soil. The cassava biochar applied soil had MWD of 2.22 mm (dry stability) and 1.56 mm (wet stability), whereas the control soil had MWD of 1.45 mm (dry stability) and 1.25 (wet stability). There was a significant positive correlation between soil friability and dry aggregate stability. The biochar applied soils also had higher soil permeability. Key words: soil qualities, soil physical properties, Atterberg limits, hydraulic conductivity

  6. Thermal properties of soils: effect of biochar application

    Science.gov (United States)

    Usowicz, Boguslaw; Lukowski, Mateusz; Lipiec, Jerzy

    2014-05-01

    Thermal properties (thermal conductivity, heat capacity and thermal diffusivity) have a significant effect on the soil surface energy partitioning and resulting in the temperature distribution. Thermal properties of soil depend on water content, bulk density and organic matter content. An important source of organic matter is biochar. Biochar as a material is defined as: "charcoal for application as a soil conditioner". Biochar is generally associated with co-produced end products of pyrolysis. Many different materials are used as biomass feedstock for biochar, including wood, crop residues and manures. Additional predictions were done for terra preta soil (also known as "Amazonian dark earth"), high in charcoal content, due to adding a mixture of charcoal, bone, and manure for thousands of years i.e. approximately 10-1,000 times longer than residence times of most soil organic matter. The effect of biochar obtained from the wood biomass and other organic amendments (peat, compost) on soil thermal properties is presented in this paper. The results were compared with wetland soils of different organic matter content. The measurements of the thermal properties at various water contents were performed after incubation, under laboratory conditions using KD2Pro, Decagon Devices. The measured data were compared with predictions made using Usowicz statistical-physical model (Usowicz et al., 2006) for biochar, mineral soil and soil with addition of biochar at various water contents and bulk densities. The model operates statistically by probability of occurrence of contacts between particular fractional compounds. It combines physical properties, specific to particular compounds, into one apparent conductance specific to the mixture. The results revealed that addition of the biochar and other organic amendments into the soil caused considerable reduction of the thermal conductivity and diffusivity. The mineral soil showed the highest thermal conductivity and diffusivity

  7. Carbon sequestration in temperate grassland soil : risks and opportunities of biochar and hydrochar application

    OpenAIRE

    Schimmelpfennig, Sonja

    2015-01-01

    The discovery of Terra Preta soils and the identification of charcoal as an essential component therein initiated an ever-growing research field. Since then, many experiments on the production and application of carbonized plant material (biochar or hydrochar) to soil have been carried out. However, the integration of biochar/hydrochar into soil management systems requires comprehensive analyses to identify and evaluate possible risks and opportunities involved with biochar/hydrochar applicat...

  8. 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

  9. Biochar application to sandy and loamy soils for agricultural nutrient management

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gronwald, Marco; Don, Axel; Tiemeyer, Baerbel; Helfrich, Mirjam

    2014-05-01

    Soil fertility of agricultural soils is challenged by nutrients losses and increasing soil acidification. Furthermore, leached nutrients negatively affect the quality of ground and surface water 1]. In addition to the possible soil carbon sequestration by applying biochars, many positive soil-improving properties are attributed to biochars. The application of biochars to agricultural - especially sandy - soils could reduce leaching of nutrients and may improve their availability 1,2]. Thus, biochar application to agricultural fields could be an ecologically and economically viable option to improve soils' fertility. However, biochar properties strongly depend on their feedstock and production process 3]. Various types of biochars (pyrolysis char, hydrochar (produced at 200 and 250° C); feedstocks: digestate, Miscanthus and wood chips) were used to determine sorption kinetics and sorption isotherms for the major nutrients Ca, Mg, K, NH4 and NO3 as a function of biochar types in different soil substrates (sand, loess). In addition, the biochars were washed to create free binding sites on the chars' surface that simulate aged char. We compared the simulated aged char with biochars that was aged in-situ at a field experiment for seven months. The first results showed that pyrochars have the largest retention potential for NO3 and hydrochars have retention potential for NH4. Washing of biochars turned them from a PO4 and NH4 source into an adsorber, especially for hydrochars. Highest leaching was observed for biochars from digestates likely due to the high nutrient content of digestates. But the different ions may lead to pH-dependent interactions between each other and the chars' surface that override the adsoption effects. In this context, cation-bridge and ligand bindings 4,5] need to be further investigated. Most of the fresh, unwashed biochars were a source of nutrients with hardly any detectable nutrient retention. Pyrochars showed the highest potential for anion

  10. Hardwood biochar and manure co-application to a calcareous soil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ippolito, J A; Stromberger, M E; Lentz, R D; Dungan, R S

    2016-01-01

    Biochar may affect the mineralization rate of labile organic C sources such as manures via microbial community shifts, and subsequently affect nutrient release. In order to ascertain the positive or negative priming effect of biochar on manure, dairy manure (2% by wt.) and a hardwood-based, fast pyrolysis biochar were applied (0%, 1%, 2%, and 10% by wt.) to a calcareous soil. Destructive sampling occurred at 1, 2, 3, 4, 6 and 12 months to monitor for changes in soil chemistry, water content, microbial respiration, bacterial populations, and microbial community structure. Overall results showed that increasing biochar application rate improved the soil water content, which may be beneficial in limited irrigation or rainfall areas. Biochar application increased soil organic C content and plant-available Fe and Mn, while a synergistic biochar-manure effect increased plant-available Zn. Compared to the other rates, the 10% biochar application lowered concentrations of NO3-N; effects appeared masked at lower biochar rates due to manure application. Over time, soil NO3-N increased likely due to manure N mineralization, yet soil NO3-N in the 10% biochar rate remained lower as compared to other treatments. In the presence of manure, only the 10% biochar application caused subtle microbial community structure shifts by increasing the relative amounts of two fatty acids associated with Gram-negative bacteria and decreasing Gram-positive bacterial fatty acids, each by ∼1%. Our previous findings with biochar alone suggested an overall negative priming effect with increasing biochar application rates, yet when co-applied with manure the negative priming effect was eliminated. PMID:26009473

  11. Biochar application during reforestation alters species present and soil chemistry.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Drake, J A; Carrucan, A; Jackson, W R; Cavagnaro, T R; Patti, A F

    2015-05-01

    Reforestation of landscapes is being used as a method for tackling climate change through carbon sequestration and land restoration, as well as increasing biodiversity and improving the provision of ecosystem services. The success of reforestation activities can be reduced by adverse field conditions, including those that reduce germination and survival of plants. One method for improving success is biochar addition to soil, which is not only known to improve soil carbon sequestration, but is also known to improve growth, health, germination and survival of plants. In this study, biochar was applied to soil at rates of 0, 1, 3 and 6 t ha(-1) along with a direct-seed forest species mix at three sites in western Victoria, Australia. Changes in soil chemistry, including total carbon, and germination and survival of species were measured over an 18 month period. Biochar was found to significantly increase total carbon by up to 15.6% on soils low in carbon, as well as alter electrical conductivity, Colwell phosphorous and nitrate- and ammonium-nitrogen. Biochar also increased the number of species present, and stem counts of Eucalyptus species whilst decreasing stem counts of Acacia species. Biochar has the potential to positively benefit reforestation activities, but site specific and plant-soil-biochar responses require targeted research. PMID:25679816

  12. Crop Yield and Soil Properties in the First 3 Years After Biochar Application to a Calcareous Soil

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    LIANG Feng; LI Gui-tong; LIN Qi-mei; ZHAO Xiao-rong

    2014-01-01

    It remains unclear whether biochar applications to calcareous soils can improve soil fertility and crop yield. A long-term ifeld experiment was established in 2009 so as to determine the effect of biochar on crop yield and soil properties in a calcareous soil. Five treatments were: 1) straw incorporation; 2) straw incorporation with inorganic fertilizer; 3), 4) and 5) straw incorporation with inorganic fertilizer, and biochar at 30, 60, and 90 t ha-1, respectively. The annual yield of either winter wheat or summer maize was not increased signiifcantly following biochar application, whereas the cumulative yield over the ifrst 4 growing seasons was signiifcantly increased. Soil pH, measured in situ, was increased by a maximum of 0.35 units after 2 yr following biochar application. After 3 yr, soil bulk density signiifcantly decreased while soil water holding capacity increased with adding biochar of 90 t ha-1. Alkaline hydrolysable N decreased but exchangeable K increased due to biochar addition. Olsen-P did not change compared to the treatment without biochar. The results suggested that biochar could be used in calcareous soils without yield loss or signiifcant impacts on nutrient availability.

  13. Application of biochar to soil and N2O emissions: potential effects of blending fast‐pyrolysis biochar with anaerobically digested slurry

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bruun, Esben; Müller-Stöver, Dorette Sophie; Ambus, Per;

    2011-01-01

    Soil applications of recalcitrant biochar offer the possibility of mitigating climate change effects through long‐term carbon sequestration and potentially also by reducing emissions of the potent greenhouse gas nitrous oxide (N2O). This laboratory study examined the effect of combining a fast‐pyrolysis...... biochar at small (1% by mass) and large (3%) concentrations with anaerobically digested slurry on soil N2O and carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions over a period of 55 days. The results showed that fast‐pyrolysis biochar applied on its own increased N2O emissions from soil. However, when biochar was applied...

  14. 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

    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 and at the same time mitigate climate change by sequestering carbon in the soil. In general, the inherent physicochemical characteristics of biochars make these materials attractive agronomic soil conditioners. However, different pyrolysis technologies exist, i.e. slow pyrolysis, fast pyrolysis, and full gasification systems, and each of these influence the biochar quality differently. As of yet, there is only limited knowledge on the effect of applying fast pyrolysis biochar (FP-biochar) to soil. This PhD project provides new insights into the short-term impacts of adding FP-biochar to soil on the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and on soil carbon and nitrogen dynamics. The FP-biochars investigated in the thesis were generated at different reactor temperatures by fast pyrolysis of wheat straw employing a Pyrolysis Centrifuge Reactor (PCR). The carbohydrate content ranged from more than 35 % in FP-biochars made at a low reactor temperature (475 deg. C) down to 3 % in FP-biochars made at high temperatures (575 deg. C). The relative amount of carbohydrates in the FP-biochar was found to be correlated to the short-term degradation rates of the FP-biochars when applied to soil. Fast and slow pyrolysis of wheat straw resulted in two different biochar types with each their distinct physical structures and porosities, carbohydrate contents, particle sizes, pH values, BET surface areas, and elemental compositions. These different physicochemical properties obviously have different impacts on soil processes, which underscores that results obtained from soil studies using slow pyrolysis biochars (SP-biochar) are not necessarily applicable for FP-biochars. For example, the incorporation

  15. Biochar: A review of its impact on pesticide behavior in soil environments and its potential applications.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-06-01

    Biochar is produced from the pyrolysis of carbon-rich plant- and animal-residues under low oxygen and high temperature conditions and has been increasingly used for its positive role in soil compartmentalization through activities such as carbon sequestration and improving soil quality. Biochar is also considered a unique adsorbent due to its high specific surface area and highly carbonaceous nature. Therefore, soil amendments with small amounts of biochar could result in higher adsorption and, consequently, decrease the bioavailability of contaminants to microbial communities, plants, earthworms, and other organisms in the soil. However, the mechanisms affecting the environmental fate and behavior of organic contaminants, especially pesticides in biochar-amended soil, are not well understood. The purpose of this work is to review the role of biochar in primary processes, such as adsorption-desorption and leaching of pesticides. Biochar has demonstrable effects on the fate and effects of pesticides and has been shown to affect the degradation and bioavailability of pesticides for living organisms. Moreover, some key aspects of agricultural and environmental applications of biochar are highlighted. PMID:27266324

  16. 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.

  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 (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. PMID:25025330

  18. Biochar Application in Malaysian Sandy and Acid Sulfate Soils: Soil Amelioration Effects and Improved Crop Production over Two Cropping Seasons

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Theeba Manickam

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available The use of biochar as an agricultural soil improvement was tested in acid sulfate and sandy soils from Malaysia, cropped with rice and corn. Malaysia has an abundance of waste rice husks that could be used to produce biochar. Rice husk biochar was produced in a gasifier at a local mill in Kelantan as well as in the laboratory using a controlled, specially designed, top lift up draft system (Belonio unit. Rice husk biochar was applied once to both soils at two doses (2% and 5%, in a pot set up that was carried out for two cropping seasons. Positive and significant crop yield effects were observed for both soils, biochars and crops. The yield effects varied with biochar type and dosage, with soil type and over the cropping seasons. The yield increases observed for the sandy soil were tentatively attributed to significant increases in plant-available water contents (from 4%–5% to 7%–8%. The yield effects in the acid sulfate soil were likely a consequence of a combination of (i alleviation of plant root stress by aluminum (Ca/Al molar ratios significantly increased, from around 1 to 3–5 and (ii increases in CEC. The agricultural benefits of rice husk biochar application to Malaysian soils holds promise for its future use.

  19. 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.

  20. 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

    combined treatment. Peroxidase, phenol oxidase, and catalase activities were not affected by these treatments. Acid phosphatase activity decreased, whereas alkaline phosphatase activity increased due to biochar and fly ash treatment. Microbial biomass carbon increased significantly (P < 0.05) with biochar (+27.9%), fly ash (19.8%), and char + ash (+27.9%) applications. Maize grain yield was increased by biochar (+11.4%) and char + ash (+28.1%) treatments. The total PAH concentration decreased from 4191 μg/kg in control to 1930 μg/kg in fly ash; 1509 μg/kg in biochar and 1011 μg/kg in ash + char treatments. Among the different PAHs the concentration was higher for BkF, which decreased from 713 μg/kg in control to 139 - 315 μg/kg under different treatments. Overall, combined application of fly ash and biochar was found to be effective in amelioration of soil quality parameters and improving crop yield.

  1. Reductions in soil surface albedo as a function of biochar application rate: implications for global radiative forcing

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Biochar can be defined as pyrolysed (charred) biomass produced for application to soils with the aim of mitigating global climate change while improving soil functions. Sustainable biochar application to soils has been estimated to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions by 71–130 Pg CO2-Ce over 100 years, indicating an important potential to mitigate climate change. However, these estimates ignored changes in soil surface reflection by the application of dark-coloured biochar. Through a laboratory experiment we show a strong tendency for soil surface albedo to decrease as a power decay function with increasing biochar application rate, depending on soil moisture content, biochar application method and land use. Surface application of biochar resulted in strong reductions in soil surface albedo even at relatively low application rates. As a first assessment of the implications for climate change mitigation of these biochar–albedo relationships, we applied a first order global energy balance model to compare negative radiative forcings (from avoided CO2 emissions) with positive radiative forcings (from reduced soil surface albedos). For a global-scale biochar application equivalent to 120 t ha−1, we obtained reductions in negative radiative forcings of 5 and 11% for croplands and 11 and 23% for grasslands, when incorporating biochar into the topsoil or applying it to the soil surface, respectively. For a lower global biochar application rate (equivalent to 10 t ha−1), these reductions amounted to 13 and 44% for croplands and 28 and 94% for grasslands. Thus, our findings revealed the importance of including changes in soil surface albedo in studies assessing the net climate change mitigation potential of biochar, and we discuss the urgent need for field studies and more detailed spatiotemporal modelling. (letter)

  2. Carbon dioxide emissions from biochar in soil

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bruun, S; Clauson-Kaas, S; Bobul'ská, L;

    2014-01-01

    -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...... evolution. Finally, we found that both production temperature and clay content affect biochar mineralization. As protective mechanisms hypothesized to prevent degradation of organic matter in soil usually implicate clay, we conclude that biochar is likely to be protected from mineralization during the early......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...

  3. Effect of biochar and compost application on quantity, quality and stability of organic carbon in sandy soil

    Science.gov (United States)

    Holes, Annamaria; Szegi, Tamas; Fuchs, Marta; Micheli, Erika; Aleksza, Laszlo

    2014-05-01

    Nowadays the amount of waste is increasing as a consequence of civilization development. Significant proportion of municipal waste is biodegradable. For the treatment of these wastes composting and pyrolysis can be one solution. Many studies were published on the effects of composts in soils, but on combined application of biochars and composts only a limited number of articles are available. Total carbon content, water soluble organic carbon content and organic matter quality have decisive role in the utilization of soils. In our study the effects of combined application of biochars and compost on organic carbon quality, quantity and stability were measured in sandy soil. The sandy soil was mixed with different proportions (1w/w%, 2,5w/w%, 5w/w%, 10w/w%) of biochars. Two types of biochars produced by pyrolization were used: plant origin biochar (POB) and animal origin biochar (AOB). 20w/w% urban green compost was mixed into each sample in addition to biochars. After the 30 days of wet incubation soil organic carbon (SOC) content was determined by Walkley-Black method, while for the SOC quality measurements E4/E6 method was used. The dissolved organic carbon (DOC) was extracted from the soil samples by cold water, and determined by titrimetric method. The future purpose of our study is to find the optimal compost-biochar treatment in order to improve soil fertility and maximize crop yield.

  4. Designer, acidic biochar influences calcareous soil characteristics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ippolito, J A; Ducey, T F; Cantrell, K B; Novak, J M; Lentz, R D

    2016-01-01

    In a proof-of-concept study, an acidic (pH 5.8) biochar was created using a low pyrolysis temperature (350 °C) and steam activation (800 °C) to potentially improve the soil physicochemical status of an eroded calcareous soil. Biochar was added at 0%, 1%, 2%, and 10% (by wt.) and soils were destructively sampled at 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6 month intervals. Soil was analyzed for gravimetric water content, pH, NO3-N, plant-available Fe, Zn, Mn, Cu, and P, organic C, CO2 respiration, and microbial enumeration via extractable DNA and 16S rRNA gene copies. Gravimetric soil water content increased with biochar application regardless of rate, as compared to the control. Soil pH decreased between 0.2 and 0.4 units, while plant-available Zn, Mn, and P increased with increasing biochar application rate. Micronutrient availability decreased over time likely due to insoluble mineral species precipitation. Increasing biochar application raised the soil organic C content and remained elevated over time. Increasing biochar application rate also increased respired CO2, yet the CO2 released decreased over time. Soil NO3-N concentrations significantly decreased with increasing biochar application rate likely due to microbial immobilization or denitrification. Depending on application rate, biochar produced a 1.4 to 2.1-fold increase in soil DNA extracted and 1.4- to 2.4-fold increase in 16S rRNA gene abundance over control soils, suggesting microbial stimulation and a subsequent burst of activity upon biochar addition. Our results showed that there is promise in designing a biochar to improve the quality and water relations of eroded calcareous soils. PMID:26077798

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-05-01

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

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

    OpenAIRE

    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 C...

  7. Metal contaminated biochar and wood ash negatively affect plant growth and soil quality after land application.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jones, D L; Quilliam, R S

    2014-07-15

    Pyrolysis or combustion of waste wood can provide a renewable source of energy and produce byproducts which can be recycled back to land. To be sustainable requires that these byproducts pose minimal threat to the environment or human health. Frequently, reclaimed waste wood is contaminated by preservative-treated timber containing high levels of heavy metals. We investigated the effect of feedstock contamination from copper-preservative treated wood on the behaviour of pyrolysis-derived biochar and combustion-derived ash in plant-soil systems. Biochar and wood ash were applied to soil at typical agronomic rates. The presence of preservative treated timber in the feedstock increased available soil Cu; however, critical Cu guidance limits were only exceeded at high rates of feedstock contamination. Negative effects on plant growth and soil quality were only seen at high levels of biochar contamination (>50% derived from preservative-treated wood). Negative effects of wood ash contamination were apparent at lower levels of contamination (>10% derived from preservative treated wood). Complete removal of preservative treated timber from wood recycling facilities is notoriously difficult and low levels of contamination are commonplace. We conclude that low levels of contamination from Cu-treated wood should pose minimal environmental risk to biochar and ash destined for land application. PMID:24915641

  8. 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.

  9. Sorption of priority pollutants to biochars and activated carbons for application to soil and sediment remediation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beckingham, B.; Gomez-Eyles, J. L.; Kwon, S.; Riedel, G.; Gilmour, C.; Ghosh, U.

    2012-04-01

    The effectiveness of different biochars in comparison to 2 commercially available activated carbons (ACs) to sorb polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and mercury (Hg) was assessed, with the aim of identifying promising materials for application to soil and sediment remediation and elucidating material properties that may enhance pollutant binding potential. Biochars studied were produced from pine dust, peanut hull, barley straw, and acai pit in addition to steam-activated biochars made from poultry litter (chicken and turkey). Aqueous concentrations of PCBs were measured using a polyoxymethylene passive sampling technique allowing a very low environmentally-relevant concentration range to be examined. Mercury pH-edge isotherms were conducted at relatively high concentrations in a wide pH range (pH 3-11). Sorption of Hg at low concentrations was also performed with ACs and two other biochars made from a marsh reed and a hard wood. Organic contaminant isotherms were analyzed by the Freundlich model, and Freundlich sorption coefficients (KFr) were normalized to a single concentration to allow comparison among materials (i.e. Kd). Values of Kd were related to the sorbent surface area, with sorption being greater for ACs than activated biochars, followed by unactivated biochars. ACs also had higher carbon content (80-90%) than biochars (22 - 77%). This sorption trend would thus be expected for adsorption of hydrophobic compounds to black carbon surfaces. In contrast, at high concentration all biochars removed more Hg from solution than ACs. Steam-activated poultry litter biochars showed the best performance, with consistent removal of >99.7% Hg over the entire pH range. The relatively high sulfur and phosphate content of these materials likely contribute to this enhanced Hg sorption. Also, owing to their lower pyrolysis temperatures relative to ACs, biochars are reported to have a greater surface group functionality which can enhance cation sorption. The importance of

  10. Effect of Biochar on Soil Physical Characteristics

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    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...... diffusivity) increased significantly after biochar incorporation .This suggests that biochar application enlarged the proportion of larger soil pores. In agreement with this, also K-sat values were higher in the B plots. The water holding capacity of the soil also increased with biochar incorporation, likely...

  11. Effect of biochar application and soil temperature on characteristics of organic matter associated with aggregate-size and density fractions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kaiser, Michael; Grunwald, Dennis; Marhan, Sven; Poll, Christian; Bamminger, Chris; Ludwig, Bernard

    2016-04-01

    Potential increases in soil temperature due to climate change might result in intensified soil organic matter (SOM) decomposition and thus higher CO2 emissions. Management options to increase and stabilize SOM include the application of biochar. However, the effects of biochar amendments under elevated soil temperatures on SOM dynamics are largely unknown. The objective of this study was to analyze the effect of biochar application and elevated soil temperature on the amount and composition of OM associated with fractions of different turnover kinetics. Samples were taken from four treatments of the Hohenheim Climate Change Experiment with the factors temperature (ambient or elevated by 2.5 °C in 4 cm depth, six years before sampling) and biochar (control and 30 t / ha Miscanthus pyrolysis biochar, one year before sampling) in two depths (0 - 5 and 5 - 15 cm). Basal respiration and microbial biomass C were analyzed within an incubation experiment. Aggregate size-fractions were separated by wet-sieving and the free light, occluded light (oLF), and heavy fractions were isolated by density fractionation. All fractions were analyzed for organic C and δ13C as well as by infrared spectroscopy. Preliminary data suggest that biochar significantly increased basal respiration and that the microbial biomass C was significantly affected by elevated temperature. No biochar-C was found in the microbial biomass. Biochar and elevated temperature had only minor effects on the organic C associated with aggregate-size classes, although biochar was incorporated into all fractions already after one year of application. Biochar application significantly increased the organic C associated with oLF. In most samples affected by biochar, the proportion of C=O groups was significantly increased. The results suggest that already after one year, biochar-mineral interactions were formed leading to an aggregate occlusion of applied biochar. At least in the short-term, the effect of biochar on

  12. 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.

  13. Biochar application to temperate soils - effects on soil fertility and crop yield

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kloss, S.; Zehetner, F.; Feichtmair, S.; Wimmer, B.; Zechmeister-Boltenstern, S.; Kitzler, B.; Watzinger, A.; Soja, G.

    2012-04-01

    Biochar (BC) application to soil as a potential soil amendment is currently intensively explored. Depending on feedstock and highest treatment temperature (HTT), BC application to soil may contribute to the soil nutrient status by directly adding nutrients to the soil as well as by increasing pH, cation exchange and water holding capacity. These parameters are known to play an important role in the soil nutrient status and nutrient availability. A positive effect on plant growth after BC application to tropical soils has been observed repeatedly; however, the effect of BC application to soils in temperate climate regions is much less explored. We investigated the effect of BC to temperate soils and crop yield using a randomized pot experiment in a greenhouse with three agricultural soils (Planosol, Cambisol, Chernozem) and four BC types (from straw, mixed woodchips and vineyard pruning, all pyrolyzed at 525°C). In order to analyze the effect of pyrolysis temperature, we additionally applied vineyard pruning BC pyrolyzed at 400°C. Selected treatments were planted with mustard (Sinapis alba L.), followed by barley (Hordeum vulgare). Soil sampling was carried out after barley harvest. Investigated soil parameters included pH, electrical conductivity (EC), C/N ratio, cation exchange capacity (CEC), CAL-extractable P and K, EDTA extractable Cu, Fe, Mn, Zn as well as nitrogen supplying potential (NSP). Biomass production of the two crops was determined as well as its elemental composition. Biochar application (3% wood-based BC) caused a considerable pH increase for the acidic Planosol. The effect of BC application on CEC was dependent on the original status of the soil, notably soil pH and texture. 3 % BC application (wood) decreased CEC by 3.5 % and 10 % for the Chernozem and Cambisol, respectively, but increased CEC by 35 % for the acidic, sandy Planosol, which may be due to the strong liming effect found for the Planosol. BC application significantly raised CAL

  14. Softwood biochar as a soil amendment material for boreal agriculture

    OpenAIRE

    Tammeorg, Priit

    2014-01-01

    Biochar is a porous carbonaceous solid material produced by pyrolysis. Application of biochar is considered as an efficient way of carbon (C) sequestration since the C in biochar is relatively resistant to microbial degradation. Furthermore, previous research in (sub-) tropical conditions suggests that it may enhance soil fertility and the yields of agricultural crops. To target the lack of knowledge about the effects of biochar in the boreal zone, softwood biochar was added to two boreal soi...

  15. Enhancement of physical and hydrological properties of a sandy loam soil via application of different biochar particle sizes during incubation period

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Leila Esmaeelnejad

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available In spite of many studies that have been carried out, there is a knowledge-gap as to how different sizes of biochars alter soil properties. Therefore, the main objective of this study was to investigate the effects of different sizes of biochars on soil properties. The biochars were produced at two pyrolysis temperatures (350 and 550°C from two feedstocks (rice husk and apple wood chips. Produced biochars were prepared at two diameters (1-2 mm and <1 mm and mixed with soil at a rate of 2% (w/w. Multiple effects of type, temperature and size of biochars were significant, so as the mixture of soil and finer woodchip biochars produced at 550°C had significant effects on all soil properties. Soil aggregation and stabilization of macro-aggregates, values of mean weight diameter and water stable aggregates were improved due to increased soil organic matter as binding agents and microbial biomass. In addition, plant available water capacity, air capacity, S-index, meso-pores and water retention content were significantly increased compared to control. But, saturated hydraulic conductivity (Ks was reduced due to blockage of pores by biochar particles, reduction of pore throat size and available space for flow and also, high field capacity of biochars. So, application of biochar to soil, especially the finest particles of high-tempered woody biochars, can improve physical and hydrological properties of coarse-textured soils and reduce their water drainage by modification of Ks.

  16. Phenylurea herbicide sorption to biochars and agricultural soil

    Science.gov (United States)

    WANG, DAOYUAN; MUKOME, FUNGAI N. D.; YAN, DENGHUA; WANG, HAO; SCOW, KATE M.; PARIKH, SANJAI J.

    2016-01-01

    Biochar is increasingly been used as a soil amendment to improve water holding capacity, reduce nutrient leaching, increase soil pH and also as a means to reduce contamination through sorption of heavy metals or organic pollutants. The sorption behavior of three phenylurea herbicides (monuron, diuron, linuron) on five biochars (Enhanced Biochar, Hog Waste, Turkey Litter, Walnut Shell and Wood Feedstock) and an agricultural soil (Yolo silt loam) was investigated using a batch equilibration method. Sorption isotherms of herbicides to biochars were well described by the Freundlich model (R2 = 0.93 -- 0.97). The adsorption KF values ranged from 6.94 to 1306.95 mg kg−1 and indicated the sorption of herbicides in the biochars and Yolo soil was in the sequence of linuron > diuron > monuron and walnut shell biochar > wood feedstock biochar > turkey litter biochar > enhanced biochar > hog waste biochar > Yolo soil. These data show that sorption of herbicides to biochar can have both positive (reduced off-site transport) and negative (reduced herbicide efficacy) implications and specific biochar properties, such as H/C ratio and surface area, should be considered together with soil type, agriculture chemical and climate condition in biochar application to agricultural soil to optimize the system for both agricultural and environmental benefits. PMID:26065514

  17. Crop water use efficiency following biochar application on maize cropping systems on sandy soils of tropical semiarid eastern Indonesia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sukartono, S.; Utomo, W.

    2012-04-01

    A field study was conducted to evaluate the effect of biochar on crop water use efficiency under three consecutive maize cropping system on sandy loam of Lombok, eastern Indonesia from December 2010 to October 2011.The treatments tested were: coconut shell- biochar (CSB), cattle dung-biochar (CDB), cattle manure applied at only early first crop (CM1) and cattle manure applied at every planting time (CM2) and no organic amendment as the control. Evaluation after the end of third maize, the application of organic amendments (biochar and cattle manure) slightly altered the pore size distribution resulting changes in water retention and the available water capacity. The available water capacity was relatively comparable between biochar treated soils (0.206 cm3 cm-3) and soil treated with cattle manure applied at every planting time (0.220 cm3 cm-3). Water use efficiency (WUE) of maize under biochars were 9.44 kg/mm (CSB) and 9.24 kg/mm (CDB) while WUE for CM1 and CM2 were 8.54 and 9.97 kg/mm respectively, and control was 8.08 kg/mm. Thus, biochars as well as cattle manure applied at every planting time improved water use efficiency by 16.83% and 23.39 respectively compared to control. Overall, this study confirms that biochar and cattle manure are both valuable amendments for improving water use efficiency and to sustain maize production in the sandy loam soils of semiarid North Lombok, eastern Indonesia. However, unlike bicohar, in order to maintain its posivtive effect, cattle manure should be applied at every planting time, and this make cattle manure application is more costly. Keywords: Biochar, organic management, catle manure, water retention, maize yield

  18. Biochar reduces DOC but not NO3- leaching in relation to vinasse application in a tropical sugarcane soil

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eykelbosh, A. J.; Johnson, M. S.; Santos de Queiroz, E.; Couto, E. G.

    2013-12-01

    Objectives: Sugarcane cultivation for bioethanol production is associated with impacts on water quality, particularly those related to the application of vinasse, a corrosive, nutrient-dense effluent with high eutrophication potential (Martinelli et al. 2008 Ecol. Appl. 18:885-98). Vinasse is typically disposed of via soil application, which also recaptures waste nutrients and water (i.e., fertigation). However, vinasse constituents, including dissolved organic carbon (DOC) and nitrate (NO3-), are highly mobile in the soil and their presence can be observed at the catchment scale after vinasse application (Ometo et al. 2000 Freshwater Biol. 44:327-37). Biochar (charcoal produced from waste biomass via pyrolysis) has been investigated as a soil amendment to improve water and nutrient retention. Here, we evaluate the potential for biochar to mitigate carbon and nutrient leaching in a cultivated Oxisol in relation to vinasse application. Methods: Biochar was produced from dried filtercake (a solid organic waste obtained from cane juice filtration) via slow pyrolysis at 550°C for 3 h under N2. Sieved soil was packed into 12 PVC tubes (10 cm diameter, 50 cm tall) representing four treatments: soil alone as a control (S), soil with vinasse (S+V), soil with vinasse and 5% (w/w) biochar (S+V+B), and soil with 5% biochar (S+B). Columns were flushed with water, treated with 250 mL of water or vinasse (32 mm, equivalent to a moderate field application rate of ~300 m3 ha-1), and flushed again with water. Samples collected via vacuum filtration were analyzed for pH, ORP, conductivity and examined via UV-Vis and fluorescence spectroscopy. Soil samples were collected before and after leaching for residual soil nutrient analysis. Results: Biochar strongly attenuated the leaching of vinasse-derived DOC (p < 0.001). This was also related to a change in DOC composition as determined by fluorescence spectroscopy. Vinasse application greatly increased total NO3- flux (p < 0

  19. Soil biochar amendments: type and dose effects

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ojeda, G.; Domene, X.; Mattana, S.; Sousa, J. P.; Ortiz, O.; Andres, P.; Alcañiz, J. M.

    2012-04-01

    Biochar is an organic material produced via the pyrolysis of C-based biomass, which is increasingly being recognized by scientists and policy makers for its potential role in carbon sequestration, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, waste mitigation, and as a soil amendment. Recent studies indicated that biochar improves soil fertility through its positive influence on physical-chemical properties, since not only improves water retention, aggregation and permeability, but its high charge density can also hold large amounts of nutrients, increasing crop production. However, it was observed that combustion temperature could affects the degree of aromaticity and the size of aromatic sheets, which in turns determine short-term mineralization rates. To reconcile the different decompasibility observations of biochar, it has sugested that physical protection and interactions with soil minerals play a significant part in biochar stability. In this context, it has initiated one pilot studies which aims to assess the effects of biochar application on physical and chemical properties of agricultural soil under Mediterranean conditions, such as changes in aggregate formation, intra-aggregate carbon sequestration and chemistry of soil water. In the present study, different clases of biochar produced from fast, slow and gasification pyrolisis of vegetal (pine, poplar) and dried sludge biomass, were applied at 1% of biochar-C to mesocosmos of an agricultural soil. Preliminary, it must be pointed out that slow and gasification pyrolisis changes the proportion of particles < 2 mm in diameter, from 10% (original materials) to almost 100%. In contrast, slow pyrolisis not modifies significantly biochar granulometry. As a consequence, bulk density of poplar and pine splinters decreases after fast pyrolisis. Regarding to organic carbon contents of biochar, all biochars obtained from plant biomass presented percentagens of total organic carbon (TOC) between 70 - 90%, while biochar

  20. Biochar: an effective amendment for remediating contaminated soil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kong, Lu-Lu; Liu, Wei-Tao; Zhou, Qi-Xing

    2014-01-01

    Biochar is a carbon-rich material derived from incomplete combustion of biomass.Applying biochar as an amendment to treat contaminated soils is receiving increasing attention, and is a promising way to improve soil quality. Heavy metals are persistent and are not environmentally biodegradable. However, they can be stabilized in soil by adding biochar. Moreover, biochar is considered to be a predominant sorptive agent for organic pollutants, having a removal efficiency of about 1 order of magnitude higher than does soil/sediment organic matter or their precursor substances alone.When trying to stabilize organic and inorganic pollutants in soil, several features of biochar' s sorption capacity should be considered, viz., the nature of the pollutants to be remediated, how the biochar is prepared, and the complexity of the soil systemin which biochar may be used. In addition, a significant portion of the biochar or some of its components that are used to remediate soils do change over time through abiotic oxidation and microbial decomposition. This change process is commonly referred to as "aging:" Biochar "aging" in nature is inevitable, and aged biochar exhibits an effect that is totally different than non-aged biochar on stabilizing heavy metals and organic contaminants in soils.Studies that have been performed to date on the use of biochar to remediate contaminated soil are insufficient to allow its use for wide-scale field application.Therefore, considerable new data are necessary to expand both our understanding of how biochar performs in the field, and where it can be best used in the future for soil remediation. For example, how biochar and soil biota (microbial and faunal communities)interact in soils is still poorly understood. Moreover, studies are needed on how to best remove new species of heavy metals, and on how biochar aging affects sorption capacity are also needed. PMID:24162093

  1. Biochar Application in Malaysian Sandy and Acid Sulfate Soils: Soil Amelioration Effects and Improved Crop Production over Two Cropping Seasons

    OpenAIRE

    Theeba Manickam; Gerard Cornelissen; Robert T. Bachmann; Illani Z. Ibrahim; Jan Mulder; Hale, Sarah E.

    2015-01-01

    The use of biochar as an agricultural soil improvement was tested in acid sulfate and sandy soils from Malaysia, cropped with rice and corn. Malaysia has an abundance of waste rice husks that could be used to produce biochar. Rice husk biochar was produced in a gasifier at a local mill in Kelantan as well as in the laboratory using a controlled, specially designed, top lift up draft system (Belonio unit). Rice husk biochar was applied once to both soils at two doses (2% and 5%), in a pot set ...

  2. Effects of Biochar Amendment on Soil Properties and Soil Carbon Sequestration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, R.; Zhu, S.

    2015-12-01

    Biochar addition to soils potentially affects various soil properties and soil carbon sequestration, and these effects are dependent on biochars derived from different feedstock materials and pyrolysis processes. The objective of this study was to investigate the effects of amendment of different biochars on soil physical and biological properties as well as soil carbon sequestration. Biochars were produced with dairy manure and woodchip at temperatures of 300, 500, and 700°C, respectively. Each biochar was mixed at 5% (w/w) with a forest soil and the mixture was incubated for 180 days, during which soil physical and biological properties, and soil respiration rates were measured. Results showed that the biochar addition significantly enhanced the formation of soil macroaggregates at the early incubation time. The biochar application significantly reduced soil bulk density, increased the amount of soil organic matter, and stimulated microbial activity and soil respiration rates at the early incubation stage. Biochar applications improved water retention capacity, with stronger effects by biochars produced at higher pyrolysis temperatures. At the same suction, the soil with woodchip biochars possessed higher water content than with the dairy manure biochars. Biochar addition significantly affected the soil physical and biological properties, which resulted in different soil carbon mineralization rates and the amount of soil carbon storage.

  3. A Review of Biochar and Soil Nitrogen Dynamics

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christoph Müller

    2013-04-01

    Full Text Available Interest in biochar stems from its potential agronomic benefits and carbon sequestration ability. Biochar application alters soil nitrogen (N dynamics. This review establishes emerging trends and gaps in biochar-N research. Biochar adsorption of NO3−, up to 0.6 mg g−1 biochar, occurs at pyrolysis temperatures >600 °C with amounts adsorbed dependent on feedstock and NO3− concentration. Biochar NH4+ adsorption depends on feedstock, but no pyrolysis temperature trend is apparent. Long-term practical effectiveness of inorganic-N adsorption, as a NO3− leaching mitigation option, requires further study. Biochar adsorption of ammonia (NH3 decreases NH3 and NO3− losses during composting and after manure applications, and offers a mechanism for developing slow release fertilisers. Reductions in NH3 loss vary with N source and biochar characteristics. Manure derived biochars have a role as N fertilizers. Increasing pyrolysis temperatures, during biochar manufacture from manures and biosolids, results in biochars with decreasing hydrolysable organic N and increasing aromatic and heterocyclic structures. The short- and long-term implications of biochar on N immobilisation and mineralization are specific to individual soil-biochar combinations and further systematic studies are required to predict agronomic and N cycling responses. Most nitrous oxide (N2O studies measuring nitrous oxide (N2O were short-term in nature and found emission reductions, but long-term studies are lacking, as is mechanistic understanding of reductions. Stable N isotopes have a role in elucidating biochar-N-soil dynamics. There remains a dearth of information regarding effects of biochar and soil biota on N cycling. Biochar has potential within agroecosystems to be an N input, and a mitigation agent for environmentally detrimental N losses. Future research needs to systematically understand biochar-N interactions over the long term.

  4. Fourfold Increase in Pumpkin Yield in Response to Low-Dosage Root Zone Application of Urine-Enhanced Biochar to a Fertile Tropical Soil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hans Peter Schmidt

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available A widely abundant and invasive forest shrub, Eupatorium adenophorum, was pyrolyzed in a cost-efficient flame curtain kiln to produce biochar. The resulting biochar fulfilled all the requirements for premium quality, according to the European Biochar Certificate. The biochar was either applied alone or mixed with fresh cow urine (1:1 volume to test its capacity to serve as slow release fertilizer in a pumpkin field trial in Nepal. Treatments included cow-manure compost combined with (i urine-only; (ii biochar-only or (iii urine-loaded biochar. All materials were applied directly to the root zone at a biochar dry matter content of 750 kg·ha−1 before seeding. The urine-biochar treatment led to a pumpkin yield of 82.6 t·ha−1, an increase of more than 300% compared with the treatment where only urine was applied, and an 85% increase compared with the biochar-only treatment. This study showed for the first time that a low-dosage root zone application of urine-enhanced biochar led to substantial yield increases in a fertile silt loam soil. This was tentatively explained by the formation of organic coating of inner pore biochar surfaces by the urine impregnation, which improved the capacity of the biochar to capture and exchange plant nutrients.

  5. Modification of hydrological properties in a fine textured soil following field application of pelletized biochar: investigation of the mechanism involved.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Costanza Andrenelli, Maria; Mocali, Stefano; Pellegrini, Sergio; Vignozzi, Nadia

    2016-04-01

    The application of pelletized biochar is seldom employed in field, and its effect on soil hydrological behaviour scarcely investigated. Biochar is usually added in powdered or granular form to improve the homogeneity of distribution, meanwhile favouring its interaction with soil matrix. In this study we evaluated the possibility of applying pelletized biochar as soil conditioner to enhance, during a single cropping season, the hydrological behaviour of a silty clay loam soil prone to structure degradation. For that purpose, the water retention curves (WRCs) were determined on undisturbed soil samples (0-15 cm) three months after the addition, at the rate of 14 Mg ha‑1, of two differently pyrolyzed biochars (B1 and B2). Starting from the WRCs the pore size distribution was determined. The gravimetric water content at both field capacity (-10 kPa) and wilting point (-1,500 kPa) was also measured on biochar samples to assess their available water capacity (AWC). In both the treatments, soil bulk density (BD) was significantly lower compared to control, apparently as direct consequence of the addition of low density pellets. Actually, excluding the intrinsic biochar porosity from soil bulk density calculation, BD values of the treated soils remain lower of around 10% over control. Such findings suggest that a modification of soil structural characteristics might have been induced by pellet addition. Data of the WRCs indicate a significant increase of transmission (500-50 micron), storage (50-0.5 micron) and AWC pores (30-0.2 micron) in the amended soils. The two biochars affected the AWC by direct pore contribution, but the extent of such effect was related to the biochar type: the tested pelletized biomass seems to have positive effects provided that the pyrolysis temperature does not exceed 800°C, as in the case of B1. The overall hydrological improvement might be correlated to both the inherent biochar retention capacity and a merely mechanical process of

  6. Effect of steam activated biochar application to industrially contaminated soils on bioavailability of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and ecotoxicity of soils.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-10-01

    The aim of this study was to determine the effect of steam activation of biochars on the immobilization of freely dissolved (Cfree) and bioaccessible fraction (Cbioacc) of PAHs in soils. Additionally, the toxicity to various organisms like Vibrio fischeri, Lepidium sativum and Folsomia candida was measured before and after the amendment of biochars to soils. Three biochars produced from willow, coconut and wheat straw were steam activated and added to three different soils with varying content and origin of PAHs (coke vs. bitumen). The soils with the addition of the biochars (activated and non-activated) were incubated for a period of 60days. Steam activation of the biochars resulted in more pronounced reduction of both Cfree and Cbioacc. The range of the increase in effectiveness was from 10 to 84% for Cfree and from 50 to 99% for Cbioacc. In contrast, the effect of activation on the toxicity of the soils studied varied greatly and was specific to a particular test and soil type. Essentially, biochar activation did not result in a change of phytotoxicity, but it increased or decreased (depending on the parameter, type of biochar, contaminant source, and soil and soil type) the toxic effect to F. candida, and decreased the toxicity of leachates to V. fischeri. PMID:27267727

  7. Hardwood biochar influences calcareous soil physicochemical and microbiological status

    Science.gov (United States)

    The effects of biochar application to calcareous soils are not well documented. In a laboratory incubation study, a hardwood-based, fast pyrolysis biochar was applied (0, 1, 2, and 10% by weight) to a calcareous soil. Changes in soil chemistry, water content, microbial respiration, and microbial com...

  8. 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

  9. Chloropicrin Emission Reduction by Soil Amendment with Biochar.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Qiuxia Wang

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

  10. Biochar application to a contaminated soil reduces the availability and plant uptake of zinc, lead and cadmium.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Puga, A P; Abreu, C A; Melo, L C A; Beesley, L

    2015-08-15

    Heavy metals in soil are naturally occurring but may be enhanced by anthropogenic activities such as mining. Bio-accumulation of heavy metals in the food chain, following their uptake to plants can increase the ecotoxicological risks associated with remediation of contaminated soils using plants. In the current experiment sugar cane straw-derived biochar (BC), 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 (Canavalia ensiformis) and Mucuna aterrima were grown in pots containing soil and biochar mixtures, and control pots without biochar. Pore water was sampled from each pot to confirm the effects of biochar on metal solubility, whilst soils were analyzed by DTPA extraction to confirm available metal concentrations. Leaves were sampled for SEM analysis to detect possible morphological and anatomical changes. The application of BC decreased the available concentrations of Cd, Pb and Zn in 56, 50 and 54% respectively, in the mine contaminated soil leading to a consistent reduction in the concentration of Zn in the pore water (1st collect: 99 to 39 μg L(-1), 2nd: 97 to 57 μg L(-1) and 3rd: 71 to 12 μg L(-1)). The application of BC reduced the uptake of Cd, Pb and Zn by plants with the jack bean translocating high proportions of metals (especially Cd) to shoots. Metals were also taken up by Mucuna aterrima but translocation to shoot was more limited than for jack bean. There were no differences in the internal structures of leaves observed by scanning electron microscopy. This study indicates that biochar application during mine soil remediation reduce plant concentrations of potential toxic metals. PMID:26048395

  11. 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.

  12. The Impact of Biochar Application on Soil Properties and Plant Growth of Pot Grown Lettuce (Lactuca sativa and Cabbage (Brassica chinensis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stephan Haefele

    2013-05-01

    Full Text Available The effect of rice-husk char (potentially biochar application on the growth of transplanted lettuce (Lactuca sativa and Chinese cabbage (Brassica chinensis was assessed in a pot experiment over a three crop (lettuce-cabbage-lettuce cycle in Cambodia. The biochar was the by-product of a rice-husk gasification unit and consisted of 28.7% carbon (C by mass. Biochar application rates to potting medium of 25, 50 and 150 g kg−1 were used with and without locally available fertilizers (a mixture of compost, liquid compost and lake sediment. The rice-husk biochar used was slightly alkaline (pH 7.79, increased the pH of the soil, and contained elevated levels of some trace metals and exchangeable cations (K, Ca and Mg in comparison to the soil. The biochar treatments were found to increase the final biomass, root biomass, plant height and number of leaves in all the cropping cycles in comparison to no biochar treatments. The greatest biomass increase due to biochar additions (903% was found in the soils without fertilization, rather than fertilized soils (483% with the same biochar application as in the “without fertilization” case. Over the cropping cycles the impact was reduced; a 363% increase in biomass was observed in the third lettuce cycle.

  13. Aerosol emissions from biochar-amended agricultural soils

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-12-01

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

  14. Availability of P and K after application of ashes and biochars from thermally-treated solid manures to soil

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Sørensen, Peter; Rubæk, Gitte Holton

    studies have indicated that the plant availability of P and K is decreased by combustion. The dynamics of extractable P and K in soil was compared during 16 weeks after application of equal amounts of P in ashes, solid slurry fractions and superphosphate to a sandy soil. Concentrations of water......, biochar). Resin-extractable P in soil decreased from superphosphate > solid manure=pyrolysis ash 250-500°C >poultry gasification ash>solid manure gasification ash>manure co-combustion ash. Only 20-60% of ash K was water-soluble, but soon after application to soil 58-88% of the applied K was exchangeable...

  15. Biochar addition impacts soil microbial community in tropical soils

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paz-Ferreiro, Jorge; Fu, Shenglei; Méndez, Ana; Gascó, Gabriel

    2014-05-01

    Studies on the effect of biochar on soil microbial activity and community structure in tropical areas are scarce. In this study we report the effect of several types of biochar (sewage sludge biochar, paper mill waste biochar, miscanthus biochar and pinewood biochar) in the soil microbial community of two tropical soils, an Acrisol and an Oxisol. In addition we study the effect of the presence or absence of earthworms in soil microbial community. Soil microbial community was more strongly affected by biochar than by the presence or absence of macrofauna.

  16. 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

    and at the same time mitigate climate change by sequestering carbon in the soil. In general, the inherent physicochemical characteristics of biochars make these materials attractive agronomic soil conditioners. However, different pyrolysis technologies exist, i.e. slow pyrolysis, fast pyrolysis, and full......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...... gasification systems, and each of these influence the biochar quality differently. As of yet, there is only limited knowledge on the effect of applying fast pyrolysis biochar (FP-biochar) to soil. This PhD project provides new insights into the short-term impacts of adding FP-biochar to soil on the greenhouse...

  17. Restoration of carbon and microbial activity in salt-induced soil by application of peanut shell biochar during short-term incubation study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bhaduri, Debarati; Saha, Ajoy; Desai, Deepali; Meena, H N

    2016-04-01

    For the present study, soil samples of four artificially-induced salinity gradients (S0: control, S1: 2.0, S2: 4.0, S3: 6.0 ECiw) was incubated with fine-textured peanut shell biochar at various ratios (B0: control, B1: 2.5%, B2: 5.0%, B3: 10% w/w) for 30 days. At 1, 3, 7, 15, 30 days of incubation, samples were analyzed for soil carbon and selected enzyme activities. Results showed that biochar could increase soil organic carbon on application of highest rate of biochar addition (B3), hence potentially restored the saline soils by less C mineralization, and more sequestration of soil C. However, soil enzyme activities were biochar rate(s), day(s) of incubation and enzyme dependent. The lowest rate of biochar addition (B1) showed highest dehydrogenase (20.5 μg TPF g(-1) soil h(-1)), acid phosphatase (29.1 μg PNP g(-1) soil h(-1)) and alkaline phosphatase (16.1 μg PNP g(-1) soil h(-1)) whereas the higher rate (B2) increased the urease (5.51 μg urea-N g(-1) soil h(-1)) and fluorescein diacetate hydrolyzing activities (3.95 μg fluorescein g(-1) OD soil h(-1)) in soil. All the positive changes persisted at higher levels of salinity (S2, S3) suggesting biochar-amended soil may be potential for better nutrient cycling. Soil enzymes were found to be correlated with soil carbon and with each other while principal component analysis (PCA) extracted the most sensitive parameters as the acid and alkaline phosphatases and urease activities in the present experimental condition. This is the first time report of examining soil microbial environment using peanut shell biochar under a degraded (saline) soil. PMID:26802267

  18. Soil fertility and upland rice yield after biochar application in the Cerrado

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Petter, F.A.; Madari, B.E.; Silva, da M.A.S.; Carneiro, M.A.C.; Melo Carvalho, de M.T.; Marimon, B.; Pacheco, L.P.

    2012-01-01

    The objective of this work was to evaluate the effect of biochar made from Eucalyptus on soil fertility, and on the yield and development of upland rice. The experiment was performed during two years in a randomized block design with four replicates, in a sandy loam Dystric Plinthosol. Four doses of

  19. Effects of biochar prepared from organic waste on soil properties

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gascó, Gabriel; Cely, Paola; María Tarquis, Ana; Paz-Ferreiro, Jorge; Saa-Requejo, Antonio; María Méndez, Ana

    2014-05-01

    Biochar is a carbon-rich solid obtained by the thermal decomposition of organic matter under a limited supply of oxygen and at relatively low temperatures. Biochar can be prepared from the pyrolysis of different organic feedstocks, such as wood and biomass crops, agricultural by-products, different types of waste or paper industry waste materials . The pyrolysis procedure of waste, i.e. sewage sludge, has mainly two advantages, firstly, it removes pathogens from waste and, secondly, biochar can reduce the leaching of heavy metals present in raw sewage sludge. This trend of the use of waste material as feedstocks to the preparation of biochar is increasing in the last years due to industrial development and economic growth imply an increase in waste generation. The application of biochar may have positive effects on soil physical properties as water holding capacity and structure or on soil biological activity and soil quality. Also, biochar can be used to remove water pollutants and can be used in multiple ways in soil remediation due to its adsorption of pesticides or metals. Also, biochar contribute to carbon sequestration due to carbon stability of biochar materials. The objective of this presentation is to review the positive effects of the biochar prepared from organic waste on soil properties.

  20. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-06-01

    Biochar addition to soil has been widely accepted as an option to enhance soil carbon sequestration by introducing recalcitrant organic matter. However, it remains unclear whether biochar will negate the net carbon accumulation by increasing carbon loss through CO2 efflux from soil (soil respiration). The objectives of this study were to address: 1) whether biochar addition increases soil respiration; and whether biochar application rate and biochar type (feedstock and pyrolyzing system) affect soil respiration. Two series of field experiments were carried out at 8 sites representing the main crop production areas in China. In experiment 1, a single type of wheat straw biochar was amended at rates of 0, 20 and 40tha(-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 20tha(-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 40t of biochar did not significantly higher than soils amended with 20t 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. PMID:26950640

  2. The Application of Biochar in the EU: Challenges and Opportunities

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Emanuele Lugato

    2013-05-01

    Full Text Available Biochar application to agricultural soils is an interesting emerging technology with promising potential for long-term carbon storage, sustainable waste disposal, and soil fertility enhancement. Extensive information exists in the literature on the highly beneficial properties of biochar. Nevertheless, systematic application of biochar on European agricultural soils may have wide ranging policy implications as well as environmental and public health concerns. In this paper we critically review existing scientific evidence from a European policy perspective and identify research gaps for future comprehensive assessments of the policy, environmental, economic, and health implications of the systematic use of biochar in European agricultural soils.

  3. Acidic sandy soil improvement with biochar - A microcosm study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Molnár, Mónika; Vaszita, Emese; Farkas, Éva; Ujaczki, Éva; Fekete-Kertész, Ildikó; Tolner, Mária; Klebercz, Orsolya; Kirchkeszner, Csaba; Gruiz, Katalin; Uzinger, Nikolett; Feigl, Viktória

    2016-09-01

    Biochar produced from a wide range of organic materials by pyrolysis has been reported as a means to improve soil physical properties, fertility and crop productivity. However, there is a lack of studies on the complex effects of biochar both on the degraded sandy soil physico-chemical properties and the soil biota as well as on toxicity, particularly in combined application with fertilizer and compost. A 7-week microcosm experiment was conducted to improve the quality of an acidic sandy soil combining variations in biochar types and amounts, compost and fertilizer application rates. The applied biochars were produced from different feedstocks such as grain husks, paper fibre sludge and wood screenings. The main purpose of the microcosm experiment was to assess the efficiency and applicability of different biochars as soil amendment prior to field trials and to choose the most efficient biochar to improve the fertility, biological activity and physical properties of acidic sandy soils. We complemented the methodology with ecotoxicity assessment to evaluate the possible risks to the soil as habitat for microbes, plants and animals. There was clear evidence of biochar-soil interactions positively affecting both the physico-chemical properties of the tested acidic sandy soil and the soil biota. Our results suggest that the grain husk and the paper fibre sludge biochars applied to the tested soil at 1% and 0.5 w/w% rate mixed with compost, respectively can supply a more liveable habitat for plants and soil living animals than the acidic sandy soil without treatment. PMID:26850860

  4. Factors affecting transport of bacteria and microspheres through biochar-amended soils

    Science.gov (United States)

    We have investigated the role of biochar feedstock type (poultry litter extract and pine chips), biochar pyrolysis temperature (350 and 700 oC), biochar application rate (1, 2, and 10%), soil moisture content (saturated and 50% saturation), soil texture (1 and 12 % clay content), and surface propert...

  5. Effect of organic fertilizer and biochar application on soil macro-aggregate formation and organic carbon turnover

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grunwald, Dennis; Kaiser, Michael; Ludwig, Bernard

    2015-04-01

    Macro-aggregates are important for the organic matter dynamic and thus the productivity of sustainably managed soils. To date, less is known about the influence of biochar in comparison to other commonly used organic soil additives on the formation of macro-aggregates and organic carbon turnover. Here we aimed to analyze the effects of biochar applied individually and in combination with slurry versus the effects of the individual application of slurry and manure on macro-aggregate yield, the associated organic carbon concentration, and the organic carbon mineralization. For this, we crushed the macro-aggregate fraction (>250 μm) of two different soils that were then mixed with biochar (combustion temperature: 550° C, feedstock: woodchips) and/or cattle-slurry or cattle-manure and incubated within a microcosm experiment at 5° C, 15° C, and 25° C. We monitored the CO2 evolution during the incubation experiment. After four and eight weeks, we determined the dry mass and the carbon concentration of the newly formed macro-aggregates (>250 μm) and the microbial biomass carbon concentration. Carbon mineralization was modelled assuming first-order kinetics and using a rate modifying factor for the temperature (taken from the RothC-26.3 model). Two pools were considered (mineralization of the native organic matter from the control soils and mineralization of the substrates added) in each treatment and the models were calibrated to the C mineralization data at 25° C, whereas the data for 15° C and 5° C were used for validation. Independent from the incubation temperature and the duration of the experiment, the individual application of biochar did not show significant effects on the macro-aggregate yield, the associated carbon concentration, or the CO2 emission rate compared to the control sample receiving no amendments. For the application of biochar in combination with slurry, we observed only for the 15° C treatment higher CO2 emission rates in combination with

  6. Properties of a clay soil from 1.5 to 3.5 years after biochar application and the impact on rice yield

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Carvalho, M.T.M.; Madari, B.E.; Bastiaans, L.; Oort, van P.A.J.; Leal, W.G.O.; Heinemann, A.B.; Silva, da M.A.S.; Maia, A.H.N.; Parsons, D.; Meinke, H.

    2016-01-01

    We assessed the impact of a single application of wood biochar on soil chemical and physical properties and aerobic rice grain yield on an irrigated kaolinitic clay Ferralsol in a tropical Savannah. We used linear mixed models to analyse the response of soil and plant variables to application rat

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    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(-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. PMID:26789369

  8. 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.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2013-09-01

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    biochar by wind erosion was due to very rainy wet soil surface conditions, tested with dried soil in the laboratory, in order to be able to at least reflect the worst case scenario. The results of the study show that for both experiments (wind and water ero-sion), the sediment from plots with biochar...... 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...... farmers committed to its use, as a high net annual loss of biochar by erosion could exceed any net annual economic gain. The overall objective of this study was, therefore, to investigate the erodibility of biochar, when erosion events occur directly or soon after its application. The estimation of the...

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

    OpenAIRE

    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, res...

  12. 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.

  13. Biochar impacts soil microbial community composition and nitrogen cycling in an acidic soil planted with rape.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, Hui-Juan; Wang, Xiao-Hui; Li, Hu; Yao, Huai-Ying; Su, Jian-Qiang; Zhu, Yong-Guan

    2014-08-19

    Biochar has been suggested to improve acidic soils and to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions. However, little has been done on the role of biochar in ameliorating acidified soils induced by overuse of nitrogen fertilizers. In this study, we designed a pot trial with an acidic soil (pH 4.48) in a greenhouse to study the interconnections between microbial community, soil chemical property changes, and N2O emissions after biochar application. The results showed that biochar increased plant growth, soil pH, total carbon, total nitrogen, C/N ratio, and soil cation exchange capacity. The results of high-throughput sequencing showed that biochar application increased α-diversity significantly and changed the relative abundances of some microbes that are related with carbon and nitrogen cycling at the family level. Biochar amendment stimulated both nitrification and denitrification processes, while reducing N2O emissions overall. Results of redundancy analysis indicated biochar could shift the soil microbial community by changing soil chemical properties, which modulate N-cycling processes and soil N2O emissions. The significantly increased nosZ transcription suggests that biochar decreased soil N2O emissions by enhancing its further reduction to N2. PMID:25054835

  14. 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.

  15. [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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Zhang Honghua [College of Biological and Environmental Engineering, Zhejiang University of Technology, Hangzhou 310032 (China); Lin Kunde, E-mail: lin.kunde@gamil.co [College of Biological and Environmental Engineering, Zhejiang University of Technology, Hangzhou 310032 (China); Department of Environmental Sciences, University of California, Riverside, CA 92521 (United States); Wang Hailong [Scion, Private Bag 3020, Rotorua 3046 (New Zealand); Gan, Jay [Department of Environmental Sciences, University of California, Riverside, CA 92521 (United States)

    2010-09-15

    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 {sup o}C and 700 {sup o}C and three soils were tested. Biochar amendment generally enhanced the soil sorption of phenanthrene. The biochar produced at 700 {sup o}C generally showed a greater ability at enhancing a soil's sorption ability than that prepared at 350 {sup o}C. The single-step desorption measurement showed an apparent hysteresis in biochar-amended soils. After 28 d equilibration, the sorptive capacity of biochar-amended soil (with an organic carbon content of 0.16%) significantly decreased. This study clearly suggested that biochar application enhanced soil sorption of hydrophobic organic compounds, but the magnitude of enhancement depended on the preparation of biochars, the indigenous soil organic carbon levels, and the contact time between soil and biochar. - Pinus radiata derived biochars influence soil sorption and desorption of phenanthrene.

  17. Impact of Biochar on Organic Contaminants in Soil: A Tool for Mitigating Risk?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kirk T. Semple

    2013-04-01

    Full Text Available The presence of biochar in soils through natural processes (forest fires, bush burning or through application to soil (agriculture, carbon storage, remediation, waste management has received a significant amount of scientific and regulatory attention. Biochar alters soil properties, encourages microbial activity and enhances sorption of inorganic and organic compounds, but this strongly depends on the feedstock and production process of biochar. This review considers biochar sources, the production process and result of pyrolysis, interactions of biochar with soil, and associated biota. Furthermore, the paper focuses on the interactions between biochar and common anthropogenic organic contaminants, such as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs, pesticides, and dioxins, which are often deposited in the soil environment. It then considers the feasibility of applying biochar in remediation technologies in addition to other perspective areas yet to be explored.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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

  19. 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. PMID:25900615

  20. 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.

  1. 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. PMID:26820777

  2. Biochar Improves Soil Aggregate Stability and Water Availability in a Mollisol after Three Years of Field Application.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ma, Ningning; Zhang, Lili; Zhang, Yulan; Yang, Lijie; Yu, Chunxiao; Yin, Guanghua; Doane, Timothy A; Wu, Zhijie; Zhu, Ping; Ma, Xingzhu

    2016-01-01

    A field experiment was carried out to evaluate the effect of organic amendments on soil organic carbon, total nitrogen, bulk density, aggregate stability, field capacity and plant available water in a representative Chinese Mollisol. Four treatments were as follows: no fertilization (CK), application of inorganic fertilizer (NPK), combined application of inorganic fertilizer with maize straw (NPK+S) and addition of biochar with inorganic fertilizer (NPK+B). Our results showed that after three consecutive years of application, the values of soil bulk density were significantly lower in both organic amendment-treated plots than in unamended (CK and NPK) plots. Compared with NPK, NPK+B more effectively increased the contents of soil organic carbon, improved the relative proportion of soil macro-aggregates and mean weight diameter, and enhanced field capacity as well as plant available water. Organic amendments had no obvious effect on soil C/N ratio or wilting coefficient. The results of linear regression indicated that the improvement in soil water retention could be attributed to the increases in soil organic carbon and aggregate stability. PMID:27191160

  3. Biochar Improves Soil Aggregate Stability and Water Availability in a Mollisol after Three Years of Field Application

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Yulan; Yang, Lijie; Yu, Chunxiao; Yin, Guanghua; Doane, Timothy A.; Wu, Zhijie; Zhu, Ping; Ma, Xingzhu

    2016-01-01

    A field experiment was carried out to evaluate the effect of organic amendments on soil organic carbon, total nitrogen, bulk density, aggregate stability, field capacity and plant available water in a representative Chinese Mollisol. Four treatments were as follows: no fertilization (CK), application of inorganic fertilizer (NPK), combined application of inorganic fertilizer with maize straw (NPK+S) and addition of biochar with inorganic fertilizer (NPK+B). Our results showed that after three consecutive years of application, the values of soil bulk density were significantly lower in both organic amendment-treated plots than in unamended (CK and NPK) plots. Compared with NPK, NPK+B more effectively increased the contents of soil organic carbon, improved the relative proportion of soil macro-aggregates and mean weight diameter, and enhanced field capacity as well as plant available water. Organic amendments had no obvious effect on soil C/N ratio or wilting coefficient. The results of linear regression indicated that the improvement in soil water retention could be attributed to the increases in soil organic carbon and aggregate stability. PMID:27191160

  4. Impact of woodchip biochar amendment on the sorption and dissipation of pesticide acetamiprid in agricultural soils.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yu, Xiang-Yang; Mu, Chang-Li; Gu, Cheng; Liu, Cun; Liu, Xian-Jin

    2011-11-01

    Pyrolysis of vegetative biomass into biochar and application of the more stable form of carbon to soil have been shown to be effective in reducing the emission of greenhouse gases, improving soil fertility, and sequestering soil contaminants. However, there is still lack of information about the impact of biochar amendment in agricultural soils on the sorption and environmental fate of pesticides. In this study, we investigated the sorption and dissipation of a neonicotinoid insecticide acetamiprid in three typical Chinese agricultural soils, which were amended by a red gum wood (Eucalyptus spp.) derived biochar. Our results showed that the amendment of biochar (0.5% (w/w)) to the soils could significantly increase the sorption of acetamiprid, but the magnitudes of enhancement were varied. Contributions of 0.5% newly-added biochar to the overall sorption of acetamiprid were 52.3%, 27.4% and 11.6% for red soil, paddy soil and black soil, respectively. The dissipation of acetamiprid in soils amended with biochar was retarded compared to that in soils without biochar amendment. Similar to the sorption experiment, in soil with higher content of organic matter, the retardation of biochar on the dissipation of acetamiprid was lower than that with lower content of organic matter. The different effects of biochar in agricultural soils may attribute to the interaction of soil components with biochar, which would block the pore or compete for binding site of biochar. Aging effect of biochar application in agricultural soils and field experiments need to be further investigated. PMID:21862101

  5. Biochar pyrolyzed at two temperatures affects Escherichia coli transport through a sandy soil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bolster, Carl H; Abit, Sergio M

    2012-01-01

    The incorporation of biochar into soils has been proposed as a means to sequester carbon from the atmosphere. An added environmental benefit is that biochar has also been shown to increase soil retention of nutrients, heavy metals, and pesticides. The goal of this study was to evaluate whether biochar amendments affect the transport of Escherichia coli through a water-saturated soil. We looked at the transport of three E. coli isolates through 10-cm columns packed with a fine sandy soil amended with 2 or 10% (w/w) poultry litter biochar pyrolyzed at 350 or 700°C. For all three isolates, mixing the high-temperature biochar at a rate of 2% into the soil had no impact on transport behavior. When added at a rate of 10%, a reduction of five orders of magnitude in the amount of E. coli transported through the soil was observed for two of the isolates, and a 60% reduction was observed for the third isolate. Mixing the low-temperature biochar into the soil resulted in enhanced transport through the soil for two of the isolates, whereas no significant differences in transport behavior were observed between the low-temperature and high-temperature biochar amendments for one isolate. Our results show that the addition of biochar can affect the retention and transport behavior of E. coli and that biochar application rate, biochar pyrolysis temperature, and bacterial surface characteristics were important factors determining the transport of E. coli through our test soil. PMID:22218181

  6. Chicken manure biochar as liming and nutrient source for acid Appalachian soil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hass, Amir; Gonzalez, Javier M; Lima, Isabel M; Godwin, Harry W; Halvorson, Jonathan J; Boyer, Douglas G

    2012-01-01

    Acid weathered soils often require lime and fertilizer application to overcome nutrient deficiencies and metal toxicity to increase soil productivity. Slow-pyrolysis chicken manure biochars, produced at 350 and 700°C with and without subsequent steam activation, were evaluated in an incubation study as soil amendments for a representative acid and highly weathered soil from Appalachia. Biochars were mixed at 5, 10, 20, and 40 g kg into a Gilpin soil (fine-loamy, mixed, active, mesic Typic Hapludult) and incubated in a climate-controlled chamber for 8 wk, along with a nonamended control and soil amended with agronomic dolomitic lime (AgLime). At the end of the incubation, soil pH, nutrient availability (by Mehlich-3 and ammonium bicarbonate diethylene triamine pentaacetic acid [AB-DTPA] extractions), and soil leachate composition were evaluated. Biochar effect on soil pH was process- and rate-dependent. Biochar increased soil pH from 4.8 to 6.6 at the high application rate (40 g kg), but was less effective than AgLime. Biochar produced at 350°C without activation had the least effect on soil pH. Biochar increased soil Mehlich-3 extractable micro- and macronutrients. On the basis of unit element applied, increase in pyrolysis temperature and biochar activation decreased availability of K, P, and S compared to nonactivated biochar produced at 350°C. Activated biochars reduced AB-DTPA extractable Al and Cd more than AgLime. Biochar did not increase NO in leachate, but increased dissolved organic carbon, total N and P, PO, SO, and K at high application rate (40 g kg). Risks of elevated levels of dissolved P may limit chicken manure biochar application rate. Applied at low rates, these biochars provide added nutritional value with low adverse impact on leachate composition. PMID:22751051

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2016-01-01

    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...... with pH and EC. In conclusion, the results show that biochar, despite initially being a poor sorbent for glyphosate, can increase glyphosate sorption in soil. However, the effect of biochar on glyphosate sorption is depends on prevailing soil physicochemical properties....

  8. Effects of Biochar amendments on soil chemistry

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mukherjee, A.; Zimmerman, A. R.

    2009-12-01

    Humans have been transforming soil composition, both accidentally and purposefully, for centuries. For example, terra preta soils found in Amazonia that are greatly enriched in organic carbon and phosphorus and have enhanced fertility relative to the surrounding depleted oxisols, seem to have been deliberately created by native pre-Colombian Indians through the addition of combusted biomass, or biochar. Biochar amendment has gained attention recently as a way to enhance soil carbon sequestration while increasing soil fertility. It may also have adsorptive properties that are useful for pollution control. Our research examines the chemical and morphological properties of biochar with the goals of understanding the origin of terra preta, as well as how biochar can best be put to use as a soil amendment. Biochar was produced from a range of parent biomass types (hardwoods, softwoods and grasses) and under a range of combustion conditions (250 to 650 oC, under air and N2). Surface areas, determined by gas sorptometry, ranged from 3 to 394 m2g-1 (for N2) and from 129 to 345 m2g-1 (for CO2) and were found to generally increase with increasing pyrolysis temperature. The pH of the biochars ranged from 1.8 to 4.5, from 6.2 to 8.7, and from 6.2 to 9.2 for the 250, 400, and 650 oC biochars, respectively, and did not vary consistently with parent biomass types. Cation exchange capacity (CEC), determined using K+ exchange, ranged between 5 to 60 cmolc kg-1, higher than most soils, and generally increased with charring temperature. Anion exchange capacity (AEC) was low or undetectable. Lastly, the isoelectric point of the chars, determined using a zeta potential analyzer, ranged from a pH of 1.3 to 1.5, indicating that the biochar surfaces will be predominantly negatively charged in soil solutions. These data are complimentary and show that, when added to soil, biochar, particularly those produced at higher temperatures, would function as a cation exchanger system. The acid

  9. Biochar and the remediation of soil micropollutants

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brennan, A.; Switzer, C.

    2012-04-01

    Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) present a globally significant problem in soil and water management due to their recalcitrance, tendency to bioaccumulate and their suspected or confirmed effects on human health. Biochar, defined as biomass pyrolysed in the absence of oxygen, has strong potential for the long-term sequestration of POPs that could otherwise be mobilised into ground and surface waters and contaminate soil and sediment matrices. The initial hypothesis is that biochar derived from green waste materials represents an effective means for sequestering these contaminants. The present work is investigating the potential of biochar to sequester POPs through adsorption isotherm sorption experiments, with current focuses being biochar material characterisation and contaminant behaviour. Contaminants of interest are polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) as well as emerging contaminants of concern such as hormones and other micropollutants. Preliminary adsorption studies suggest that biochar shows significant promise for contaminant removal. Desorption studies address important questions that remain about long-term contaminant sequestration and potential remobilisation via fine particles and leachate from the biochar. The amounts of fine particles and leachate associated with each biochar are linked to the source material and pyrolysis process conditions used to create it. This work is attempting to establish a mass balance around the soil to determine the sequestration potential of a range of biochars. Analysis of contaminant concentrations is being carried out by GC-MS and HPLC. The ultimate aim of this work is to define the conditions where biochar and biochar-amended soils are able to effectively sequester trace levels of contaminants.

  10. 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

    2016-08-01

    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. PMID:27153402

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The influence of biochar (5%) on the loss, partitioning and bioaccessibility of 14C-isoproturon (14C-IPU) was evaluated. Results indicated that biochar had a dramatic effect upon 14C-IPU partitioning: 14C-IPU extractability (0.01 M CaCl2) in biochar-amended treatments was reduced to 14C-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 × 104 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). 14C-radiorespirometry assays indicated high competence of microorganisms to mineralise 14C-IPU in the absence of biochar (40.3 ± 0.9%). Where biochar was present 14C-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 × 104 L kg−1. •KBW was 124 times greater than the apparent Kfoc value of the control. •Biochar precluded microbial bioaccessibility – no catabolic response was observed. -- Biochar dramatically reduced 14C-IPU extractability (BW being ×123 greater than the apparent Kfoc. Correspondingly, microbial bioaccessibility of IPU was negligible

  12. 生物质炭修复有机物污染土壤的研究进展%The Application of Biochar in Organic Polluted Soil

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    郭彦蓉; 曾辉; 刘阳生; 李占宇

    2015-01-01

    生物质炭由于其特殊的多孔性结构、强的吸附性能,以及富含多种营养元素和特殊官能团等特点,成为近年来在农业应用和环境污染治理方面的热点.本文介绍了生物质炭的基本特性,提出生物质炭可能在今后成为活性炭的替代品;综述了生物质炭在修复有机物(石油烃、有机农药、PAHs、PCBs)污染土壤中的研究进展,并探讨了生物质炭应用于污染土壤修复的环境风险.生物质炭在修复有机物污染土壤方面有巨大的潜力,但在大规模应用之前还需要做长期深入的研究.%Biochar,with the characteristics of porosity structure,high capability of adsorption,and containing much nutrient elements and functional groups,is a new functional material which has been paid more and more attentions in the fields of environment and agricultural application.In the present article,the basic properties of biochar were briefly introduced,and the probability that biochar became a substitute for activated carbon in the future was proposed.The applications of biochar to remediate contaminated soil with organic contaminant such as TPHs,pesticide,PAHs,PCBs,and also the environmental risk of using biochar as soil addition were reviewed in the paper.The conclusion indicated that biochar has a great potential to remediate contaminated soils,but both its effect and environment impact deserve more studies.

  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. PMID:26410722

  14. Heat flux in soil amended with biochar: modelling approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Usowicz, Boguslaw; Lipiec, Jerzy; Lukowski, Mateusz; Marczewski, Wojciech; Usowicz, Jerzy

    2016-04-01

    Temperature of soil has important influences on many soil processes and plant growth. It depends on the energy balance on the active surface, where the process of energy exchange between the Earth's surface and the atmosphere occurs. Heat flux is one of the components of the energy balance and can be influenced by biochar application to the soil, along with inherent texture and variables: moisture, density, and temperature of soil, as well as external conditions like climate, topography and surface properties related to the land use and vegetation cover. In this work we present the statistical-physical modelling approach for predicting the thermal conductivity and soil heat flux dynamics, based on temperature and soil moisture measurements, obtained from bare and grass fields with different rates of biochar. Adding biochar caused significant reduction of the thermal conductivity, diffusivity and heat capacity of the soil in the dry state and their significant increase in the wet state. The soil heat fluxes in bare and grassed soil were similar or different, depending on weather conditions, insolation, plant growth stage and changed with the soil depth, moisture as well as the rate of biochar applied.

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. Soil biochar amendment as a climate change mitigation tool: Key parameters and mechanisms involved.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brassard, Patrick; Godbout, Stéphane; Raghavan, Vijaya

    2016-10-01

    Biochar, a solid porous material obtained from the carbonization of biomass under low or no oxygen conditions, has been proposed as a climate change mitigation tool because it is expected to sequester carbon (C) for centuries and to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from soils. This review aimed to identify key biochar properties and production parameters that have an effect on these specific applications of the biochar. Moreover, mechanisms involved in interactions between biochar and soils were highlighted. Following a compilation and comparison of the characteristics of 76 biochars from 40 research studies, biochars with a lower N content, and consequently a higher C/N ratio (>30), were found to be more suitable for mitigation of N2O emissions from soils. Moreover, biochars produced at a higher pyrolysis temperature, and with O/C ratio <0.2, H/Corg ratio <0.4 and volatile matter below 80% may have high C sequestration potential. Based on these observations, biochar production and application to the field can be used as a tool to mitigate climate change. However, it is important to determine the pyrolysis conditions and feedstock needed to produce a biochar with the desired properties for a specific application. More research studies are needed to identify the exact mechanisms involved following biochar amendment to soil. PMID:27420171

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-04-01

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

  1. Does thermal carbonization (Biochar) of organic material increase more merits for their amendments of sandy soil?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Y.; Xu, G.; Sun, J. N.; Shao, H. B.

    2014-02-01

    Organic materials (e.g. furfural residue) are generally believed to improve the physical and chemical properties of the soils with low fertility. Recently, biochar have been received more attention as a possible measure to improve the carbon balance and improve soil quality in some degraded soils. However, little is known about their different amelioration of a sandy saline soil. In this study, 56d incubation experiment was conducted to evaluate the influence of furfural and its biochar on the properties of saline soil. The results showed that both furfural and biochar greatly reduced pH, increased soil organic carbon (SOC) content and cation exchange capacity (CEC), and enhanced the available phosphorus (P) in the soil. Furfural is more efficient than biochar in reducing pH: 5% furfural lowered the soil pH by 0.5-0.8 (soil pH: 8.3-8.6), while 5% biochar decreased by 0.25-0.4 due to the loss of acidity in pyrolysis process. With respect to available P, 5% of the furfural addition increased available P content by 4-6 times in comparison to 2-5 times with biochar application. In reducing soil exchangeable sodium percentage (ESP), biochar is slightly superior to furfural because soil ESP reduced by 51% and 43% with 5% furfural and 5% biochar addition at the end of incubation. In addition, no significant differences were observed between furfural and biochar about their capacity to retain N, P in leaching solution and to increase CEC in soil. These facts may be caused by the relatively short incubation time. In general, furfural and biochar have different amendments depending on soil properties: furfural was more effectively to decrease pH and to increase available P, whereas biochar played a more important role in increasing SOC and reducing ESP of saline soil.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-05-01

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

  3. 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. PMID:25840745

  4. Furfural and its biochar improve the general properties of a saline soil

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Y.; Xu, G.; Shao, H. B.

    2014-07-01

    Organic materials (e.g., furfural residue) are generally believed to improve the physical and chemical properties of saline soils with low fertility. Recently, biochar has been received more attention as a possible measure to improve the carbon balance and improve soil quality in some degraded soils. However, little is known about their different amelioration of a sandy saline soil. In this study, 56 d incubation experiment was conducted to evaluate the influence of furfural and its biochar on the properties of saline soil. The results showed that both furfural and biochar greatly reduced pH, increased soil organic carbon (SOC) content and cation exchange capacity (CEC), and enhanced the available phosphorus (P) in the soil. Furfural is more efficient than biochar in reducing pH: 5% furfural lowered the soil pH by 0.5-0.8 (soil pH: 8.3-8.6), while 5% biochar decreased by 0.25-0.4 due to the loss of acidity in pyrolysis process. With respect to available P, furfural addition at a rate of 5% increased available P content by 4-6 times in comparison to 2-5 times with biochar application. In reducing soil exchangeable sodium percentage (ESP), biochar is slightly superior to furfural because soil ESP reduced by 51% and 43% with 5% furfural and 5% biochar at the end of incubation. In addition, no significant differences were observed between furfural and biochar about their capacity to retain N, P in leaching solution and to increase CEC in soil. These facts may be caused by the relatively short incubation time. In general, furfural and biochar exhibited a different effect depending on the property: furfural was more effective in decreasing pH and increasing available P, whereas biochar played a more important role in increasing SOC and reducing ESP of saline soil.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dvořáčková, Helena; Mykajlo, Irina; Záhora, Jaroslav

    2016-04-01

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

  6. Effect of biochar on the extractability of heavy metals (Cd, Cu, Pb, and Zn) and enzyme activity in soil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Xing; Liu, Jingjing; McGrouther, Kim; Huang, Huagang; Lu, Kouping; Guo, Xi; He, Lizhi; Lin, Xiaoming; Che, Lei; Ye, Zhengqian; Wang, Hailong

    2016-01-01

    Biochar is a carbon-rich solid material derived from the pyrolysis of agricultural and forest residual biomass. Previous studies have shown that biochar is suitable as an adsorbent for soil contaminants such as heavy metals and consequently reduces their bioavailability. However, the long-term effect of different biochars on metal extractability or soil health has not been assessed. Therefore, a 1-year incubation experiment was carried out to investigate the effect of biochar produced from bamboo and rice straw (at temperatures ≥500 °C) on the heavy metal (cadmium (Cd), copper (Cu), lead (Pb), and zinc (Zn)) extractability and enzyme activity (urease, catalase, and acid phosphatase) in a contaminated sandy loam paddy soil. Three rates (0, 1, and 5%) and two mesh sizes (biochar applications were investigated. After incubation, the physicochemical properties, extractable heavy metals, available phosphorus, and enzyme activity of soil samples were analyzed. The results demonstrated that rice straw biochar significantly (P biochar significantly (P biochar application rate increased. The heavy metal extractability was significantly (P water-soluble organic carbon, and available phosphorus in soil. The 5% application rate of fine rice straw biochar resulted in the greatest reductions of extractable Cu and Zn, 97.3 and 62.2%, respectively. Both bamboo and rice straw biochar were more effective at decreasing extractable Cu and Pb than removing extractable Cd and Zn from the soil. Urease activity increased by 143 and 107% after the addition of 5% coarse and fine rice straw biochars, respectively. Both bamboo and rice straw biochars significantly (P biochar had greater potential as an amendment for reducing the bioavailability of heavy metals in soil than that of the bamboo biochar. The impact of biochar treatment on heavy metal extractability and enzyme activity varied with the biochar type, application rate, and particle size. PMID:25772863

  7. Effects of biochar on the transformation and earthworm bioaccumulation of organic pollutants in soil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gu, Jianqiang; Zhou, Wenqiang; Jiang, Bingqi; Wang, Lianhong; Ma, Yini; Guo, Hongyan; Schulin, Rainer; Ji, Rong; Evangelou, Michael W H

    2016-02-01

    Little is known about the effects of biochar on the fate and behavior of micropollutants in soil, especially in the presence of soil macrofauna. Using a 14C-tracer, we studied the fate of 2,4-dichlorophenol and phenanthrene, after 30 days in soil in the presence of a biochar (0-5%, dry weight) produced from China fir at 400 °C and/or the earthworm Metaphire guillelmi. Application of the biochar significantly reduced the degradation and mineralization of both pollutants and strongly increased the accumulation of their metabolites in soil. The earthworm had no significant effects on the degradation of parent molecules of the pollutants but it significantly reduced the mineralization of the pollutants independent of the presence of the biochar. Although at an application rate of <1% the biochar strongly sorbed both pollutants, it did not significantly decrease the bioaccumulation of free dichlorophenol and phenanthrene and their metabolites by the earthworm. Our results demonstrate the complex effects of biochar on the fate, transformation, and earthworm bioaccumulation of organic pollutants in soil. They show that biochar application may not be an appropriate strategy for treating soil contaminated with hydrophobic organic pollutants and underline the importance of soil-feeding earthworms in risk assessments of biochar effects on soil remediation. PMID:26694792

  8. Surface albedo following biochar application in durum wheat

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The agronomic use of charcoal from biomass pyrolysis (biochar) represents an interesting option for increasing soil fertility and sequestering atmospheric CO2. However, before moving toward large-scale biochar applications, additional research must evaluate all possible land–atmosphere feedbacks. Despite the increasing number of studies investigating the effect of biochar on soil physical, chemical and biological properties, only a few have been done on surface albedo variations on agricultural lands. The present work had the aim of characterizing the annual albedo cycle for a durum wheat crop in Central Italy, by means of a spectroradiometer measurement campaign. Plots treated with biochar, at a rate of 30–60 t ha−1, showed a surface albedo decrease of up to 80% (after the application) with respect to the control in bare soil conditions, while this difference tended to decrease during the crop growing season, because of the prevailing effect of canopy development on the radiometer response. After the post-harvesting tillage, the soil treated with biochar again showed a lower surface albedo value (<20–26% than the control), while the measurements taken in the second year after application suggested a clear decrease of biochar influence on soil color. The modeling of the surface energy balance highlighted changes in the partitioning of heat fluxes and in particular a substantial increase of ground heat fluxes on an annual basis. (letter)

  9. Phenanthrene Sorption on Biochar-Amended Soils

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kumari, K. G I D; Moldrup, Per; Paradelo, Marcos;

    2014-01-01

    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...

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  11. Olive mill waste biochar: a promising soil amendment for metal immobilization in contaminated soils.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hmid, Amine; Al Chami, Ziad; Sillen, Wouter; De Vocht, Alain; Vangronsveld, Jaco

    2015-01-01

    The potential use of biochar from olive mill waste for in situ remediation of metal contaminated soils was evaluated. Biochar was mixed with metal contaminated soil originating from the vicinity of an old zinc smelter. Soil-biochar mixtures were equilibrated for 30 and 90 days. At these time points, Ca(NO3)2 exchangeable metals were determined, and effects of the biochar amendment on soil toxicity were investigated using plants, bacteria, and earthworms. Bean (Phaseolus vulgaris) growth, metal content, antioxidative enzymes activities, and soluble protein contents were determined. Furthermore, effects on soil microbial communities (activity, diversity, richness) were examined using Biolog ECOplates. After 120 days of soil-biochar equilibration, effects on weight and reproduction of Eisenia foetida were evaluated. With increasing biochar application rate and equilibration period, Ca(NO3)2 exchangeable metals decreased, and growth of bean plants improved; leaf metal contents reduced, the activities of antioxidative stress enzymes decreased, and soluble protein contents increased. Soil microbial activity, richness, and diversity were augmented. Earthworm mortality lowered, and their growth and reproduction showed increasing trends. PMID:25146122

  12. Algal biochar enhances the re-vegetation of stockpiled mine soils with native grass.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roberts, David A; Cole, Andrew J; Paul, Nicholas A; de Nys, Rocky

    2015-09-15

    In most countries the mining industry is required to rehabilitate disturbed land with native vegetation. A typical approach is to stockpile soils during mining and then use this soil to recreate landforms after mining. Soil that has been stockpiled for an extended period typically contains little or no organic matter and nutrient, making soil rehabilitation a slow and difficult process. Here, we take freshwater macroalgae (Oedogonium) cultivated in waste water at a coal-fired power station and use it as a feedstock for the production of biochar, then use this biochar to enhance the rehabilitation of two types of stockpiled soil - a ferrosol and a sodosol - from the adjacent coal mine. While the biomass had relatively high concentrations of some metals, due to its cultivation in waste water, the resulting biochar did not leach metals into the pore water of soil-biochar mixtures. The biochar did, however, contribute essential trace elements (particularly K) to soil pore water. The biochar had very strong positive effects on the establishment and growth of a native plant (Kangaroo grass, Themeda australis) in both of the soils. The addition of the algal biochar to both soils at 10 t ha(-1) reduced the time to germination by the grass and increased the growth and production of plant biomass. Somewhat surprisingly, there was no beneficial effect of a higher application rate (25 t ha(-1)) of the biochar in the ferrosol, which highlights the importance of matching biochar application rates to the requirements of different types of soil. Nevertheless, we demonstrate that algal biochar can be produced from biomass cultivated in waste water and used at low application rates to improve the rehabilitation of a variety of soils typical of coal mines. This novel process links biomass production in waste water to end use of the biomass in land rehabilitation, simultaneously addressing two environmental issues associated with coal-mining and processing. PMID:26172107

  13. Impacts of biochar on physical properties and erosion potential of a mudstone slopeland soil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hseu, Zeng-Yei; Jien, Shih-Hao; 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

  14. 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.

  15. Pore Structure Characteristics after 2 Years of Biochar Application to a Sandy Loam Field

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Sun, Zhencai; Arthur, Emmanuel; de Jonge, Lis Wollesen;

    2015-01-01

    , where the maximum increment was 12% at 100 Mg ha-1 biochar treatment. A pore size distribution index, B, derived from water retention, indicated a wider soil pore size distribution in biochar-amended soil than in the reference soil, especially for the 100-Mg ha-1 application. At given matric potentials......Soil pore structure comprises the size and shape of soil pores and has a major impact on water retention and gas movement. The porous nature of biochar suggests that its application to soil can potentially alter soil pore structure characteristics, and the purpose of this study was to evaluate the...... effects of birch wood biochar (20, 40, and 100 Mg ha-1) applied to a sandy loam on soil total porosity and pore structure indices. Bulk and intact soil samples were collected for physicochemical analyses and water retention and gas diffusivity measurements between pF 1.0 and pF 3.0. Biochar application...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-11-01

    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. PMID:26319508

  17. Effect of biochar amendment on yield and photosynthesis of peanut on two types of soils.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, Cheng-Yuan; Hosseini-Bai, Shahla; Hao, Yanbin; Rachaputi, Rao C N; Wang, Hailong; Xu, Zhihong; Wallace, Helen

    2015-04-01

    Biochar has significant potential to improve crop performance. This study examined the effect of biochar application on the photosynthesis and yield of peanut crop grown on two soil types. The commercial peanut cultivar Middleton was grown on red ferrosol and redoxi-hydrosol (Queensland, Australia) amended with a peanut shell biochar gradient (0, 0.375, 0.750, 1.50, 3.00 and 6.00%, w/w, equivalent up to 85 t ha(-1)) in a glasshouse pot experiment. Biomass and pod yield, photosynthesis-[CO2] response parameters, leaf characteristics and soil properties (carbon, nitrogen (N) and nutrients) were quantified. Biochar significantly improved peanut biomass and pod yield up to 2- and 3-folds respectively in red ferrosol and redoxi-hydrosol. A modest (but significant) biochar-induced improvement of the maximum electron transport rate and saturating photosynthetic rate was observed for red ferrosol. This response was correlated to increased leaf N and accompanied with improved soil available N and biological N fixation. Biochar application also improved the availability of other soil nutrients, which appeared critical in improving peanut performance, especially on infertile redoxi-hydrosol. Our study suggests that application of peanut shell derived biochar has strong potential to improve peanut yield on red ferrosol and redoxi-hydrosol. Biochar soil amendment can affect leaf N status and photosynthesis, but the effect varied with soil type. PMID:25395326

  18. Effect of biochar on soil structural characteristics: water retention and gas transport

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    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...... diffusivity) increased significantly after biochar incorporation .This suggests that biochar application enlarged the proportion of larger soil pores. In agreement with this, also K-sat values were higher in the B plots. The water holding capacity of the soil also increased with biochar incorporation, likely...

  19. Suppression of Chlorantraniliprole Sorption on Biochar in Soil-Biochar Systems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Ting-Ting; Li, Yi-Song; Jiang, Alice C; Lu, Meng-Xiao; Liu, Xian-Jin; Yu, Xiang-Yang

    2015-09-01

    The sorption behavior of chlorantraniliprole (CAP) by biochar and effect of soil extracts on sorptivity in soil-biochar systems were examined. The results showed that biochar amendment could enhance the sorption of CAP in soils. The values of K F increased significantly when the soils were amended with 0.5 % BC850, which were from 1.54 to 196.5. The indigenous sorptivity of biochar was suppressed after it was applied to the soils. The degree of biochar sorptivity attenuation in different soil-biochar systems varied with the properties of soil water soluble matters. Sorption of CAP by biochar from the five soil extracts was found to be lower than that from a CaCl2 solution. The calculated K d values at C w of 0.01 mg kg(-1) for biochar sorption of CAP from CaCl2 solution were 21.4-26.6 times of that from soil extracts. Aging of biochar in soil extract reduced CAP sorption by up to 85 %. PMID:25904088

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Muhittin Onur Akça

    2015-07-01

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

  1. Soil and foliar nutrient and nitrogen isotope composition (δ(15)N) at 5 years after poultry litter and green waste biochar amendment in a macadamia orchard.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bai, Shahla Hosseini; Xu, Cheng-Yuan; Xu, Zhihong; Blumfield, Timothy J; Zhao, Haitao; Wallace, Helen; Reverchon, Frédérique; Van Zwieten, Lukas

    2015-03-01

    This study aimed to evaluate the improvement in soil fertility and plant nutrient use in a macadamia orchard following biochar application. The main objectives of this study were to assess the effects of poultry litter and green waste biochar applications on nitrogen (N) cycling using N isotope composition (δ(15)N) and nutrient availability in a soil-plant system at a macadamia orchard, 5 years following application. Biochar was applied at 10 t ha(-1) dry weight but concentrated within a 3-m diameter zone when trees were planted in 2007. Soil and leaf samples were collected in 2012, and both soil and foliar N isotope composition (δ(15)N) and nutrient concentrations were assessed. Both soil and foliar δ(15)N increased significantly in the poultry litter biochar plots compared to the green waste biochar and control plots. A significant relationship was observed between soil and plant δ(15)N. There was no influence of either biochars on foliar total N concentrations or soil NH4 (+)-N and NO3 (-)-N, which suggested that biochar application did not pose any restriction for plant N uptake. Plant bioavailable phosphorus (P) was significantly higher in the poultry litter biochar treatment compared to the green waste biochar treatment and control. We hypothesised that the bioavailability of N and P content of poultry litter biochar may play an important role in increasing soil and plant δ(15)N and P concentrations. Biochar application affected soil-plant N cycling and there is potential to use soil and plant δ(15)N to investigate N cycling in a soil-biochar-tree crop system. The poultry litter biochar significantly increased soil fertility compared to the green waste biochar at 5 years following biochar application which makes the poultry litter a better feedstock to produce biochar compared to green waste for the tree crops. PMID:25266060

  2. Sugarcane rice residue biochars and their applications

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, J. J.

    2014-12-01

    Sugarcane production in U.S. involves either pre-harvest burning or after-harvest burning of the residue. Approximately 70-90% of the dry matter of harvested sugarcane trash is lost through open field burning. This practice has caused considerable concerns over air quality and soil sustainability. We propose an alternative conservation approach to convert the sugarcane residue to biochar and used as soil amendment to conserve carbon and potentially improve soil fertility. In this study, fundamental properties of biochars made from sugarcane residue along with rice residues were tested for agronomic and environmental benefits. Sugarcane and rice harvest residues and milling processing byproducts bagasse and rice husk were converted to biochars at different pyrolysis temperatures and characterized. In general, sugarcane leave biochar contained more P, K, Ca and Mg than sugarcane bagasse biochar. Rice straw biochar had more S, K Ca but less P than rice husk biochar. Both biochars had higher available fraction of total P than that of total K. Sugarcane leave biochar converted at 450oC was dominated with various lignin derived phenols as well as non-specific aromatic compounds whereas bagasse biochar was with both lignin derived phenol and poly aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH). Rice straw char was dominated with non-specific aromatic compounds. At 750oC, charred material was dominated with aromatic ethers while losing the aromatic C=C structures. These molecular and surface property differences likely contributed to the difference in water holding capacities observed with these biochars. On the other hand, rice straw biochars produced at different pyrolysis temperatures had no significant effect on rice germination. Soils treated with sugarcane leave/trash biochar significantly enhanced sugarcane growth especially the root length. Treating soil with either sugarcane leave or bagasse char also enhanced soil adsorption capacity of atrazine; a common herbicide used in sugarcane

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Arthur, Emmanuel; Tuller, Markus; Møldrup, Per;

    2015-01-01

    Over the last decade, 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...

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    This investigation examines nitrous oxide (N2O) fluxes from soil with simultaneous amendments of anaerobic digestates and biochar. The main source of anthropogenic emissions of N2O 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 N2O 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 N2O 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 N2O 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 N2O emissions from all treatments, with the greatest effect observed in treatments with maximum emissions. The degree of N2O 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 N2O emissions. • Soil nitrate accumulation occurred but was digestate dependent

  5. 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%). PMID:26884353

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

    OpenAIRE

    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 b...

  7. Biochar and compost amendments enhance copper immobilisation and support plant growth in contaminated soils.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jones, Sarah; Bardos, R Paul; Kidd, Petra S; Mench, Michel; de Leij, Frans; Hutchings, Tony; Cundy, Andrew; Joyce, Chris; Soja, Gerhard; Friesl-Hanl, Wolfgang; Herzig, Rolf; Menger, Pierre

    2016-04-15

    Contamination of soil with trace elements, such as Cu, is an important risk management issue. A pot experiment was conducted to determine the effects of three biochars and compost on plant growth and the immobilisation of Cu in a contaminated soil from a site formerly used for wood preservation. To assess Cu mobility, amended soils were analysed using leaching tests pre- and post-incubation, and post-growth. Amended and unamended soils were planted with sunflower, and the resulting plant material was assessed for yield and Cu concentration. All amendments significantly reduced leachable Cu compared to the unamended soil, however, the greatest reductions in leachable Cu were associated with the higher biochar application rate. The greatest improvements in plant yields were obtained with the higher application rate of biochar in combination with compost. The results suggest joint biochar and compost amendment reduces Cu mobility and can support biomass production on Cu-contaminated soils. PMID:26850677

  8. 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. PMID:26490928

  9. 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. PMID:27230149

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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 × 105 kg ha−1). - Highlights: • Aminocyclopyrachlor is mobile in three Minnesota soils. • Biochar amendments had limited use for aminocyclopyrachlor remediation in soil. • Two biochar amendments consistently reduced the aqueous-phase herbicide. • Biochar inputs would be very high and not feasible for field-scale remediation. - This was the first study to assess the use of biochar as a remediation tool for reducing bioavailable aminocyclopyrachlor in the liquid phase soil systems

  11. 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. Remediation of a contaminated soil by Ni+2 after application of biochar prepared from de-inking paper sludge: Influence on enzyme activities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gascó, G.; Paz-Ferreiro, J.; Araujo, F.; Guerrero, F.; Méndez, A.

    2012-04-01

    In recent years, an increasing proportion of recycled fibres are used in paper industries due to their important environmental and economical benefits. A ton of pulp produced from recycled paper requires 60% less energy to manufacture than a ton of bleached virgin kraft pulp [1]. However, removing the ink, clay, coatings and contaminants from waste paper in order to produce recycled paper creates large amounts of de-inking paper sludge (DPS). Nowadays, more than 200000 t of DPS were produced in Spain. DPS can be used as amendment due to their high organic matter [2] but the high C/N ratio and the heavy metal content can limit its use. For this reason, the preparation of biochar obtained from pyrolysis process for water remediation [3] and soil contaminated by heavy metal can be an valorisation alternative. The main objective of this work is to study the influence of the biochar application prepared from de-inking sewage sludge in the soil enzyme activities of a contaminated soil by Ni+2 at two different concentrations. For this reason, an incubation experiment was performed and several enzymatic activities (dehydrogenase, b-glucosidase, phosphomoesterase and arylsulphatase) were monitored. The study was completed studying the influence of the biochar application in plant-available metals from soil. [1] Thompson C.G. 1992. Recycled Papers. The Essential Guide, MIT Press, Cambridge. [2] Barriga S., Méndez A., Cámara J., Guerrero F., Gascó G. 2010. Agricultural valorisation of de-inking paper sludge as organic amendment in different soils: Thermal study. Journal of Thermal Analysis and Calorimetry 99: 981-986 [3] Méndez A., Barriga S., Fidalgo J.M., Gascó G. 2009. Adsorbent materials from paper industry waste materials and their use in Cu(II) removal from water. Journal of Hazardous Materials 165: 736-743.

  13. POTENTIAL APPLICATIONS OF BIOCHAR FOR COMPOSTING

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Krystyna Malińska

    2014-10-01

    for composting of materials with high moisture and/or nitrogen contents. The addition of biochar to composting mixtures can reduce ammonia emissions, and thus limit nitrogen losses during composting, increase water holding capacity and retention of nutrients. Biochar can also function as a carrier substrate for microbial inoculants and a scrubing material used in biofilters at composting facilities. Due to the fact that the literature does not provide many examples of biochar applications for composting, and there is little known about the effects of biochar added to composting mixtures on composting dynamics and properties of final composts, futher investigations should focus on mechanisms of biochar-composting mixtures interactions and analysis of properties of biochar-based composts. The overall goal of the article is to analyze the potentials of biochars for composting, to report the effects of various biochars on composting dynamics and quality of produced biochar-based composts, and to indicate the areas of further studies on biochar properties that would allow optimization of composting and improve the quality of final products.

  14. 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...

  15. 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.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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 (Kdeff) 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 pine

  17. 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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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.

  19. 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 was...

  20. Emission reduction of 1,3-dichloropropene by soil amendment with biochar.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Qiuxia; Mao, Liangang; Wang, Dong; Yan, Dongdong; Ma, Taotao; Liu, Pengfei; Zhang, Chenglei; Wang, Ruoqi; Guo, Meixia; Cao, Aocheng

    2014-09-01

    Soil fumigation is an important treatment in the production chain of fruit and vegetable crops, but fumigant emissions contribute to air pollution. Biochar as a soil amendment has shown the potential to reduce organic pollutants, including pesticides, in soils through adsorption and other physicochemical reactions. A laboratory column study was performed to determine the effects of soil applications of biochar for reducing emissions of the fumigant 1,3-dichloropropene (1,3-D). The experimental treatments comprised of unamended and amended with biochar at doses of 0, 0.5, 1, 2, and 5% (w/w) in the top 5 cm soil layer. The unamended treatment resulted in the highest emission peak flux at 48 to 66 μg m s. Among the biochar amendment treatments, the highest peak flux (0.83 μg m s) was found in the biochar 0.5% treatment. The total emission loss was 35.7 to 40.2% of applied for the unamended treatment and 99.8% and showed total 1,3-D emission loss by >92% compared with that without biochar. The amendment of surface soil with biochar shows a great potential for reducing fumigant emissions. PMID:25603251

  1. 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

  2. Seedling Growth and Phosphorus Cycling in Northern Forest Soils Amended With Biochar and Wood Ash

    Science.gov (United States)

    Noyce, G. L.; Jones, T.; Fulthorpe, R.; Basiliko, N.

    2015-12-01

    Biochar may be a powerful soil amendment to reduce nutrient depletion in North American forests where long-term nitrogen deposition has led to phosphorus (P) limitation, but many effects of biochar in these ecosystems are still unknown. We performed a 12-week growth chamber experiment in which red pine (Pinus resinosa) and sugar maple (Acer saccharum) seedlings were grown in pots with soil from three Ontario forests and varying amounts of sugar maple biochar. Additionally, biochar effects were compared with the effects of wood ash, a forest biomass bioenergy by-product that may also be a beneficial soil amendment in these ecosystems. We assessed plant biomass, soil microbial biomass and phosphatase activity; additional chemical analyses of plant tissue and soils are ongoing. Biochar effects on seedling growth were not consistent across tree species, soil type, and addition rate. For sugar maple seedlings grown in sand and sandy-loam textured soils, biochar additions of 20 t ha-1 significantly (p = 0.03) decreased root biomass by 25 %, and the root-to-shoot ratio correspondingly declined, but this effect was not observed in a silty soil. For red pine seedlings, the same biochar addition rate slightly increased root biomass. Wood ash effects on biomass were similarly variable. For example, in the sandy soil, sugar maple root biomass was significantly lower after application of 16 t ash ha-1, but unchanged by rates of 4 or 40 t ash ha-1. Microbial biomass and soil phosphatase activity also varied by soil type. Phosphatase activity was significantly lower (p = 0.02) in soils with sugar maple compared to red pine, but there were no consistent biochar or ash effects across all soils and species. However, for red pine seedlings grown in silt, biochar significantly (p = 0.04) reduced the phosphatase activity compared to the control and ash soils. Overall, biochar may lessen P-limitation in forested ecosystems, but the suitability of biochar, and wood ash, for increasing P

  3. 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.

  4. Meta-analysis of biochar potential for pollutant immobilization and stabilization in contaminated soils

    Science.gov (United States)

    Soja, Gerhard; Marsz, Aleksandra; Fristak, Vladimir

    2015-04-01

    Biochar is the pyrolysis product of biomass, preferably from agricultural and forestry residues and waste materials. Characterized by a polyaromatic structure rich in carbon, it offers a microporous structure with a high specific surface area and active functional groups as binding sites. Because of the high sorption capacity for organic and inorganic soil pollutants biochar is an interesting tool for in-situ soil remediation. Especially if the reduction of contaminant bioavailability and the protection of groundwater from pollutants in the vadose zone are the most relevant issues for remediating a polluted site without excavation and removal of the soil, an in-situ application of biochar may offer a promising remediation strategy. The resulting interest of deploying biochar as sorbent for soil contaminants has stimulated a wealth of studies to develop successful applications for environmental technology. However, the existing studies do not always agree on the efficacy for different pollutants and on the most relevant char and soil characteristics that determine the rate of success when using biochar as sorbent. This makes it necessary to apply advanced literature assessment techniques to allow for the recognition of the extent and the significance of the efficacy of a given pollutant treatment technique. A meta-analysis is a study assessment technique that allows extracting a harmonized answer to a specific research question that has been studied more often than one time, even if the results are partially conflicting. Such a technique also allows getting an overview about the degree of consensus or contradiction in the answers to the question if biochar can be applied successfully for immobilizing certain soil contaminants. The meta-analysis results can also be used to quantify the average extent of effects of a certain treatment, depending on the characteristics of the sorbent and on the application rate. By checking 104 published papers in the peer

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-04-01

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

  6. The molar H: Corg ratio of biochar is a key factor in mitigating N2O emissions from soil

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Cayuela, M.L.; Jeffery, S.L.; Zwieten, van L.

    2015-01-01

    A previously published meta-analysis of biochar impacts on soil N2O emissions by Cayuela et al. (2014) found a “grand mean” reduction in N2O emissions of 54 ± 6% following biochar application to soil. Here we update this analysis to include 26 additional manuscripts bringing the total to 56 articles

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

    OpenAIRE

    Frišták Vladimír; Soja Gerhard

    2015-01-01

    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 deioniz...

  8. 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.

  9. Utilisation of biochar and superabsorbent polymers for soil amendment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ekebafe, M O; Ekebafe, L O; Maliki, M

    2013-01-01

    The application of superabsorbent polymers (SAPs) and/or biochars to stressed lands offer solutions to several critical ecological, energy and economic challenges posed by degraded lands due to human activities. These substances are like, 'artificial humus' as they are hydrophilic and contain carboxylic groups (SAPs) which enable them to bind cations and water and sequester carbon from air to reverse global warming (biochars). Several research studies using these substances point to their ability to increase the plant-available water in the soil which enables the plants to survive longer with water shortage, increase soil fertility and agricultural yields, improve soil structure, aeration and water penetration, reduce use of synthetic fertilisers and pesticides, reduce nitrous oxide and methane emission from soil, reduce nitrate and farm chemicals leaching into watersheds, convert green and brown wastes into valuable resources, and reduce the evapotranspiration rate of the plants. SAPs and biochars induce a significantly higher growth rate in plants; they bind heavy metals and mitigate their action on plants as well as mitigate the effects of salinity. This paper reviews what is known about these claims and considers the wider environmental implications of the adoption of these processess. The intention is not just to summarise the current knowledge but also to identify gaps that require further research. PMID:23738439

  10. 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...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Different physical and chemical properties of biochar, which is made out of a variety of biomass materials, can impact water movement through amended soil. The objective of this research was to develop a decision support tool predicting the impact of biochar additions on soil saturated hydraulic con...

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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 CO2, compared to 80% of the straw carbon added. The stability of GB was also confirmed by low H/C and O/C atomic ratios with lowest values for WGB (H/C 0.12 and O/C 0.10). The soil application of GBs exhibited a liming effect increasing the soil pH from ca 8 to 9. Results from scanning electron 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 and

  13. 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; 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 shortterm soil incubation study and compared to the traditional practice of direct incorporation of cereal straw. The GBs were chemically and physically characterized to evaluate their potential to improve soil quality parameters. After 110 days of incubation, about 3% of the added GB carbon...

  14. 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

    4 plant Miscanthus was first put on top and then manually incorporated into 20-30 cm soil depth. Differences in the isotopic signature of the biochar and the soil organic matter make it possible to trace the flow of biochar-derived carbon into different labile C pools such as CO2 or microbial biomass. Spring barley litter of the previous growing season was mixed into soil together with the biochar. Rapeseed oil plants were sown one week after biochar application. Weekly gas sampling between the crop rows allows the determination of CO2, N2O and CH4 fluxes. In addition, 13CO2 will be measured at specific dates in order to calculate the proportion of biochar-C in emitted CO2. First soil sampling after biochar application was in November 2013 and soil was taken in three depths (0-5, 5-15 and 15-30 cm). After the first three months we could not observe any effect of biochar on CO2 and N2O emissions, but elevated soil temperature increased emissions of both gases. Data on soil microbial abundance and community composition will be available soon.

  15. Olive mill waste biochar: a promising soil amendment for metal immobilization in contaminated soils

    OpenAIRE

    Hmid, Amine; Al Chami, Ziad; Sillen, Wouter; De Vocht, Alain; Vangronsveld, Jaco

    2015-01-01

    The potential use of biochar from olive mill waste for in situ remediation of metal contaminated soils was evaluated. Biochar was mixed with metal contaminated soil originating from the vicinity of an old zinc smelter. Soil–biochar mixtures were equilibrated for 30 and 90 days. At these time points, Ca(NO3)2 exchangeable metals were determined, and effects of the biochar amendment on soil toxicity were investigated using plants, bacteria, and earthworms. Bean (Phaseolus vulgaris) growth, meta...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-07-01

    Biochar is a renewable energy byproduct that shows promise for remediating contaminated mine sites. A common contaminant at mine sites is arsenic (As). In this study, the effects of biochar amendments to a mine-contaminated soil on As concentrations in mountain brome ( Nees ex Steud.) were investigated. In the biochar-amended soil, mountain brome had greater root biomass and decreased root and shoot As concentrations. X-ray absorption near-edge structure spectroscopy results showed that arsenate [As(V)] is the predominant species in both the nonamended and biochar-amended soils. Soil extraction tests that measure phosphate and arsenate availability to plants failed to accurately predict plant tissue As concentrations, suggesting the arsenate bioavailability behavior in the soils is distinct from phosphate. Results from this study indicate that biochar will be a beneficial amendment to As-contaminated mine sites for remediation. PMID:26437113

  17. Lowering N2O emissions from soils using eucalypt biochar: the importance of redox reactions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Quin, P.; Joseph, S.; Husson, O.; Donne, S.; Mitchell, D.; Munroe, P.; Phelan, D.; Cowie, A.; van Zwieten, L.

    2015-11-01

    Agricultural soils are the primary anthropogenic source of atmospheric nitrous oxide (N2O), contributing to global warming and depletion of stratospheric ozone. Biochar addition has shown potential to lower soil N2O emission, with the mechanisms remaining unclear. We incubated eucalypt biochar (550 °C) - 0, 1 and 5% (w/w) in Ferralsol at 3 water regimes (12, 39 and 54% WFPS) - in a soil column, following gamma irradiation. After N2O was injected at the base of the soil column, in the 0% biochar control 100% of expected injected N2O was released into headspace, declining to 67% in the 5% amendment. In a 100% biochar column at 6% WFPS, only 16% of the expected N2O was observed. X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy identified changes in surface functional groups suggesting interactions between N2O and the biochar surfaces. We have shown increases in -O-C = N /pyridine pyrrole/NH3, suggesting reactions between N2O and the carbon (C) matrix upon exposure to N2O. With increasing rates of biochar application, higher pH adjusted redox potentials were observed at the lower water contents. Evidence suggests that biochar has taken part in redox reactions reducing N2O to dinitrogen (N2), in addition to adsorption of N2O.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-04-15

    Phosphorus (P) may be immobilized and consequently the runoff loss risks be reduced if poultry litter (PL) is converted into biochar prior to land application. Laboratory studies were conducted to examine the water extractability of P in PL biochar and its release kinetics in amended soils. Raw PL and its biochar produced through 400°C pyrolysis were extracted with deionized water under various programs and measured for water extractable P species and contents. The materials were further incubated with a sandy loam at 20 g kg(-1) soil and intermittently leached with water for 30 days. The P release kinetics were determined from the P recovery patterns in the water phase. Pyrolysis elevated the total P content from 13.7 g kg(-1) in raw PL to 27.1 g kg(-1) in PL biochar while reduced the water-soluble P level from 2.95 g kg(-1) in the former to 0.17 g kg(-1) in the latter. The thermal treatment transformed labile P in raw PL to putatively Mg/Ca phosphate minerals in biochar that were water-unextractable yet proton-releasable. Orthophosphate was the predominant form of water-soluble P in PL biochar, with condensed phosphate (e.g., pyrophosphate) as a minor form and organic phosphate in null. Release of P from PL biochar in both water and neutral soils was at a slower and steadier rate over a longer time period than from raw PL. Nevertheless, release of P from biochar was acid-driven and could be greatly promoted by the media acidity. Land application of PL biochar at soil pH-incorporated rates and frequency will potentially reduce P losses to runoffs and minimize the adverse impact of waste application on aquatic environments. PMID:25644841

  19. 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

  20. Use of phytoremediation and biochar to remediate heavy metal polluted soils: a review

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paz-Ferreiro, J.; Lu, H.; Fu, S.; Méndez, A.; Gascó, G.

    2014-02-01

    Anthropogenic activities are resulting in an increase of the use and extraction of heavy metals. Heavy metals cannot be degraded and hence accumulate in the environment, having the potential to contaminate the food chain. This pollution threatens soil quality, plant survival and human health. The remediation of heavy metals deserves attention, but it is impaired by the cost of these processes. Phytoremediation and biochar are two sound environmental technologies which could be at the forefront to mitigate soil pollution. This review provides an overview of the state of the art of the scientific research on phytoremediation and biochar application to remediate heavy-metal-contaminated soils. Research to date has attempted only in a limited number of occasions to combine both techniques, however we discuss the potential advantages of combining both, and the potential mechanisms involved in the interaction between phytoremediators and biochar. We identified specific research needs to ensure a sustainable use of phytoremediation and biochar as remediation tools.

  1. Biochar amendment and greenhouse gas emissions from agricultural soils

    OpenAIRE

    Case, Sean

    2013-01-01

    The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of biochar amendment on soil greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and to elucidate the mechanisms behind these effects. I investigated the suppression of soil carbon dioxide (CO2) and nitrous oxide (N2O) emissions in a bioenergy and arable crop soil, at a range of temperatures and with or without wetting/drying cycles. More detailed investigation on the underlying mechanisms focused on soil N2O emissions. I tested how biochar alter...

  2. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    R. Felber

    2012-01-01

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    van de Voorde, Tess F J; Bezemer, T Martijn; Van Groenigen, Jan Willem; Jeffery, Simon; Mommer, Liesje

    2014-07-01

    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 and annual cropping schemes. How biochar amendment affects plant communities in more complex and diverse ecosystems that can evolve over time is largely unknown. We investigated such effects in a field experiment at a Dutch nature restoration area. In April 2011, we set up an experiment using biochar produced from cuttings collected from a local natural grassland. The material was pyrolyzed at 400 degrees C or at 600 degrees C. After biochar or residue (non-pyrolyzed cuttings) application (10 Mg/ha), all plots, including control (0 Mg/ ha) plots, were sown with an 18-species grassland mixture. In August 2011, we determined characteristics of the developed plant community, as well as soil nutrient status. Biochar amendment did not alter total plant productivity, but it had a strong and significant effect on plant community composition. Legumes were three times as abundant and individual legume plants increased four times in biomass in plots that received biochar as compared to the control treatment. Biomass of the most abundant forb (Plantago lanceolata) was not affected by biochar addition. Available phosphorous, potassium, and pH were significantly higher in soils that received biochar than in Control soils. The rate of biological nitrogen fixation and seed germination were not altered by biochar amendment, but the total amount of biological N fixed per Trifolium pratense (red clover) plant was more than four times greater in biochar-amended soil. This study demonstrates that biochar amendment has a strong and rapid effect on plant communities and soil nutrients. Over time these changes may cascade up to other trophic groups, including above- and belowground organisms

  5. Compared Biochar and Compost effects on plant growth and soil factors as reported for three consequent greenhouse trial setups

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schulz, H. S.; Glaser, B. G.

    2012-04-01

    Since ten years there is a major increase in research concerning biochar applications to soils trying to mimic effects known from Terra Preta do Indio (Glaser 2002). We conducted a preliminary study in which we analyzed the synergistic effects of biochar in combination with conventional and with organic fertilizers, whereas our latter experiments use biochar which was blended with fresh organic material and underwent the whole composting procedure leading to the first known composted biochars. Our first pot experiment (with two consequent growth periods without additional fertilization) helped to distinguish the effects from conventional and organic fertilizers in combination with biochar, where biochar revealed abilities for stabilizing carbon content (Total Organic and Black Carbon) and reducing nitrification. Plant weights were highest with pure compost, but biochar combined with compost (50:50) showed a sustained progression comparing second growth period's results. Those outcomes let us focus on biochar-compost-mixes. Our second greenhouse experiment concentrated on the question of the minimal biochar content to enhance plant growth and soil properties and was performed on a very poor sandy and on a richer loamy soil with rising concentrations between 0% and 1% biochar per compost. We could not find significant differences between the pure compost and the biochar amended pots. For our third experiment we tried to elevate the biochar share as high as possible and tested treatments with up to 200 Mg ha-1(eq.) in steps with up to 50% biochar content, again in poor sandy and richer loamy soil pots. The measured seed weight of applied Avena sativa L. plants showed very different results on sandy soil compared to the loamy soil. Whereas compost on loam showed a seed weight 2 times higher than on pure loam control and seed weights 1.6 times higher compared to compost with highest biochar amounts, on sand the pure compost was even slightly less productive than pure

  6. 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

    leaching compared to the control (where nearly all mineral N was lost), the larger application amount in pure compost caused rising nitrate loss rates, likely due to compost mineralization. Interestingly, this was not the case when biochar was included, either co-composted or mixed into the substrates afterwards. However, after three years, the biochar-compost treatment still showed the highest grape yield of all treatments, while the treatment with biochar mixed in after compost production did not have the same effect. The results suggest that biochar-composts, for example produced from vine making residue and greenwaste, may reduce the risk of nitrate leaching while increasing the soil organic content more permanently than other amendments. Genesio, L., Miglietta, F., Baronti, S., Vaccari, F.P., 2015. Biochar increases vineyard Productivity without affecting grape quality: Results from a four years field experiment in Tuscany. Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment 201, 20-25. Kammann, C.I., Schmidt, H.-P., Messerschmidt, N., Linsel, S., Steffens, D., Müller, C., Koyro, H.-W., Conte, P., Joseph, S., 2015. Plant growth improvement mediated by nitrate capture in cocomposted biochar. Scientific Reports 5, doi: 10.1038/srep11080. Ruysschaert, G., Nelissen, V., Postma, R., Bruun, E., O'Toole, A., Hammond, J., Rödger, J.-M.,Hylander, L., Kihlberg, T., Zwart, K., Hauggaard-Nielsen, H., Shackley, S., 2016. Field applications of pure biochar in the North Sea region and across Europe, in: Shackley, S.,Ruysschaert, G., Zwart, K., Glaser, B. (Eds.), Biochar in European Soils and Agriculture - Science and Practice. Routhledge, Oxon, UK and New York, USA.

  7. Low-Temperature Biochar Affects an Eroded Calcareous Soil

    Science.gov (United States)

    Previous research showed little benefit from using a high temperature, high pH biochar for improving the fertility of eroded calcareous soils. We thus explored the potential of an activated, low-temperature, low pH biochar to improve their fertility status. In a microcosm study conducted at 20 de...

  8. 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)...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-07-15

    Short and long-term impacts of biochar on soil properties under field conditions are poorly understood. In addition, there is a lack of field reports of the impacts of biochar on soil physical properties, gaseous emissions and C stability, particularly in comparison with other amendments. Thus, three amendments - biochar produced from oak at 650°C, humic acid (HA) and water treatment residual - (WTR) were added to a scalped silty-loam soil @ 0.5% (w/w) in triplicated plots under soybean. Over the 4-month active growing season, all amendments significantly increased soil pH, but the effect of biochar was the greatest. Biochar significantly increased soil-C by 7%, increased sub-nanopore surface area by 15% and reduced soil bulk density by 13% compared to control. However, only WTR amendment significantly increased soil nanopore surface area by 23% relative to the control. While total cumulative CH4 and CO2 emissions were not significantly affected by any amendment, cumulative N2O emission was significantly decreased in the biochar-amended soil (by 92%) compared to control over the growing period. Considering both the total gas emissions and the C removed from the atmosphere as crop growth and C added to the soil, WTR and HA resulted in net soil C losses and biochar as a soil C gain. However, all amendments reduced the global warming potential (GWP) of the soil and biochar addition even produced a net negative GWP effect. The short observation period, low application rate and high intra-treatment variation resulted in fewer significant effects of the amendments on the physicochemical properties of the soils than one might expect indicating further possible experimentation altering these variables. However, there was clear evidence of amendment-soil interaction processes affecting both soil properties and gaseous emissions, particularly for biochar, that might lead to greater changes with additional field emplacement time. PMID:24751592

  10. [Effects of biochar on the micro-ecology of tobacco-planting soil and physiology of flue-cured tobacco].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Yi; Chen, Wei; Lin, Ye-chun; Cheng, Jian-zhong; Pan, Wen-jie

    2015-12-01

    Biochar is one of the research hotspots in the field of the agroforestry waste utilization. A field experiment was carried out to investigate the effects of different amounts of tobacco stem biochar (0, 1, 10, 50 t · hm⁻²) on soil micro-ecology and physiological properties of flue-cured tobacco. The results showed that soil water content (SWC) increased at all tobacco growth stages as the amounts of biochar applications increased. There were significant differences of SWC between the treatment of 50 t · hm⁻² and other treatments at the period of tobacco vigorous growth. As the application of biochar increased, the total soil porosity and capillary porosity increased, while soil bacteria, actinomyces, fungi amount increased firstly and then decreased. The amount of soil bacteria, actinomyces, fungi reached the maximum at the treatment of 10 t · hm⁻². Soil respiration rate (SRR) at earlier stage increased with the increase of biochar application. Compared with the control, SSR under biochar treatments increased by 7.9%-36.9%, and there were significant differences of SRR between high biochar application treatments (50 t · hm⁻² and 10 t · hm⁻²) and the control. Biochar improved leaf water potential, carotenoid and chlorophyll contents. Meanwhile, the dry mass of root, shoot and total dry mass under biochar application were higher than that of the control. These results indicated that the biochar played active roles in improving tobacco-planting soil micro-ecology and regulating physiological properties of flue-cured tobacco. PMID:27112019

  11. 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. PMID:26138708

  12. Biochar production and applications in sub-Saharan Africa: opportunities, constraints, risks and uncertainties.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gwenzi, Willis; Chaukura, Nhamo; Mukome, Fungai N D; Machado, Stephen; Nyamasoka, Blessing

    2015-03-01

    Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) experiences soil degradation, food and livelihood insecurity, environmental pollution and lack of access to energy. Biochar has gained international research attention, but few studies have investigated the potential of biochar to address the challenges in SSA. This paper seeks to identify and evaluate generic potential opportunities and constraints associated with biochar application in sub-Saharan Africa using Zimbabwe as case study. Specific objectives were to; (1) identify and quantify feedstocks for biochar production; (2) review literature on the biochar properties, and evaluate its potential applications in agriculture, environmental remediation and energy provision, and (3) identify research gaps, risks and constraints associated with biochar technology. Biochar feedstocks in Zimbabwe were estimated to be 9.9 Mton yr(-1), predominantly derived from manure (88%) and firewood (10%). This will yield 3.5, 1.7 and 3.1 Mton yr(-1) of biochar, bio-oil and synthetic gas, respectively. Land application of the 3.5 Mton yr(-1) of biochar (≈63% C) would sequester approximately 2.2 Mton yr(-1) of soil carbon in Zimbabwe alone, while simultaneously minimizing the environmental and public health risks, and greenhouse gas emissions associated with solid organic wastes. Biochar potentially enhances soil and crop productivity through enhanced nutrient and soil moisture availability, amelioration of acidic soils and stimulation of microbial diversity and activity. Due to its excellent adsorption properties, biochar has potential applications in industrial and environmental applications including water and wastewater treatment, remediation and revegetation of contaminated soils and water. Biochar products have energy values comparable or higher than those of traditional biomass fuels; thereby making them ideal alternative sources of energy especially for poor households without access to electricity. Before the benefits of biochar can be

  13. Conocarpus biochar as a soil amendment for reducing heavy metal availability and uptake by maize plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Al-Wabel, Mohammad I; Usman, Adel R A; El-Naggar, Ahmed H; Aly, Anwar A; Ibrahim, Hesham M; Elmaghraby, Salem; Al-Omran, Abdulrasoul

    2015-07-01

    The objective of this study was to assess the use of Concarpus biochar as a soil amendment for reducing heavy metal accessibility and uptake by maize plants (Zea mays L.). The impacts of biochar rates (0.0, 1.0, 3.0, and 5.0% w/w) and two soil moisture levels (75% and 100% of field capacity, FC) on immobilization and availability of Fe, Mn, Zn, Cd, Cu and Pb to maize plants as well as its application effects on soil pH, EC, bulk density, and moisture content were evaluated using heavy metal-contaminated soil collected from mining area. The biochar addition significantly decreased the bulk density and increased moisture content of soil. Applying biochar significantly reduced NH4OAc- or AB-DTPA-extractable heavy metal concentrations of soils, indicating metal immobilization. Conocarpus biochar increased shoot dry biomass of maize plants by 54.5-102% at 75% FC and 133-266% at 100% FC. Moreover, applying biochar significantly reduced shoot heavy metal concentrations in maize plants (except for Fe at 75% FC) in response to increasing application rates, with a highest decrease of 51.3% and 60.5% for Mn, 28% and 21.2% for Zn, 60% and 29.5% for Cu, 53.2% and 47.2% for Cd at soil moisture levels of 75% FC and 100% FC, respectively. The results suggest that biochar may be effectively used as a soil amendment for heavy metal immobilization and in reducing its phytotoxicity. PMID:26150758

  14. Biochar amendment affects leaching potential of copper and nutrient release behavior in contaminated sandy soils.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bakshi, Santanu; He, Zhenli L; Harris, Willie G

    2014-11-01

    Copper (Cu) contamination to soil and water is a worldwide concern. Biochar has been suggested to remediate degraded soils. In this study, column leaching and chemical characterization were conducted to assess effects of biochar amendment on Cu immobilization and subsequent nutrient release in Cu-contaminated Alfisol and Spodosol. The results indicate that biochar is effective in binding Cu (30 and 41%, respectively, for Alfisol with and without spiked Cu; 36 and 43% for Spodosol) and reducing Cu leaching loss (from ∼47 to 10% for the Cu-spiked Alfisol and from 48 to 9% for the Cu-spiked Spodosol). Copper was likely retained on biochar surfaces through complexation, as suggested by Fourier-transform infrared spectra. Biochar amendment converts a portion of Cu from available pool to more stable forms, thus resulting in decreased activities of free Cu and increased activity of organic Cu complexes in leachate. Reduction of >0.45-μm solids and nanoparticles concentrations in leachate was also observed. In addition, biochar application rate was correlated negatively with P, Ca, Mg, Zn, Mn, and NH-N concentration ( < 0.05) but positively with K and Na concentration ( < 0.05) in leachates. These results documented the potential of biochar as an effective amendment for Cu immobilization and mitigation of leaching risk for some nutrients. PMID:25602206

  15. 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.

  16. 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....

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

  18. Biochar increases plant available water in a sandy soil under an aerobic rice cropping system

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. T. de Melo Carvalho

    2014-03-01

    Full Text Available The main objective of this study was to assess the impact of biochar rate (0, 8, 16 and 32 t ha−1 on the water retention capacity (WRC of a sandy Dystric Plinthosol. The applied biochar was a by-product of slow pyrolysis (∼450 °C of eucalyptus wood, milled to pass through a 2000 μm sieve that resulted in a material with an intrinsic porosity ≤10 μm and a specific surface area of ∼3.2 m2 g−1. The biochar was incorporated into the top 15 cm of the soil under an aerobic rice system. Our study focused on both the effects on WRC and rice yields at 2 and 3 years after application. Undisturbed soil samples were collected from 16 plots in two soil layers (5–10 and 15–20 cm. Soil water retention curves were modelled using a nonlinear mixed model which appropriately accounts for uncertainties inherent of spatial variability and repeated measurements taken within a specific soil sample. We found an increase in plant available water in the upper soil layer proportional to the rate of biochar, with about 0.8% for each t ha−1 of biochar amendment at 2 and 3 years after application. The impact of biochar on soil WRC was most likely related to an increase in overall porosity of the sandy soil, which was evident from an increase in saturated soil moisture and macro porosity with 0.5% and 1.6% for each t ha−1 of biochar applied, respectively. The increment in soil WRC did not translate into an increase in rice yield, essentially because in both seasons the amount of rainfall during critical period for rice production exceeded 650 mm. The use of biochar as a soil amendment can be a worthy strategy to guarantee yield stability under water limited conditions. Our findings raise the importance of assessing the feasibility of very high application rates of biochar and the inclusion of a detailed analysis of its physical and chemical properties as part of future investigations.

  19. Biochar's effect on soil nitrous oxide emissions from a maize field with lime adjusted pH treatment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hüppi, Roman; Leifeld, Jens; Felber, Raphael; Neftel, Albrecht; Six, Johan

    2015-04-01

    Biochar is a carbon-rich, porous product from pyrolysis of organic residues. Especially tropical soils have shown positive response in yield to biochar addition. Its high stability in soil makes biochar a potent carbon sequestration option at the same time. A number of laboratory incubations have shown significantly reduced nitrous oxide (N2O) emissions from soil when mixed with biochar. Emission measurements from the field show the same trend but are much more scarce. One of the hypothesized mechanisms for reduced N2O emissions from soil is owing to the increase in soil pH from the application of alkaline biochar. To test the effect of biochar on N2O emissions from a temperate maize system, we set up a field trial with a 20 t/ha biochar treatment, a limestone treatment adjusted to the same pH as with biochar and a control without addition. An automated static chamber greenhouse gas measurement system measured N2O emissions for each replicated (n=3) every 3.6 hours. The field was conventionally fertilised at a rate of 160 kg-N/ha in 3 doses of 40, 80 and 40 kg-N/ha. Cumulative emissions show a significant reduction for N2O in the biochar treatment by about 55 % relative to the control. The limed treatment shows similar emissions than control but with higher variability. This suggests that the N2O reduction effect of biochar is not mainly due to its liming effect. In conclusion, we confirm that biochar is a promising material to reduce N2O emissions from intensively managed agricultural soils.

  20. Cumulative effects of biochar, mineral and organic fertilizers on soil organic matter

    Science.gov (United States)

    Plaza, César; López-de-Sá, Esther G.; Gascó, Gabriel; Méndez, Ana; Zaccone, Claudio

    2016-04-01

    We investigated the effect of three consecutive annual applications of biochar at rates of 0 and 20 t ha-1, in a factorial combination with a mineral fertilizer (NPK and nitrosulfate) and two types of organic amendment (municipal solid waste compost and sewage sludge), on soil organic matter in a field experiment under Mediterranean conditions. Biochar increased significantly soil organic C content and C/N ratio. In biochar-amended soils, soil organic C increased significantly with the addition of municipal solid waste compost and sewage sludge. To capture organic matter protection mechanisms related to aggregation and mineral interaction, the soil samples will be fractionated into free (unprotected), intra-macroaggregate, intra-microaggregate, and mineral-associated organic matter pools, and the isolated fractions will be subjected to further chemical and spectroscopic analysis.

  1. Effects of fresh and aged biochars from pyrolysis and hydrothermal carbonization on nutrient sorption in agricultural soils

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gronwald, M.; Don, A.; Tiemeyer, B.; Helfrich, M.

    2015-01-01

    Leaching of nutrients from agricultural soils causes major environmental problems that may be reduced with biochar amendments to the soils. Biochars are characterised by a high adsorption capacity, i.e., they may retain nutrients such nitrate and ammonium. However, biochar properties strongly depend on feedstock and the production process. We investigated the nutrient retention capacity of biochars derived from pyrolysis (pyrochar) as well as from hydrothermal carbonization (hydrochar; produced at 200 and 250 °C) from three different feedstocks (digestates, Miscanthus, woodchips) mixed into different soil substrates (sandy loam and silty loam). Moreover, we investigated the influence of biochar degradation on its nutrient retention capacity using a seven-month in-situ field incubation of pyrochar and hydrochar. Pyrochars showed the highest ability to retain nitrate, ammonium and phosphate, with pyrochar from woodchips being particularly efficient in nitrate adsorption. Ammonium adsorption of pyrochars was controlled by the soil type of the soil-biochar mixture. We found some ammonium retention on sandy soils, but no pyrochar effect or even ammonium leaching from the loamy soil. The phosphate retention capacity of pyrochars strongly depended on the pyrochar feedstock with large phosphate leaching from digestate-derived pyrochar and some adsorption capacity from woodchip-derived pyrochar. Application of hydrochars to agricultural soils caused small, and often not significant, effects on nutrient retention. In contrast, some hydrochars did increase the leaching of nutrients compared to the non-amended control soil. We found a surprisingly rapid loss of the biochars' adsorption capacity after field application of the biochars. For all sites and for hydrochar and pyrochar, the adsorption capacity was reduced by 60-80% to less or no nitrate and ammonium adsorption. Thus, our results cast doubt on the efficiency of biochar applications to temperate zone soils to minimize

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-15

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

  3. 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;

    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....

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    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 (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 CO2 emission in the initial stage of incubation and reached the highest level (0.52 and 3.96mgCkg(-1)soilh(-1)) at 1d and 3d 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 PLFAs18:1ω7c 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 microbial

  5. 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...

  6. Biochar and biological carbon cycling in temperate soils

    Science.gov (United States)

    McCormack, S. A.; Vanbergen, A. J.; Bardgett, R. D.; Hopkins, D. W.; Ostle, N.

    2012-04-01

    Production of biochar, the recalcitrant residue formed by pyrolysis of plant matter, is suggested as a means of increasing storage of stable carbon (C) in the soil (1). Biochar has also been shown to act as a soil conditioner, increasing the productivity of certain crops by reducing nutrient leaching and improving soil water-holding capacity. However, the response of soil carbon pools to biochar addition is not yet well understood. Studies have shown that biochar has highly variable effects on microbial C cycling and thus on soil C storage (2,3,4). This discrepancy may be partially explained by the response of soil invertebrates, which occupy higher trophic levels and regulate microbial activity. This research aims to understand the role of soil invertebrates (i.e. Collembola and nematode worms) in biochar-mediated changes to soil C dynamics across a range of plant-soil communities. An open-air, pot-based mesocosm experiment was established in May, 2011 at the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, Edinburgh. Three treatments were included in a fully-factorial design: biochar (presence [2 % w/w] or absence), soil type (arable sandy, arable sandy loam, grassland sandy loam), and vegetation type (Hordeum vulgare, Lolium perenne, unvegetated). Monitored parameters include: invertebrate and microbial species composition, soil C fluxes (CO2 and trace gas evolution, leachate C content, primary productivity and soil C content), and soil conditions (pH, moisture content and water-holding capacity). Preliminary results indicate that biochar-induced changes to soil invertebrate communities and processes are affected by pre-existing soil characteristics, and that soil texture in particular may be an important determinant of soil response to biochar addition. 1. Lehmann, 2007. A handful of carbon. Nature 447, 143-144. 2. Liang et al., 2010. Black carbon affects the cycling of non-black carbon in soil. Organic Geochemistry 41, 206-213. 3. Van Zwieten et al., 2010. Influence of

  7. 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.

  8. Biochar Amendment to the Soil Surface Reduces Fumigant Emissions and Enhances Soil Microorganism Recovery.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shen, Guoqing; Ashworth, Daniel J; Gan, Jay; Yates, Scott R

    2016-02-01

    During soil fumigation, it is ideal to mitigate soil fumigant emissions, ensure pest control efficacy, and speed up the recovery of the soil microorganism population established postapplication. However, no current fumigant emission reduction strategy can meet all these requirements. In the present study, replicated soil columns were used to study the effect of biochar derived from rice husk (BR) and green waste (BG) applied to the soil surface on 1,3-dichloropropene (1,3-D) and chloropicrin (CP) emissions and soil gas distribution, and on microorganism population re-establishment. Relative to fumigated bare soil (no emission reduction strategy), high-density polyethylene (HDPE), and ammonium thiosulfate (ATS) treatments, BR gave dramatic emission reductions for both fumigants with no obvious emission peak, whereas BG was very effective only for 1,3-D. With BR application, the concentration of fumigant in the soil gas was higher than in the bare soil and ATS treatment. After the soil column experiment, mixing the BR with the fumigated soil resulted in higher soil respiration rates than were observed for HDPE and ATS treatments. Therefore, biochar amendment to the soil surface may be an effective strategy for fumigant emission reduction and the recovery of soil microorganism populations established postapplication. PMID:26726779

  9. 生物炭的土壤环境效应及其重金属修复应用的研究进展%Soil Environmental Influence of Biochar and Its Application in Soil Heavy Metal Restoration

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    黄代宽; 李心清; 董泽琴; 刘永霞; 周思; 周强; 余浪

    2014-01-01

    Biochar with unique physicochemical property is of higher stability,and a certain adsorption and cation exchange capacity (CEC)and the characteristics of lower use cost,simple technical principle and good environmental friendlier,which not only solves soil pollution problem,but also provides the solving way for treatment of rural surplus biomass.Therefore,the researchers pay close attention to application of biochar in restoration of polluted soil.The authors review biochar physicochemical property and environmental characteristics,highlight the relationship between environmental effect of increasing soil CEC,soil pH,soil organic matter content,microbial activity and soil heavy metals mobility,prospect the effect of biochar on soil heavy metals mobility and biological effectiveness,and propose that further research keys should include comparative study of different biochar from different biomass raw materials under the preparation condition and soil heavy metals restoration capacity of biochar according to specific circumstances of soil heavy metals pollution (soil itself physicochemical condition,and type,content and morphology of heavy metal)based on the basic principle of soil testing and fertilizer recommendation.%生物炭独特的理化性质使其具有较高的稳定性及一定的吸附能力和阳离子交换能力(CEC),同时还兼有使用成本低、技术原理简单、环境友好性突出等特点,不仅可解决土壤污染问题,还可以为农村过剩生物质处理提供解决途径,近年来生物炭在土壤污染修复治理方面的应用研究倍受关注。概述了生物炭的理化特性以及环境特性,着重介绍了生物炭在提高土壤 CEC、提升土壤 pH 值、增加土壤有机质(SOM)含量、提高微生物活性等方面的环境效应与土壤重金属迁移性之间的关系;对今后生物炭对土壤重金属迁移性及生物有效性的影响研究进行了展望,提出在进一步研究中

  10. Biochar and Plant Growth Promoting Rhizobacteria as Soil Amendments

    OpenAIRE

    Hale, Lauren Elizabeth

    2014-01-01

    The notion of introducing biochar into soil for carbon sequestration provides the impetus for studying these materials as inoculum carriers. For this goal I assessed the survival of plant growth promoting rhizobacteria (PGPR) introduced into natural soils after pre-inoculation onto biochar materials. First, molecular and culture-based methods, which involved the use of a green fluorescent protein (GFP) marker, were developed to track the introduced bacterial strain. The key findings of a case...

  11. Conocarpus biochar as a soil amendment for reducing heavy metal availability and uptake by maize plants

    OpenAIRE

    Al-Wabel, Mohammad I.; Adel R. A. Usman; El-Naggar, Ahmed H.; Aly, Anwar A.; Ibrahim, Hesham M.; Elmaghraby, Salem; Al-Omran, Abdulrasoul

    2014-01-01

    The objective of this study was to assess the use of Concarpus biochar as a soil amendment for reducing heavy metal accessibility and uptake by maize plants (Zea mays L.). The impacts of biochar rates (0.0, 1.0, 3.0, and 5.0% w/w) and two soil moisture levels (75% and 100% of field capacity, FC) on immobilization and availability of Fe, Mn, Zn, Cd, Cu and Pb to maize plants as well as its application effects on soil pH, EC, bulk density, and moisture content were evaluated using heavy metal-c...

  12. Biochar and manure affect calcareous soil and corn silage nutrient concentrations and uptake.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lentz, R D; Ippolito, J A

    2012-01-01

    Carbon-rich biochar derived from the pyrolysis of biomass can sequester atmospheric CO, mitigate climate change, and potentially increase crop productivity. However, research is needed to confirm the suitability and sustainability of biochar application to different soils. To an irrigated calcareous soil, we applied stockpiled dairy manure (42 Mg ha dry wt) and hardwood-derived biochar (22.4 Mg ha), singly and in combination with manure, along with a control, yielding four treatments. Nitrogen fertilizer was applied when needed (based on preseason soil test N and crop requirements) in all plots and years, with N mineralized from added manure included in this determination. Available soil nutrients (NH-N; NO-N; Olsen P; and diethylenetriaminepentaacetic acid-extractable K, Mg, Na, Cu, Mn, Zn, and Fe), total C (TC), total N (TN), total organic C (TOC), and pH were evaluated annually, and silage corn nutrient concentration, yield, and uptake were measured over two growing seasons. Biochar treatment resulted in a 1.5-fold increase in available soil Mn and a 1.4-fold increase in TC and TOC, whereas manure produced a 1.2- to 1.7-fold increase in available nutrients (except Fe), compared with controls. In 2009 biochar increased corn silage B concentration but produced no yield increase; in 2010 biochar decreased corn silage TN (33%), S (7%) concentrations, and yield (36%) relative to controls. Manure produced a 1.3-fold increase in corn silage Cu, Mn, S, Mg, K, and TN concentrations and yield compared with the control in 2010. The combined biochar-manure effects were not synergistic except in the case of available soil Mn. In these calcareous soils, biochar did not alter pH or availability of P and cations, as is typically observed for acidic soils. If the second year results are representative, they suggest that biochar applications to calcareous soils may lead to reduced N availability, requiring additional soil N inputs to maintain yield targets. PMID:22751045

  13. Potential risk of biochar-amended soil to aquatic systems: an evaluation based on aquatic bioassays.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bastos, A C; Prodana, M; Abrantes, N; Keizer, J J; Soares, A M V M; Loureiro, S

    2014-11-01

    It is vital to address potential risks to aquatic ecosystems exposed to runoff and leachates from biochar-amended soils, before large scale applications can be considered. So far, there are no established approaches for such an assessment. This study used a battery of bioassays and representative aquatic organisms for assessing the acute toxicity of water-extractable fractions of biochar-amended soil, at reported application rates (80 t ha(-1)). Biochar-amended aqueous soil extracts contained cadmium (Cd), cobalt (Co), chromium (Cr), copper (Cu), manganese (Mn), zinc (Zn), nickel (Ni), lead (Pb), arsenic (As) and mercury (Hg) (Σmetals 96.3 µg l(-1)) as well as the 16 priority PAHs defined by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (Σ16PAHs 106 ng l(-1)) at contents in the range of current EU regulations for surface waters. Nevertheless, acute exposure to soil-biochar (SB) extracts resulted in species-specific effects and dose-response patterns. While the bioluminescent marine bacterium Vibrio fischeri was the most sensitive organism to aqueous SB extracts, there were no effects on the growth of the microalgae Pseudokirchneriella subcapitata. In contrast, up to 20 and 25% mobility impairment was obtained for the invertebrate Daphnia magna upon exposure to 50 and 100% SB extract concentrations (respectively). Results suggest that a battery of rapid and cost-effective aquatic bioassays that account for ecological representation can complement analytical characterization of biochar-amended soils and risk assessment approaches for surface and groundwater protection. PMID:25213286

  14. Biochar application reduces N2O emission in intensively managed temperate grassland

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-04-01

    Biochar, a pyrolysis product of organic residues, is seen as an amendment for agricultural soils to improve soil fertility, sequester CO2 and reduce N2O emissions. Mainly used in highly weathered tropical soils, the interest of using biochar in intensively managed temperate soils is increasing. Our previous laboratory incubations have shown N2O reduction potentials of between 20 and 100% for temperate soils after biochar application (Felber et al., Biogeosciences Discuss, 2012). To assess the effect of biochar application under field conditions, a plot experiment (3 control vs. 3 biochar amended plots of 3x3 m size at a rate of 15 t ha-1) was set up in a temperate intensively managed grassland soil. N2O and CO2 emissions were quasi-continuously measured by static chambers under standard management practice over 8 months. In parallel soil samples were taken monthly from all plots and their N2O and CO2 productions were measured under controlled conditions in the lab. At the beginning of the field measurements (April 2011) cumulative N2O fluxes from biochar amended plots were above those of control plots, but the pattern reversed towards reduced fluxes from biochar plots after 3 months and the reduction reached about 15% by the end of 2011. The biochar effect on reducing N2O emissions in the laboratory was two times that of the field measurements, indicating that results from laboratory experiments are not directly transferable to field conditions. The experiments indicate a substantial N2O emission reduction potential of biochar in temperate grassland fields.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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

  16. Bacterial Mobilization of Nutrients From Biochar-Amended Soils.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schmalenberger, A; Fox, A

    2016-01-01

    Soil amendments with biochar to improve soil fertility and increase soil carbon stocks have received some high-level attention. Physical and chemical analyses of amended soils and biochars from various feedstocks are reported, alongside some evaluations of plant growth promotion capabilities. Fewer studies investigated the soil microbiota and their potential to increase cycling and mobilization of nutrients in biochar-amended soils. This review is discussing the latest findings in the bacterial contribution to cycling and mobilizing nitrogen, phosphorus, and sulfur in biochar-amended soils and potential contributions to plant growth promotion. Depending on feedstock, pyrolysis, soil type, and plant cover, changes in the bacterial community structure were observed for a majority of the studies using amplicon sequencing or genetic fingerprinting methods. Prokaryotic nitrification largely depends on the availability of ammonium and can vary considerably under soil biochar amendment. However, denitrification to di-nitrogen and in particular, nitrous oxide reductase activity is commonly enhanced, resulting in reduced nitrous oxide emissions. Likewise, bacterial fixation of di-nitrogen appears to be regularly enhanced. A paucity of studies suggests that bacterial mobilization of phosphorus and sulfur is enhanced as well. However, most studies only tested for extracellular sulfatase and phosphatase activity. Further research is needed to reveal details of the bacterial nutrient mobilizing capabilities and this is in particular the case for the mobilization of phosphorus and sulfur. PMID:26917243

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-04-01

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

  18. Biochar and Forest Ecology

    OpenAIRE

    Coleman, Mark

    2011-01-01

    Charcoal is a common component temperate forest soils. It results from wildfire events that frequently disturb the structure and function of vegetation and soils. Recent interest in applying biochar (artificially produced charcoal) to forest ecosystems raises both opportunities and concerns. The greatest opportunity for biochar application to forest soils is through the utilization of continuously produced and overabundant forest biomass for the production of bioenergy. Biochar is a co...

  19. Total and bioavailable PAH concentrations in biochar - a future soil improver

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hilber, I.; Blum, F.; Hale, S.; Cornelissen, G.; Schmidt, H. P.; Bucheli, T. D.

    2012-04-01

    Biochar is pyrolyzed organic feedstock. It has become more and more important as soil conditioner and received broad attention as a possible measure against climate change. Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) are formed during biochar production due to incomplete combustion. These PAHs will enter the environment when the biochar is applied as soil conditioner to avoid leaching of nutrients, to increase microbial biomass and activity, to remediate the soil of organic pollutants, etc. Such positive effects are undermined if PAH exposure is concomitantly increased. We have determined the total PAH concentrations of about 40 commercially produced biochars with an analytical method based on Soxhlet extraction with toluene optimized in our laboratory (Hilber et al.). The bioavailability of the PAHs in these biochars was assessed with polyoxymethylene (POM), a passive sampler, which measures the truly dissolved concentration of organic pollutants in the pore water, according to Hale et al. Samples from total and POM extractions where measured by GC-MS to determine the total and bioavailable concentrations of the 16 EPA PAHs, respectively. Preliminary results showed that the total concentrations of the biochars ranged from 0.4 to 355 mgΣ16 EPA PAH/kgBC. The bioavailable concentrations were in the nanograms per liter for the Σ16 EPA PAH and goes in line with findings of recently published data of Hale et al. The fraction desorbed by POM in relation to the total concentrations is in the permill range. Although the bioavailable concentration appears very small, it has to be considered that biochars might be applied to an agricultural field several times. Thus, the source of amended PAHs to the soil is renewed not only for the bioavailable but also for the total concentration. Biochar applications might become a problem especially for legislation accounting for total concentrations. The only guideline for biochars is from the International Biochar Initiative which set

  20. Engineered biochar reclaiming phosphate from aqueous solutions: mechanisms and potential application as a slow-release fertilizer.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yao, Ying; Gao, Bin; Chen, Jianjun; Yang, Liuyan

    2013-08-01

    This work explored the potential application of an engineered biochar prepared from Mg-enriched tomato tissues to reclaim and reuse phosphate (P) from aqueous solution. Findings from batch sorption experiments suggested that, although sorption of P on the biochar was controlled by relatively slow kinetics, the maximum P sorption capacity of the biochar could reach >100 mg·g(-1). Mathematical modeling and postsorption characterization results indicated that the sorption was mainly controlled by two mechanisms: precipitation of P through chemical reaction with Mg particles and surface deposition of P on Mg crystals on biochar surfaces. Most of the P retained in the engineered biochar was bioavailable and could be released equally at multiple successive extractions. In addition, the P-laden biochar significantly stimulated grass seed germination and growth. These results suggested the postsorption biochar can be cycled back directly to soils as an effective slow-release P-fertilizer. PMID:23848524

  1. 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.

  2. The impact of biochars prepared from agricultural residues on phosphorus release and availability in two fertile soils.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Manolikaki, Ioanna I; Mangolis, Argirios; Diamadopoulos, Evan

    2016-10-01

    significant differences were observed in alkaline soil. These results suggest that biochars derived from agricultural residues may act as a source of P in agronomic applications and improve plant growth, although soil conditions may play a significant role. PMID:27429359

  3. 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. PMID:26845182

  4. 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...

  5. A comparison of corn residue and its biochar on soil C and plant growth

    Science.gov (United States)

    Biochar amendment can be beneficial to soils because it contains mostly recalcitrant forms of C, and biochar contributes base cations that can remedy nutrient deficiencies on acid soils. However, the benefits of biochars on neutral or calcareous soils needs to be assessed. In order to properly deter...

  6. Designing relevant biochars as soil amendments using lignocellulosic-based and manure-based feedstocks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Purpose: Biochars are a soil amendment produced from lignocellulosic and manure feedstocks. Not all biochars are viable soil amendments because of differences in their physical and chemical properties. Biochar could deliver more effective service as a soil amendment if its chemis...

  7. Grain-Size Effects on Field Capacity of Soil-Biochar Mixtures

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Z.; Dugan, B.; Masiello, C. A.; Gonnermann, H. M.

    2014-12-01

    While it is known that under some circumstances amending soil with biochar improves soil hydrologic properties, the mechanisms driving these improvements are not well-understood. This is a serious gap: without mechanism understanding, it is much harder to predict when biochar will improve soil properties. Grain size likely plays a key role in controlling biochar effects on water movement and storage, because grain size (of both biochar and soils) plays a major role in soil porosity. Here we report water potential of soil-biochar mixtures in the context of grain size and porosity measurements to better understand the mechanisms controlling how pores in biochar and soil store water. Our soil-biochar mixtures are sand (0.251-0.853 mm) with 2 wt% biochar; we used two separate biochar grain size ranges. Comparison of pure sand with biochar+sand mixtures shows a field capacity (θfc, water content at soil water potential = 33 kPa) increase from 0.014 to 0.027 kgwater/kgsoil+water (increase of 93%) when biochar is 0.251-0.853 mm (same size as sand) and a field capacity increase from 0.014 to 0.032 kgwater/kgsoil+water (increase of 129%) when biochar is 0.853-2.00 mm (larger than sand). Thus when biochar is larger than sand, θfc of biochar+sand mixtures (0.032 kgwater/kgsoil+water) is higher than θfc of biochar+sand mixtures (0.027 kgwater/kgsoil+water) when biochar is the same size as sand. Biochar+sand mixtures have interporosity (porosity between grains) and intraporosity (pores inside biochar particles). The average intraporosity of our biochars is 0.61±0.01 (61±1% of the biochar volume is pore space). Based our results we interpret that this intraporosity can store water and drives the increase of θfc for biochar-amended sand. Field capacity also increases with pore size decreases because smaller pores tend to hold water tightly due to higher capillary forces. The increase of θfc with increased biochar grain size may be caused by the bimodal particle size

  8. Biochar's effect on soil nitrous oxide emissions from a maize field with lime-adjusted pH treatment

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-07-01

    Biochar, a carbon-rich, porous pyrolysis product of organic residues may positively affect plant yield and can, owing to its inherent stability, promote soil carbon sequestration when amended to agricultural soils. Another possible effect of biochar is the reduction in emissions of nitrous oxide (N2O). A number of laboratory incubations have shown significantly reduced N2O emissions from soil when mixed with biochar. Emission measurements under field conditions however are more scarce and show weaker or no reductions, or even increases in N2O emissions. One of the hypothesized mechanisms for reduced N2O emissions from soil is owing to the increase in soil pH following the application of alkaline biochar. To test the effect of biochar on N2O emissions in a temperate maize system, we set up a field trial with a 20 t ha-1 biochar treatment, a limestone treatment adjusted to the same pH as the biochar treatment, and a control treatment without any addition. An automated static chamber system measured N2O emissions for each replicate plot (n = 3) every 3.6 h over the course of 8 months. The field was conventionally fertilised at a rate of 160 kg-N ha-1 in 3 applications of 40, 80 and 40 kg-N ha-1. Cumulative N2O emissions were 53 % smaller in the biochar compared to the control treatment. However, the effect of the treatments overall was not statistically significant (p = 0.26) because of the large variability in the dataset. Limed soils emitted similar mean cumulative amounts of N2O as the control. This indicates that the observed N2O reduction effect of biochar was not caused by a pH effect.

  9. Sorption interactions of heavy metals with biochar in soil remediation studies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fristak, Vladimir; Friesl-Hanl, Wolfgang; Wawra, Anna; Soja, Gerhard

    2015-04-01

    The search for new materials in soil remediation applications has led to new conversion technologies such as carbonization and pyrolysis. Biochar represents the pyrolytic product of different biomass input materials processed at 350-1000°C and anoxic conditions. The pyrolysis temperature and feedstock have a considerable influence on the quality of the charred product and also its main physico-chemical properties. Biochar as porous material with large specific surface and C-stability is utilized in various environmental and agricultural technologies. Carbon sequestration, increase of soil water-holding capacity and pH as well as sorption of different xenobiotics present only a fraction of the multitude of biochar application possibilities. Heavy metals as potential sources of ecotoxicological risks are characterized by their non-degradability and the potential transfer into the food chain. Carbonaceous materials have been used for a long time as sorbents for heavy metals and organic contaminants in soil and water technologies. The similarity of biochar with activated carbon predetermines this material as remediation tool which plays an important role in heavy metal immobilization and retention with a parallel reduction in the risk of ground water and food crop contamination. In all this processes the element-specific sorption behaviour of biochar creates new conditions for pollutant binding. Sorption interaction and separation of contaminants from soil solution or waste effluent can be affected by wide-ranging parameters. In detail, our study was based on batch-sorption comparisons of two biochars produced from wood chips and green waste residues. We observed that sorption efficiency of biochar for model bivalent heavy metals (Cd, Zn, Cu) can be influenced by equilibrium parameters such as pH, contact time, initial concentration of metal in reaction solutions, presence of surfactants and chemical modification by acid hydrolysis, esterification and methylation. The

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

    OpenAIRE

    Oram, N.J.; Van de Voorde, T.F.J.; Ouwehand, G.J.; Bezemer, T.M.; Mommer, L.; 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 study tested the impact of a biochar on the competitive ability of legumes through alterations to soil pH and/or nutrient availability. Biochar was produced from aboveground plant biomass from a specie...

  11. Possibilities to stabilize organic matter in soil using various biochars

    OpenAIRE

    Qayyum, Muhammad Farooq

    2012-01-01

    Soil organic matter (SOM) has an important role in soil fertility and agricultural productivity. Carbon (C) sequestration in soil can be an important step towards soil organic matter (SOM) stabilization and conservation. The traditional practices used to increase SOM do not sequester significant quantities of C into soil because most of the organic matter is not stable and is mineralized very fast. With the discovery of Terra Preta, it is evident that charcoal/biochar can be used to increase ...

  12. 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

  13. Influence of soil properties on heavy metal sequestration by biochar amendment: 1. Copper sorption isotherms and the release of cations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Uchimiya, Minori; Klasson, K Thomas; Wartelle, Lynda H; Lima, Isabel M

    2011-03-01

    The amendment of carbonaceous materials such as biochars and activated carbons is a promising in situ remediation strategy for both organic and inorganic contaminants in soils and sediments. Mechanistic understandings in sorption of heavy metals on amended soil are necessary for appropriate selection and application of carbonaceous materials for heavy metal sequestration in specific soil types. In this study, copper sorption isotherms were obtained for soils having distinct characteristics: clay-rich, alkaline San Joaquin soil with significant heavy metal sorption capacity, and eroded, acidic Norfolk sandy loam soil having low capacity to retain copper. The amendment of acidic pecan shell-derived activated carbon and basic broiler litter biochar lead to a greater enhancement of copper sorption in Norfolk soil than in San Joaquin soil. In Norfolk soil, the amendment of acidic activated carbon enhanced copper sorption primarily via cation exchange mechanism, i.e., release of proton, calcium, and aluminum, while acid dissolution of aluminum cannot be ruled out. For San Joaquin soil, enhanced copper retention by biochar amendment likely resulted from the following additional mechanisms: electrostatic interactions between copper and negatively charged soil and biochar surfaces, sorption on mineral (ash) components, complexation of copper by surface functional groups and delocalized π electrons of carbonaceous materials, and precipitation. Influence of biochar on the release of additional elements (e.g., Al, Ca) must be carefully considered when used as a soil amendment to sequester heavy metals. PMID:21147495

  14. The effects and mode of action of biochar on the degradation of methyl isothiocyanate in soil.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-09-15

    Biochar is used as a new type of fertilizer in agriculture; however, its effect on the fate of fumigants in soil is not fully understood. The objective of this study was to investigate the effects of biochar on methyl isothiocyanate (MITC) degradation in soil in laboratory incubation experiments, including the effects of biochar composition, amendment rate, moisture, temperature, soil sterilization and soil type. The dissipation pathways of MITC in biochars included adsorption and chemical degradation. The adsorption of MITC by biochars was positively correlated with the specific surface area (SSA) of the biochar. Biochar with a high SSA and low H/C value (such as biochar type BC-1) reduced MITC degradation in soil substantially; following BC-1 amendment, the degradation rate was 73.9% slower than in unamended soil. The degradation of MITC was positively correlated with the H/C value of biochar, and MITC degradation in soil increased 2.2-31.1 times following amendment with biochars with higher H/C values (e.g. biochar types BC-3-6). The biochar with the lowest organic matter and low H/C value did not affect the fate of MITC in soil. Biochars affect abiotic degradation processes more than biodegradation. When soil samples had a higher water content (>10%), higher temperature (40°C), and lower organic matter, the addition of BC-1 biochar reduced MITC degradation substantially; and this did not change significantly when the amendment rate increased. However, BC-4 biochar accelerated MITC degradation with increasing amendment rate, increasing temperature, and decreasing soil water content. The differences in degradation rates due to soil type were minimized by amendment with BC-4, but significant differences in BC-1. The results showed that the rational use of biochar has the potential to reduce MITC emission by accelerated degradation and adsorption. PMID:27177140

  15. Biochar suppression of N2O emissions from an agricultural soil: effects and potential mechanisms

    Science.gov (United States)

    Case, S. D. C.; Whitaker, J.; McNamara, N. P.; Reay, D. S.

    2012-04-01

    Biochar is biomass that has been heated in a low-oxygen environment to between 350 and 800°C that is subsequently used as a soil amendment. As well as benefits to soil fertility, biochar has potential as a tool to mitigate climate change on a large scale due to its recalcitrance, high carbon content and observed effect of reducing soil greenhouse gas emissions. Previous studies have shown that biochar-amended soil may emit less nitrous oxide (N2O) than soil alone. Our aim was to investigate the effect of fresh, hardwood biochar on N2O emissions from a clay agricultural soil from Lincolnshire, United Kingdom with a combination of field and laboratory studies. We then investigated the mechanism to try to explain the observed suppression of N2O emissions with biochar. In biochar-amended field plots, quarterly greenhouse gas measurements over two years have recorded one occurrence of significant suppression of N2O emissions (80%), with other measurements showing generally low emissions of N2O across all treatments. In laboratory experiments, biochar suppressed N2O emissions following simulated rainfall events in a low-N agricultural soil (72 % suppression), in the same field-moist soil incubated with biochar in the field for 10 months (40 % suppression) and in a relatively high-N soil from a neighbouring field (83 % suppression). We hypothesised that biochar amendment may suppress soil N2O emissions by increasing the water holding capacity (WHC) of the soil, thus rendering the biochar-amended soil less anaerobic compared to control soil at the same gravimetric water content. Water was added to raise soil to the same WHC (87 %) with and without biochar at a range of addition rates. Biochar significantly suppressed N2O emissions with 5 % biochar addition by 67 % and 10 % biochar addition by 98 %. We concluded that the increased WHC of biochar-amended soil could not explain the suppression of N2O emissions. Subsequently, we formulated two hypotheses: (1) that biochar may

  16. Effects of slow and fast pyrolysis biochar on soil C and N turnover dynamics

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bruun, Esben; Ambus, Per; Egsgaard, Helge;

    2012-01-01

    This study compared the effect of two principal pyrolysis methods on the chemical characteristics of biochar and the impact on C and N dynamics after soil incorporation. Biochar was produced from wheat straw that was thermally decomposed at 525 °C by slow pyrolysis (SP) in a nitrogen flushed oven...... and by fast pyrolysis (FP) using a Pyrolysis Centrifuge Reactor (PCR). After 65 days of soil incubation, 2.9% and 5.5% of the SP- and FP-biochar C, respectively, was lost as CO2, significantly less than the 53% C-loss observed when un-pyrolyzed feedstock straw was incubated. Whereas the SP......-biochar to soil immobilized mineral N (43%) during the 65 days of incubation, while application of SP-biochar led to net N mineralization (7%). In addition to the carbohydrate contents, the two pyrolysis methods resulted in different pH (10.1 and 6.8), particle sizes (113 and 23 μm), and BET surface areas (0...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-04-01

    Biochar application has been identified as the effective soil amendment and the materials to control the diffuse herbicide pollution. The atrazine was selected as the typical diffuse herbicide pollutant as the dominant proportion in applications. The biochar treated from four types of crops biomass were added to soil with high organic matter content. The basic sorption characteristics of biocahrs from corn cob (CC), corn stalk (CS), soybean straw (SS), rice straw (RS) and corn stalk paralyzed with 5% of ammonium dihydrogen phosphate (ACS) were analyzed, along with the comparison of the sorption difference of the raw soil and soil amended with biochars at four levels of ratio (0.5%, 1.0%, 3.0% and 5.0%). It was found that the linear distribution isotherm of raw soil was much effective due to the high organic matter background concentration. The addition of five types of biochars under two kinds of initial atrazine concentration (1 mg/L and 20 mg/L) demonstrated the sorption variances. Results showed the soil amended with RS and CS biochar had the biggest removal rate in four regular biochars and the removal rate of the ACS was the biggest. The sorption coefficient and the normalized sorption coefficient from Freundlich modeling presented the isothermal sorption characteristics of atrazine with soil of high organic matter content. The normalized sorption coefficient increased with the equilibrium concentration decreased in the biochar amended soil, which indicated the sorption performance will be better due to the low atrazine concentration in practice. Results showed that biochar amendment is the effective way to prevent leakage of diffuse herbicide loss. PMID:26852289

  18. Feasibility of biochar application on a landfill final cover-a review on balancing ecology and shallow slope stability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Xun-Wen; Wong, James Tsz-Fung; Ng, Charles Wang-Wai; Wong, Ming-Hung

    2016-04-01

    Due to the increasing concerns on global warming, scarce land for agriculture, and contamination impacts on human health, biochar application is being considered as one of the possible measures for carbon sequestration, promoting higher crop yield and contamination remediation. Significant amount of researches focusing on these three aspects have been conducted during recent years. Biochar as a soil amendment is effective in promoting plant performance and sustainability, by enhancing nutrient bioavailability, contaminants immobilization, and microbial activities. The features of biochar in changing soil physical and biochemical properties are essential in affecting the sustainability of an ecosystem. Most studies showed positive results and considered biochar application as an effective and promising measure for above-mentioned interests. Bio-engineered man-made filled slope and landfill slope increasingly draw the attention of geologists and geotechnical engineers. With increasing number of filled slopes, sustainability, low maintenance, and stability are the major concerns. Biochar as a soil amendment changes the key factors and parameters in ecology (plant development, soil microbial community, nutrient/contaminant cycling, etc.) and slope engineering (soil weight, internal friction angle and cohesion, etc.). This paper reviews the studies on the production, physical and biochemical properties of biochar and suggests the potential areas requiring study in balancing ecology and man-made filled slope and landfill cover engineering. Biochar-amended soil should be considered as a new type of soil in terms of soil mechanics. Biochar performance depends on soil and biochar type which imposes challenges to generalize the research outcomes. Aging process and ecotoxicity studies of biochar are strongly required. PMID:26452652

  19. Effects of biochar amendment and arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi inoculation on availability of soil phosphorus and growth of maize

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A.E. Mau

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available A glasshouse experiment was conducted to study the interactive effects of biochar amendment and arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF inoculation on phosphorus uptake by maize (Zea mayze L. grown on a calcareous soil of Kupang, East Nusa Tenggara. The biochar was made of cow dung. Twelve treatment combinations (three biochars levels of 0, 5 and 7.5 g/kg of soil, and four AMF inoculation levels of 0, 5, 10 and 15 spores / kg of soil were arranged in a completely randomized block design with three replicates. Results of the study showed that at 8 weeks after transplanting, the biochar and mycorrhizal treatments increased the availability soil phosphorus and phosphorus uptake by maize. Application 4.5 and 7.5 g biochar/kg of soil combined with inoculation of 10-15 AMF spores / kg of soil provided to high value of phosphorus uptake by maize. Application of biochar alone, however, did not significantly improve maize growth and phosphorus uptake by maize

  20. Effects of biochar amendment and arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi inoculation on availability of soil phosphorus and growth of maize

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A.E. Mau

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available A glasshouse experiment was conducted to study the interactive effects of biochar amendment and arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF inoculation on phosphorus uptake by maize (Zea mayze L. grown on a calcareous soil of Kupang, East Nusa Tenggara. The biochar was made of cow dung. Twelve treatment combinations (three biochars levels of 0, 5 and 7.5 g/kg of soil, and four AMF inoculation levels of 0, 5, 10 and 15 spores / kg of soil were arranged in a completely randomized block design with three replicates. Results of the study showed that at 8 weeks after transplanting, the biochar and mycorrhizal treatments increased the availability soil phosphorus and phosphorus uptake by maize. Application 4.5 and 7.5 g biochar/kg of soil combined with inoculation of 10-15 AMF spores / kg of soil provided to high value of phosphorus uptake by maize. Application of biochar alone, however, did not significantly improve maize growth and phosphorus uptake by maize.

  1. Effects of biochar on organic matter dynamics in unamended soils and soils amended with municipal solid waste compost and sewage sludge

    Science.gov (United States)

    Plaza, César; Giannetta, Beatrice; Fernández, José M.; López-de-Sá, Esther G.; Gascó, Gabriel; Méndez, Ana; Zaccone, Claudio

    2015-04-01

    Biochar is a loosely-defined C-rich solid byproduct obtained from biomass pyrolysis, which is intended for use as a soil amendment. A full understanding of the agronomic and environmental potential of biochar, especially its potential as a C sequestration strategy, requires a full understanding of its effects on native soil organic matter, as well as of its interactions with other organic amendments applied to soil. Here we determined the organic C distribution in an arable soil amended with biochar at rates of 0 and 20 t ha-1 in a factorial combination with two types of organic amendment (viz. municipal solid waste compost and sewage sludge) in a field experiment under Mediterranean conditions. The analysis of variance revealed that biochar and organic amendment factors increased significantly total organic C and mineral-associated organic C contents, and had little effect on intra-macroaggregate and intra-microaggregate organic C pools. Free soil organic C content was significantly affected by biochar application, but not by the organic amendments. Especially noteworthy were the interaction effects found between the biochar and organic amendment factors for mineral-associated organic C contents, which suggested a promoting action of biochar on C stabilization in organically-amended soils.

  2. 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

  3. 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 capture, enhanced weathering, bioenergy with carbon capture and storage and afforestation/deforestation, showed that all NETs have significant limits to implementation, including economic cost, energy requirements, land use, and water use. In this paper, I assess the potential for negative emissions from soil carbon sequestration and biochar addition to land, and also the potential global impacts on land use, water, nutrients, albedo, energy and cost. Results indicate that soil carbon sequestration and biochar have useful negative emission potential (each 0.7 GtCeq. yr(-1) ) and that they potentially have lower impact on land, water use, nutrients, albedo, energy requirement and cost, so have fewer disadvantages than many NETs. Limitations of soil carbon sequestration as a NET centre around issues of sink saturation and reversibility. Biochar could be implemented in combination with bioenergy with carbon capture and storage. Current integrated assessment models do not represent soil carbon sequestration or biochar. Given the negative emission potential of SCS and biochar and their potential advantages compared to other NETs, efforts should be made to include these options within IAMs, so that their potential can be explored further in comparison with other NETs for climate stabilization. PMID:26732128

  4. Effects of biochar application on morphological traits in maize and soybean

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Šeremešić Srđan I.

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available This paper analyses the effects of the biochar application morphologi­cal traits in maize and soybean under semi-controlled conditions. During the study, the in­creasing doses of biochar (0%, 0.5%, 1, 3, and 5% were incorporated in three soil types: Alluvium, Humogley and Chernozem to determine plant height and shoot weight. The ex­periment was set up as fully randomized design with three repetitions. The plants were grown in pots of 5 l with controlled watering and N fertilization. The research results have shown that there are differences in terms of biochar effects on soils. The greatest effect on plant height and shoot weight was obtained when the biochar was applied to Humogley soil and lower effects were found on the Alluvium soil. The increase in aboveground mass of maize and soybeans was significantly conditioned by adding different doses of biochar. Based on these results, it can be concluded that adding biochar can significantly affect the growth of plants. This is a consequence of the changes it causes in soil, which requires further tests to complement the current findings. [Projekat Ministarstva nauke Republike Srbije, br. TR031072 i br. TR031073

  5. Effect of biochar on reclaimed tidal land soil properties and maize (Zea mays L.) response.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Hyuck-Soo; Kim, Kwon-Rae; Yang, Jae E; Ok, Yong Sik; Owens, Gary; Nehls, Thomas; Wessolek, Gerd; Kim, Kye-Hoon

    2016-01-01

    Reclaimed tidal land soil (RTLS) often contains high levels of soluble salts and exchangeable Na that can adversely affect plant growth. The current study examined the effect of biochar on the physicochemical properties of RTLS and subsequently the influence on plant growth performance. Rice hull derived biochar (BC) was applied to RTLS at three different rates (1%, 2%, and 5% (w/w)) and maize (Zea mays L.) subsequently cultivated for 6weeks. While maize was cultivated, 0.1% NaCl solution was supplied from the bottom of the pots to simulate the natural RTLS conditions. Biochar induced changes in soil properties were evaluated by the water stable aggregate (WSA) percentage, exchangeable sodium percentage (ESP), soil organic carbon contents, cation exchange capacity, and exchangeable cations. Plant response was measured by growth rate, nutrient contents, and antioxidant enzyme activity of ascorbate peroxidase (APX) and glutathione reductase (GR). Application of rice hull derived biochar increased the soil organic carbon content and the percentage of WSA by 36-69%, while decreasing the ESP. The highest dry weight maize yield was observed from soil which received 5% BC (w/w), which was attributed to increased stability of water-stable aggregates and elevated levels of phosphate in BC incorporated soils. Moreover, increased potassium, sourced from the BC, induced mitigation of Na uptake by maize and consequently, reduced the impact of salt stress as evidenced by overall declines in the antioxidant activities of APX and GR. PMID:26138709

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-03-21

    Soils impregnated with creosote contain high concentrations of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH). To bioremediate these soils and avoid PAH spread, different bioremediation strategies were tested, based on natural attenuation, biochar application, wheat straw biostimulation, Pleurotus ostreatus mycoremediation, and the novel sequential application of biochar for 21 days and P. ostreatus 21 days more. Soil was sampled after 21 and 42 days after the remediation application. The efficiency and effectiveness of each remediation treatment were assessed according to PAH degradation and immobilization, fungal and bacterial development, soil eco-toxicity and legal considerations. Natural attenuation and biochar treatments did not achieve adequate PAH removal and soil eco-toxicity reduction. Biostimulation showed the highest bacterial development but low PAH degradation rate. Mycoremediation achieved the best PAH degradation rate and the lowest bioavailable fraction and soil eco-toxicity. This bioremediation strategy achieved PAH concentrations below Spanish legislation for contaminated soils (RD 9/2005). Sequential application of biochar and P. ostreatus was the second treatment most effective for PAH biodegradation and immobilization. However, the activity of P. ostreatus was increased by previous biochar application and PAH degradation efficiency was increased. Therefore, the combined strategy for PAH degradation have high potential to increase remediation efficiency. PMID:25506817

  7. Successful implementation of biochar carbon sequestration in European soils requires additional benefits and close collaboration with the bioenergy sector

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hauggaard-Nielsen, Henrik; Müller-Stöver, Dorette; Bruun, Esben W.; Petersen, Carsten T.

    2014-05-01

    Biochar soil application has been proposed as a measure to mitigate climate change and on the same time improve soil fertility by increased soil carbon sequestration. However, while on tropical soils the beneficial effects of biochar application on crop growth often become immediately apparent, it has been shown to be more difficult to demonstrate these effects on the more fertile soils in temperate regions. Therefore and because of the lack of carbon credits for farmers, it is necessary to link biochar application to additional benefits, both related to agricultural as well as to bioenergy production. Thermal gasification of biomass is an efficient (95% energy efficiency) and flexible way (able to cope with many different and otherwise difficult-to-handle biomass fuels) to generate bioenergy, while producing a valuable by-product - gasification biochar, containing recalcitrant carbon and essential crop nutrients. The use of the residual char product in agricultural soils will add value to the technology as well as result in additional soil benefits such as providing plant nutrients and improving soil water-holding capacity while reducing leaching risks. From a soil column (30 x 130 cm) experiment with gasification straw biochar amendment to coarse sandy subsoil increased root density of barley at critical depths in the soil profile reducing the mechanical resistance was shown, increasing yields, and the soil's capacity to store plant available water. Incorporation of residuals from a bioenergy technology like gasification show great potentials to reduce subsoil constraints increasing yield potentials on poor soils. Another advantage currently not appropriately utilized is recovery of phosphorus (P). In a recent pot experiments char products originating from low-temperature gasification of various biofuels were evaluated for their suitability as P fertilizers. Wheat straw gasification biochar generally had a low P content but a high P plant availability. To improve

  8. 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)

    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)

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-04-01

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

  10. Effect of biochar on aerobic processes, enzyme activity, and crop yields in two sandy loam soils

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Sun, Zhencai; Bruun, Esben; Arthur, Emmanuel;

    2014-01-01

    Biochar added to agricultural soils may sequester carbon and improve physico-chemical conditions for crop growth, due to effects such as increased water and nutrient retention in the root zone. The effects of biochar on soil microbiological properties are less certain. We addressed the effects of...... in reference and biochar-amended soil plots.......Biochar added to agricultural soils may sequester carbon and improve physico-chemical conditions for crop growth, due to effects such as increased water and nutrient retention in the root zone. The effects of biochar on soil microbiological properties are less certain. We addressed the effects of...... wood-based biochar on soil respiration, water contents, potential ammonia oxidation (PAO), arylsulfatase activity (ASA), and crop yields at two temperate sandy loam soils under realistic field conditions. In situ soil respiration, PAO, and ASA were not significantly different in quadruplicate field...

  11. Using biochar for cost-effective CO{sub 2} sequestration in soils

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Larson, Ronal W. [Larson Consulting, Golden, CO (United States)

    2008-07-01

    Biochar, when placed in soil, greatly improves the soil - leading to much improved productivity, as well as a reduced need for fertilizers. Such biochar also removes carbon dioxide from the atmosphere - perhaps for millenia, and this form of carbon sequestration may be cheaper than by any other means. The millenia claim is based on experience with ancient Amazonian ''terra preta'' (dark earth) soils. When the biochar is produced, one hopes for a high-value use for the accompanying pyrolysis gases. Two such early high-value applications are the sugar refining industry and charcoal-making (not charcoal-using) cook-stoves. At this time, there is no accepted methodology for providing carbon credits for these potentially huge triple (energy-atmosphere-soil) benefits. Emphasis below is on commercialization status, building on its importance to rural societies. This paper expands on the author's first biochar paper from ten months earlier, during which time much has happened. (orig.)

  12. Carbon Sequestration and Nitrogen Mineralization in Soil Cooperated with Organic Composts and Bio-char During Corn (Zea mays) Cultivation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shin, Joung-Du; Lee, Sun-Ill; Park, Wu-Gyun; Choi, Yong-Su; Hong, Seong-Gil; Park, Sang-Won

    2014-05-01

    Objectives of this study were to estimate the carbon sequestration and to evaluate nitrogen mineralization and nitrification in soils cooperated with organic composts and bio-char during corn cultivation. For the experiment, the soil used in this study was clay loam types, and application rates of chemical fertilizer and bio-char were recommended amount after soil test and 2 % to soil weight, respectively. The soil samples were periodically taken at every 15 day intervals during the experimental periods. The treatments were consisted of non-application, cow manure compost, pig manure compost, swine digestate from aerobic digestion system, their bio-char cooperation. For the experimental results, residual amount of inorganic carbon was ranged from 51 to 208kg 10a-1 in soil only cooperated with different organic composts. However it was estimated to be highest at 208kg 10a-1 in the application plot of pig manure compost. In addition to bio-char application, it was ranged from 187.8 to 286kg 10a-1, but was greatest accumulated at 160.3kg 10a-1 in the application plot of cow manure compost. For nitrogen mineralization and nitrification rates, it was shown that there were generally low in the soil cooperated with bio-char compared to the only application plots of different organic composts except for 71 days after sowing. Also, they were observed to be highest in the application plot of swine digestate from aerobic digestion system. For the loss of total inorganic carbon (TIC) by run-off water, it was ranged from 0.18 to 0.36 kg 10a-1 in the different treatment plots. Also, with application of bio-char, total nitrogen was estimated to be reduced at 0.42(15.1%) and 0.38(11.8%) kg 10a-1 in application plots of the pig manure compost and aerobic digestate, respectively.

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

    OpenAIRE

    Yunhe Zhang; Omololu John Idowu; Catherine E. Brewer

    2016-01-01

    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 bioch...

  14. Denitrification kinetics in biomass and biochar amended soils of different landscape positions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Knowledge of how biochar impacts soil denitrification kinetics as well as the mechanisms of interactions are essential in order to better predict the nitrous oxide (N2O) mitigation capacity of biochar additions. This study had multiple experiments in which the effect of three biochar materials produ...

  15. Life cycle assessment of biochar application in Vietnam using two pyrolysis technologies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mohammadi, Ali; Cowie, Annette; Mai, Thi Lan Anh; Anaya de la Rosa, Ruy; Kristiansen, Paul; Brandão, Miguel; Joseph, Stephen

    2016-04-01

    This study presents a comparative analysis of the environmental impacts of biochar systems in Vietnam using household scale and district scale pyrolysis technologies. At the household scale, pyrolytic cook-stoves were assumed to be used by households to produce biochar. The pyrolytic cook-stoves burn pyrolysis gases and use the heat for cooking. At the district scale, the BIGchar 2200 unit, a continuous operation system, is utilised to convert rice husk to biochar. This unit allows for easy capture of produced gases, which can be used to generate energy products, adding value to biochar production and decreasing environmental costs through the displacement of fossil fuels. The biochar produced from each system was assumed to be applied to paddy rice fields. Results from Life Cycle Assessment showed that biochar production at the both scales for application to the soil significantly improved environmental performance of 1 Mg of rice husk relative to the reference scenario (open burning of husk) across a range of impacts including climate change (CC), particulate matter and non-renewable energy (NRE) use. Net carbon abatement of biochar systems ranged from 355 to 427 kg CO2-eq Mg‑1 of spring rice husk at the household scale and district scale, respectively. The district scale offered greater carbon abatement primarily due to the higher rate of LPG displaced by this unit.

  16. Effects of biochar on organic nitrogen mineralization of Northeast forest soil

    Science.gov (United States)

    Du, Siyao; Tao, Jun; Luo, Xianxiang

    2016-04-01

    These years,Biochar,as a new environmental functional material,received widespread attention of scholars both in China and abroad.Biochar is applied as a soil conditioner which is because it will improve the soil texture and increase plant yields. But the influence of nitrogen cycle while biochar is added to the forest soil is still controversial. This article takes forest soil as the object of research, aiming at learning the effects of different biochar on nitrogen mineralization of forest soil,and that in the case of different incubation temperature.The results show that it can reduce the net mineralization of soil organic nitrogen. That means the addition of biochar could suppress the mineralization of forest soil organic nitrogen.In a certain range,high temperature significantly facilitate to the mineralization of soill organic nitrogen while the existence of biochar also inhibits of that.

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. Biochar as a Soil Amendment: A Review of the Environmental Implications

    OpenAIRE

    Woolf, Dominic

    2008-01-01

    The term 'biochar' refers to black carbon formed by the pyrolysis of biomass i.e. by heating biomass in an oxygen-free or low oxygen environment such that it does not (or only partially) combusts. Traditional charcoal is one example of biochar produced from wood. The term 'biochar' is much broader than this however, encompassing black carbon produced from any biomass feedstock. The use of biochar as a soil additive has been proposed as a means to simultaneously mitigate anthro...

  20. Effect of biochars and microorganisms on cadmium accumulation in rice grains grown in Cd-contaminated soil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Suksabye, Parinda; Pimthong, Apinya; Dhurakit, Prapai; Mekvichitsaeng, Phenjun; Thiravetyan, Paitip

    2016-01-01

    control). It might be possible that microorganisms can cause leaching of Ca, Mg, etc. from contaminated soil and compete with Cd to be uptaken by plants. This would cause the increase in plant dry weight and higher mineral nutrients accumulation in grains. Both biochars and microorganisms are suitable for reducing the amount of Cd in rice grains. The application should depend on farmers, biochars available in nearby areas, etc. Therefore, microorganisms and biochars can be used to solve the problem of cadmium contamination in rice grains. PMID:25943511

  1. Biochar: for better or for worse?

    OpenAIRE

    Freddo, Alessia

    2013-01-01

    This thesis presents biochar state of the art and investigations into the environmental benefits and potential impacts of biochar application to soil. Specifically, the opportunity biochar has to increase concentrations of potentially toxic elements (PTE) and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in soil was investigated and contextualised. Results indicated limited environmental impacts in this regard. The capacity of biochar to interact with organic compounds was studied in...

  2. 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.

  3. 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...... 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 on...... sandy soil. By contrast, C components from the slow pyrolysis biochar were fully retained in the topsoil. Contrary to our expectations, there were no overall effects of biochar amendment on the cumulative leaching of mineral N (NH4+ plus NO3-), that is, the biochars did not increase the N retention...

  4. Can biochar serve as a toop to reduce soil GHG costs of agricultural production in the long term?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kammann, Claudia; Finke, Christoph; Schröder, Matthias; Schmidt, Hans-Peter; Lima, Amanda; Teixeira, Wenceslau; Clough, Tim; Müller, Christoph

    2013-04-01

    With a growing world population and growing demands for bioenergy there is an urgent need to improve the greenhouse gas (GHG) emission-to-yield ratio of agricultural production. 'Young, production-fresh biochar has repeatedly been observed to reduce N2O emissions in a variety of agricultural soils, but it is unknown how long initial N2O-reducing effects will persist. Biochar-amended soils may even develop a potential for higher N2O emissions decades after Biochar application due to the formation of higher soil organic matter stocks when mineral N is applied. Unfortunately the longest-running field trials are not older than a few years, thus our ability for predictions is rather limited. To investigate the long-term effect that Biochar addition to soils may have on soil GHG emissions we conducted three different laboratory incubation studies with potential 'long-term analogs' that may offer insights: (I) N-rich Biochar-manure compost, versus pure manure-compost, or manure-compost were the same amount of untreated, fresh Biochar was added; (II) temperate soil from a 100-year old charcoal making (kiln) site in Germany compared to the original adjacent forest soil; and (III) two tropical Terra preta soils (secondary forest and cultivation) compared to their respective adjacent ferralsols. None of the studies indicated that old, "aged" Biochar in soils or substrates will increase the risk for N2O losses. The Biochar-compost (I) still had significantly reduced N2O emissions, or was the same as the control. However, its biological activity (respiration) was significantly increased (122% of ctrl). In contrast, the fresh Biochar addition significantly reduced N2O emissions to 39% of the control, accompanied by significantly reduced respiration rates (50% of ctrl.). The kiln-area soil (II), compared to the corresponding adjacent forest soil (both at 60% of their respective WHCmax), did not exhibit higher N2O emissions after N-fertilization over the course of one month. The

  5. Positive effects of composted biochar on plant growth and soil fertility

    OpenAIRE

    Schulz, Hardy; Dunst, Gerald; Glaser, Bruno

    2013-01-01

    International audience Mankind is actually facing serious issues due to the overexploitation of fossil fuels, biomass, soils, nitrogen, and phosphorus. It is claimed that biochar addition to soil improves C sequestration to prevent CO2 from atmospheric cycling. Biochar addition should also increase soil fertility in a similar way as anthropogenic dark earths of Central Amazonia. Previous studies have shown that biochar stimulates plant growth and increase fertilizer efficiency, especially ...

  6. Long-term effects assessment of biochar to remediate heavy-metals contaminated soils,

    OpenAIRE

    Rees, Frédéric; Morel, Jean-Louis; Simonnot, Marie-Odile

    2012-01-01

    Biochar, the residual solid of biomass pyrolysis, has recently drained considerable attention as a potential carbon sequestration agent in soils due to its high recalcitrance to biodegradation as long as a low-cost soil quality improver to increase plant growth 1. Recent studies suggest also biochar ability to immobilize heavy metals in soils and thus to reduce the toxic impact of these elements 2–4. However, the sorption mechanisms and reversibility degree of biochar effects for the remediat...

  7. Carbon dynamics in different soil types amended with pig slurry, pig manure and its biochar

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yanardag, Ibrahim H.; Zornoza, Raúl; Faz, Ángel; Büyükkiliç-Yanardaǧ, Asuman; Mermut, Ahmet R.

    2014-05-01

    Determining the structure and components of soil and soil organic matter is very important in terms of sustainable agriculture and forestry and greenhouse gases emissions. Organic management can increase labile C and N in the short-term, and total soil C and N in the long-term, but less is known about how management practices may affect soil organic C (SOC)quality and stability. Methods to improve the management of livestock slurries to reduce the environmental impact and carbon losses are gaining importance. There is a need to find the best wastes treatment which enhances soil fertility but also carbon sequestration, to mitigate the effects of global warming. The objective of this study was to assess the short-term changes in SOC pools, using raw pig slurry, the solid phase of pig slurry, and its biochar as amendment in different soil types (Regosol, Luvisol and Kastanozem). The three different amendments were applied at 5 g C kg-1 soil. An unamended soil for each type was used as control. Soils were incubated in triplicate for 60 days at 25ºC and at 55% of their water holding capacity. Samples were sampled to monitor the evolution of soil organic and inorganic carbon, recalcitrant carbon, soluble carbon, carbon mineralization, SOC thermal distribution (thermogravimetric analysis - differential scanning calorimetry - quadrupole mass spectrometry), and characterization of functional groups (Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR)). Results showed that soils amended with raw pig slurry and the solid phase of the slurry showed higher values of soluble carbon, and higher carbon mineralization rates compared to biochar application, which showed values similar to controls. SOC increased at the end of incubation with biochar and the solid phase of the slurry applications in Kastanozem and Regosol. Thermogravimetric results showed an increased weight loss of the Regosol compared to Luvisol and Kastanozem, owing to the higher content of soil carbonates. Luvisol and

  8. Short-term mesofauna responses to soil additions of corn stover biochar and the role of microbial biomass

    OpenAIRE

    Domene, X. (Xavier); Hanley, Kelly; Enders, Akio; Lehmann, Johannes

    2015-01-01

    Biochar additions have been suggested to influence soil microbial communities that, through a cascade effect, may also impact soil fauna. In turn, any direct biochar effects on fauna can influence microbial communities through grazing, physical fragmentation of organic debris (and biochar) and modifying soil structure. If biochar creates a favorable environment for soil microorganisms, it is also plausible for fauna to be attracted to such microbially enriched habitats. However, how soil faun...

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hansen, Veronika

    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...... 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...... 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...

  10. Mechanisms of soil pH regulation by biochar amendments and consequences for biochar long-term effects

    OpenAIRE

    Rees, Frédéric; Morel, Jean-Louis

    2015-01-01

    Soil amendments of biochar, i.e. the solid product of biomass pyrolysis, have been increasingly investigated over the last few years as a way to store stable C in soils, to improve crop production and to remediate degraded and contaminated land. Many short-term effects of biochar on soil chemical and biological properties may be explained by the observed increase of soil pH, largely reported in the recent scientific literature for acid or neutral soils. However, both the mechanisms by which b...

  11. Partitioning of carbon sources among functional pools to investigate short-term priming effects of biochar in soil: A (13)C study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kerré, Bart; Hernandez-Soriano, Maria C; Smolders, Erik

    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 (13)C isotope signatures. An arable soil (S) (7.9g organic C, OCkg(-1)) was amended (single dose of 10gkg(-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 CO2 (180days), dissolved organic-C (115days) and OC in soil aggregate fractions (90days). 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 90days, this being consistent with a significant reduction of dissolved organic C concentration from 45 to 18mgL(-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. PMID:26780129

  12. Crop residue decomposition in Minnesota biochar-amended plots

    Science.gov (United States)

    Biochar, a black carbon substance, can be a beneficial soil amendment to improve soil properties and sequester C. Positive and negative priming effects on soil organic matter (SOM) are as wide ranging as the feedstocks and pyrolysis platforms used to create biochar. Impacts of biochar application on...

  13. 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. PMID:25898984

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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.

  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. PMID:25010741

  16. Evaluation of Varying Biochars as Carrier Materials for Bacterial Soil Inoculants

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hale, Lauren; Crowley, David

    2014-05-01

    The incorporation of biochar into agricultural soils for carbon sequestration and improved soil fertility creates an opportunity to simultaneously deliver plant-growth promoting rhizobacteria (PGPR). Many characteristics of biochar materials indicate that these particles could be conducive as inoculum carriers. This could provide a value-added component for biochar marketing and has an advantage over traditional carrier materials, which can be unsustainable or expensive to produce. Here, we assessed the suitability of 10 biochar types, made from 5 feedstocks at 2 pyrolysis temperatures (300°C and 600°C), to serve as carriers for 2 model PGPR strains, Enterobacter cloacae UW5 and Pseudomonas putida UW4. All biochars were characterized based on BET specific surface area, C-N content, pH, EC, and their abilities to adsorb bacterial cells from a liquid inoculum. Further studies incorporated qPCR to quantify the survival of inoculants after introduction into soils via biochar carriers. The biochars that performed well were further assayed for their influence on PGPR traits, 1-aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylate (ACC) deaminase and auxin production. Peat and vermiculite served as traditional carrier materials to which we compared the biochars. Our findings indicated that biochars varied in their interactions with our model PGPR strains. Based on our analysis several biochar types were able to serve as carriers which were as good, if not better than, the traditional carrier materials. Future work should seek to assess shelf life and varying inoculation methods for the biochar-inoculant complexes.

  17. 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. PMID:24632059

  18. Analysis of effect mechanism and risk of biochar on soil fertility and environmental quality%生物炭对土壤肥力与环境质量的影响机制与风险解析

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    王欣; 尹带霞; 张凤; 谭长银; 彭渤

    2015-01-01

    Biochar is a solid material that is produced from biomass pyrolysis in oxygen-limited atmosphere at relatively low temperatures. Therefore, the conversion of biosolids (e.g. agricultural waste, invasive species, municipal sewage sludge,etc) into biochar could provide a useful way to achieve resource reuse and environmental management. In China, decreased land resources and soil fertility is of increasing concern presently, which may threat national food security. Therefore, a range of biochars have been tested for their potential in improving farming soil quality considering the high fertility sustained by biochar in Amazonian Dark Earths locally known as Terra Preta de Indio. Some studies have proved that biochar can play a positive role in improving the fertility of agricultural soils and thus increasing crops yield. Moreover, biochar has also been shown to be effective in control and remediation of a range of soil contamination and hence improve soil environmental quality, leading to increased food output and quality. In the present review, the most recent advances in the effect of biochar on agricultural soil fertility and soil environment quality with the underlying mechniasms are reviewed and discussed here in detail. Firstly, most biochars, particularly those produced from wetland plant residues tend to improve water retention capacity of agricultural soil, especially for those with sandy texture. This phenomenon could be caused by the porous structure of biochar, which can increase the water-holding porosity of soils. Secondly, substantial evidence has shown that the bioavailability of key mineral nutrients increase remarkably in response to biochar application, which could be attributed to the sufficient mineral ash in biochar and relatively high caiton exchange capacity (CEC) originated from the rich surface functional groups of biochar. Thirdly, the alkalinity of biochar, which is most likely resulted from the high mineral content, has exhibited

  19. 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. PMID:26896719

  20. Effects of biochar application on transformation and chemical forms of C,N and P in soils with different pH%生物质炭对不同 pH 土壤中碳氮磷的转化与形态的影响

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    徐秋桐; 邱志腾; 章明奎

    2014-01-01

    clay content,rainfall,and temperature regimes.In recent years,there has been considerable interest in the use of biochar from pyrolysis of renewable biomass to sequester C and improve soil productivity.Much of the stimulus for this interest comes from research on the soils of the Amazon basin,known as Terra Preta de Indio,that contain variable quantities of organic black carbon considered to be of anthropogenic origin.Biochar can improve nutrient availability,cation exchange capacity,bulk density,and water-holding capacity,but these effects depend on the feedstock,prolysis conditions. It is important to evaluate the effects of biochar on soil fertility under different soil and climatic regimes to increase our understanding of potential interactions before widespread use of biochar in agricultural systems.Although biochar has been shown to increase soil fertility and productivity in the tropics,there is limited information about influences of biochar on transformation and chemical forms of C,N and P in soils.Therefore,an incubation experiment was conducted to study the effects of biochar application on transformation and chemical forms of C,N and P in soils with different pH. The experiment included four treatments,i.e.,control without application of any chemical fertilizers and biochar, conventional fertilization with application of chemical fertilizers,biochar treatment with application of biochar but without any chemical fertilizers,and conventional fertilization + biochar treatment with application of both biochar and chemical fertilizers.The treated soils were incubated at temperature of 20 35 ℃ for 12 months,and the incubated soils were characterized for different forms of C,N,and P and potential capacities of N leaching and volatilization loss. The results showed that application of biochar increased soil pH,particularly for acidic soil.Application of biochar increased significantly the accumulation of organic C,microbial biomass C and humic/fulvic acids

  1. Effects of biochar application on transformation and chemical forms of C,N and P in soils with different pH%生物质炭对不同 pH 土壤中碳氮磷的转化与形态的影响

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    徐秋桐; 邱志腾; 章明奎

    2014-01-01

    Summary Soil organic matter has an important role in soil fertility and agricultural productivity.Many practices have been used to increase organic carbon in soil,particularly nitrogen fertilization,zero-tillage agriculture,and the addition of large amounts of manure to soil.These practices do not sequester significant quantities of C into soil because most of the organic matter is not stable and is mineralized very fast.Many factors contribute to soil organic C stabilization,including soil clay content,rainfall,and temperature regimes.In recent years,there has been considerable interest in the use of biochar from pyrolysis of renewable biomass to sequester C and improve soil productivity.Much of the stimulus for this interest comes from research on the soils of the Amazon basin,known as Terra Preta de Indio,that contain variable quantities of organic black carbon considered to be of anthropogenic origin.Biochar can improve nutrient availability,cation exchange capacity,bulk density,and water-holding capacity,but these effects depend on the feedstock,prolysis conditions. It is important to evaluate the effects of biochar on soil fertility under different soil and climatic regimes to increase our understanding of potential interactions before widespread use of biochar in agricultural systems.Although biochar has been shown to increase soil fertility and productivity in the tropics,there is limited information about influences of biochar on transformation and chemical forms of C,N and P in soils.Therefore,an incubation experiment was conducted to study the effects of biochar application on transformation and chemical forms of C,N and P in soils with different pH. The experiment included four treatments,i.e.,control without application of any chemical fertilizers and biochar, conventional fertilization with application of chemical fertilizers,biochar treatment with application of biochar but without any chemical fertilizers,and conventional fertilization + biochar

  2. Effect of biochar amendment on the bioavailability of pesticide chlorantraniliprole in soil to earthworm.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Ting-Ting; Cheng, Jie; Liu, Xian-Jin; Jiang, Wayne; Zhang, Chao-Lan; Yu, Xiang-Yang

    2012-09-01

    To evaluate the effect of biochar amendment on the bioavailability of chlorantraniliprole (CAP) in soils with different physico-chemical properties, the uptake of CAP from various soils by earthworms was studied. It was observed that the biochar amendment of the soils affected the sorption of CAP, but the magnitude of the sorption enhancement by biochar amendment among the soils was varied, presumably due to the attenuation of the sorptivity of the biochar when amended in the soil. The amendment with biochars leads to a decrease in the bioavailability of CAP in the soils to earthworms, and more prominent for biochar BC850 amendment. In the soil with a CAP concentration of 10 mg kg(-1), the residue of CAP in the earthworm tissues was found to be 9.65 mg kg(-1), in comparison with that the CAP residue was 4.05 mg kg(-1) in BC450 amended soil and 0.59 mg kg(-1) in BC850, respectively. The degree of bioavailability reduction by same level of biochar amendment was different among soils with different properties. The results demonstrate that the properties of soils are important to performance of biochar in soil. PMID:22776710

  3. Utilization of residual biochar produced from the pyrolysis of energy crops for soil enrichment

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Pilon, G.; Lavoie, J.M. [Sherbrooke Univ., Sherbrooke, PQ (Canada). Dept. of Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology

    2010-07-01

    Although national and international interest in the use of energy crops for the production of biofuels is increasing, it is understood that measures must be taken to ensure that the production and transportation of these energy crops does not require more energy than they provide and that the soil should not be left uncovered so as not to reduce its organic content and nutrients. In response, concerns regarding soil fertilization have increased. A technique for biomass preconversion known as pyrolysis-torrefaction involves the production of char and bio-oil from biomass. This processing method is gaining interest because the char may be useful for many applications such as a fuel, soil conditioner or carbon sequestration. An appropriate distribution of biochar applications could be potentially beneficial for the sustainability of biomass use in the imminent biomarket. In this study, biochar produced from switchgrass was prepared and characterized to verify its potential as a soil enhancer and its potential as a solid fuel. The biochar was prepared under varying reacting conditions using custom-made bench scale, batch-type fixed bed pyrolysis-torrefaction reactor. Volatiles were released by varying the residence times.

  4. What happens to biochars after their application to tropical and subtropical soils? – Extrapolation of results obtained from soil profiles of typical fire-affected landscapes of Brazil

    OpenAIRE

    Knicker, Heike; Velasco Molina, Marta

    2014-01-01

    16 páginas.-- Conferencia oral presentada en la Sesión: Small scale treatment and use of organic wastes in rural areas of tropics and subtropics.--International Conference Biochars, Composts, and Digestates.-- Celebrada del 17-20 de octubre 2013, en Bari, Italia.--

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

  6. The effect of biochar in soil enzyme activities: Latest advances and future directions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paz-Ferreiro, Jorge; Méndez, Ana; Gascó, Gabriel

    2014-05-01

    In the last years there has been an increasing interest in biochar research. Soil biological and biochemical properties have a preeminent role driving nutrient cycling and can be considered as indicators of soil quality. The information on the effects of biochar addition in soil biological activities in still scarce, although an influential number of articles have appeared lately. The aim of this work is to provide an overview of those articles dealing with the biological impact of biochar addition to soil. Studies conducted in soils in different countries differing in forming factors and fertility status are presented. The focus of this work is on how biochar interacts with soil fauna, on changes in soil biological and biochemical properties following heavy metal immobilization after biochar addition and on how these changes are important in relation to global change. Priority areas were research is needed are identified.

  7. Biochar - synergies and trade-offs between soil enhancing properties and C sequestration potential

    OpenAIRE

    Crombie, Kyle; MASEK, Ondrej; Cross, Andrew; Sohi, Saran

    2014-01-01

    The characterisation of biochar has been predominantly focused around determining physicochemical properties including chemical composition, porosity, and volatile content. To date, little systematic research has been done into assessing the properties of biochar that directly relate to its function in soil and how production conditions could impact these. The aim of this study was to evaluate how pyrolysis conditions can influence biochar's potential for soil enhancing benefits by addressing...

  8. The concentration and changes in freely dissolved polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in biochar-amended soil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oleszczuk, Patryk; Kuśmierz, Marcin; Godlewska, Paulina; Kraska, Piotr; Pałys, Edward

    2016-07-01

    The presence of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in biochars hinders their environmental use. The aim of this study was to determine the freely dissolved (Cfree) PAH content in soil amended with biochar in a long-term (851 days) field experiment. Biochar was added to the soil at a rate of 30 and 45 t/ha. The addition of biochar to the soil resulted in a decrease in Σ13 Cfree PAHs by 25 and 22%, in the soil with the addition of biochar at the rate of 30 and 45 t/ha, respectively. As far as individual PAHs are concerned, in most cases a reduction in Cfree was also observed (from 3.6 to 66%, depending on the biochar rate). During the first 105 days of the experiment, the content of Σ13 Cfree in the biochar-amended soil significantly decreased by 26% (30 t/ha) and 36% (45 t/ha). After this period of time until the end of the experiment, no significant changes in Cfree were observed, regardless of the biochar rate. However, the behavior of individual PAH groups differed depending on the number of rings and experimental treatment. Ultimately, after 851 days of the experiment the content of Σ13 Cfree PAHs was lower by 29% (30 t/ha) and 35% (45 t/ha) compared to the beginning of the study as well as lower by 40% (30 t/ha) and 42% (45 t/ha) than in the control soil. The log KTOC coefficients calculated for the biochar-amended soils were higher immediately after adding biochar and subsequently they gradually decreased, indicating the reduced strength of the interaction between biochar and the studied PAHs. The obtained results show that the addition of biochar to soil does not create a risk in terms of the content of Cfree PAHs. PMID:27149152

  9. The Effects of Biochar on Germination and Growth of Wheat in Different Saline-alkali Soil

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Guijun; WANG; Zhenwen; XU

    2013-01-01

    Saline alkali soil can cause physiological drought on crops,so only some salinity tolerant crops can grow in saline alkali soil.Biochar can increase the utilize efficiency of nutrient and the water retention of the soil,and affect the growth of the plant.In this research,four different proportion of biochar was added in five different levels of saline-alkali soil for pot culture experiment.The pH of the soil increases as the proportion of biochar increase in same saline-alkali level soil,while the EC decrease as the proportion of biochar increase.The germination rate of wheat seeds varies as the different of soil’s saline-alkali level.Notable among these results is the germination of wheat seeds in the serious saline-alkali soil without biochar added is 0,while in 45%biochar added in serious saline-alkali soil,the germination rate get to as high as 48.9%.Also,biochar improve the growth of wheat seedling,while for mild saline alkali soil and normal soil.Biochar had no obvious effect on the growth of wheat seedling.

  10. Terahertz Spectroscopy of Biochars and Related Aromatic Compounds

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lepodise, L. M.; Horvat, J.; Lewis, R. A.

    2016-07-01

    A recent application of terahertz spectroscopy is to biochar, the agricultural charcoal produced by pyrolysis of various organic materials. Biochars simultaneously improve soil fertility and assist in carbon sequestration. Terahertz spectroscopy allows different biochars to be distinguished. However, the origin of the absorption features observed has not been clear. Given that biochar-based fertilizers are rich in aromatic compounds, we have investigated simple aromatic compounds as an approach to unravelling the complex biochar spectrum.

  11. Fourfold Increase in Pumpkin Yield in Response to Low-Dosage Root Zone Application of Urine-Enhanced Biochar to a Fertile Tropical Soil

    OpenAIRE

    Hans Peter Schmidt; Bishnu Hari Pandit; Vegard Martinsen; Gerard Cornelissen; Pellegrino Conte; Claudia I. Kammann

    2015-01-01

    A widely abundant and invasive forest shrub, Eupatorium adenophorum, was pyrolyzed in a cost-efficient flame curtain kiln to produce biochar. The resulting biochar fulfilled all the requirements for premium quality, according to the European Biochar Certificate. The biochar was either applied alone or mixed with fresh cow urine (1:1 volume) to test its capacity to serve as slow release fertilizer in a pumpkin field trial in Nepal. Treatments included cow-manure compost combined with (i) urin...

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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.

  13. BIOCHAR AMENDMENT TO IMPROVE SOIL PRODUCTIVITY WITH PARTICULAR EMPHASIS ON THE INFLUENCE OF SOIL TYPE

    OpenAIRE

    Peake, Lewis

    2015-01-01

    Three experiments were conducted to explore the effects of gasified biochar on contrasting temperate soil types in East Anglia, an agricultural area in eastern England, with a focus on the influence of soil properties. In a laboratory experiment comparing eight dissimilar soil types, adding up to 2.5% biochar improved field capacity by up to 42% (15% on average) and available water capacity by up to 48% (22% on average), but silty soils were less responsive. BD was reduced by up to 19% (10...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-04-01

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

  15. Remediation of metal polluted soils by phytorremediation combined with biochar addition

    Science.gov (United States)

    Méndez, Ana; Paz-Ferreiro, Jorge; Gómez-Limón, Dulce; César Arranz, Julio; Saa, Antonio; Gascó, Gabriel

    2016-04-01

    The main objective of this work is to optimize and quantify the treatment of metal polluted soils through phytoremediation techniques combined with the addition of biochar. Biochar is a carbon rich material obtained by thermal treatment of biomass in inert atmosphere. In recent years, it has been attracted considerable interest due to their positive effect after soil addition. The use of biochar also seems appropriate for the treatment of metal-contaminated soils decreasing their mobility. Biochar properties highly depend on the raw material composition and manufacturing conditions. This paper is based on the use of manure wastes, rich in nutrients and therefore interesting raw materials for biochar production, especially when combined with phytoremediation techniques since the biochar act as conditioner and slow release fertilizer. We are very grateful to Ministerio de Economia y Competitividad (Spain) for financial support under Project CGL2014-58322-R.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-04-01

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

  17. 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

    Biochar application has been shown to positively affect soil microbial functions such as reducing greenhouse gas emissions, increasing water/nutrient availability and increasing crop yields in tropical regions (Lehmann & Joseph, 2009). Understanding the dynamics of biochar application to soil microbial processes is critical for ensuring that soil quality, integrity and sustainability of the soil sub-system are maintained for crop growth. The aim of this British Ecological Society (BES) funded study was to examine the effect of two types of biochar on soil physicochemistry, GHG production, soil enzyme activities and microbial biomass in typical agricultural soil types and whether the effects were altered by drying, rewetting and flooding events. Miscanthus and dairyfibre (a mixture of straw and manure) feedstocks from Harper Adams University were pyrolyzed by Aston University at 450 °C using 100 kg/hr pyroformer technology. Two sieved soil types (sandy loam and clay loam) were mixed with dry biochar to produce 2 and 10 % w/w treatments for comparison with controls and maintained at 15 °C in temperature controlled incubators. At 0, 22, 44, 80, 101, and 114 days, soil was collected for determination of heterotrophic respiration, and microbial biomass by substrate-induced respiration (SIR), by gas headspace incubation and analysis of carbon dioxide (CO2) and nitrous oxide (N2O) by gas chromatography. Soil was sampled for the determination of water-extractable carbon, pH, and extracellular enzyme activities. Soil samples were maintained at field gravimetric water content between 0 and 44 days; air dried between 44 and 80 days; rewetted between 80 and 101 days; and flooded between 101 to 114 days. Results showed that the impact of biochar on soil microbial processes was dependent on biochar type and soil type, the level of biochar application and changes in soil moisture. Biochar affected soil pH particularly within the dairyfibre treatments, potentially due to the

  18. Production of biochar out of organic urban waste to amend salt affected soils in the basin of Mexico

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chavez Garcia, Elizabeth; Siebe, Christina

    2016-04-01

    Biochar is widely recognized as an efficient tool for carbon sequestration and soil fertility. The understanding of its chemical and physical properties, strongly related to the biomass and production conditions, is central to identify the most suitable application of biochar. On the other hand, salt affected soils reduce the value and productivity of extensive areas worldwide. One feasible option to recover them is to add organic amendments, which improve water holding capacity and increase sorption sites for cations as sodium. The former lake Texcoco in the basin of Mexico has been a key area for the control of surface run-off and air quality of Mexico City. However, the high concentrations of soluble salts in their soils do not allow the development of a vegetation cover that protects the soil from wind erosion, being the latter the main cause of poor air quality in the metropolitan area during the dry season. On the other hand, the population of the city produces daily 2000 t of organic urban wastes, which are currently composted. Thus, we tested if either compost or biochar made out of urban organic waste can improve the salt affected soils of former lake Texcoco to grow grass and avoid wind erosion. We examined the physico-chemical properties of biochar produced from urban organic waste under pyrolysis conditions. We also set up a field experiment to evaluate the addition of these amendments into the saline soils of Texcoco. Our preliminary analyses show biochar yield was ca. 40%, it was mainly alkaline (pH: 8-10), with a moderate salt content (electrical conductivity: 0.5-3 mS/cm). We show also results of the initial phase of the field experiment in which we monitor the electrical conductivity, pH, water content, water tension and soil GHG fluxes on small plots amended with either biochar or compost in three different doses.

  19. Use of Biochar from the Pyrolysis of Woody and Herbaceous Organic Matter as Soil Amendments

    Science.gov (United States)

    “Biochar”, a typical by-product of biomass pyrolysis is being promoted for its potential large-scale and low-cost carbon sequestration in soil. Much of the knowledge regarding biochar derives from studies of Terra Preta soils in the Amazonian basin, where biochar-like materials appear to have subst...

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Oram, N.J.; Voorde, van de T.F.J.; Ouwehand, G.J.; Bezemer, T.M.; Mommer, L.; Jeffery, S.L.; Groenigen, van 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 stud

  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, L.; 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 stud

  2. 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...

  3. The Electrochemical Properties of Biochars and How They Affect Soil Redox Properties and Processes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stephen Joseph

    2015-07-01

    Full Text Available Biochars are complex heterogeneous materials that consist of mineral phases, amorphous C, graphitic C, and labile organic molecules, many of which can be either electron donors or acceptors when placed in soil. Biochar is a reductant, but its electrical and electrochemical properties are a function of both the temperature of production and the concentration and composition of the various redox active mineral and organic phases present. When biochars are added to soils, they interact with plant roots and root hairs, micro-organisms, soil organic matter, proteins and the nutrient-rich water to form complex organo-mineral-biochar complexes Redox reactions can play an important role in the development of these complexes, and can also result in significant changes in the original C matrix. This paper reviews the redox processes that take place in soil and how they may be affected by the addition of biochar. It reviews the available literature on the redox properties of different biochars. It also reviews how biochar redox properties have been measured and presents new methods and data for determining redox properties of fresh biochars and for biochar/soil systems.

  4. Microbial Degradation and Carbon Biosequestration Potential of Biochar in Contrasting Soils

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tas, N.; Castanha, C.; Reichl, K.; Fischer, M. L.; Brodie, E. L.; Torn, M. S.; Jansson, J. K.

    2012-12-01

    Biochar is a carbon-rich product that is produced by high-temperature and low-oxygen pyrolysis of biomass, whose addition to soil has been proposed as a promising method for carbon sequestration. Biochar carbon has been assumed to be stable in soil, but recent research shows that it is at least partly degradable by soil microbes. However, the influence of environmental conditions on microbial transformation of biochar is poorly understood. Our overall goal is to determine the factors that regulate microbial decomposition of biochar in soils. We performed laboratory incubation experiments to compare the potential for biochar decomposition in soils from contrasting ecosystems (tropical forest from Puerto Rico and Mediterranean grassland from California), varied temperatures (ambient and +6°C) and depths (A and B horizons). Soil incubations with pyrolyzed 13C-enriched wood were continuously monitored for heterotrophic respiration using an online Cavity Ringdown Spectrometer. Samples collected after 10 and 150 days of incubation were analyzed for the activity of extracellular enzymes while changes in microbial community composition were assessed via pyrotag sequencing of both 16S rRNA and 16S rRNA genes. 13C-CO2 measurements confirmed that a fraction of added biochar was degraded in both soils during the one-year incubation period. Biochar addition was associated with a decline in cellulose and hemicellulose degrading enzyme activity in grassland soils, although not in tropical soils. In both soils, native soil organic carbon decomposition was not significantly impacted by biochar addition. Principle coordinates analysis of microbial composition showed that both soils harbored different microbial communities and those communities at different depths were distinct. The main bacterial groups enriched by biochar addition were Actinobacteria in the grassland soil, and α-Proteobacteria, Actinobacteria and Acidobacteria in the tropical soil. Analysis of 16S r

  5. Reconciling Apparent Variability in Effects of Biochar Amendment on Soil Enzyme Activities by Assay Optimization

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bailey, Vanessa L.; Fansler, Sarah J.; Smith, Jeffery L.; Bolton, Harvey

    2011-02-01

    Applying biochar to soils as an ameliorative substance and mechanism for C sequestration has received a great deal of interest in light of the sustained fertility observed in the Terra Preta soils of Brazil. The effects of synthetic biochars on biochemical processes needs to be better understood in order to determine if this is a reasonable practice in managed systems. The biochar studied was formed from the fast-pyrolysis of a switchgrass feedstock. Four soil enzymes were studied: β-glucosidase, β-N-acetylglucosaminidase, lipase, and leucine aminopeptidase. Both colorimetric and fluorescent assays were used for β-glucosidase and β-N-acetylglucosaminidase. Seven days after biochar was added to microcosms of a Palouse silt loam, the fluorescence-based assays indicated increased activities of the four enzymes, compared to non-amended soil. To clarify the mechanisms of the observed effects,in the absence of soil, purified enzymes or substrates were briefly exposed to biochar and then assayed. Except for β-N-acetylglucosaminidase, the exposure of substrate to biochar reduced the apparent activity of the remaining three enzymes in vitro, suggesting that sorption reactions between the substrate and biochar either removed the substrate from the assays or impeded the enzyme binding. The activity of purified β-N-acetylglucosaminidase increased significantly following biochar exposure, suggesting a chemical stimulation of enzyme functioning. We conclude that biochar added to soil acts as a substrate that can stimulate the soil microbial biomass and its activity. Our in vitro study suggests that biochar is not biochemically inert. Biochar amendments are likely to have effects that are currently difficult to predict, and that could impact overall soil function.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-12-01

    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. PMID:21855187

  7. 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%.

  8. Long-term impact of biochar on the revegetation and mobility of Ni and Zn in an industrial contaminated site soil

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shen, Zhengtao; Al-Tabbaa, Abir

    2015-04-01

    Biochar is a promising material in soil remediation for its multiple benefits in sustainable development, greening and carbon storage in addition to immobilising heavy metals and organic contaminants. However, its long-term performance in immobilising heavy metals has not been well investigated yet. In this research, a British hardwood biochar accompanied by a small amount of compost was employed in an industrial contaminated site in UK in 2011. A following three-year study was conducted to explore the impact of biochar on the revegetation of the trial pits, as well as the mobility of Ni and Zn in the soils. The revegetation on site failed, and the further laboratory incubation tests indicate that the failure was due to the insufficient addition of biochar and compost. The three-year carbonic acid leaching results of the treated soils reveal a reduction of Ni and Zn concentrations in the leachates along the time. The total metal tests and the Toxicity Characteristic Leaching Procedure (TCLP) on the third-year samples confirm that biochar can significantly reduce the mobility of Ni and Zn in the soils in the long term. Further, a quantitatively chemical method defined as "sequential extraction", which differentiates from the qualitative methods such as X-ray diffraction (XRD) and electron microscopies, was conducted to explore the interaction among heavy metals, biochar and soil. The results of the sequential extraction tests on the third-year samples indicate that Ni and Zn were mainly bound to Fe-Mn oxides and primary and secondary soil minerals, which had been enhanced by biochar addition. The findings in this research indicates that biochar rather than compost played the major role in immobilising Ni and Zn, and 0.5% (in w/w) addition of biochar was sufficient in practice. It also confirms the good performance of biochar in immobilising Ni and Zn in soils in the long term, and supports the potential large-scale application of biochar in soil remediation

  9. Biochar can be used to recapture essential nutrients from dairy wastewater and improve soil quality

    OpenAIRE

    Ghezzehei, T. A.; D. V. Sarkhot; Berhe, A. A.

    2014-01-01

    Recently, the potential for biochar use to recapture excess nutrients from dairy wastewater has been a focus of a growing number of studies. It is suggested that biochar produced from locally available waste biomass can be important in reducing release of excess nutrient elements from agricultural runoff, improving soil productivity, and long-term carbon (C) sequestration. Here we present a review of a new approach that is showing promise for the use of biochar for nutrie...

  10. Challenging the claims on the potential of biochar to mitigate climate change

    OpenAIRE

    Francischinelli Rittl, T.

    2015-01-01

    Summary In this PhD thesis I studied the influence of biochar discourses on the political practices in Brazil and the impact of biochar on soil organic carbon (SOC) stocks, thus contributing to the current debate on the potential of biochar to mitigate climate change. Biochar is the solid material obtained from the carbonization of biomass. The deliberate production and application to soil distinguishes biochar from other carbonized products, e.g. charcoal. Inspired by the aged charcoal found...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Suddick, Emma C; Six, Johan

    2013-11-01

    Agricultural soils are responsible for emitting large quantities of nitrous oxide (N2O). The controlled incomplete thermal decomposition of agricultural wastes to produce biochar, once amended to soils, have been hypothesized to increase crop yield, improve soil quality and reduce N2O emissions. To estimate crop yields, soil quality parameters and N2O emissions following the incorporation of a high temperature (900 °C) walnut shell (HTWS) biochar into soil, a one year field campaign with four treatments (control (CONT), biochar (B), compost (COM), and biochar+compost (B+C)) was conducted in a small scale vegetable rotation system in Northern California. Crop yields from five crops (lettuce, winter cover crop, lettuce, bell pepper and Swiss chard) were determined; there were no significant differences in yield between treatments. Biochar amended soils had significant increases in % total carbon (C) and the retention of potassium (K) and calcium (Ca). Annual cumulative N2O fluxes were not significantly different between the four treatments with emissions ranging from 0.91 to 1.12 kg N2O-N ha(-1) yr(-1). Distinct peaks of N2O occurred upon the application of N fertilizers and the greatest mean emissions, ranging from 67.04 to 151.41 g N2O-N ha(-1) day(-1), were observed following the incorporation of the winter cover crop. In conclusion, HTWS biochar application to soils had a pronounced effect on the retention of exchangeable cations such as K and Ca compared to un-amended soils and composted soils, which in turn could reduce leaching of these plant available cations and could thus improve soils with poor nutrient retention. However, HTWS biochar additions to soil had neither a positive or negative effect on crop yield nor cumulative annual emissions of N2O. PMID:23490323

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

    The role of biochar as a soil amendment on the adsorption-desorption and transport of tylosin, a macrolide class of veterinary antibiotic, is little known. In this study, batch and column experiments were conducted to investigate the adsorption kinetics and transport of tylosin in forest and agricultural corn field soils amended with hardwood and softwood biochars. Tylosin adsorption was rapid at initial stages, followed by slow and continued adsorption. Amounts of adsorption increased as the biochar amendment rate increased from 1 to 10%. For soils with the hardwood biochar, tylosin adsorption was 10 to 18% higher than that when using the softwood biochar. Adsorption kinetics was well described by Elovich equation ( ≥ 0.921). As the percent of biochar was increased, the rates of initial reactions were generally increased, as indicated by increasing α value at low initial tylosin concentration, whereas the rates during extended reaction times were generally increased, as indicated by decreasing β value at high initial tylosin concentration. A considerably higher amount of tylosin remained after desorption in the corn field soil than in the forest soil regardless of the rate of biochar amendment, which was attributed to the high pH and silt content of the former. The breakthrough curves of tylosin showed that the two soils with biochar amendment had much greater retardation than those of soils without biochar. The CXTFIT model for the miscible displacement column study described well the peak arrival time as well as the maximum concentration of tylosin breakthrough curves but showed some underestimation at advanced stages of tylosin leaching, especially in the corn field soil. Overall, the results indicate that biochar amendments enhance the retention and reduce the transport of tylosin in soils. PMID:22751061

  13. Emission of CO2 from biochar-amended soils and implications for soil organic carbon

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Sagrilo, E.; Jeffery, S.L.; Hoffland, E.; Kuyper, T.W.

    2015-01-01

    Soil amendment with pyrogenic organic matter (PyOM), also named biochar, is claimed to sequester carbon (C). However, possible interactions between PyOM and native soil organic carbon (SOC) may accelerate the loss of SOC, thus reducing PyOM's C sequestration potential. We combined the results of 46

  14. Biochar and denitrification in soils: when, how much and why does biochar reduce N2O emissions?

    OpenAIRE

    Maria Luz Cayuela; Miguel Angel Sánchez-Monedero; Asunción Roig; Kelly Hanley; Akio Enders; Johannes Lehmann

    2013-01-01

    Agricultural soils represent the main source of anthropogenic N2O emissions. Recently, interactions of black carbon with the nitrogen cycle have been recognized and the use of biochar is being investigated as a means to reduce N2O emissions. However, the mechanisms of reduction remain unclear. Here we demonstrate the significant impact of biochar on denitrification, with a consistent decrease in N2O emissions by 10–90% in 14 different agricultural soils. Using the 15N gas-flux method we obser...

  15. Biochar characterization for its environmental and agricultural utilization. Occurrence, distribution and fate of labile organic carbon and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons

    OpenAIRE

    Rombola', Alessandro Girolamo

    2015-01-01

    In this thesis the potential risks associated to the application of biochar in soil as well the stability of biochar were investigated. The study was focused on the potential risks arising from the occurrence of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in biochar. An analytical method was developed for the determination of the 16 USEPA-PAHs in the original biochar and soil containing biochar. The method was successfully validated with a certified reference material for the soil matrix and comp...

  16. Biochar Treatment Resulted in a Combined Effect on Soybean Growth Promotion and a Shift in Plant Growth Promoting Rhizobacteria

    OpenAIRE

    EGAMBERDIEVA, Dilfuza; Wirth, Stephan; Behrendt, Undine; Abd_Allah, Elsayed F.; Berg, Gabriele

    2016-01-01

    The application of biochar to soil is considered to have the potential for long-term soil carbon sequestration, as well as for improving plant growth and suppressing soil pathogens. In our study we evaluated the effect of biochar on the plant growth of soybeans, as well as on the community composition of root-associated bacteria with plant growth promoting traits. Two types of biochar, namely, maize biochar (MBC), wood biochar (WBC), and hydrochar (HTC) were used for pot experiments to monito...

  17. Factors driving carbon mineralization priming effect in a soil amended with different types of biochar

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-03-01

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

  18. Factors driving carbon mineralization priming effect in a soil amended with different types of biochar

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    P. Cely

    2014-03-01

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

  19. 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; Paradelo Pérez, Marcos;

    2014-01-01

    biochar application, and a series of leaching experiments was conducted. The leachate was analyzed for tritium (used as a tracer), colloids, and phosphorus concentration. The results revealed that the presence of CaCO3 has resulted in marked changes in soil structure (bulk density) and soil chemical...... to be time dependent in soils with low CaCO3. Biochar-amended soils showed higher colloid and P release than reference soils. Field-scale variations in total colloid and P leaching reflected clear effects of changes in pH and ionic strength due to the presence of CaCO3. There was a linear relationship...

  20. Impact of biochar amendment on soil water soluble carbon in the context of extreme hydrological events.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Daoyuan; Griffin, Deirdre E; Parikh, Sanjai J; Scow, Kate M

    2016-10-01

    Biochar amendments to soil have been promoted as a low cost carbon (C) sequestration strategy as well as a way to increase nutrient retention and remediate contaminants. If biochar is to become part of a long-term management strategy, it is important to consider its positive and negative impacts, and their trade-offs, on soil organic matter (SOM) and soluble C under different hydrological conditions such as prolonged drought or frequent wet-dry cycles. A 52-week incubation experiment measuring the influence of biochar on soil water soluble C under different soil moisture conditions (wet, dry, or wet-dry cycles) indicated that, in general, dry and wet-dry cycles increased water soluble C, and biochar addition further increased release of water soluble C from native SOM. Biochar amendment appeared to increase transformation of native SOM to water soluble C, based on specific ultraviolet absorption (SUVA) and C stable isotope composition; however, the increased amount of water soluble C from native SOM is less than 1% of total biochar C. The impacts of biochar on water soluble C need to be carefully considered when applying biochar to agricultural soil. PMID:27391051

  1. 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;

    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, and...... setup. Artificial rain was applied with a FullJet nozzle at a rate of 30 mm h-1. Biochar-amended soils showed significantly lower runoff and erosion rates compared to unamended soils, and correspondingly runoff coefficients in biochar-treated soils were lower than in control soils. Less SOC was eroded...

  2. 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

    2014-05-01

    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 microbially-mediated processes. Soil amended with biochar has been demonstrated to reduce N2O emissions in the field and in laboratory experiments. Although N2O emission mitigation following soil biochar amendment has been reported frequently the underlying processes and specific role of the nitrogen cycling microbial community in decreasing soil N2O emissions has not been subject of systematic investigation. To investigate the impact of biochar on the microbial community of nitrogen-transforming microorganisms we performed a microcosm study with arable soil amended with different amounts (0%, 2% and 10% (w/w)) of high-temperature wood derived 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 real-time 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.

  3. Biochar: a novel tool to enhance wheat productivity and soil fertility on sustainable basis under wheat-maize-wheat cropping pattern

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The application of organic matter is an important element for preserving long-term soil fertility because it is the reservoir of metabolic energy, which drives soil biological processes involved in nutrient availability. Two years field experiments were conducted for the assessment of the interactive effect of biochar with synthetic fertilizer and farmyard manure. Biochar application at the rate of 25 t ha-1 increased spikes m-2 by 6.64%, grains spike-1 by 5.6%, thousand grain weight by 3.73, grain yield by 9.96%, biological yield by 15.36%, phosphorus use efficiency by 29.03% and grain phosphorus uptake by 19.67% in comparison with no biochar treated plots. Likewise, biochar application significantly increased soil carbon (C), phosphorus (P) and potassium (K) by 54.02, 61.39 and 18.41%, respectively. Similarly, farmyard manure at the rate of 10 t ha-1 resulted in significantly higher yield components, grain yield, soil C, P and K than 5 t ha-1. Likewise, mineral nitrogen application at the rate of 120 kg ha-1 improved wheat yield and yield components with no significant effect on soil C, P and K contents. It is concluded that application biochar either alone or in combination with FYM or mineral nitrogen improved yield and yield components of wheat and soil quality in wheat-maize cropping pattern. (author)

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-11-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-12-01

    The pyrolysis of biomass is a net carbon negative method of sequestering atmospheric carbon as recalcitrant black carbon. The resulting solid product, called biochar, is likely to improve agricultural soils when used as a soil conditioner in sustainable land management practice. Biochar has been shown to improve crop yields, improve water-holding capacity in sandy soils, increase cation exchange capacity (CEC), and retain nutrients from fertilization longer than soils unamended with biochar. Biochar undoubtedly has high potential as both a carbon management tool and a tool to increase global food production. However, little is understood about possible side effects of biochar in agricultural soils such as ecosystem toxicity, interactions with biota, and modification of soil hydrologic properties, such as permeability. The hydrophobicity of a soil determines how easily precipitation can permeate soil pores. Water that fails to permeate is redirected as runoff, responsible for the detachment and transport of nutrient-rich topsoil particles. Mitigating top-soil erosion is an important aspect of sustainable land management. Biochar, primarily composed of condensed aromatic structures, is a hydrophobic material and incorporating it into agricultural soils may act to alter soil hydrology through multiple avenues. These include a likely increase in soil water-holding capacity (a positive outcome) and a potential increase in soil hydrophobicity (a negative outcome). In an effort to understand how to engineer reduced biochar hydrophobicity, we investigated the hydrophobicity of biochars as a function of biomass feedstock, pyrolysis temperatures, and post-pyrolysis chemical treatments. We used Water Drop Penetration Time (WDPT) and Molarity of an Ethanol Drop (MED) tests to measure hydrophobicity, and FTIR, CPMAS-NMR, and N2-BET to probe the surface chemistry, bulk chemistry, and surface area of various biochars, respectively. We used post-pyrolysis chemical treatments of

  7. 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...

  8. 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

  9. [Effect of Biochar on Soil Greenhouse Gas Emissions in Semi-arid Region].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guo, Yan-liang; Wang, Dan-dan; Zheng, Ji-yong; Zhao, Shi-wei; Zhang, Xing-chang

    2015-09-01

    This study aimed to investigate the effects of biochar addition on the emission of greenhouse gases from farmland soil in semi-arid region. Through an in-situ experiments, the influence of sawdust biochar(J) and locust tree skin biochar (H) at three doses (1%, 3%, and 5% of quality percentage) on C2, CH4 and N2O emissions were studied within the six months in the south of Ningxiaprovince. The results indicated that soil CO2 emission flux was slightly increased with the addition doses for both biochars, and the averaged CO2 emission flux for sawdust and locust tree skin biochar was enhanced by 1. 89% and 3. 34% compared to the control, but the difference between treatments was not statistically significant. The soil CH4 emission was decreased with the increasing of biochar doses, by 1. 17%, 2. 55%, 4. 32% for J1, J3, J5 and 2. 35%, 5. 83%, 7. 32% for H1, H3, H5, respectively. However, the difference was statistically significant only for J5, H3 and H5 treatments (P effect on soil N2O emission. Our study indicated that the biochar has no significant influence on soil CO2 and N2O emissions within six months in semi-arid region and can significantly influence soil CH4 emissions (P < 0. 05). As for biochar type, the locust tree skin biochar is significantly better than the sawdust biochar in terms of restraining CH4 emission(P = 0. 048). PMID:26717703

  10. Simultaneous immobilization of lead and atrazine in contaminated soils using dairy-manure biochar.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cao, Xinde; Ma, Lena; Liang, Yuan; Gao, Bin; Harris, Willie

    2011-06-01

    Biochar produced from waste biomass is increasingly being recognized as a green, cost-effective amendment for environmental remediation. This work was to determine the ability of biochar to immobilize heavy metal Pb and organic pesticide atrazine in contaminated soils. Biochar prepared from dairy manure was incubated with contaminated soils at rates of 0, 2.5, and 5.0% by weight for 210 d. A commercial activated carbon (AC) was included as a comparison. The AC was effective in immobilizing atrazine, but was ineffective for Pb. However, biochar was effective in immobilizing both atrazine and Pb and the effectiveness was enhanced with increasing incubation time and biochar rates. After 210 d, soils treated with the highest rate of 5.0% biochar showed more than 57% and 66% reduction in Pb and atrazine concentrations in 0.01 M CaCl(2) extraction, respectively. Lead and atrazine concentrations in the toxicity characteristic leaching procedure solutions were reduced by 70-89% and 53-77%, respectively. Uptake of Pb and atrazine by earthworms (Eisenia fetida) was reduced by up to 79% and 73%. Phosphorus originally contained in biochar reacted with soil Pb to form insoluble hydroxypyromorphite Pb(5)(PO(4))(3)(OH), as determined by X-ray diffraction, which was presumably responsible for soil Pb immobilization, whereas atrazine stabilization may result from its adsorption by biochar demonstrated by the significant exponential decrease of extractable atrazine with increasing organic C in biochar (r(2) > 0.97, p biochar as a unique amendment for immobilization of both heavy metal and organic contaminants in cocontaminated soils. PMID:21542567

  11. 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. PMID:27100017

  12. From waste water treatment to land management: Conversion of aquatic biomass to biochar for soil amelioration and the fortification of crops with essential trace elements.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roberts, David A; Paul, Nicholas A; Cole, Andrew J; de Nys, Rocky

    2015-07-01

    Macroalgae can be grown in industrial waste water to sequester metals and the resulting biomass used for biotechnological applications. We have previously cultivated the freshwater macroalga Oedogonium at a coal-fired power station to treat a metal-contaminated effluent from that facility. We then produced biochar from this biomass and determined the suitability of both the biomass and the biochar for soil amelioration. The dried biomass of Oedogonium cultivated in the waste water contained several elements for which there are terrestrial biosolids criteria (As, Cd, Cr, Cu, Pb, Ni, Se and Zn) and leached significant amounts of these elements into solution. Here, we demonstrate that these biomass leachates impair the germination and growth of radishes as a model crop. However, the biochar produced from this same biomass leaches negligible amounts of metal into solution and the leachates support high germination and growth of radishes. Biochar produced at 750 °C leaches the least metal and has the highest recalcitrant C content. When this biochar is added to a low-quality soil it improves the retention of nutrients (N, P, Ca, Mg, K and Mo) from fertilizer in the soil and the growth of radishes by 35-40%. Radishes grown in the soils amended with the biochar have equal or lower metal contents than radishes grown in soil without biochar, but much higher concentrations of essential trace elements (Mo) and macro nutrients (P, K, Ca and Mg). The cultivation of macroalgae is an effective waste water bioremediation technology that also produces biomass that can be used as a feedstock for conversion to biochar for soil amelioration. PMID:25881153

  13. 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

  14. The Effect of sewage sledge bio-char as mulch and top-soil incorporated on Soil Physical Characteristics and plant growth in a loss soil with high specific surface area in a temperate climate.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fathi, Hamed; Movahedi Naeini, Seyed Alireza; Mirzanejad, Mojan

    2015-04-01

    Incorporation of biochar into agricultural soils has been proposed as a potential best management practice (BMP) to increase crop yield and sequester atmospheric carbon (C). Furthermore, the production of biochar, referred to as pyrolysis, yields biofuel that can offset fossil fuels. Current research involving biochar and soil is field scale experiments. Here, sewage sledge biochar was incorporated into a field-scale soybean (Glycine max) system for analysis of soil mechanical and hydrological properties correlated with crop yield. A randomized complete block design was implemented with two biochar application rates: 0 Mg ha-1 (TC), and 25 Mg ha-1 (MTB25 Mulch and ITB25 Incorporated). All plots were tilled using a tractor and rotovator in order to attain uniform incorporation of biochar. A small adjacent field was managed with no-till practices (NTC) to quantify the effects of tillage. Biochar is an effective soil conditioner, evident by MTB25 soil bulk density 9% and 18.5% less than that of TC and NTC, respectively. Analysis of soil pore size distribution resulted in MTB25 with significantly increased macro-pores (1500 μm) related to water transmission and micro-pores (0.5 μm) related to water retention. Furthermore, plant available water capacity (AWC) of MTB25 significantly increased by 9.6% and 29% over TC and NTC, respectively. Biochar amendment (MTB25) increased saturated hydraulic conductivity (Ks) by 33% and 78% over TC and NTC, respectively. Soybean above-ground biomass and grain yield of MTB25 resulted in respective 12.3% and 12.5% increases over TC. The results also showed that the ITB25 was less effective than MTB25. Correlation and linear regression analysis revealed significant positive trends with AWC, soil bulk density, total porosity, among other properties. Results suggest biochar is an effective soil amendment for temperate agricultural soils, yet long-term research will provide additional insight into the potential for biochar to improve soil

  15. Influence of fast pyrolysis temperature on biochar labile fraction and short-term carbon loss in a loamy soil

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bruun, Esben; Hauggaard-Nielsen, Henrik; Ibrahim, Norazana;

    2011-01-01

    Production of bio-oil, gas and biochar from pyrolysis of biomass is considered a promising technology for combined production of bioenergy and recalcitrant carbon (C) suitable for sequestration in soil. Using a fast pyrolysis centrifuge reactor (PCR) the present study investigated the relation...... between fast pyrolysis of wheat straw at different reactor temperatures and the short-term degradability of biochar in soil. After 115 days incubation 3–12% of the added biochar-C had been emitted as CO2. On average, 90% of the total biochar-C loss occurred within the first 20 days of the experiment......, emphasizing the importance of knowing the biochar labile fraction when evaluating a specific biochars C sequestration potential. The pyrolysis temperature influenced the outputs of biochar, bio-oil and syngas significantly, as well as the stability of the biochar produced. Contrary to slow pyrolysis a fast...

  16. Amending metal contaminated mine soil with biochars to sequester metals and improve plant growth cover

    Science.gov (United States)

    There are numerous mine spoil sites in the U.S. Pacific Northwest that contain highly acidic, heavy metal-laden soils, which limits establishment of a soil-stabilizing plant cover. Biochars may be a suitable soil amendment to reduce toxic metals, improve soil fertility, soil wa...

  17. The Effect of Biochar and Its Interaction with the Earthworm Pontoscolex corethrurus on Soil Microbial Community Structure in Tropical Soils

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paz-Ferreiro, Jorge; Liang, Chenfei; Fu, Shenglei; Mendez, Ana; Gasco, Gabriel

    2015-01-01

    Biochar effects on soil microbial abundance and community structure are keys for understanding the biogeochemical cycling of nutrients and organic matter turnover, but are poorly understood, in particular in tropical areas. We conducted a greenhouse experiment in which we added biochars produced from four different feedstocks [sewage sludge (B1), deinking sewage sludge (B2), Miscanthus (B3) and pine wood (B4)] at a rate of 3% (w/w) to two tropical soils (an Acrisol and a Ferralsol) planted with proso millet (Panicum milliaceum L.). The interactive effect of the addition of earthworms was also addressed. For this purpose we utilized soil samples from pots with or without the earthworm Pontoscolex corethrurus, which is a ubiquitous earthworm in tropical soils. Phospholipid fatty acid (PLFA) measurements showed that biochar type, soil type and the presence of earthworms significantly affected soil microbial community size and structure. In general, biochar addition affected fungal but not bacterial populations. Overall, biochars rich in ash (B1 and B2) resulted in a marked increase in the fungi to bacteria ratio, while this ratio was unaltered after addition of biochars with a high fixed carbon content (B3 and B4). Our study remarked the contrasting effect that both, biochar prepared from different materials and macrofauna, can have on soil microbial community. Such changes might end up with ecosystem-level effects. PMID:25898344

  18. The effect of biochar and its interaction with the earthworm Pontoscolex corethrurus on soil microbial community structure in tropical soils.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jorge Paz-Ferreiro

    Full Text Available Biochar effects on soil microbial abundance and community structure are keys for understanding the biogeochemical cycling of nutrients and organic matter turnover, but are poorly understood, in particular in tropical areas. We conducted a greenhouse experiment in which we added biochars produced from four different feedstocks [sewage sludge (B1, deinking sewage sludge (B2, Miscanthus (B3 and pine wood (B4] at a rate of 3% (w/w to two tropical soils (an Acrisol and a Ferralsol planted with proso millet (Panicum milliaceum L.. The interactive effect of the addition of earthworms was also addressed. For this purpose we utilized soil samples from pots with or without the earthworm Pontoscolex corethrurus, which is a ubiquitous earthworm in tropical soils. Phospholipid fatty acid (PLFA measurements showed that biochar type, soil type and the presence of earthworms significantly affected soil microbial community size and structure. In general, biochar addition affected fungal but not bacterial populations. Overall, biochars rich in ash (B1 and B2 resulted in a marked increase in the fungi to bacteria ratio, while this ratio was unaltered after addition of biochars with a high fixed carbon content (B3 and B4. Our study remarked the contrasting effect that both, biochar prepared from different materials and macrofauna, can have on soil microbial community. Such changes might end up with ecosystem-level effects.

  19. The effect of biochar and its interaction with the earthworm Pontoscolex corethrurus on soil microbial community structure in tropical soils.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paz-Ferreiro, Jorge; Liang, Chenfei; Fu, Shenglei; Mendez, Ana; Gasco, Gabriel

    2015-01-01

    Biochar effects on soil microbial abundance and community structure are keys for understanding the biogeochemical cycling of nutrients and organic matter turnover, but are poorly understood, in particular in tropical areas. We conducted a greenhouse experiment in which we added biochars produced from four different feedstocks [sewage sludge (B1), deinking sewage sludge (B2), Miscanthus (B3) and pine wood (B4)] at a rate of 3% (w/w) to two tropical soils (an Acrisol and a Ferralsol) planted with proso millet (Panicum milliaceum L.). The interactive effect of the addition of earthworms was also addressed. For this purpose we utilized soil samples from pots with or without the earthworm Pontoscolex corethrurus, which is a ubiquitous earthworm in tropical soils. Phospholipid fatty acid (PLFA) measurements showed that biochar type, soil type and the presence of earthworms significantly affected soil microbial community size and structure. In general, biochar addition affected fungal but not bacterial populations. Overall, biochars rich in ash (B1 and B2) resulted in a marked increase in the fungi to bacteria ratio, while this ratio was unaltered after addition of biochars with a high fixed carbon content (B3 and B4). Our study remarked the contrasting effect that both, biochar prepared from different materials and macrofauna, can have on soil microbial community. Such changes might end up with ecosystem-level effects. PMID:25898344

  20. Assessment of herbicide sorption by biochars and organic matter associated with soil and sediment

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sorption of two herbicides, fluridone (FLUN) and norflurazon (NORO), by two types of biochars, whole sediment, and various soil/sediment organic matter (OM) fractions including nonhydrolyzable carbon (NHC), black carbon (BC) and humic acid (HA) was examined. The single-point organic carbon (OC)-normalized distribution coefficients (KOC) of FLUN and NORO at low solution concentration (Ce = 0.01SW, solubility) for HA, NHC, and BC were about 3, 14, and 24 times and 3, 16, and 36 times larger than their bulk sediments, respectively, indicating the importance of different OM fractions in herbicide sorption. This study revealed that aliphatic moieties of the hydrothermal biochars and aromatic moieties of NHC samples, respectively, were possibly responsible for herbicide sorption. The hydrothermal biochar and condensed OM (i.e., NHC and BC) showed relatively high or similar herbicide sorption efficiency compared to the thermal biochar, suggesting that the hydrothermal biochar may serve as an amendment for minimizing off-site herbicide movement. - Highlights: ► Sorption of fluridone and norflurazon by biochars and organic matter was determined. ► Structural difference of biochars and organic matter affects herbicide sorption. ► Hydrothermal biochar is preferred as amendment for minimizing herbicide movement. - Hydrothermal biochars had relatively high herbicide sorption capacity and may be used as an amendment for minimizing off-site herbicide movement.

  1. Fate of Soil Organic Carbon and Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons in a Vineyard Soil Treated with Biochar.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rombolà, Alessandro G; Meredith, Will; Snape, Colin E; Baronti, Silvia; Genesio, Lorenzo; Vaccari, Francesco Primo; Miglietta, Franco; Fabbri, Daniele

    2015-09-15

    The effect of biochar addition on the levels of black carbon (BC) and polcyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in a vineyard soil in central Italy was investigated within a two year period. Hydropyrolysis (HyPy) was used to determine the contents of BC (BCHyPy) in the amended and control soils, while the hydrocarbon composition of the semi-labile (non-BCHyPy) fraction released by HyPy was determined by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry, together with the solvent-extractable PAHs. The concentrations of these three polycyclic aromatic carbon reservoirs changed and impacted differently the soil organic carbon over the period of the trial. The addition of biochar (33 ton dry biochar ha(-1)) gave rise to a sharp increase in soil organic carbon, which could be accounted for by an increase in BCHyPy. Over time, the concentration of BCHyPy decreased significantly from 36 to 23 mg g(-1) and as a carbon percentage from 79% to 61%. No clear time trends were observed for the non-BCHyPy PAHs varying from 39 to 34 μg g(-1) in treated soils, not significantly different from control soils. However, the concentrations of extractable PAHs increased markedly in the amended soils and decreased with time from 153 to 78 ng g(-1) remaining always higher than those in untreated soil. The extent of the BCHyPy loss was more compatible with physical rather than chemical processes. PMID:26263378

  2. Evaluation of Sorbed Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAH) on Various Biochars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Biochar is the name given to the chemical and/or thermal transformation of biomass feed stocks into a more stable carbon form for purposes of carbon sequestration. Soil has been the focused, but not exclusive, application target for biochar. Biochar additions have resulted in both positive and nega...

  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. Benefits of biochar, compost and biochar-compost for soil quality, maize yield and greenhouse gas emissions in a tropical agricultural soil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Agegnehu, Getachew; Bass, Adrian M; Nelson, Paul N; Bird, Michael I

    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(-1) biochar (B)+F; 3) 25 t ha(-1) compost (Com)+F; 4) 2.5 t ha(-1) B+25 t ha(-1) Com mixed on site+F; and 5) 25 t ha(-1) co-composted biochar-compost (COMBI)+F. Total aboveground biomass and maize yield were significantly improved relative to the control for all organic amendments, with increases in grain yield between 10 and 29%. Some plant parameters such as leaf chlorophyll were significantly increased by the organic treatments. Significant differences were observed among treatments for the δ(15)N and δ(13)C contents of kernels. Soil physicochemical properties including soil water content (SWC), total soil organic carbon (SOC), total nitrogen (N), available phosphorus (P), nitrate-nitrogen (NO3(-)N), ammonium-nitrogen (NH4(+)-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 CO2 and N2O were higher from the organic-amended soils than from the fertilizer-only control. However, N2O 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. PMID:26590867

  5. Mitigating methane emission from paddy soil with rice-straw biochar amendment under projected climate change

    OpenAIRE

    Xingguo Han; Xue Sun; Cheng Wang; Mengxiong Wu; Da Dong; Ting Zhong; Thies, Janice E.; Weixiang Wu

    2016-01-01

    Elevated global temperatures and increased concentrations of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere associated with climate change will exert profound effects on rice cropping systems, particularly on their greenhouse gas emitting potential. Incorporating biochar into paddy soil has been shown previously to reduce methane (CH4) emission from paddy rice under ambient temperature and CO2. We examined the ability of rice straw-derived biochar to reduce CH4 emission from paddy soil under elevated...

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    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 and annual cropping schemes. How biochar amendment affects plant communities in more complex and diverse ecosystems that can evolve over time is largely unknown. We investigated such effects in a fi...

  7. Biochar and Mill Ash Use as Soil Amendments to Grow Sugarcane in Sandy Soils of South Florida

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alvarez-Campos, O.; Lang, T. A.; Bhadha, J. H.; McCray, M.; Gao, B.; Glaz, B.; Daroub, S. H.

    2015-12-01

    The use of agricultural and urban organic residues as amendments provides an option to improve sugarcane production in sandy soils located northwest of the Everglades Agricultural Area, while reducing waste. This study was conducted to determine the effect of mill ash and three biochars on sugarcane yield and sandy soil properties. Mill ash and biochars produced from hardwood yard waste (HY), barn shavings with horse manure (HM), and rice hulls (RH) were incorporated at 1% and 2% (by weight) to sandy soils in a lysimeter experiment. A control without amendment and an often-used commercial practice of mill ash applied at 6% (AS6) were also included. Results showed that RH2 and AS6 produced greater biomass and sucrose yield compared with the control. According to critical nutrient level analysis, RH and AS amendments also resulted in the highest silicon content, which had a positive correlation with increasing sugarcane yield. In addition, RH2 and AS6 increased total phosphorus, Mehlich-3 phosphorus, and cation exchange capacity (CEC) compared with the control. While CEC remained constant with AS2 and AS6 applications, CEC significantly increased over time with RH2. Moreover, higher amendment applications increased soil organic matter compared with the control and did not decrease over time, which suggests a positive influence for long term carbon sustainability and nutrient cycling in sandy soils. Overall, RH2 and AS6 have the most potential to be used as amendments in sandy soils of South Florida due to their positive effects on soil properties, which improved sugarcane yield. However, no negative consequences were found with the application of any other amendment in terms of sugarcane growth and soil quality. Future research should focus on the use of RH and AS amendments on long-term field-scale studies, and the economic feasibility of a single year application on plant and ratoon cane yields.

  8. 生物炭及炭基硝酸铵肥料对土壤化学性质及作物产量的影响%Effect of Biochar and Biochar-based Ammonium Nitrate Fertilizers on Soil Chemical Properties and Crop Yield

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    高海英; 何绪生; 陈心想; 张雯; 耿增超

    2012-01-01

    In order to promote research about biochar and its potential use in agriculture, we conducted a pot experiment to study the effect of biochar and two biochar-based N fertilizers on selected soil chemical properties, available nutrient concentrations, and crop yields. The results showed that biochar-based N fertilizer significantly increased soil organic C storage, soil pH, and soil cation exchange capacity. Biochar-based N fertilizer also increased available P, available K, and mineral N concentrations in the soil and enhanced the ability of soil to retain nutrients. Crop yields were also higher in soil treated with biochar-based N fertilizer. Amendment with biochar alone improved soil chemical properties and available nutrient concentrations to some extent; However, biochar amendment had a negative or insignificant effect on crop yield. Overall, combining biochar with N to produce biochar-based N fertilizer can not only make use of the positive effects of biochar on soil function, but also promote crop growth and increase yield. The use of biochar-based N fertilizer will enhance the economic benefits of biochar application to agricultural soils.%为了促进生物炭研究和农用,采用盆栽试验研究了两种生物炭基氮肥及相应生物炭对土壤部分化学性质、养分状况及作物产量的影响.试验结果表明:施用生物炭基氮肥可显著提高土壤有机碳含量,提高土壤pH值、阳离子交换量、土壤速效磷、速效钾和矿质态氮含量,增强土壤保肥能力,促进作物增产.生物炭对土壤化学性质和养分状况虽有一定改善作用,但作物增产效应不明显甚至减产.因此,将生物炭与肥料复合制成生物炭基肥料不但可以保持生物炭改良土壤的功能,还可促进作物生长和增产,有利于生物炭农用效益的提升.

  9. Biochar can be used to recapture essential nutrients from dairy wastewater and improve soil quality

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    T. A. Ghezzehei

    2014-04-01

    Full Text Available Recently, the potential for biochar use to recapture excess nutrients from dairy wastewater has been a focus of a growing number of studies. It is suggested that biochar produced from locally available waste biomass can be important in reducing release of excess nutrient elements from agricultural runoff, improving soil productivity, and long-term carbon (C sequestration. Here we present a review of a new approach that is showing promise for the use of biochar for nutrient capture. Using batch sorption experiments, it has been shown that biochar can adsorb up to 20 to 43% of ammonium and 19–65% of the phosphate in flushed dairy manure in 24 h. These results suggest a potential of biochar for recovering essential nutrients from dairy wastewater and improving soil fertility if the enriched biochar is returned to soil. Based on the sorption capacity of 2.86 and 0.23 mg ammonium and phosphate, respectively, per gram of biochar and 10–50% utilization of available excess biomass, in the state of California (US alone, 11 440 to 57 200 t of ammonium-N and 920–4600 t of phosphate can be captured from dairy waste each year while at the same time disposing up to 8–40 million tons of waste biomass.

  10. Effect of Soil pH Increase by Biochar on NO, N2O and N2 Production during Denitrification in Acid Soils

    OpenAIRE

    Obia, Alfred; Cornelissen, Gerard; Mulder, Jan; Dörsch, Peter

    2015-01-01

    Biochar (BC) application to soil suppresses emission of nitrous- (N2O) and nitric oxide (NO), but the mechanisms are unclear. One of the most prominent features of BC is its alkalizing effect in soils, which may affect denitrification and its product stoichiometry directly or indirectly. We conducted laboratory experiments with anoxic slurries of acid Acrisols from Indonesia and Zambia and two contrasting BCs produced locally from rice husk and cacao shell. Dose-dependent responses of denitri...

  11. Anatomy of a field trial: Wood-based biochar and compost influences a Pacific Northwest soil

    Science.gov (United States)

    Biochar land application research in elevated rainfall areas (980 millimeters of annual rainfall) of the U.S. Pacific Northwest is lacking. A proof-of-concept field study examined the effects of spruce-pine-fir wood chip biochar (slow pyrolysis; 450-500 degrees Celsius; 35 megagrams per hectare), d...

  12. Varying effect of biochar on Cd, Pb and As mobility in a multi-metal contaminated paddy soil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yin, Daixia; Wang, Xin; Chen, Can; Peng, Bo; Tan, Changyin; Li, Hailong

    2016-06-01

    Cd, Pb and As stand as the most prominent contaminants prevailing in Chinese soils. In the present study, biochars derived from water hyacinth (BCW) and rice straw (BCR) were investigated regarding their applicability and durability in soil Cd, Pb, and As immobilization under acid precipitation. Total Cd, Pb, and As in both BCs were below the maximum allowed threshold according to biochar toxicity standard recommended by International Biochar Initiative. To evaluate BCs effect on Cd, Pb, As bioavailability and mobility, CaCl2, KH2PO4 and SPLP extractions were firstly carried out. In neutral extraction with CaCl2 and KH2PO4, significantly reduced Cd/Pb concentrations in CaCl2 extract along with elevated KH2PO4-extractable As were recorded with either BC at 2% or 5%. In SPLP with simulated acid rainwater as extractant, comparable Cd, Pb and As levels were determined in SPLP extract with 2% BCW, while slight to significant increase in SPLP-Cd, Pb or As was recorded with other treatments. Longer-term leaching column test further confirmed the high durability of 2% BCW in Cd immobilization under continuous acid exposure. In parallel, little increase in As concentrations in eluate was determined with 2% BCW compared to no-biochar control, indicating a lowered risk of As mobilization with acid input. However, remarkably higher Pb in leachate from both BCW-only control and 2% BCW-amended soils were noticed at the initial stage of acid leaching, indicating a higher acid-solubility of Pb minerals in BCW (most probably PbO) than in tested soil (PbO2, PbAs2O6). Taken together, BCW exhibited important potential for soil Cd sequestration with little effect on As mobilization under acid precipitation. But it may simultaneously load highly acid-soluble Pb minerals into soils, resulting in elevated Pb mobility upon acid exposure. Therefore, more stringent threshold for Pb content in biochar need to be put forward to secure biochar application in soils subject to anthropogenic

  13. Carbon mineralization and nutrient availability in calcareous sandy soils amended with woody waste biochar.

    Science.gov (United States)

    El-Naggar, Ahmed H; Usman, Adel R A; Al-Omran, Abdulrasoul; Ok, Yong Sik; Ahmad, Mahtab; Al-Wabel, Mohammad I

    2015-11-01

    Many studies have reported the positive effect of biochar on soil carbon sequestration and soil fertility improvement in acidic soils. However, biochar may have different impacts on calcareous sandy soils. A 90-day incubation experiment was conducted to quantify the effects of woody waste biochar (10 g kg(-1)) on CO2-C emissions, K2SO4-extractable C and macro-(N, P and K) and micro-(Fe, Mn, Zn and Cu) nutrient availability in the presence or absence of poultry manure (5 g kg(-1) soil). The following six treatments were applied: (1) conocarpus (Conocarpus erectus L.) waste (CW), (2) conocarpus biochar (BC), (3) poultry manure (PM), (4) PM+CW, (5) PM+BC and (6) untreated soil (CK). Poultry manure increased CO2-C emissions and K2SO4-extractable C, and the highest increases in CO2-C emission rate and cumulative CO2-C and K2SO4-extractable C were observed for the PM+CW treatment. On the contrary, treatments with BC halted the CO2-C emission rate, indicating that the contribution of BC to CO2-C emissions is negligible compared with the soils amended with CW and PM. Furthermore, the combined addition of PM+BC increased available N, P and K compared with the PM or BC treatments. Overall, the incorporation of biochar into calcareous soils might have benefits in carbon sequestration and soil fertility improvement. PMID:26037818

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

    Amendments of biochar, a product of pyrolysis of biomass, have been shown to increase fertility of acidic soils by enhancing soil properties such as pH, cation-exchange-capacity and water-holding-capacity. These parameters are important in the context of natural organic matter contained in soils, of which dissolved organic matter (DOM) is the mobile and most bioavailable fraction. The effect of biochar on the content and composition of DOM in soils has received little research attention. This study focuses on the effects of amendments of two different biochars to an acidic acrisol and a pH-neutral brown soil. A batch experiment showed that mixing biochar with the acrisols at a 10 wt.% dose increased the pH from 4.9 to 8.7, and this resulted in a 15-fold increase in the dissolved organic carbon concentration (from 4.5 to 69 mg L(-1)). The pH-increase followed the same trend as the release of DOM in the experiment, causing higher DOM solubility and desorption of DOM from mineral sites. The binding to biochar of several well-characterised reference DOM materials was also investigated and results showed a higher sorption of aliphatic DOM to biochar than aromatic DOM, with DOM-water partitioning coefficients (Kd-values) ranging from 0.2 to 590 L kg(-1). A size exclusion occurring in biochar's micropores, could result in a higher sorption of smaller aliphatic DOM molecules than larger aromatic ones. These findings indicate that biochar could increase the leaching of DOM from soil, as well as change the DOM composition towards molecules with a larger size and higher aromaticity. PMID:25980657

  15. 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 (pHsoils. The analyses of leachate waters of microlysimeter experiments showed that the biochar effects 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

  16. Can the application of biochar during arable and forestry plantation create an ongoing carbon sink and increase plant productivity?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bell, M. J.; Worrall, F.

    2009-04-01

    This study is based at the National Trust Wallington estate in Northumberland, NE England, an agricultural estate where land-management options are being considered in an attempt to enhance current land carbon stocks. The aim of this research is to identify if biochar (charcoal produced from biomass) can provide an opportunity to create a perpetual carbon sink as apposed to a transitionary sink associated with other land-use changes currently under consideration? The main issues under investigation are: can biochar be ploughed into arable soils to create a long term carbon sink? Can biochar be ploughed into organic rich forest soils to create a long term carbon sink? Will the application of biochar increase crop productivity, increasing photosynthesis and carbon sequestration further still? In order for the estate to become carbon neutral through biochar application alone it was calculated that 3312 Kg/ha/year of biochar would need to be applied to the current area of arable land. This however is based on the assumption that all of the biochar added is stable and will remain in the soil, and assumes that addition does not lead to increased CO2 emissions from the organic matter already present. This study presents the results of weekly soil respiration measurements currently being made on 24 lysimeters filled with arable and forestry soils and 4 levels of charcoal treatment. Levels of treatment were chosen to assess the impact of applying biochar on a yearly basis and any negative impacts which may result from very high eventual concentrations. The following levels of charcoal were applied: 0 Kg/hectare, 6250 Kg/hectare, 62500 Kg/hectare, 87 500 Kg/hectare. The lysimeters containing 0 Kg/ha act as a control, the lysimeters containing 6250 Kg/hectare allow assessment of the impacts of 2 years of addition, 62 500Kg/ha the impact of 18 years of addition, and 87 500kg/ha the impact of 26 years of addition. The study will also present the results of plant productivity

  17. 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

  18. Effect of wheat and rice straw biochars on pyrazosulfuron-ethyl sorption and persistence in a sandy loam soil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Manna, Suman; Singh, Neera

    2015-01-01

    The objective of this research was to investigate the effect of wheat and rice biochars on pyrazosulfuron-ethyl sorption in a sandy loam soil. Pyrazosulfuron-ethyl was poorly sorbed in the soil (3.5-8.6%) but biochar amendment increased the herbicide adsorption, and the effect varied with the nature of the feedstock and pyrolysis temperature. Biochars prepared at 600°C were more effective in adsorbing pyrazosulfuron-ethyl than biochars prepared at 400°C. Rice biochars were better than wheat biochars, and higher herbicide adsorption was attributed to the biochar surface area/porosity. The Freundlich constant 1/n suggested nonlinear isotherms, and nonlinearlity increased with increase in the level of biochar amendment. Desorption results suggested sorption of pyrazosulfuron-ethyl was partially irreversible, and the irreversibility increased with increase in the level of biochar. Both sorption and desorption of pyrazosulfuron-ethyl correlated well with the content of biochars. The free energy change (ΔG) indicated that the pyrazosulfuron-ethyl sorption process was exothermic, spontaneous and physical in nature. Persistence studies indicated that biochar (0.5%) amendment did not have significant effect on herbicide degradation, and its half-life values in the control, 0.5% WBC600- and RBC600-amended rice planted soils were 7, 8.6, and 10.4 days, respectively. PMID:25996810

  19. The effect of biochar amendment on the soil microbial community - PLFA analyses and 13C labeling results

    Science.gov (United States)

    Watzinger, A.; Feichtmair, S.; Rempt, F.; Anders, E.; Wimmer, B.; Kitzler, B.; Zechmeister-Boltenstern, S.; Horacek, M.; Zehetner, F.; Kloss, S.; Richoz, S.; Soja, G.

    2012-04-01

    The effects of biochar amendment on plant growth and on the chemical / physical soil characteristics are well explored but only few studies have investigated the impact on soil microorganisms. The response of the soil microbial community to biochar amendment was investigated by phospholipid fatty acid (PLFA) analysis in (i) a large scale pot experiment, (ii) a small scale pot experiment using 13C labeled biochar and (iii) an incubation study using 13C labeled biochar. In the large scale pot experiment, three different agricultural soils from Austria (Planosol, Cambisol, Chernozem) and four different types of biochar were investigated. In total, 25 treatments with 5 replicates each were set up and monitored over a year. The results from the pot experiments showed no significant influence of biochar amendment on the total microbial biomass in the first 100 days after biochar addition. However, discriminant analysis showed a distinction of biochar and control soils as well as a strong effect of the pyrolysis temperature on the microbial composition. The effect of biochar was dependent on the type of soil. In the Planosol, some PLFAs were affected positively, especially when adding biochar with a low pyrolysis temperature, in the first month. In the long term, microbial community composition altered. Growth of fungi and gram negative bacteria was enhanced. In the Chernozem, PLFAs from various microbial groups decreased in the long term. Variability in the incubation study was low. Consequently, many PLFAs were significantly affected by biochar amendment. Again, in the Planosol, gram negative bacteria, actinomycetes and, after 2 weeks, gram positive bacteria increased under biochar amendment whereas in the chernozem total microbial biomass and gram positive bacteria were negatively affected in the long term. The 13C labeling studies confirmed the low degradability of the biochar, i.e. no alteration of the content and the δ13C in the soil organic matter within 100 days

  20. 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

    2016-01-01

    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. PMID:27530495

  1. Birch (Betula spp.) wood biochar is a potential soil amendment to reduce glyphosate leaching in agricultural soils.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hagner, Marleena; Hallman, Sanna; Jauhiainen, Lauri; Kemppainen, Riitta; Rämö, Sari; Tiilikkala, Kari; Setälä, Heikki

    2015-12-01

    Glyphosate (N-(phosphonomethyl) glycine), a commonly used herbicide in agriculture can leach to deeper soil layers and settle in surface- and ground waters. To mitigate the leaching of pesticides and nutrients, biochar has been suggested as a potential soil amendment due to its ability to sorb both organic and inorganic substances. However, the efficiency of biochar in retaining agro-chemicals in the soil is likely to vary with feedstock material and pyrolysis conditions. A greenhouse pot experiment, mimicking a crop rotation cycle of three plant genera, was established to study the effects of pyrolysis temperature on the ability of birch (Betula sp.) wood originated biochar to reduce the leaching of (i) glyphosate, (ii) its primary degradation product AMPA and (iii) phosphorus from the soil. The biochar types used were produced at three different temperatures: 300 °C (BC300), 375 °C (BC375) and 475 °C (BC475). Compared to the control treatment without biochar, the leaching of glyphosate was reduced by 81%, 74% and 58% in BC300, BC375 and BC475 treated soils, respectively. The respective values for AMPA were 46%, 39% and 23%. Biochar had no significant effect on the retention of water-soluble phosphorus in the soil. Our results corroborate earlier findings on pesticides, suggesting that biochar amendment to the soil is a promising way to reduce also the leaching of glyphosate. Importantly, the ability of biochar to adsorb agro-chemicals depends on the temperature at which feedstock is pyrolysed. PMID:26342266

  2. Utilization of oil palm empty bunches waste as biochar-microbes for improving availibity of soil nutrients

    OpenAIRE

    G . I . Ichriani; Y . A . Nion; H . E . N . C . Chotimah; R . Jemi

    2016-01-01

    There are about 23% waste oil palm empty fruit bunches (OPEFB) of total waste generated from the production of crude palm oil in oil palm plantations. Pyrolysis technology can be used to convert waste into biochar and further can be utilized for the improvement of soil. Biochar-microbes of OPEFB are biochar from OPEFB biomass that enriched with soil microbes. Biochar-microbes is expected to be used for the improvement of the soil and plants. Therefore the purpose of this research was to study...

  3. Bacterial and fungal taxon changes in soil microbial community composition induced by short-term biochar amendment in red oxidized loam soil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hu, Liao; Cao, Lixiang; Zhang, Renduo

    2014-03-01

    To take full advantage of biochar as a soil amendment, the objective of this study was to investigate the effects of biochar addition on soil bacterial and fungal diversity and community composition. Incubation experiments with a forest soil (a red oxidized loam soil) with and without biochar amendment were conducted for 96 days. The culture-independent molecular method was utilized to analyze soil bacterial and fungal species after the incubation experiments. Results showed that bacteria and fungi responded differently to the biochar addition during the short-term soil incubation. Twenty four and 18 bacterial genara were observed in the biochar amended and unamended soils, respectively, whereas 11 and 8 fungal genera were observed in the biochar amended and unamended soils, respectively. Microbial taxa analysis indicated that the biochar amendment resulted in significant shifts in both bacterial and fungal taxa during the incubation period. The shift for bacteria occurred at the genus and phylum levels, while for fungi only at the genus level. Specific taxa, such as Actinobacteria of bacteria and Trichoderma and Paecilomyces of fungi, were enriched in the biochar amended soil. The results reveal a pronounced impact of biochar on soil microbial community composition and an enrichment of key bacterial and fungal taxa in the soil during the short time period. PMID:24136343

  4. Increase of Cd and Zn uptake by the hyperaccumulator Noccaea caerulescens grown in biochar-amended soils

    OpenAIRE

    Rees, Frédéric; Germain, Cyril; Sterckeman, Thibault; Morel, Jean-Louis

    2015-01-01

    Biochar, i.e. the solid product of biomass pyrolysis, has recently been investigated as a soil amendment in metal contaminated soils, mostly for its ability to decrease the phytoavailability of trace elements and to support plant growth. Several works have shown its efficiency for limiting the uptake of metals by plants, but the combination of biochar with metal-hyperaccumulating plants has never been tested. This work was conducted to examine the effects of biochar amendments on metal up...

  5. Effects of biochar prepared from organic waste on soil properties

    OpenAIRE

    Gasco Guerrero, Gabriel; Cely Parra, Paola Andrea; Tarquis Alfonso, Ana Maria; Paz Ferreiro, Jorge; Saa Requejo, Antonio; Méndez, Ana

    2014-01-01

    Biochar is a carbon-rich solid obtained by the thermal decomposition of organic matter under a limited supply of oxygen and at relatively low temperatures. Biochar can be prepared from the pyrolysis of different organic feed- stocks, such as wood and biomass crops, agricultural by-products, different types of waste or paper industry waste materials . The pyrolysis procedure of waste, i.e. sewage sludge, has mainly two advantages, firstly, it removes pathogens from waste and, secondly, biochar...

  6. Evaluating the impacts of biochar on the fate and dynamics of dairy manure in agricultural soil

    OpenAIRE

    Angst, Teri

    2013-01-01

    Biochar is a carbon sequestration technology that has shown potential to inhibit greenhouse gas (GHG) emission and nutrient leaching from soils, however the majority of biochar research thus far has focused on arable cropland rather than livestock systems or grasslands. Livestock production is an important agricultural system, and manure generated from livestock systems is a source of GHG emission as well as nutrient loading to surface- and groundwater. The high environmental ...

  7. Inactivation of E. coli O157:H7 in cultivable soil by fast and slow pyrolysis-generated biochar.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gurtler, Joshua B; Boateng, Akwasi A; Han, Yanxue Helen; Douds, David D

    2014-03-01

    An exploratory study was performed to determine the influence of fast pyrolysis (FP) and slow pyrolysis (SP) biochars on enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli O157:H7 (EHEC) in soil. Soil + EHEC (inoculated at 7 log colony-forming units [CFU]/g of soil) + 1 of 12 types of biochar (10% total weight:weight in soil) was stored at 22°C and sampled for 8 weeks. FP switchgrass and FP horse litter biochars inactivated 2.8 and 2.1 log CFU/g more EHEC than no-biochar soils by day 14. EHEC was undetectable by surface plating at weeks 4 and 5 in standard FP switchgrass, FP oak, and FP switchgrass pellet biochars. Conversely, EHEC populations in no-biochar control samples remained as high as 5.8 and 4.0 log CFU/g at weeks 4 and 5, respectively. Additionally, three more SP hardwood pellet biochars (generated at 500°C for 1 h, or 2 h, or generated at 700°C for 30 min) inactivated greater numbers of EHEC than did the no-biochar control samples during weeks 4 and 5. These results suggest that biochar can inactivate E. coli O157:H7 in cultivable soil, which might mitigate risks associated with EHEC contamination on fresh produce. PMID:24328454

  8. Long-term effect of biochar application on yield-scaled greenhouse gas emissions in a rice paddy cropping system: A four-year case study in south China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Qin, Xiaobo; Li, Yu'e; Wang, Hong; Liu, Chong; Li, Jianling; Wan, Yunfan; Gao, Qingzhu; Fan, Fenliang; Liao, Yulin

    2016-11-01

    To evaluate long-term effect of biochar application on yield-scaled greenhouse gas emissions (YSGE) in a paddy rice cropping system, a 4-year field experiment by static chamber - gas chromatograph method was conducted in South China. Principal component analysis and terminal restriction fragment length polymorphism (T-RFLP) and real-time qPCR was used to unravel the microbial mechanisms of biochar addition. Six treatments were included: control (CK), application of 5tha(-1) biochar (BC1), application of 10tha(-1) biochar (BC2), application of 10tha(-1) biochar (BC3), rice straw return at 2400kgha(-1)(RS) and inoculated rice straw return at 2400kgha(-1)(RI). The results indicated that biochar amendment significantly decreased methane (CH4) and gross greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. This may primarily be ascribed to the stimulated biodiversity and abundance of methanotrophic microbes, increased soil pH and improved aeration by reducing bulk density after biochar incorporation. Compared with CK, RS and RI, 26.18%, 70.02%, 66.47% of CH4 flux and 26.14%, 70.16%, 66.46% of gross GHG emissions were reduced by biochar (mean of three biochar treatments), respectively. Furthermore, biochar significantly increased harvest index of double rice production (p<0.05). In comparison with CK, RS and RI, 29.14%, 68.04%, 62.28% of YSGE was reduced by biochar, respectively, and the highest biochar addition rate (20tha(-1)) contributed most to the mitigation of GHG emissions (36.24% decrease compared to CK) and improvement of rice yield (7.65% increase compared to CK). Results of our study suggested that long-term application of biochar should be the potential way to mitigate GHGs emissions and simultaneously improve rice productivity in the paddy rice system. PMID:27450250

  9. Effects of a manganese oxide-modified biochar composite on adsorption of arsenic in red soil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yu, Zhihong; Zhou, Li; Huang, Yifan; Song, Zhengguo; Qiu, Weiwen

    2015-11-01

    The arsenic adsorption capacity of a manganese oxide-modified biochar composite (MBC), prepared by pyrolysis of a mixture of potassium permanganate and biochar, was investigated in red soil. Adsorption experiments using batch procedures were used to estimate the arsenic adsorption capacities of the absorbent materials. Adsorption and desorption isotherms, Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) were used to characterise the prepared adsorbent materials, and a plausible mechanism for arsenic removal by MBC was proposed. Arsenic in red soil-MBC mixtures exhibited lower mobility than that in soils amended with pristine biochar. The improved removal performance of soil-MBC mixtures was attributed to a lower H/C ratio, higher O/C ratio, higher surface hydrophilicity, and higher surface sorption capacity, even though the impregnation of manganese oxide decreased the specific surface area of the biochar. Arsenic retention increased as the biochar content increased, mainly owing to an increase in soil pH. Several oxygenated functional groups, especially O-H, CO, Mn-O, and Si-O, participated in the adsorption process, and manganese oxides played a significant role in the oxidation of arsenic. This study highlights the potential of MBC as an absorbent to immobilise arsenic for use in contaminated land remediation in the red soils region. PMID:26320008

  10. Effect of biochar amendment on sorption and leaching of nitrate, ammonium, and phosphate in a sandy soil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yao, Ying; Gao, Bin; Zhang, Ming; Inyang, Mandu; Zimmerman, Andrew R

    2012-11-01

    When applied to soils, it is unclear whether and how biochar can affect soil nutrients. This has implications both to the availability of nutrients to plants or microbes, as well as to the question of whether biochar soil amendment may enhance or reduce the leaching of nutrients. In this work, a range of laboratory experiments were conducted to determine the effect of biochar amendment on sorption and leaching of nitrate, ammonium, and phosphate in a sandy soil. A total of thirteen biochars were tested in laboratory sorption experiments and most of them showed little/no ability to sorb nitrate or phosphate. However, nine biochars could remove ammonium from aqueous solution. Biochars made from Brazilian pepperwood and peanut hull at 600°C (PH600 and BP600, respectively) were used in a column leaching experiment to assess their ability to hold nutrients in a sandy soil. The BP600 biochar effectively reduced the total amount of nitrate, ammonium, and phosphate in the leachates by 34.0%, 34.7%, and 20.6%, respectively, relative to the soil alone. The PH600 biochar also reduced the leaching of nitrate and ammonium by 34% and 14%, respectively, but caused additional phosphate release from the soil columns. These results indicate that the effect of biochar on the leaching of agricultural nutrients in soils is not uniform and varies by biochar and nutrient type. Therefore, the nutrient sorption characteristics of a biochar should be studied prior to its use in a particular soil amendment project. PMID:22763330

  11. 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.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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 Kfads(soil) = 9.26 to Kfads(mixture) = 17.89) without impeding the slow release of tricyclazole

  13. 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

  14. Biochar and manure effects on nitrogen nutrition in silage corn

    Science.gov (United States)

    Amending soil with biochar may be a means of sequestering atmospheric CO2 and improving soil quality, but few multiyear field studies have examined the impacts of a one-time biochar application in an irrigated, calcareous soil. Four treatments were applied in the fall 2008: dairy manure (18.7 tons/...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kumari, K G I D; Moldrup, Per; Paradelo, Marcos; Elsgaard, Lars; Hauggaard-Nielsen, Henrik; de Jonge, Lis W

    2014-03-01

    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 before biochar application. This study examined the short-term physicochemical effects of biochar amendment in an agricultural field in Denmark with a calcium carbonate (CaCO) 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 t ha. Five undisturbed soil columns (10 cm diam., 8 cm height) were sampled from each plot 7 mo after biochar application, and a series of leaching experiments was conducted. The leachate was analyzed for tritium (used as a tracer), colloids, and phosphorus concentration. The results revealed that the presence of CaCO has resulted in marked changes in soil structure (bulk density) and soil 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) preferential flow dominated the transport and caused an enhanced movement of air and water, whereas in less dense soils (bulk density, 1.38-1.52 g cm) matrix flow predominated the transport. Compared with reference soils, biochar-amended soils showed slightly lower air permeability and a shorter travel time for 5% of the applied tracer (tritium) to leach through the soil columns. Colloid and phosphorus leaching was observed to be time dependent in soils with low CaCO. Biochar-amended soils showed higher colloid and P release than reference soils. Field-scale variations in total colloid and P leaching reflected clear effects of changes in pH and ionic strength due to the presence of CaCO. There was a linear relationship between colloid and P concentrations in the leachate, suggesting that colloid-facilitated P leaching was the dominant P transport mechanism. PMID:25602666

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lopez, V.; Ghezzehei, T. A.

    2014-12-01

    Biochar is composed of any carbonaceous matter pyrolyzed under low oxygen exposure. Its use as a soil amendment to address soil infertility has been accelerated by studies reporting positive effects of enhanced nutrient retention, cation exchange capacity, microbial activity, and vegetative growth over time. Biochar has also been considered as a carbon sequestration method because of its reported environmental persistence. While the aforementioned effects are positive benefits of biochar's use, its impact on soil physical properties and water flow are equally important in maintaining soil fertility. This study aims to show how soil physical and hydraulic properties change over time with biochar addition. To address these aims, we conducted a 9 week microcosm incubation experiment with local arable loamy sand soils amended with biochar. Biochar was created from locally collected almond shells and differs by pyrolysis temperatures (350°C, 700°C) and size (impact biochar addition on soil physical and hydraulic properties. Furthermore, it provides insight into whether or not converting local agricultural waste into biochar for soil use will be beneficial, especially in agricultural systems undergoing climate stress.

  17. 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, Wageningen Univers

  18. Direct and indirect effects of biochar on the mobility of metals and nutrients in contaminated soils: a two-column leaching experiment

    OpenAIRE

    Rees, Frédéric; Simonnot, Marie-Odile; Morel, Jean-Louis

    2014-01-01

    Biochar is a charred carbon-enriched material intended to be used as a soil amendment to sequester carbon and enhance soil quality. Addition of biochar to soil has many environmental and agricultural benefits, including waste reduction, energy production, carbon sequestration, water resource protection, and soil improvement. Biochar has been reported to boost soil fertility and improve soil quality by raising soil pH, increasing moisture holding capacity, attracting more beneficial fungi and ...

  19. Influence of soil properties on heavy metal sequestration by biochar amendment: 2. Copper desorption isotherms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Uchimiya, Minori; Klasson, K Thomas; Wartelle, Lynda H; Lima, Isabel M

    2011-03-01

    Contaminant desorption constrains the long-term effectiveness of remediation technologies, and is strongly influenced by dynamic non-equilibrium states of environmental and biological media. Information is currently lacking in the influence of biochar and activated carbon amendments on desorption of heavy metal contaminants from soil components. In this study, copper sorption-desorption isotherms were obtained for clay-rich, alkaline San Joaquin soil with significant heavy metal sorption capacity, and eroded, acidic Norfolk sandy loam soil having low capacity to retain copper. Acidic pecan shell-derived activated carbon and basic broiler litter biochar were employed in desorption experiments designed to address both leaching by rainfall and toxicity characteristics. For desorption in synthetic rain water, broiler litter biochar amendment diminished sorption-desorption hysteresis. In acetate buffer (pH 4.9), significant copper leaching was observed, unless acidic activated carbon (pH(pzc)=3.07) was present. Trends observed in soluble phosphorus and zinc concentrations for sorption and desorption equilibria suggested acid dissolution of particulate phases that can result in a concurrent release of copper and other sorbed elements. In contrast, sulfur and potassium became depleted as a result of supernatant replacements only when amended carbon (broiler litter biochar) or soil (San Joaquin) contained appreciable amounts. A positive correlation was observed between the equilibrium aluminum concentration and initial copper concentration in soils amended with acidic activated carbon but not basic biochar, suggesting the importance of cation exchange mechanism, while dissolution of aluminum oxides cannot be ruled out. PMID:21190718

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-05-01

    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.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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)

  2. Dissipation of bentazone, pyrimethanil and boscalid in biochar and digestate based soil mixtures for biopurification systems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mukherjee, Santanu; Tappe, Wolfgang; Weihermueller, Lutz; Hofmann, Diana; Köppchen, Stephan; Laabs, Volker; Schroeder, Tom; Vereecken, Harry; Burauel, Peter

    2016-02-15

    Biopurification systems, such as biofilters, are biotechnological tools to prevent point sources of pesticide pollution stemming from on-farm operations. For the purification processes pesticide sorption and mineralization and/or dissipation are essential and both largely depend on the type of filling materials and the pesticide in use. In this paper the mineralization and dissipation of three contrasting (14)C-labeled pesticides (bentazone, boscalid, and pyrimethanil) were investigated in laboratory incubation experiments using sandy soil, biochar produced from Pine woodchips, and/or digestate obtained from anaerobic digestion process using maize silage, chicken manure, beef and pig urine as feedstock. The results indicate that the addition of digestate increased pesticide mineralization, whereby the mineralization was not proportional to the digestate loads in the mixture, indicating a saturation effect in the turnover rate of pesticides. This effect was in correlation with the amount of water extractable DOC, obtained from the digestate based mixtures. Mixing biochar into the soil generally reduced total mineralization and led to larger sorption/sequestration of the pesticides, resulting in faster decrease of the extractable fraction. Also the addition of biochar to the soil/digestate mixtures reduced mineralization compared to the digestate alone mixture but mineralization rates were still higher as for the biochar/soil alone. In consequence, the addition of biochar to the soil generally decreased pesticide dissipation times and larger amounts of biochar led to high amounts of non-extractable residues of pesticide in the substrates. Among the mixtures tested, a mixture of digestate (5%) and biochar (5%) gave optimal results with respect to mineralization and simultaneous sorption for all three pesticides. PMID:26657365

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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

  4. 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.

  5. A combined application of biochar and phosphorus alleviates heat-induced adversities on physiological, agronomical and quality attributes of rice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fahad, Shah; Hussain, Saddam; Saud, Shah; Hassan, Shah; Tanveer, Mohsin; Ihsan, Muhammad Zahid; Shah, Adnan Noor; Ullah, Abid; Nasrullah; Khan, Fahad; Ullah, Sami; Alharby, Hesham; Nasim, Wajid; Wu, Chao; Huang, Jianliang

    2016-06-01

    Present study examined the influence of high-temperature stress and different biochar and phosphorus (P) fertilization treatments on the growth, grain yield and quality of two rice cultivars (IR-64 and Huanghuazhan). Plants were subjected to high day temperature-HDT (35 °C ± 2), high night temperature-HNT (32 °C ± 2), and control temperature-CT (28 °C ± 2) in controlled growth chambers. The different fertilization treatments were control, biochar alone, phosphorous (P) alone and biochar + P. High-temperature stress severely reduced the photosynthesis, stomatal conductance, water use efficiency, and increased the leaf water potential of both rice cultivars. Grain yield and its related attributes except for number of panicles, were reduced under high temperature. The HDT posed more negative effects on rice physiological attributes, while HNT was more destructive for grain yield. High temperature stress also hampered the grain appearance and milling quality traits in both rice cultivars. The Huanghuazhan performed better than IR-64 under high-temperature stress with better growth and higher grain yield. Different soil fertilization treatments were helpful in ameliorating the detrimental effects of high temperature. Addition of biochar alone improved some growth and yield parameters but such positive effects were lower when compared with the combined application of biochar and P. The biochar+P application recorded 7% higher grain yield (plant(-1)) of rice compared with control averaged across different temperature treatments and cultivars. The highest grain production and better grain quality in biochar+P treatments might be due to enhanced photosynthesis, water use efficiency, and grain size, which compensated the adversities of high temperature stress. PMID:26995314

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

    OpenAIRE

    W Widowati; A Asnah; W H Uomo

    2014-01-01

    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/...

  7. Identification of long-term carbon sequestration in soils with historical inputs of biochar using novel stable isotope and spectroscopic techniques

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hernandez-Soriano, Maria C.; Kerré, Bart; Hardy, Brieuc; Dufey, Joseph; Smolders, Erik

    2013-04-01

    Biochar is the collective term for organic matter (OM) that has been produced by pyrolysis of biomass, e.g. during production of charcoal or during natural processes such as bush fires. Biochar production and application is now suggested as one of the economically feasible options for global C-sequestration strategies. The C-sequestration in soil through application of biochar is not only related to its persistence (estimated lifetime exceeds 1000 year in soil), but also due to indirect effects such as its potential to adsorb and increase OM stability in soil. Historical charcoal production sites that had been in use >200 years ago in beech/oak forests have been localized in the south of Belgium. Aerial photography identified black spots in arable land on former forest sites. Soil sampling was conducted in an arable field used for maize production near Mettet (Belgium) where charcoal production was intensive until late 18th century. Soils were sampled in a horizontal gradient across the 'black soils' that extend of few decametres, collecting soil from the spots (Biochar Amended, BA) as well as from the non-biochar amended (NBA). Stable C isotope composition was used to estimate the long-term C-sequestration derived from crops in these soils where maize had been produced since about 15 years. Because C in the biochar originates in forest wood (C3 plants), its isotopic signature (δ13C) differs from the maize (a C4 plant). The C and N content and the δ13C were determined for bulk soil samples and for microaggregate size fractions separated by wet sieving. Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy (FTIR) coupled to optical microscopy was used to obtaining fingerprints of biochar and OM composition for soil microaggregates. The total C content in the BA soil (5.5%) and the C/N ratio (16.9) were higher than for NBA (C content 2.7%; C/N ratio 12.6), which confirms the persistence of OM in the BA. The average isotopic signature of bulk soil from BA (-26.08) was slightly

  8. Biochar for Soil Improvement: Evaluation of Biochar from Gasification and Slow Pyrolysis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lydia Fryda

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available The growing need for food, energy and materials demands a resource efficient approach as the world’s population keeps increasing. Biochar is a valuable product that can be produced in combination with bio-energy in a cascading approach to make best use of available resources. In addition, there are resources that have not been used up to now, such as, e.g., many agro-residues that can become available. Most agro-residues are not suitable for high temperature energy conversion processes due to high alkali-content, which results in slagging and fouling in conventional energy generation systems. Using agro-residues in thermal processes, therefore, logically moves to lower temperatures in order to avoid operational problems. This provides an ideal situation for the combined energy and biochar production. In this work a slow pyrolysis process (an auger reactor at 400 °C and 600 °C is used as well as two fluidized bed systems for low-temperature (600 °C–750 °C gasification for the combined energy and biochar generation. Comparison of the two different processes focuses here on the biochar quality parameters (physical, chemical and surface properties, although energy generation and biochar quality are not independent parameters. A large number of feedstock were investigated on general char characteristics and in more detail the paper focuses on two main input streams (woody residues, greenhouse waste in order to deduct relationships between char parameters for the same feedstock. It is clear that the process technology influences the main biochar properties such as elemental- and ash composition, specific surface area, pH, in addition to mass yield quality of the gas produced. Slow pyrolysis biochars have smaller specific surface areas (SA and higher PAH than the gasification samples (although below international norms but higher yields. Higher process temperatures and different gaseous conditions in gasification resulted in lower biochar

  9. Biochar as a soil amendment: Impact on hydraulic and physical properties of an arable loamy sand soil

    OpenAIRE

    Lopez, Vivian Dominique

    2014-01-01

    Biochar is a form of pyrolyzed biomass utilized strictly for human created systems. It has been recognized as a plausible method to address issues related to atmospheric carbon increase and global change, in addition to food insecurity. This research explores the effectiveness of biochar as a soil amendment. This knowledge is necessary because the effects of drought have strengthened, flagging the necessity to develop sustainable methods that will address (1) water shortage and (2) the increa...

  10. Influence of fast pyrolysis temperature on biochar labile fraction and short-term carbon loss in a loamy soil

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Production of bio-oil, gas and biochar from pyrolysis of biomass is considered a promising technology for combined production of bioenergy and recalcitrant carbon (C) suitable for sequestration in soil. Using a fast pyrolysis centrifuge reactor (PCR) the present study investigated the relation between fast pyrolysis of wheat straw at different reactor temperatures and the short-term degradability of biochar in soil. After 115 days incubation 3-12% of the added biochar-C had been emitted as CO2. On average, 90% of the total biochar-C loss occurred within the first 20 days of the experiment, emphasizing the importance of knowing the biochar labile fraction when evaluating a specific biochars C sequestration potential. The pyrolysis temperature influenced the outputs of biochar, bio-oil and syngas significantly, as well as the stability of the biochar produced. Contrary to slow pyrolysis a fast pyrolysis process may result in incomplete conversion of biomass due to limitations to heat transfer and kinetics. In our case chemical analysis of the biochars revealed unconverted cellulosic and hemicellulosic fractions, which in turn were found to be proportional with the short-term biochar degradation in soil. As these labile carbohydrates are rapidly mineralized, their presence lowers the biochar-C sequestration potential. By raising the pyrolysis temperature, biochar with none or low contents of these fractions can be produced, but this will be on the expense of the biochar quantity. The yield of CO2 neutral bio-oil is the other factor to optimize when adjusting the pyrolysis temperature settings to give the overall greatest climate change mitigation effect.

  11. Effect of sewage sledge and their bio-char on some soil qualities in Second year cropping

    Science.gov (United States)

    fathi dokht, hamed; Movahedi Naeini, Seyed Alireza; Dordipor, Esmaeil; mirzanejad, moujan

    2016-04-01

    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 sewage sledge and their bio-char on the soil physical properties, nutrient status and plant production in Second year cropping. 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 7%.

  12. USDA Biochar Research: Land Application Advances to Reap Its Multifunctional Abilities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ippolito, J.; Spokas, K.; Novak, J.; Lentz, R. D.; Stromberger, M.; Ducey, T.; Johnson, M.

    2014-12-01

    Biochar is the solid byproduct from the pyrolysis of agricultural crop residues, manures, green wastes and wood-based materials. Pyrolyzing biomass causes inorganic and organic compounds to be concentrated within the carbonized remains of the original lignin and cellulose structure. It is through this complex mixture of organic aromatic structures and inorganic elements that potentially imparts biochars with special multi-functional capabilities. Our current research has focused on developing biochar to simultaneously sequester soil carbon and remediate degraded soils. This is accomplished by directly improving soil nutrient and moisture contents, sorbing pollutants, as well as altering microbial signaling. Maintaining these improvements needs to account for biochar physical degradation, which may be overcome by biochar-mineral associations. Additional research is focused on biochar use that minimizes soil microorganism population shifts in order to maintain current ecosystem services. Future USDA research involves more evaluations to understand the multifunctional role of biochar in the agricultural and environmental sectors (e.g., USEPA superfund locations). This presentation will provide highlights of current and future coordinated biochar research efforts from several key laboratory locations across the US.

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Voorde, van de T.F.J.; Bezemer, T.M.; Groenigen, van J.W.; Jeffery, S.L.; Mommer, L.

    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 a

  14. Wheat straw biochar amendments on the removal of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in contaminated soil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cao, Yanan; Yang, Baoshan; Song, Ziheng; Wang, Hui; He, Fei; Han, Xuemei

    2016-08-01

    Soil amendments of wheat straw biochar (BC), lignocellulosic substrate (LS), BC+LS, and BC+LS+BR (surfactant Brij30) were investigated for the first time in order to remedy polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs)-polluted soil using pilot scale microcosm incubation. We hypothesized that the removal of PAHs could be inhibited due to the adsorption and immobilization of biochar and the inhibition depends on the molecular-weight of PAHs. The removal rates of phenanthrene (PHE) and Benzo[a]pyrene (BaP) ranked as C=BC>LS=LS+BC=LS+BC+BR and C=BC=LS+BC+BR>LS=LS+BC. Wheat straw biochar inhibited the removal of PHE and accelerated BaP removal. The activity of Dehydrogenase (DH) was depressed by the addition of the biochar while the activity of polyphenol oxidase (PPO) was stimulated. Lignocellulose and surfactant are favourable to sustain soil microbiological activity and the removal of PAHs although the diversity of bacterial community was not significantly changed. The findings implied that the components of PAHs are necessary to consider when the amendments are implemented by associated biochar in PAH-polluted soil. PMID:27151675

  15. Biochar can be used to capture essential nutrients from dairy wastewater and improve soil physico-chemical properties

    OpenAIRE

    Ghezzehei, T. A.; D. V. Sarkhot; Berhe, A. A.

    2014-01-01

    Recently, the potential for biochar use to recapture excess nutrients from dairy wastewater has been a focus of a growing number of studies. It is suggested that biochar produced from locally available excess biomass can be important in reducing release of excess nutrient elements from agricultural runoff, improving soil productivity, and long-term carbon (C) sequestration. Here we present a review of a new approach that is showing promise for the use of biochar for nutrient...

  16. Agronomic value of sewage sludge and corn cob biochar in an infertile Oxisol

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deenik, J. L.; Cooney, M. J.; Antal, M. J., Jr.

    2013-12-01

    Disposal of sewage sludge and other agricultural waste materials has become increasingly difficult in urban environments with limited land space. Carbonization of the hazardous waste produces biochar as a soil amendment with potential to improve soil quality and productivity. A series of greenhouse pot experiments were conducted to assess the agrnomic value of two biochars made from domestic wastewater sludge and corn cob waste. The ash component of the sewage sludge biochar was very high (65.5%) and high for the corn cob (11.4%) biochars. Both biochars contained low concentrations of heavy metals and met EPA land application criteria. The sewage sludge biochar was a better liming material and source of mineral nutrients than the corn cob biochar, but the corn cob biochar showed the greatest increase in soil carbon and total nitrogen. Both biochar materials increased soil pH compared with soils not receiving biochar, but the sewage sludge biochar was a more effective liming material maintaining elevated soil pH throughout the 3 planting cycles. The sewage sludge biochar also showed the greatest increase in extractable soil P and base cations. In the first planting cycle, both biochars in combination with conventional fertilizers produced significantly higher corn seedling growth than the fertilized control. However, the sewage sludge biochar maintained beneficial effects corn seedling growth through the third planting cycle showing 3-fold increases in biomass production compared with the control in the third planting. The high ash content and associated liming properties and mineral nutrient contributions in the sewage sludge biochar explain benefits to plant growth. Conversion of sewage sludge waste into biochar has the potential to effectively address several environmental issues: 1) convert a hazardous waste into a valuable soil amendment, 2) reduce land and water contamination, and 3) improve soil quality and productivity.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-06-01

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

  18. Biochar and compost amendments enhance copper immobilisation and support plant growth in contaminated soils

    OpenAIRE

    Jones, Sarah; Bardos, R. Paul; Kidd, Petra S.; Mench, Michel; de Leij, Frans; Hutchings, Tony; Cundy, Andrew; Joyce, Chris; Soja, Gerhard; Friesl-Hanl, Wolfgang; Herzig, Rolf; Menger, Pierre

    2016-01-01

    Contamination of soil with trace elements, such as Cu, is an important risk management issue. A pot experiment was conducted to determine the effects of three biochars and compost on plant growth and the immobilisation of Cu in a contaminated soil from a site formerly used for wood preservation. To assess Cu mobility, amended soils were analysed using leaching tests pre- and post-incubation, and post-growth. Amended and unamended soils were planted with sunflower, and the resulting plant mate...

  19. Liquefaction of sunflower husks for biochar production / Nontembiso Piyo

    OpenAIRE

    Piyo, Nontembiso

    2014-01-01

    Biochar, a carbon-rich and a potential solid biofuel, is produced during the liquefaction of biomass. Biochar can be combusted for heat and power, gasified, activated for adsorption applications, or applied to soils as a soil amendment and carbon sequestration agent. It is very important and advantageous to produce biochar under controlled conditions so that most of the carbon is converted. The main objective of the study was to investigate the effect of solvents, reaction temp...

  20. Biochar Amendment for Reducing Leachability of Nitro Explosives and Metals from Contaminated Soils and Mine Tailings.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oh, Seok-Young; Yoon, Hyun-Su

    2016-05-01

    The mobility and bioavailability of nitro explosives (2,4-dinitrotoluene [DNT], 2,4,6-trinitrotoluene [TNT], and hexahydro-1,3,5-trinitro-1,3,5-triazine [RDX]) in biochar-amended soils and toxic metals (As, Cd, Cu, Pb, and Zn) in biochar-amended mine tailings were investigated via various types of leaching procedures in laboratory-scale batch experiments. The results from the toxicity characteristic leaching procedure (TCLP) and hydroxypropyl-β-cyclodextrin (HPCD) extraction showed that approximately 55 to 95% of the explosives were released from the contaminated soils and would thus be considered as mobile. With the addition of biochar, the extracted concentrations of explosives were reduced to less than 10% of the initial concentrations after 10 d. According to the results from a Korean waste leaching method, the TCLP method, and diethylenetriaminepentaacetic acid (DTPA) extraction, adding biochar to mine tailings reduced the extractability and bioavailability of metals. The chemical forms of the metals, types of extractants, pH, and curing period strongly affected the extractability of metals from mine tailings. The results suggest that biochar is a promising immobilizer of explosives and metals in contaminated soils and mine tailings under limited conditions. PMID:27136167

  1. 生物炭对土壤肥力与环境质量的影响机制与风险解析%Analysis of effect mechanism and risk of biochar on soil fertility and environmental quality

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    王欣; 尹带霞; 张凤; 谭长银; 彭渤

    2015-01-01

    Biochar is a solid material that is produced from biomass pyrolysis in oxygen-limited atmosphere at relatively low temperatures. Therefore, the conversion of biosolids (e.g. agricultural waste, invasive species, municipal sewage sludge,etc) into biochar could provide a useful way to achieve resource reuse and environmental management. In China, decreased land resources and soil fertility is of increasing concern presently, which may threat national food security. Therefore, a range of biochars have been tested for their potential in improving farming soil quality considering the high fertility sustained by biochar in Amazonian Dark Earths locally known as Terra Preta de Indio. Some studies have proved that biochar can play a positive role in improving the fertility of agricultural soils and thus increasing crops yield. Moreover, biochar has also been shown to be effective in control and remediation of a range of soil contamination and hence improve soil environmental quality, leading to increased food output and quality. In the present review, the most recent advances in the effect of biochar on agricultural soil fertility and soil environment quality with the underlying mechniasms are reviewed and discussed here in detail. Firstly, most biochars, particularly those produced from wetland plant residues tend to improve water retention capacity of agricultural soil, especially for those with sandy texture. This phenomenon could be caused by the porous structure of biochar, which can increase the water-holding porosity of soils. Secondly, substantial evidence has shown that the bioavailability of key mineral nutrients increase remarkably in response to biochar application, which could be attributed to the sufficient mineral ash in biochar and relatively high caiton exchange capacity (CEC) originated from the rich surface functional groups of biochar. Thirdly, the alkalinity of biochar, which is most likely resulted from the high mineral content, has exhibited

  2. Short-term incubation studies on degradation of biochar in soil

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lanza, Giacomo; Wirth, Stephan; Geßler, Arthur; Kern, Jürgen; Mumme, Jan

    2014-05-01

    Biochar is considered a stable, recalcitrant substance, which holds potential to store carbon in soils for prolonged time and therefore would provide a long-term carbon sink. Furthermore, biochar is discussed to enhance soil fertility and plant productivity, and may improve water and nutrient holding capacity. However, mineralisation to CO2 may occur, as for any soil organic carbon pool, depending on char composition, soil properties and environmental conditions. Therefore, it is important to gain insight into the stability of its carbon structure and the dynamics of decay processes in soil. The evaluation of biochar stability in soil is complicated by the impact of external factors thus as soil moisture and temperature, soil nutrient status and moreover by extended decay timescales. To overcome these difficulties, we performed dynamic incubation experiments under laboratory conditions, using a multi-channel, automated infra-red gas analysis system at 20°C for up to 10 days to detect CO2 emission over time. Our aim was to compare the decay dynamics of different biochar preparations added to soil, i.e. HTC-char and pyrochar from maize silage with and without biological post-processing (anaerobic digestion), as compared to unmodified maize straw. Digestate from a maize silage-fed anaerobic biogas reactor was also tested. As a result, the addition of charred or digested materials to soil resulted in much lower CO2 emission rates as compared to the unmodified maize straw, proving stability of biochar carbon compounds. Pyrochar showed to be the most stable of all substrates added, as the CO2 emission was hardly distinguishable from that of the control soil. Soil enriched with HTC-char emitted significantly more CO2 compared to soil enriched with pyrochar, but the post-processing was effective in reducing the emissions. Furthermore, HTC-char showed a two-step decay kinetics, which cannot apparently be explained with a simple double-pool model. In conclusion, the short

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sadasivam, Bala Yamini; Reddy, Krishna R

    2015-08-01

    The natural presence of methane oxidizing bacteria (MOB) in landfill soils can stimulate the bio-chemical oxidation of CH4 to CO2 and H2O under suitable environmental conditions. This mechanism can be enhanced by amending the landfill cover soil with organic materials such as biochars that are recalcitrant to biological degradation and are capable of adsorbing CH4 while facilitating the growth and activity of MOB within their porous structure. Several series of batch and small-scale column tests were conducted to quantify the CH4 sorption and transport properties of landfill cover soil amended with four types of waste hardwood biochars under different levels of amendment percentages (2, 5 and 10% by weight), exposed CH4 concentrations (0-1 kPa), moisture content (dry, 25% and 75% water holding capacity), and temperature (25, 35 and 45 °C). The linear forms of the pseudo second-order kinetic model and the Langmuir isotherm model were used to determine the kinetics and the maximum CH4 adsorption capacity of cover materials. The maximum CH4 sorption capacity of dry biochar-amended soils ranged from 1.03 × 10(-2) to 7.97 × 10(-2) mol kg(-1) and exhibited a ten-fold increase compared to that of soil with 1.9 × 10(-3) mol kg(-1). The isosteric heat of adsorption for soil was negative and ranged from -30 to -118 kJ/mol, while that of the biochar-amended soils was positive and ranged from 24 to 440 kJ/mol. The CH4 dispersion coefficients for biochar-amended soils obtained through predictive transport modeling indicated that amending the soil with biochar enhanced the methane transport rates by two orders of magnitude, thereby increasing their potential for enhanced exchange of gases within the cover system. Overall, the use of hardwood biochars as a cover soil amendment to reduce methane emissions from landfills appears to be a promising alternative to conventional soil covers. PMID:25935750

  4. Coapplication of Chicken Litter Biochar and Urea Only to Improve Nutrients Use Efficiency and Yield of Oryza sativa L. Cultivation on a Tropical Acid Soil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ali Maru

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available The excessive use of nitrogen (N fertilizers in sustaining high rice yields due to N dynamics in tropical acid soils not only is economically unsustainable but also causes environmental pollution. The objective of this study was to coapply biochar and urea to improve soil chemical properties and productivity of rice. Biochar (5 t ha−1 and different rates of urea (100%, 75%, 50%, 25%, and 0% of recommended N application were evaluated in both pot and field trials. Selected soil chemical properties, rice plants growth variables, nutrient use efficiency, and yield were determined using standard procedures. Coapplication of biochar with 100% and 75% urea recommendation rates significantly increased nutrients availability (especially P and K and their use efficiency in both pot and field trials. These treatments also significantly increased rice growth variables and grain yield. Coapplication of biochar and urea application at 75% of the recommended rate can be used to improve soil chemical properties and productivity and reduce urea use by 25%.

  5. Sorption Characteristic of Phenanthrene on Biochar-Amended Soils: Effect of feedstock, pyrolysis temperature, and aging duration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hyun, S.; Kim, C.; Kim, Y. S.; Kim, J.

    2015-12-01

    The high sorption capacity of biochar is widely known in environmental studies. Especially, biochar is effective for removal of hydrophobic organic compounds (HOCs) due to high surface area and porosity. In this study, the sorption characteristic of biochar-amended soil was evaluated by sorption kinetic experiment of phenanthrene (PHE). For PHE sorption test, the effect of biochar feedstock (sludge waste char (SWC), municipal waste char (MWC) and wood char (WC), Giant Miscanthus (GM)), pyrolysis temperature (400°C, 500°C and 700°C,), and duration of amending period (0, 3, 6, and 12 months) was assessed. Field Emission-Scanning Electron Microscopy (FE-SEM) and Fourier Transform-Infrared Spectroscopy (FT-IR) techniques were used to detect pore structure and the surface functional group of biochar amended soils. For all kinetic tests, apparent sorption equilibrium was attained in 24 hr. The result showed that sorption capacity of biochar amended soils was greatly influenced by biochar feedstock and pyrolysis temperature. For all samples, the sorption capacity of PHE by biochar amended soils decreased with aging period. This observation is due to the fact that the aromatic characters of biochar are different by feedstock and pyrolysis temperature and the amount of O-containing hydrophilic functional groups increased surfaces of biochar by natural oxidation (e.g. carboxyl groups) as confirmed by the result of FT-IR and FE-SEM. In addition, biochar pore blockage by inorganic minerals, which tended to increase with aging period, might attenuate the sorption capacity of samples. In conclusion, biochar derived from various feed stocks are all effective for PHE sorption. But the sorption capacity of biochar amended soils decreased with increasing aging duration most likely due to increasing hydrophilic functional groups of biochar surfaces and pore blockage by inorganic minerals in the weathering processes. Therefore, for the design of biochar amendment to attenuate

  6. 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

  7. Agronomic and remedial benefits and risks of applying biochar to soil: Current knowledge and future research directions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kuppusamy, Saranya; Thavamani, Palanisami; Megharaj, Mallavarapu; Venkateswarlu, Kadiyala; Naidu, Ravi

    2016-02-01

    'Biochar' represents an emerging technology that is increasingly being recognized for its potential role in carbon sequestration, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, waste management, renewable energy, soil improvement, crop productivity enhancement and environmental remediation. Published reviews have so far focused mainly on the above listed agronomic and environmental benefits of applying biochar, yet paid little or no attention to its harmful effects on the ecological system. This review highlights a balanced overview of the advantages and disadvantages of the pyrolysis process of biochar production, end-product quality and the benefits versus drawbacks of biochar on: (a) soil geochemistry and albedo, (b) microflora and fauna, (c) agrochemicals, (d) greenhouse gas efflux, (e) nutrients, (f) crop yield, and (g) contaminants (organic and inorganic). Future research should focus more on the unintended long-term consequences of biochar on biological organisms and their processes in the soil. PMID:26638014

  8. Assessing the potential of biochar and charcoal to improve soil hydraulic properties in the humid Ethiopian Highlands: The Anjeni watershed

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bayabil, H.K.; Stoof, C.R.; Lehmann, J.C.; Yitaferu, B.; Steenhuis, T.S.

    2015-01-01

    Biochar has shown promise for restoring soil hydraulic properties. However, biochar production could be expensive in the developing world, while charcoal iswidely available and cheap. The objective of this study is therefore to investigate whether some of the charcoal made in developing countries ca

  9. 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...

  10. The effect of straw and wood gasification biochar on carbon sequestration, selected soil fertility indicators and functional groups in soil

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hansen, Veronika; Müller-Stöver, Dorette Sophie; Munkholm, Lars Juhl;

    2016-01-01

    sugars, and that increased stability against microbial degradation in biochar amended soil was related to highly condensed aromatic groups. Addition of nutrients (N, P and S) together with straw resulted in higher soil respiration compared to the straw treatment, but did not cause differences in other......Annual removal of crop residues may lead to depletion of soil organic carbon and soil degradation. Gasification biochar (GB), the carbon-rich byproduct of gasification of biomass such as straw and wood chips, may be used for maintaining the soil organic carbon content and counteract soil...... revealed a lower content of O–H and aliphatic C–H together with a higher content of aromatic groups in soils amended with GB compared to soils amended with straw. This suggested that the improvement in aggregate stability in straw treatments could be related to microbial derived aliphatics and simple...

  11. As(V), Cr(III) and Cr(VI) sorption on biochars and soil

    Science.gov (United States)

    Diamadopoulos, Evan; Agrafioti, Evita; Kalderis, Dimitrios

    2014-05-01

    The use of biochar, as a cost effective sorbent for heavy metal removal from contaminated water and soils is becoming a very promising practice. In this study, rice husk, the organic fraction of solid wastes, as well as sewage sludge were used as precursors for biochar production. The first was chosen as one of the most abundant types of biomass worldwide and the other two in order to find alternative innovative uses of these wastes. A series of batch kinetic and equilibrium (sorption and desorption) experiments was conducted using As(V), Cr(III) and Cr(VI) as adsorbates. The specific heavy metals were chosen in order to assess biochars removal capacity towards both anionic and cationic metals. Apart from biochars, a sandy loam soil was also used as adsorbent for metal removal. Knowing the separate behavior of biochars and soil towards metal sorption, it could be the first step in explaining the fate of heavy metals in a biochar amended soil. The kinetic study showed that, for all adsorbents and metals examined, sorption can be well described by the pseudo-second order kinetic model. What is more, simulation of sorption isotherms gave a better fit for the Freundlich model, possibly due to the heterogeneous surface of the initial biomasses and the fine aggregates that soil consists of. Based on the equilibrium study, the materials examined removed more than 95% of the initial Cr(III). This is possibly related to the electrostatic interactions between adsorbents negative surface charge and Cr(III) cations. However, removal rates for As(V) and Cr(VI) anions were significantly lower. Biochar derived from sewage sludge was efficient in removing 89% of Cr(VI) and 53% of As(V). Its ash high Fe2O3 content may have enhanced metal adsorption via precipitation. Soil was the most effective material for the removal of As(V), yet it could not strongly retain metal anions compared to biochars, as a significant amount of the adsorbed metal was released during desorption

  12. 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.

  13. Mitigating methane emission from paddy soil with rice-straw biochar amendment under projected climate change

    Science.gov (United States)

    Han, Xingguo; Sun, Xue; Wang, Cheng; Wu, Mengxiong; Dong, Da; Zhong, Ting; Thies, Janice E.; Wu, Weixiang

    2016-04-01

    Elevated global temperatures and increased concentrations of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere associated with climate change will exert profound effects on rice cropping systems, particularly on their greenhouse gas emitting potential. Incorporating biochar into paddy soil has been shown previously to reduce methane (CH4) emission from paddy rice under ambient temperature and CO2. We examined the ability of rice straw-derived biochar to reduce CH4 emission from paddy soil under elevated temperature and CO2 concentrations expected in the future. Adding biochar to paddy soil reduced CH4 emission under ambient conditions and significantly reduced emissions by 39.5% (ranging from 185.4 mg kg‑1 dry weight soil, dws season‑1 to 112.2 mg kg‑1 dws season‑1) under simultaneously elevated temperature and CO2. Reduced CH4 release was mainly attributable to the decreased activity of methanogens along with the increased CH4 oxidation activity and pmoA gene abundance of methanotrophs. Our findings highlight the valuable services of biochar amendment for CH4 control from paddy soil in a future that will be shaped by climate change.

  14. Mitigating methane emission from paddy soil with rice-straw biochar amendment under projected climate change.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Han, Xingguo; Sun, Xue; Wang, Cheng; Wu, Mengxiong; Dong, Da; Zhong, Ting; Thies, Janice E; Wu, Weixiang

    2016-01-01

    Elevated global temperatures and increased concentrations of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere associated with climate change will exert profound effects on rice cropping systems, particularly on their greenhouse gas emitting potential. Incorporating biochar into paddy soil has been shown previously to reduce methane (CH4) emission from paddy rice under ambient temperature and CO2. We examined the ability of rice straw-derived biochar to reduce CH4 emission from paddy soil under elevated temperature and CO2 concentrations expected in the future. Adding biochar to paddy soil reduced CH4 emission under ambient conditions and significantly reduced emissions by 39.5% (ranging from 185.4 mg kg(-1) dry weight soil, dws season(-1) to 112.2 mg kg(-1) dws season(-1)) under simultaneously elevated temperature and CO2. Reduced CH4 release was mainly attributable to the decreased activity of methanogens along with the increased CH4 oxidation activity and pmoA gene abundance of methanotrophs. Our findings highlight the valuable services of biochar amendment for CH4 control from paddy soil in a future that will be shaped by climate change. PMID:27090814

  15. Biochar in viticulture

    Science.gov (United States)

    Niggli, C.; Schmidt, H.-P.

    2012-04-01

    Viticulture is becoming the pioneering culture for biochar research. Biochar has been applied to many large-scale viticulture experiments across Europe this spring. After the first large-scale and long term experiments at the Delinat Institute in 2007-08, expectations are high. The latest results confirm these expectations and also show that only scientifically sound experiments will lead to conclusive information on the effect of biochar on vine growth and wine quality in many different climates and soil types. In the last three years it has been clearly shown that biologically activated biochar does not only have positive impact on soil-plant systems in the tropics, but in all soil types and climatic zones [Crane Droescher [2011], Ogawa [2010], IBI [2011]). While biochar improves water availability for plants and microorganisms in dry or seasonally dry farming areas, it also plays a substantial role in high rainfall zones because it improves nutrient dynamics through prevention of nutrient leaching. Spectacular crop growth can be seen in extreme climates (tropical or semi-desert), partly due to biochar's buffering capacity leading to the compensation of strong limiting factors (water in semi-deserts, washed-out nutrients in the tropics). In temperate climates, however, the achievable increase in harvest is lower as there are no extremely limiting elements which have to be compensated. In addition, potential maximum growth of many plant species is easily reached in temperate zones through using good fertilizers and careful seed selection. Therefore the advantage of biochar application in temperate climates is less evident as crop growth but rather is seen as plant quality improvement through optimizing plant nutrition. 1. Increase of plant resistance and hence reduction of plant protection products 2. Stimulation of soil microbial activity and symbioses between plants and soil organisms 3. Reduction in fertilizer use by optimizing the supply of nutrients, limiting

  16. Effect of Crop-Straw Derived Biochars on Pb(II) Adsorption in Two Variable Charge Soils

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    JIANG Tian-yu; XU Ren-kou; GU Tian-xia; JIANG Jun

    2014-01-01

    Two variable charge soils were incubated with biochars derived from straws of peanut, soybean, canola, and rice to investigate the effect of the biochars on their chemical properties and Pb(II) adsorption using batch experiments. The results showed soil cation exchange capacity (CEC) and pH signiifcantly increased after 30 d of incubation with the biochars added. The incorporation of the biochars markedly increased the adsorption of Pb(II), and both the electrostatic and non-electrostatic adsorption mechanisms contributed to Pb(II) adsorption by the variable charge soils. Adsorption isotherms illustrated legume-straw derived biochars more greatly increased Pb(II) adsorption on soils through the non-electrostatic mechanism via the formation of surface complexes between Pb(II) and acid functional groups of the biochars than did non-legume straw biochars. The adsorption capacity of Pb(II) increased, while the desorption amount slightly decreased with the increasing suspension pH for the studied soils, especially in a high suspension pH, indicating that precipitation also plays an important role in immobilizing Pb(II) to the soils.

  17. Effects of biochar amendment and arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi inoculation on availability of soil phosphorus and growth of maize

    OpenAIRE

    A.E. Mau; S.R. Utami

    2014-01-01

    A glasshouse experiment was conducted to study the interactive effects of biochar amendment and arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) inoculation on phosphorus uptake by maize (Zea mayze L.) grown on a calcareous soil of Kupang, East Nusa Tenggara. The biochar was made of cow dung. Twelve treatment combinations (three biochars levels of 0, 5 and 7.5 g/kg of soil, and four AMF inoculation levels of 0, 5, 10 and 15 spores / kg of soil) were arranged in a completely randomized block design with thr...

  18. Utilization of oil palm empty bunches waste as biochar-microbes for improving availibity of soil nutrients

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    G . I . Ichriani

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available There are about 23% waste oil palm empty fruit bunches (OPEFB of total waste generated from the production of crude palm oil in oil palm plantations. Pyrolysis technology can be used to convert waste into biochar and further can be utilized for the improvement of soil. Biochar-microbes of OPEFB are biochar from OPEFB biomass that enriched with soil microbes. Biochar-microbes is expected to be used for the improvement of the soil and plants. Therefore the purpose of this research was to study the ability of biochar-microbes OPEFB to increase availability of the nutrients in sandy soils. The process of making biochar done by using slow pyrolysis technology by heating 300oC and 400oC for 2 and 3 hours, and with sizes 40 and 80 mesh, as well as indigenous microbial Bulkhorderia nodosa G.52.Rif1 and Trichoderma sp. added. The biochar production and research were conducted in the Department of Forestry Laboratory and in the Department of Agronomy Laboratory, Faculty of Agriculture, Palangka Raya University. In general, the study showed that biochar-microbes could maintain the soil pH value and tends to increase the soil pH, increasing the holding capacity of sandy soil to the elements of P and K as well as increasing the availability of nutrients N, P and K. Furthermore, this study showed that the biochar process by 400oC heating for 3 hours and 40 mesh with microbes or without microbes were the best effect on the improvement of the quality of holding capacity and the nutrients supply in sandy soils.

  19. Inconsistent Changes in Microbial Community Structure and Abundance with Biochar Amendment in Rice Paddy Soils from South China

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, J.; Qu, J.; Liu, X.; Zheng, J.; Li, L.; Pan, G.

    2012-04-01

    Effects of biochar amendment on soil microbiota had not yet been well understood. We conducted a cross site field study on biochar amendment to rice paddies from south China in 2010. The experiment was performed with four treatments including N fertilization only (C0N), N fertilization plus biochar at 20t/ha (C1N) and at 40t/ha (C2N) as well as a control without N fertilization and biochar (C0N0) consistently with three sites. Biochar was spread at soil surface and incorporated into soil and thoroughly mixed to depth of about 12cm before padding for rice seedling transplantation. Rice production was conducted with conventional water and nutrient management practices adapting to local climate and cultivar conditions. Topsoil samples were collected from each treatment plot across sites for chemical properties and molecular analysis after rice harvest in autumn of 2010. Contents of organic carbon, total N as well as soil microbial biomass carbon were determined with recommended methods. Quantitative real-time PCR coupled with 16S rRNA gene and 18S rRNA gene denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) were respectively employed to trace changes in abundance and structure of bacteria and fungi community with biochar amendment. Increase in microbial biomass carbon (SMBC) was not observed in one site but by 10-20% in other two sites while SOC contents were increased by 25-45% in all sites under biochar treatments. Copy numbers of bacterial genes were different between the sites but no changes with biochar treatment in a single site. However, cluster analysis revealed a more or less decreased similarity of bacterial community to the control (ranging from 75% to 85%) by biochar treatment in a single site. Nevertheless, a number of special bands appeared both in bacterial and fungal DGGE patterns under biochar treatments, though varying with site also. While the fungi copy numbers markedly varied both with sites and with biochar treatments, lower similarity and greater

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lu, Weiwei; Ding, Weixin; Zhang, Junhua; Zhang, Huanjun; Luo, Jiafa; Bolan, Nanthi

    2015-01-01

    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. PMID:26192282

  1. 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.

  2. Metolachlor Sorption and Degradation in Soil Amended with Fresh and Aged Biochars.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Trigo, Carmen; Spokas, Kurt A; Hall, Kathleen E; Cox, Lucia; Koskinen, William C

    2016-04-27

    Addition of organic amendments such as biochar to soils can influence pesticide sorption-desorption processes and, in turn, the amount of pesticide readily availability for transport and biodegradation. Sorption-desorption processes are affected by both the physical and chemical properties of soils and pesticides, as well as soil-pesticide contact time, or aging. Changes in sorption-desorption of metolachlor with aging in soil amended with three macadamia nut shell biochars aged 0 (BCmac-fr), 1 year (BCmac-1yr), and 2 years (BCmac-2yr) and two wood biochars aged 0 (BCwood-fr) and 5 years (BCwood-5yr) were determined. Apparent sorption coefficient (Kd-app) values increased with incubation time to a greater extent in amended soil as compared to unamended soils; Kd-app increased by 1.2-fold for the unamended soil, 2.0-fold for BCwood-fr, 1.4-fold for BCwood-5yr, 2.4-fold for BCmac-fr, 2.5-fold for BCmac-1yr, and 1.9-fold for BCmac-4yr. The increase in calculated Kd-app value was the result of a 15% decrease in the metolachlor solution concentration extractable with CaCl2 solution with incubation time in soil as compared to a 50% decrease in amended soil with very little change in the sorbed concentration. Differences could possibly be due to diffusion to less accessible or stronger binding sites with time, a faster rate of degradation (in solution and on labile sites) than desorption, or a combination of the two in the amended soils. These data show that transport models would overpredict the depth of movement of metolachlor in soil if effects of aging or biochar amendments are not considered. PMID:27050383

  3. Environmental Impacts of the Production and Application of Biochar - EuroChar Project

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rack, Mireille; Woods, Jeremy

    2014-05-01

    One of the potential benefits of biochar is carbon sequestration. To determine the overall net sequestration potential it is important to analyse the full supply chain, assessing both the direct and indirect emissions associated with the production and application of biochar. However, it is essential to also incorporate additional environmental impact categories to ensure the assessment of a more complete environmental impact profile. This paper uses a full life-cycle assessment (LCA) methodology to evaluate the results from the EuroChar, 'biochar for carbon sequestration and large-scale removal of GHG from the atmosphere', project. This EU Seventh Framework Programme project aims to investigate and reduce uncertainties around the impacts of, and opportunities for, biochar, and in particular explore possible pathways for its introduction into modern agricultural systems in Europe. The LCA methodology, according to the ISO standards, is applied to the project-specific supply chains to analyse the environmental impacts of biochar production and application. Two conversion technologies for the production of biochar are assessed, gasification and hydrothermal carbonization (HTC), in order to provide conversion efficiencies and emission factors for the biochar production component of the supply chain. The selected feedstocks include those derived from waste residues and dedicated crops. For the end use stage, various forms and methods for biochar application are considered. In addition to the Global Warming Potential category, other environmental impact categories are also included in the analysis. The resulting 'feedstock * conversion technology' matrix provides nine pathways for the production and application of biochar, which are applied as a representative basis for the scenario modelling. These scenarios have been developed in order to assess the feedstock and land availability in Europe for the production and application of biochar and to give an order of

  4. 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.)

  5. The effect of biochar and crop straws on heavy metal bioavailability and plant accumulation in a Cd and Pb polluted soil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, Ping; Sun, Cai-Xia; Ye, Xue-Zhu; Xiao, Wen-Dan; Zhang, Qi; Wang, Qiang

    2016-10-01

    Biochar derived from various materials has been investigated with regard to its ability to decrease the bioavailability of heavy metals in contaminated soils, and thus reduce their potential to enter the food chain. However, little attention has been given to the adsorption capacity of untreated crop straws, which are commonly used as a biochar feedstock, especially in soils. Hence, this study was conducted to investigate the effect of crop straws on heavy metal immobilization and subsequent heavy metal uptake by maize and ryegrass in a soil artificially polluted by Cd and Pb. Bamboo biochar, rice straw, and wheat straw were mixed into soil four weeks before the experiment, enabling them to reach equilibrium at 2% (w/w), 1% (w/w), and 1% (w/w), respectively. The results showed that soil pH for both species was significantly increased by all treatments, except when wheat straw was used for ryegrass cultivation. Soil organic carbon was only improved in the rice straw treatment and the soil alkali-hydrolyzable N content was significantly decreased with all of the amendments, which may have contributed to the lack of an effect on plant biomass. Soil available Cd was significantly lower in the rice straw treatment than in the control soil, while Pb levels clearly decreased in wheat straw treatment. The Cd concentration in shoots of maize was reduced by 50.9%, 69.5%, and 66.9% with biochar, rice straw, and wheat straw, respectively. In addition, shoot Cd accumulation was decreased by 47.3%, 67.1%, and 66.4%, respectively. Shoot Pb concentration and accumulation were only reduced with the rice straw treatment for both species. However, metal uptake in plant roots was more complex, with increased metal concentrations also detected. Overall, the direct application of crop straw could be considered a feasible way to immobilize selected metals in soil, once the long-term effects are confirmed. PMID:27285283

  6. Spatial heterogeneity of soil biochar content affects soil quality and wheat growth and yield.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Olmo, Manuel; Lozano, Ana María; Barrón, Vidal; Villar, Rafael

    2016-08-15

    Biochar (BC) is a carbonaceous material obtained by pyrolysis of organic waste materials and has been proposed as a soil management strategy to mitigate global warming and to improve crop productivity. Once BC has been applied to the soil, its imperfect and incomplete mixing with soil during the first few years and the standard agronomic practices (i.e. tillage, sowing) may generate spatial heterogeneity of the BC content in the soil, which may have implications for soil properties and their effects on plant growth. We investigated how, after two agronomic seasons, the spatial heterogeneity of olive-tree prunings BC applied to a vertisol affected soil characteristics and wheat growth and yield. During the second agronomic season and just before wheat germination, we determined the BC content in the soil by an in-situ visual categorization based on the soil darkening, which was strongly correlated to the BC content of the soil and the soil brightness. We found a high spatial heterogeneity in the BC plots, which affected soil characteristics and wheat growth and yield. Patches with high BC content showed reduced soil compaction and increased soil moisture, pH, electrical conductivity, and nutrient availability (P, Ca, K, Mn, Fe, and Zn); consequently, wheat had greater tillering and higher relative growth rate and grain yield. However, if the spatial heterogeneity of the soil BC content had not been taken into account in the data analysis, most of the effects of BC on wheat growth would not have been detected. Our study reveals the importance of taking into account the spatial heterogeneity of the BC content. PMID:27110980

  7. 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.

  8. 生物炭施用对矿区污染农田土壤上油菜生长和重金属富集的影响%Effects of biochar application on growth and typical metal accumulation of rape in mining contaminated soil

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    侯艳伟; 池海峰; 毕丽君

    2014-01-01

    添加生物炭后油菜As 质量分数呈上升趋势,且增量随生物炭施用量增加而升高,龙岩土壤则相反,1%和5%生物炭施用后油菜中As质量分数分别比对照降低了50.0%和68.9%,有关的生物和化学机理还需进一步研究;相比对照,油菜对Pb、Cd的富集系数在生物炭施用后减小,而As富集系数在郴州土壤上增大,龙岩土壤上降低。综上所述,生物炭可以作为矿山周边污染土壤治理的备选改良剂,但是在具体应用时应先考察优化其施用条件。%Minging activity can often cause pollution of farmland, and so it has important practical implications to use biochar technology to manage the contaminated soil in the surrounding farmland of mine. Biochar is a fine-grained, porous and environment-friendly material obtained from the pyrolysis of biomass under anaerobic or oxygen-limited conditions, and showing potential applications in improving soil quality, promoting plant growth, reducing greenhouse gas emissions and regulating pollutant behaviors. A pot experiment was carried out to study the effects of rice straw biochar with different application rate (0, 1%and 5%) on the soil biochemical traits, growth, typical heavy metals uptake and accumulation coefficients of rape (Brassia campestris L.) in two heavy metals contaminated soils which were from the farmland near mining area in Chenzhou and Longyan city. The results of this study will provide scientific basis for the management of contaminated soil in the surrounding farmland of mine. The results showed that biochar addition increased soil pH and organic matter, especially in acidic Longyan soil. The soil enzyme changed after biochar addition, the activity of urease and catalase significantly increased after 5% biochar addition, but the alkali phosphatase activities decreased. In Chenzhou soil, compared to the control treatment, the biomass of rape significantly decreased only under the treatment of 5%biochar addition. In Longyan

  9. Relating physical and chemical properties of four different biochars and their application rate to biomass production of Lolium perenne on a Calcic Cambisol during a pot experiment of 79 days

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Rosa, José M. de la, E-mail: jmrosa@irnase.csic.es [Instituto de Recursos Naturales Agrobiología de Sevilla (IRNAS-CSIC), Av. Reina Mercedes, 10, 41012 Seville (Spain); Paneque, Marina [Instituto de Recursos Naturales Agrobiología de Sevilla (IRNAS-CSIC), Av. Reina Mercedes, 10, 41012 Seville (Spain); Miller, Ana Z. [Instituto de Recursos Naturales Agrobiología de Sevilla (IRNAS-CSIC), Av. Reina Mercedes, 10, 41012 Seville (Spain); CEPGIST/CERENA, Instituto Superior Técnico, Universidade de Lisboa. Av. Rovisco Pais, 1049-001 Lisbon (Portugal); Knicker, Heike [Instituto de Recursos Naturales Agrobiología de Sevilla (IRNAS-CSIC), Av. Reina Mercedes, 10, 41012 Seville (Spain)

    2014-11-15

    Three pyrolysis biochars (B1: wood, B2: paper-sludge, B3: sewage-sludge) and one kiln-biochar (B4: grapevine wood) were characterized by determining different chemical and physical properties which were related to the germination rates and to the plant biomass production during a pot experiment of 79 days in which a Calcic Cambisol from SW Spain was amended with 10, 20 and 40 t ha{sup −1} of the four biochars. Biochar 1, B2 and B4 revealed comparable elemental composition, pH, water holding capacity and ash content. The H/C and O/C atomic ratios suggested high aromaticity of all biochars, which was confirmed by {sup 13}C solid-state NMR spectroscopy. The FT-IR spectra confirmed the aromaticity of all the biochars as well as several specific differences in their composition. The FESEM-EDS distinguished compositional and structural differences of the studied biochars such as macropores on the surface of B1, collapsed structures in B2, high amount of mineral deposits (rich in Al, Si, Ca and Fe) and organic phases in B3 and vessel structures for B4. Biochar amendment improved germination rates and soil fertility (excepting for B4), and had no negative pH impact on the already alkaline soil. Application of B3, the richest in minerals and nitrogen, resulted in the highest soil fertility. In this case, increase of the dose went along with an enhancement of plant production. Considering costs due to production and transport of biochar, for all used chars with the exception of B3, the application of 10 t ha{sup −1} turned out as the most efficient for the crop and soil used in the present incubation experiment. - Highlights: • Turning organic waste into biochar to improve soil fertility of calcic Cambisols. • Kiln wood biochar resulted in low water retention capacity and specific surface area. • Feedstock drives the differences in the composition and functionalities of biochars. • 10 t biochar ha{sup –1} was the most efficient dose for improving soil fertility.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

    Water being an essential component for plant growth and development, its scarcity poses serious threat to crops around the world. Climate changes and global warming are increasing the temperature of earth hence becoming an ultimate cause of water scarcity. It is need of the day to use potential soil amendments that could increase the plants’ resistance under such situations. Biochar and gypsum were used in the present study to improve the water use efficiency (WUE) and growth of Abelmoschus esculentus L. Moench (Lady’s Finger). A 6 weeks experiment was conducted under greenhouse conditions. Stress treatments were applied after 30 days of sowing. Plant height, leaf area, photosynthesis, transpiration rate (Tr), stomatal conductance and WUE were determined weekly under stressed [60% field capacity (F.C.)] and non-stressed (100% F.C.) conditions. Stomatal conductance and Tr decreased and reached near to zero in stressed plants. Stressed plants also showed resistance to water stress upto 5 weeks and gradually perished at sixth week. On the other hand, WUE improved in stressed plants containing biochar and gypsum as compared to untreated plants. Biochar alone is a better strategy to promote plant growth and WUE specifically of A. esculentus, compared to its application in combination with gypsum. PMID:26442046

  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. Biochar for Soil Improvement: Evaluation of Biochar from Gasification and Slow Pyrolysis

    OpenAIRE

    Lydia Fryda; Rianne Visser

    2015-01-01

    The growing need for food, energy and materials demands a resource efficient approach as the world’s population keeps increasing. Biochar is a valuable product that can be produced in combination with bio-energy in a cascading approach to make best use of available resources. In addition, there are resources that have not been used up to now, such as, e.g., many agro-residues that can become available. Most agro-residues are not suitable for high temperature energy conversion processes due to...

  13. Increasing biomass of winter wheat using sorghum biochars

    OpenAIRE

    Sigua, Gilbert C.; Stone, Kenneth C.; Hunt, Patrick G.; Keri B. Cantrell; Novak, Jeffrey M.

    2015-01-01

    Biochar is a black solid formed by pyrolysis of biomass such as crop residues. Biochar could be used for soil fertilization, carbon sequestration, and improvement of soil structure. Here, we tested the effect of sorghum biochars on winter wheat, with or without supplemental inorganic phosphorus, in a greenhouse. The application rate for sorghum residues and sorghum biochars based on a yield goal of 200 bushels ha−1 was 13 Mg ha−1. Inorganic phosphorus was added at the rate of 40 kg P ha−1. Re...

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

    OpenAIRE

    Weiwei Lu; Weixin Ding; Junhua Zhang; Huanjun Zhang; Jiafa Luo; Nanthi Bolan

    2015-01-01

    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 amendmen...

  15. Production of biochar from olive mill waste and remediation of heavy metal contaminated soil

    OpenAIRE

    Hmid, Amine

    2014-01-01

    The results presented in this thesis indicate that slow pyrolysis can be an efficient management process for the solid olive mill waste to reduce considerably its volume and weight. Biochar production through slow pyrolysis was revealed to be an interesting tool to transform this waste rather than leaving it for natural decay or spreading it as fertilizer in agricultural soils which causes a significant environmental deterioration leading to soil, air and ground water pollution. Pyrolysis par...

  16. The influence of biochar type on long-term stabilization for Cd and Cu in contaminated paddy soils.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Hongying; Ye, Xinxin; Geng, Zhigang; Zhou, Hongjian; Guo, Xisheng; Zhang, Yunxia; Zhao, Huijun; Wang, Guozhong

    2016-03-01

    Long-term effect of biochar on PTEs (potential toxic elements) immobilization depends upon biochar own property and its aging process in soil. To understand the role of biachar type on PTEs stabilization, two types of biochar, corn-straw-derived biochar (CB) and hardwood-derived biochar (HB), were compared for their efficacy in achieving a stable decrease in the bio-availability of Cd and Cu in soils. The 3-year pot-culture experiment showed that HB reduced the concentration of CaCl2-extractable Cd and Cu by 57.9 and 63.8% in soil, and Cd and Cu uptake by 63.6 and 56.3% in rice tissue respectively, in the first year, whereas these values increased in the next two years. On the other hand, CB decreased these values steadily year by year. At the end of the 3 years, CB at 5% level had lowered the levels of CaCl2-extractable Cd and Cu by 53.6 and 66.8%, respectively. These variations between CB and HB were due to the differences in the way the two types of biochar age in the soil. The aging process was simulated in the laboratory, and the XPS results showed that the oxidization of the biochars introduced more oxygen-containing groups (especially carboxyl) on the surface of CB than HB, leading to a correspondingly greater number of oxygenated binding sites for Cd and Cu in the case of CB. The content of lignin was the major factor resulting in the variation of oxidation degree in two biochars. These results suggest that it is important to select the right kind of biochar to stably decrease the bio-availability of potential toxic elements (Cd and Cu) in contaminated soils. PMID:26546702

  17. Production and characterization of Lemna minor bio-char and its catalytic application for biogas reforming

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Pyrolysis of fast-growing aquatic biomass - Lemna minor (commonly known as duckweed) with the emphasis on production, characterization and catalytic application of bio-char is reported in this paper. The yield of bio-char was determined as a function of L. minor pyrolysis temperature and sweep gas flow rate. It was found that the pore development during L. minor pyrolysis was not significant and the changes in the reaction conditions (temperature and sweep gas flow rate) did not alter markedly the textural characteristics and BET surface area of the bio-char produced. Thermogravimetric/differential thermogravimetric (TG/DTG) analyses of L. minor and different bio-char samples in inert (helium) and oxidative (air) media showed substantial differences in their TG/DTG patterns. A comparison of scanning electron micrographs (SEM) of L. minor, bio-char and ash indicated that the basic structural features of L. minor remained intact and were not affected by thermolysis. The inorganic ash content of L. minor derived bio-char is significantly higher than that of typical terrestrial (plant) biomass. The energy dispersive spectroscopic (EDS) analysis of L. minor ash showed that it mostly consisted of silica, and small quantities of Na, K and Ca compounds. The treatment of bio-char with CO2 at 800 °C increased its BET surface area. It was found that CO2-treated bio-char exhibited appreciable initial catalytic activity in biogas reforming. -- Highlights: New data on characterization of bio-chars derived from Lemna minor are presented. ► Effect of pyrolysis operational parameters on bio-char properties is determined. ► Basic skeletal structure of Lemna minor leaflets does not change during pyrolysis. ► Bio-chars show an appreciable initial catalytic activity for biogas reforming.

  18. Contaminant immobilization and nutrient release by biochar soil amendment: roles of natural organic matter.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Uchimiya, Minori; Lima, Isabel M; Klasson, K Thomas; Wartelle, Lynda H

    2010-08-01

    Contamination of soil interstitial waters by labile heavy metals such as Cu(II), Cd(II), and Ni(II) 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 releasing essential nutrients like sulfur. Information is currently lacking in how aging impacts the integrity of biochars as soil amendment for both agricultural and environmental remediation purposes. Major contributors to biochar aging in soils are: sorption of environmental constituents, especially natural organic matter (NOM), and oxidation. To investigate the impact of NOM and organic fractions of chars, we employed broiler litter-derived chars and steam-activated carbons that underwent varying degrees of carbonization, in the presence and absence of NOM having known carboxyl contents. For aging by oxidation, we employed phosphoric acid activated carbons that underwent varying degrees of oxidation during activation. The results suggest that the organic fractions of biochars, and NOM having high carboxyl contents can mobilize Cu(II) retained by alkaline soil. Base treatment of broiler litter-derived char formed at low pyrolysis temperature (350 degrees C) improved the immobilization of all heavy metals investigated, and the extent of immobilization was similar to, or slightly greater than pecan shell-derived phosphoric acid activated carbons. Portions of total sulfur were released in soluble form in soil amended with broiler litter-derived carbons, but not pecan shell-derived phosphoric acid activated carbons. PMID:20542314

  19. Biochar treatment resulted in a combined effect on soybean growth promotion and a shift in plant growth promoting rhizobacteria

    OpenAIRE

    Dilfuza eEgamberdieva; Stephan eWirth; Undine eBehrendt; Elsayed eAbd_Allah; Gabriele eBerg

    2016-01-01

    The application of biochar to soil is considered to have the potential for long-term soil carbon sequestration, as well as for improving plant growth and suppressing soil pathogens. In our study we evaluated the effect of biochar on the plant growth of soybeans, as well as on the composition of root-associated bacteria with plant growth promoting traits. Two types of biochar, namely, maize biochar (MBC), wood biochar (WBC), and hydrochar (HTC) were used for pot experiments to monitor plant gr...

  20. Transport and retention of bacteria and viruses in biochar-amended sand.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sasidharan, Salini; Torkzaban, Saeed; Bradford, Scott A; Kookana, Rai; Page, Declan; Cook, Peter G

    2016-04-01

    The transport and retention of Escherichia coli and bacteriophages (PRD1, MS2 and ФX174), as surrogates for human pathogenic bacteria and viruses, respectively, were studied in the sand that was amended with several types of biochar produced from various feedstocks. Batch and column studies were conducted to distinguish between the role of attachment and straining in microbe retention during transport. Batch experiments conducted at various solution chemistries showed negligible attachment of viruses and bacteria to biochar before or after chemical activation. At any given solution ionic strength, the attachment of viruses to sand was significantly higher than that of biochar, whereas bacteria showed no attachment to either sand or biochar. Consistent with batch results, biochar addition (10% w/w) to sand reduced virus retention in the column experiments, suggesting a potential negative impact of biochar application to soil on virus removal. In contrast, the retention of bacteria was enhanced in biochar-amended sand columns. However, elimination of the fine fraction (<60μm) of biochar particles in biochar-amended sand columns significantly reduced bacteria retention. Results from batch and column experiments suggest that land application of biochar may only play a role in microbe retention via straining, by alteration of pore size distribution, and not via attachment. Consequently, the particle size distribution of biochar and sediments is a more important factor than type of biochar in determining whether land application of biochar enhances or diminishes microbial retention. PMID:26802338

  1. Biochar can be used to capture essential nutrients from dairy wastewater and improve soil physico-chemical properties

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ghezzehei, T. A.; Sarkhot, D. V.; Berhe, A. A.

    2014-09-01

    Recently, the potential for biochar use to recapture excess nutrients from dairy wastewater has been a focus of a growing number of studies. It is suggested that biochar produced from locally available excess biomass can be important in reducing release of excess nutrient elements from agricultural runoff, improving soil productivity, and long-term carbon (C) sequestration. Here we present a review of a new approach that is showing promise for the use of biochar for nutrient capture. Using batch sorption experiments, it has been shown that biochar can adsorb up to 20-43% of ammonium and 19-65% of the phosphate in flushed dairy manure in 24 h. These results suggest a potential of biochar for recovering essential nutrients from dairy wastewater and improving soil fertility if the enriched biochar is returned to soil. Based on the sorption capacity of 2.86 and 0.23 mg ammonium and phosphate, respectively, per gram of biochar and 10-50% utilization of available excess biomass, in the state of California (US) alone, 11 440 to 57 200 tonnes of ammonium-N and 920-4600 tonnes of phosphate can be captured from dairy waste each year while at the same time disposing up to 8-40 million tons of excess biomass.

  2. Engineered biochar from microwave-assisted catalytic pyrolysis of switchgrass for increasing water-holding capacity and fertility of sandy soil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mohamed, Badr A; Ellis, Naoko; Kim, Chang Soo; Bi, Xiaotao; Emam, Ahmed El-Raie

    2016-10-01

    Engineered biochars produced from microwave-assisted catalytic pyrolysis of switchgrass have been evaluated in terms of their ability on improving water holding capacity (WHC), cation exchange capacity (CEC) and fertility of loamy sand soil. The addition of K3PO4, clinoptilolite and/or bentonite as catalysts during the pyrolysis process increased biochar surface area and plant nutrient contents. Adding biochar produced with 10wt.% K3PO4+10 wt.% clinoptilolite as catalysts to the soil at 2wt% load increased soil WHC by 98% and 57% compared to the treatments without biochar (control) and with 10wt.% clinoptilolite, respectively. Synergistic effects on increased soil WHC were manifested for biochars produced from combinations of two additives compared to single additive, which may be the result of increased biochar microporosity due to increased microwave heating rate. Biochar produced from microwave catalytic pyrolysis was more efficient in increasing the soil WHC due to its high porosity in comparison with the biochar produced from conventional pyrolysis at the same conditions. The increases in soil CEC varied widely compared to the control soil, ranging from 17 to 220% for the treatments with biochars produced with 10wt% clinoptilolite at 400°C, and 30wt% K3PO4 at 300°C, respectively. Strong positive correlations also exist among soil WHC with CEC and biochar micropore area. Biochar from microwave-assisted catalytic pyrolysis appears to be a novel approach for producing biochar with high sorption affinity and high CEC. These catalysts remaining in the biochar product would provide essential nutrients for the growth of bioenergy and food crops. PMID:27232966

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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 (t1/2) varied between the organic amendments and was higher in sandy soil than in clay soil. The half life value ranged from 139 days in the sandy soil and 187 days in the clay soil for poultry manure compost to 9989 days for green waste biochar. Addition of clay materials to compost decreased the rate of decomposition, thereby increasing the stabilization of C. The half life value for poultry manure compost increased from 139 days to 620, 806 and 474 days with the addition of goethite, gibbsite and allophane, respectively. The increase in the stabilization of C with the addition of clay materials may be attributed to the immobilization of C, thereby preventing it from microbial decomposition. Stabilization of C in compost using clay materials did not impact negatively the value of composts in improving soil quality as measured by potentially mineralizable nitrogen and microbial biomass carbon in soil. - Graphical abstract: Stabilization of compost using clay materials (e.g. allophane) enhances carbon sequestration in soils. Highlights: ► Comparison of decomposition rate

  4. Analytical pyrolysis of synthetic chars derived from biomass with potential agronomic application (biochar). Relationships with impacts on microbial carbon dioxide production

    Science.gov (United States)

    A set of 20 biochar samples produced from the pyrolysis of different biomass feedstocks with potential applications as soil amendments were investigated by pyrolysis coupled to gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (Py-GC-MS). The yields of 38 pyrolysis products representative of charred (e.g., benze...

  5. Trace element biogeochemistry in the soil-water-plant system of a temperate agricultural soil amended with different biochars.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kloss, Stefanie; Zehetner, Franz; Buecker, Jannis; Oburger, Eva; Wenzel, Walter W; Enders, Akio; Lehmann, Johannes; Soja, Gerhard

    2015-03-01

    Various biochar (BC) types have been investigated as soil amendment; however, information on their effects on trace element (TE) biogeochemistry in the soil-water-plant system is still scarce. In the present study, we determined aqua-regia (AR) and water-extractable TEs of four BC types (woodchips (WC), wheat straw (WS), vineyard pruning (VP), pyrolyzed at 525 °C, of which VP was also pyrolyzed at 400 °C) and studied their effects on TE concentrations in leachates and mustard (Sinapis alba L.) tissue in a greenhouse pot experiment. We used an acidic, sandy agricultural soil and a BC application rate of 3% (w/w). Our results show that contents and extractability of TEs in the BCs and effectuated changes of TE biogeochemistry in the soil-water-plant system strongly varied among the different BC types. High AR-digestable Cu was found in VP and high B contents in WC. WS had the highest impact on TEs in leachates showing increased concentrations of As, Cd, Mo, and Se, whereas WC application resulted in enhanced leaching of B. All BC types increased Mo and decreased Cu concentrations in the plant tissue; however, they showed diverging effects on Cu in the leachates with decreased concentrations for WC and WS, but increased concentrations for both VPs. Our results demonstrate that BCs may release TEs into the soil-water-plant system. A BC-induced liming effect in acidic soils may lead to decreased plant uptake of cationic TEs, including Pb and Cd, but may enhance the mobility of anionic TEs like Mo and As. We also found that BCs with high salt contents (e.g., straw-based BCs) may lead to increased mobility of both anionic and cationic TEs in the short term. PMID:25315931

  6. 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......) to improve soil structural properties in order to lowering the erodibility of the soil. A second objective was to parameterize a spatially distributed erosion model (WaTEM, Water and Tillage Erosion Model) for planning of the placement of buffer zones (a structural BMP) to reduce sediment transport....... 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...

  7. Characterization and Mineralization Rates of Low Temperature Peanut Hull and Pine Chip Biochars

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    K.C. Das

    2013-04-01

    Full Text Available Biochar can potentially increase soil fertility and sequester carbon by incorporating nutrients and stable black carbon into the soil; however its effect on soil nitrogen (N and carbon (C processes is not well understood. A defined methodology to characterize biochar is necessary to predict how specific biochars will affect C and N mineralization. We amended a Tifton soil (Fine-loamy, siliceous, thermic Plinthic Kandiudults with peanut hull (Arachis hypogaea; PH; 2.1% N and pine chip (Pinus taeda; PC: 0.4% N biochar at application rates of 1% and 2% (w/w and performed a 136-day mineralization study. A companion 24-day mineralization study amended Tifton soil with PH and PC biochar at 2% and their respective feedstocks at equal C rates. Soil C mineralization rates were monitored periodically throughout each study and total N mineralization rates were also measured. In addition, we characterized each biochar using thermogravimetric analysis with mass spectrometer (TGA-MS, proximate analysis, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR, and total mineral analysis to identify biochar characteristics that might correlate with mineralization properties. Limited C (<2% mineralized from both biochars, but mineralization rates of soil amended with PH biochar were higher than PC biochar. Carbon mineralization correlated well with estimated aliphatic content determined by TGA-MS but not with volatile content indicated by proximate analysis. Nitrogen was not mineralized from either biochar, indicating that plant-based biochar should not be considered a source of N for plant growth. The N in biochar may be contained in the stable aromatic structure of the biochar, as indicated by TGA-MS, and not available to soil microbes.

  8. 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.

  9. Crop residue decomposition in Minnesota biochar