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 soil aggregates at 0-10 cm soil horizon, while increased the content of 1-2 mm and 2-5 mm soil aggregates at this horizon, and the content of 1-2 mm aggregates significantly increased along with the rates of 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. Characteristics of biochar and its application in remediation of contaminated soil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tang, Jingchun; Zhu, Wenying; Kookana, Rai; Katayama, Arata

    2013-12-01

    Biochar is produced by thermal decomposition of biomass under oxygen-limited conditions (pyrolysis), and it has received attention in soil remediation and waste disposal in recent years. The characteristics of biochar are influenced mainly by the preparation temperature and biomass. Higher pyrolysis temperature often results in the increased surface area and carbonized fraction of biochar leading to high sorption capability for pollutants. Biochars derived from various source materials show different properties of surface area, porosity and the amount of functional groups which are important concerning on the effect of biochar. Biochar has been proved to be effective in improving soil properties and increasing crop biomass. It has also been suggested that it can even enhance crop resistance to disease. Biochar has recently been used to remediate soil with both heavy metal and organic pollutants. The mechanism is electrostatic interaction and precipitation in the case of heavy metal, and the surface adsorption, partition and sequestration in the case of organic contaminants. However, application of biochar in soil has been shown to result in decreased efficacy of pesticides, which indicates a trade-off between the potentially promising effect of biochar on pesticide remediation and its negative effect on pesticide efficacy. While arguments on the effectiveness of biochar appear sound, further research is needed prior to widespread application of biochar in soil remediation.

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. Recent advances in biochar applications in agricultural soils: Benefits and environmental implications

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Xu, Gang; Lv, Yingchun [Key Laboratory of Coastal Zone Environmental Processes, Yantai Institute of Coastal Zone Research (YIC), Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), Yantai (China); Shandong Provincial Key Laboratory of Coastal Zone Environmental Processes, YICCAS, Yantai (China); Sun, Junna; Wei, Linlin [Key Laboratory of Coastal Zone Environmental Processes, Yantai Institute of Coastal Zone Research (YIC), Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), Yantai (China); Graduate University of Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), Beijing (China); Shandong Provincial Key Laboratory of Coastal Zone Environmental Processes, YICCAS, Yantai (China); Shao, Hongbo [Key Laboratory of Coastal Zone Environmental Processes, Yantai Institute of Coastal Zone Research (YIC), Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), Yantai (China); Institute of Life Sciences,Qingdao University of Science and Technology, Qingdao (China); Shandong Provincial Key Laboratory of Coastal Zone Environmental Processes, YICCAS, Yantai (China)

    2012-10-15

    Biochar, a by-product of biomass pyrolysis, has been suggested as a mean to combat climate change, and at the same time to achieve agricultural and environmental benefits. As one possible source of the components with high aromatic structure in soil humus, biochar is of great importance in increasing soil carbon storage and improving soil nutrient retention and nutrient availability, and in maintaining the balance of soil ecosystem. This paper briefly reviewed and synthesized recent findings and discussions regarding the production and characteristics of biochar, its effects on global climate change and particularly in relation to the environmental effects of biochar in soils. Agronomic benefits of biochar application are critically highlighted because researches show that biochar had varied effects on crop productivity thorough the different bio-physical interactions between the biochar and the soils, which are deserved for further investigations. Potential pitfalls and knowledge gaps were briefly discussed on the environmental behavior and the effects of biochar in agricultural ecosystem. (Copyright copyright 2012 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH and Co. KGaA, Weinheim)

  10. 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

  11. 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.

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Verheijen, F.G.A.; Jeffery, S.L.; Velde, te M.; Penizek, V.; Beland, M.; Bastos, A.C.; Keizer, J.J.

    2013-01-01

    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-C-e over 100

  13. 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.

  14. Biochar as a soil amendment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Medyńska-Juraszek Agnieszka

    2016-09-01

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

  15. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Jingjing; Kim, Hyunjin; Yoo, Gayoung

    2015-01-01

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

  17. 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

    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.

  18. Composting of biochars improves their sorption properties, retains nutrients during composting and affects greenhouse gas emissions after soil application

    Science.gov (United States)

    Biochar application to soils has been suggested to elevate nutrient sorption, improve soil fertility and reduce net greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. We examined the impact of composting biochar together with a biologically active substrate (i.e., livestock manure-straw mixture). We hypothesized that ...

  19. Phenanthrene Sorption on Biochar-Amended Soils

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2014-01-01

    on their influences on the sorption of environmental contaminants. In a field-based study at two experimental sites in Denmark, we investigated the effect of birch wood-derived biochar (Skogans kol) on the sorption of phenanthrene in soils with different properties. The soil sorption coefficient, Kd (L kg-1......), of phenanthrene was measured on sandy loam and loamy sand soils which have received from zero up to 100 t ha-1 of biochar. Results show that birch wood biochar had a higher Kd compared to soils. Furthermore, the application of birch wood biochar enhanced the sorption of phenanthrene in agricultural soils...... carbon, while it negatively correlated with clay content. The results also revealed that biochar-mineral interactions play an important role in the sorption of phenanthrene in biochar-amended soil....

  20. Carbon dioxide emissions from biochar in soil

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2014-01-01

    The stability of biochar in soil is of importance if it is to be used for carbon sequestration and long-term improvement of soil properties. It is well known that a significant fraction of biochar is highly stable in soil, but carbon dioxide (CO2) is also released immediately after application...

  1. 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.

  2. Atrazine leaching from biochar-amended soils.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Delwiche, Kyle B; Lehmann, Johannes; Walter, M Todd

    2014-01-01

    The herbicide atrazine is used extensively throughout the United States, and is a widespread groundwater and surface water contaminant. Biochar has been shown to strongly sorb organic compounds and could be used to reduce atrazine leaching. We used lab and field experiments to determine biochar impacts on atrazine leaching under increasingly heterogeneous soil conditions. Application of pine chip biochar (commercially pyrolyzed between 300 and 550 °C) reduced cumulative atrazine leaching by 52% in homogenized (packed) soil columns (p=0.0298). Biochar additions in undisturbed soil columns did not significantly (p>0.05) reduce atrazine leaching. Mean peak groundwater atrazine concentrations were 53% lower in a field experiment after additions of 10 t ha(-1) acidified biochar (p=0.0056) relative to no biochar additions. Equivalent peat applications by dry mass had no effect on atrazine leaching. Plots receiving a peat-biochar mixture showed no reduction, suggesting that the peat organic matter may compete with atrazine for biochar sorption sites. Several individual measurement values outside the 99% confidence interval in perched groundwater concentrations indicate that macropore structure could contribute to rare, large leaching events that are not effectively reduced by biochar. We conclude that biochar application has the potential to decrease peak atrazine leaching, but heterogeneous soil conditions, especially preferential flow paths, may reduce this impact. Long-term atrazine leaching reductions are also uncertain.

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. [Effects of combined application of biochar and inorganic fertilizers on the available phosphorus content of upland red soil].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jing, Yan; Chen, Xiao-min; Liu, Zu-xiang; Huang, Qian-ru; LiI, Qiu-xia; Chen, Chen; Lu, Shao-shan

    2013-04-01

    Aiming at the low content of available phosphorus in upland red soil of Southern China, this paper studied the effects of combined application of biochar and inorganic fertilizers on the available phosphorus and organic carbon contents and the pH of this soil. With the combined application of biochar and inorganic fertilizers, the soil physical and chemical properties improved to different degrees. As compared with the control, the soil pH and the soil organic carbon and available phosphorus contents at different growth stages of oil rape after the combined application of biochar and inorganic fertilizers all had an improvement, with the increments at bolting stage, flowering stage, and ripening stage being 16%, 24% and 26%, 23%, 34% and 38%, and 100%, 191% and 317% , respectively. The soil pH and the soil organic carbon and available phosphorus contents were increased with the increasing amount of applied biochar. Under-the application of biochar, the soil available phosphorus had a significant correlation with the soil pH and soil organic carbon content. This study could provide scientific basis to improve the phosphorus deficiency and the physical and chemical properties of upland red soil.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Esmaeelnejad, L.; Shorafa, M.; Gorji, M.; Hosseini, S.M.

    2016-11-01

    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. (Author)

  11. 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.

  12. 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...

  13. Biochar for soil fertility and natural carbon sequestration

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-01-01

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

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. Influence of sugarcane bagasse-derived biochar application on nitrate leaching in calcaric dark red soil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kameyama, K; Miyamoto, T; Shiono, T; Shinogi, Y

    2012-01-01

    Application of biochar has been suggested to improve water- and fertilizer-retaining capacity of agricultural soil. The objective of this study was to evaluate the effects of bagasse charcoal (sugarcane [ L.] bagasse-derived biochar) on nitrate (NO) leaching from Shimajiri Maji soil, which has low water- and fertilizer-retaining capacity. The nitrate adsorption properties of bagasse charcoal formed at five pyrolysis temperatures (400-800° C) were investigated to select the most suitable bagasse charcoal for NO adsorption. Nitrate was able to adsorb onto the bagasse charcoal formed at pyrolysis temperatures of 700 to 800° C. Nitrate adsorption by bagasse charcoal (formed at 800° C) that passed through a 2-mm sieve was in a state of nonequilibrium even at 20 h after the addition of 20 mg N L KNO solution. Measurements suggested that the saturated and unsaturated hydraulic conductivity of bagasse charcoal (800° C)-amended soils are affected by changes in soil tortuosity and porosity and the presence of meso- and micropores in the bagasse charcoal, which did not contribute to soil water transfer. In NO leaching studies using bagasse charcoal (800° C)-amended soils with different charcoal contents (0-10% [w/w]), the maximum concentration of NO in effluents from bagasse charcoal-amended soil columns was approximately 5% less than that from a nonamended soil column because of NO adsorption by bagasse charcoal (800° C). We conclude that application of bagasse charcoal (800°C) to the soil will increase the residence time of NO in the root zone of crops and provide greater opportunity for crops to absorb NO.

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. 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...

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sheng, Yaqi; Zhan, Yu; Zhu, Lizhong

    2016-12-01

    Biochar application in soil has been proposed as a promising method for carbon sequestration. While factors affecting its carbon sequestration potential have been widely investigated, the number of studies on the effect of soil pH is limited. To investigate the carbon sequestration potential of biochar across a series of soil pH levels, the total carbon emission, CO2 release from inorganic carbon, and phospholipid fatty acids (PLFAs) of six soils with various pH levels were compared after the addition of straw biochar produced at different pyrolysis temperatures. The results show that the acidic soils released more CO2 (1.5-3.5 times higher than the control) after the application of biochar compared with neutral and alkaline soils. The degradation of both native soil organic carbon (SOC) and biochar were accelerated. More inorganic CO2 release in acidic soil contributed to the increased degradation of biochar. Higher proportion of gram-positive bacteria in acidic soil (25%-36%) was responsible for the enhanced biochar degradation and simultaneously co-metabolism of SOC. In addition, lower substrate limitation for bacteria, indicated by higher C-O stretching after the biochar application in the acidic soil, also caused more CO2 release. In addition to the soil pH, other factors such as clay contents and experimental duration also affected the phsico-chemical and biotic processes of SOC dynamics. Gram-negative/gram-positive bacteria ratio was found to be negatively related to priming effects, and suggested to serve as an indicator for priming effect. In general, the carbon sequestration potential of rice-straw biochar in soil reduced along with the decrease of soil pH especially in a short-term. Given wide spread of acidic soils in China, carbon sequestration potential of biochar may be overestimated without taking into account the impact of soil pH.

  3. 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.

  4. The impact of biochar on soil functioning in two contrasting climates

    OpenAIRE

    Muhamad, Khasifah

    2016-01-01

    Previous research has demonstrated that biochar addition to soil improves the soil’s physical and chemical characteristics, reduces nutrients leaching, increases crop yield and enhances microbial activity in the soil. This has attracted significant research interest into the effects of biochar application on soil in recent years. However, the literature on tropical soils following biochar addition is scarce. Even though more biochar studies were conducted in temperate soil, the physical and c...

  5. The effects of worms, clay and biochar on CO2 emissions during production and soil application of co-composts

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barthod, Justine; Rumpel, Cornélia; Paradelo, Remigio; Dignac, Marie-France

    2016-12-01

    In this study we evaluated CO2 emissions during composting of green wastes with clay and/or biochar in the presence and absence of worms (species of the genus Eisenia), as well as the effect of those amendments on carbon mineralization after application to soil. We added two different doses of clay, biochar or their mixture to pre-composted green wastes and monitored carbon mineralization over 21 days in the absence or presence of worms. The resulting co-composts and vermicomposts were then added to a loamy Cambisol and the CO2 emissions were monitored over 30 days in a laboratory incubation. Our results indicated that the addition of clay or clay/biochar mixture reduced carbon mineralization during co-composting without worms by up to 44 %. In the presence of worms, CO2 emissions during composting increased for all treatments except for the low clay dose. The effect of the amendments on carbon mineralization after addition to soil was small in the short term. Overall, composts increased OM mineralization, whereas vermicomposts had no effect. The presence of biochar reduced OM mineralization in soil with respect to compost and vermicompost without additives, whereas clay reduced mineralization only in the composts. Our study indicates a significant role of the conditions of composting on mineralization in soil. Therefore, the production of a low CO2 emission amendment requires optimization of feedstocks, co-composting agents and worm species.

  6. Biochar degradation in different soils

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-04-01

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

  7. Mechanistic approach to understand increased N2O emission followed by biochar application to the organic poor field soil

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yoo, G.; Lee, Y.; Seo, J.; Kim, J.; Kim, Y.

    2015-12-01

    Biochar, which is a by-product of pyrolysis, is widely accepted as a climate change mitigation strategy if it is applied to soils. A lot of researches have reported that application of biochar reduced the emission of N2O due to better aeration and increased pH. However, in the dry, organic poor, and heavily fertilized Korean field soil, we observed rather an increase in N2O emission in our previous researches. To explain this inconsistent trend, we conducted a research investigating the mechanisms of N2O emission. The main mechanisms of N2O emission from soils are nitrification and denitrification, among which we exclude the possibility of denitrification process because the soil water condition at our sampling dates was dry. To confirm our assumption that the increased N2O emission from the soil is mainly from the enhanced nitrification due to biochar addition, we used the nitrification inhibitor (DCD: Dicyandiamide). The experiment was performed in the pepper field located in Gyeonggi-do, Korea where we already observed an increase in N2O emission followed by biochar amendment in the previous year. Treatments include the control, biochar treatment (BC, 2 ton ha-1), DCD treatment (DCD, 10% of N fertilizer w/w), and biochar and DCD co-treatment (BC+DCD). All the treatments were received with N:P2O5:K2O (225 : 112 : 149 kg ha-1). Daily average of N2O emission rate was increased in the BC treatment by 154% and the emission was reduced to the control level in the BC+DCD treatment. From this result, we could confirm that the increased N2O emission from the biochar application is from the nitrification process. The field experiment will be prolonged to Aug 2015 and for the further analysis, the basic soil physicochemical parameters (TC, TN, pH, hot water extractable C, available N) and microbial parameters (fluorescein diacetate hydrolysis assay, microbial biomass C, and assay of nitrifiers) will be measured.

  8. Effect of Biochar on Soil Physical Characteristics

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    -gas diffusivity on intact 100cm3 soil samples (5 replicates in each plot). We found that biochar application significantly decreased soil bulk density, hereby creating higher porosity. At the same soil-water matric potential, all the soil-gas phase parameters (air-filled porosity, air permeability and gas...... 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...... due to the high micro porosity of added biochar. In conclusion, the results showed that biochar addition to soil changed key soil structural parameters at least in the short term (1 year). In perspective, the long-term variations in soil structural parameters and related changed in microbial activity...

  9. 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

  10. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-06-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  13. 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

    - , bicarbonate- and resin-extractable P and exchangeable K were measured after incubation. The ashes/biochars studied derived from gasification (ca 730°C) of poultry manure, gasification of solid manure, co-combustion of solid manure with straw (ca 700 and 900°C) and pyrolysis of solid manure (250, 400 or 500°C......, 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...... compared to a KCl reference. The heavy metal content of the tested ashes was below the Danish threshold value for wastes like ash, except for Ni in the poultry ash....

  14. 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...

  15. 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

    completely pyrolyzed, an un-pyrolyzed carbohydrate fraction (8.8% as determined by acid released C6 and C5 sugars) remained in the FP-biochar. This labile fraction possibly supported the higher CO2 emission and larger microbial biomass (SMB-C) in the FP-biochar soil. Application of fresh FP-biochar to soil...

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. Biochar from commercially cultivated seaweed for soil amelioration

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

    Seaweed cultivation is a high growth industry that is primarily targeted at human food and hydrocolloid markets. However, seaweed biomass also offers a feedstock for the production of nutrient-rich biochar for soil amelioration. We provide the first data of biochar yield and characteristics from intensively cultivated seaweeds (Saccharina, Undaria and Sargassum – brown seaweeds, and Gracilaria, Kappaphycus and Eucheuma – red seaweeds). While there is some variability in biochar properties as a function of the origin of seaweed, there are several defining and consistent characteristics of seaweed biochar, in particular a relatively low C content and surface area but high yield, essential trace elements (N, P and K) and exchangeable cations (particularly K). The pH of seaweed biochar ranges from neutral (7) to alkaline (11), allowing for broad-spectrum applications in diverse soil types. We find that seaweed biochar is a unique material for soil amelioration that is consistently different to biochar derived from ligno-cellulosic feedstock. Blending of seaweed and ligno-cellulosic biochar could provide a soil ameliorant that combines a high fixed C content with a mineral-rich substrate to enhance crop productivity. PMID:25856799

  19. 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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    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 results of the study show that for both experiments (wind and water ero-sion), the sediment from plots with biochar......, 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...... 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...

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2016-03-15

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-12-01

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

  5. Effect of aging process on adsorption of diethyl phthalate in soils amended with bamboo biochar.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Xiaokai; Sarmah, Ajit K; Bolan, Nanthi S; He, Lizhi; Lin, Xiaoming; Che, Lei; Tang, Caixian; Wang, Hailong

    2016-01-01

    Biochar is a carbonaceous sorbent and can be used as a potential material to reduce the bioavailability of organic pollutants in contaminated soils. In the present study, the adsorption and desorption of diethyl phthalate (DEP) onto soils amended with bamboo biochar was investigated with a special focus on the effect of biochar application rates and aging conditions on the adsorption capacity of the soils. Biochar amendment significantly enhanced the soil adsorption of DEP that increased with increasing application rates of biochar. However, the adsorption capacity decreased by two aging processes (alternating wet and dry, and constantly moist). In the soil with low organic carbon (OC) content, the addition of 0.5% biochar (without aging) increased the adsorption by nearly 98 times compared to the control, and exhibited the highest adsorption capacity among all the treatments. In the soil with high OC content, the adsorption capacity in the treatment of 0.5% biochar without aging was 3.5 and 3 times greater than those of the treatments of biochar aged by alternating wet and dry, and constantly moist, respectively. Moreover, constantly moist resulted in a greater adsorption capacity than alternating wet and dry treatments regardless of biochar addition. This study revealed that biochar application enhanced soil sorption of DEP, however, the enhancement of the adsorption capacity was dependent on the soil organic carbon levels, and aging processes of biochar.

  6. [Effects of biochar on soil nutrients leaching and potential mechanisms: A review].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Yu-xue; Lyu, Hao-hao; Shi, Yan; Wang, Yao-feng; Zhong, Zhe-ke; Yang, Sheng-mao

    2015-01-01

    Controlling soil nutrient leaching in farmland ecosystems has been a hotspot in the research field of agricultural environment. Biochar has its unique physical and chemical properties, playing a significant role in enhancing soil carbon storage, improving soil quality and increasing crop yield. As a kind of new exogenous material, biochar has the potential in impacting soil nutrient cycling directly or indirectly, and has profound influences on soil nutrient leaching. This paper analyzed the intrinsic factors affecting how biochar affects soil nutrient leaching, such as the physical and chemical properties of biochar, and the interaction between biochar and soil organisms. Then the latest literatures regarding the external factors, including biochar application rates, soil types, depth of soil layer, fertilization conditions and temporal dynamics, through which biochar influences soil nutrient (especially nitrogen and phosphorus) leaching were reviewed. On that basis, four related action mechanisms were clarified, including direct adsorption of nutrients by biochar due to its micropore structure or surface charge, influencing nutrient leaching through increasing soil water- holding capacity, influencing nutrient cycling through the interaction with soil microbes, and preferential transport of absorbed nutrients by fine biochar particles. At last future research directions for better understanding the interactions between biochar and nutrient leaching in the soil were proposed.

  7. Phytoavailability of Cd and Pb in crop straw biochar-amended soil is related to the heavy metal content of both biochar and soil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shen, Xin; Huang, Dao-You; Ren, Xue-Fei; Zhu, Han-Hua; Wang, Shuai; Xu, Chao; He, Yan-Bing; Luo, Zun-Chang; Zhu, Qi-Hong

    2016-03-01

    Crop straw biochar incorporation may be a sustainable method of amending soil, but feedstock-related Cd and Pb content is a major concern. We investigated the effects of heavy metal-rich (RC) and -free biochar (FC) on the phytoavailability of Cd and Pb in two acidic metalliferous soils. Biochar significantly increased soil pH and improved plant growth. Pb in soil and plant tissues significantly decreased after biochar application, and a similar pattern was observed for Cd after FC application. RC significantly increased NH4NO3-extractable Cd in both lightly contaminated (YBS) and heavily contaminated soils (RS). The Cd content of plants grown on YBS increased, whereas it decreased on RS. The Cd and Pb input-output balance suggested that RC application to YBS might induce a soil Cd accumulation risk. Therefore, identifying heavy metal contamination in biochar is crucial before it is used as a soil amendment.

  8. 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.

  9. The effects of straw or straw-derived gasification biochar applications on soil quality and crop productivity: A farm case study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hansen, Veronika; Müller-Stöver, Dorette; Imparato, Valentina; Krogh, Paul Henning; Jensen, Lars Stoumann; Dolmer, Anders; Hauggaard-Nielsen, Henrik

    2017-01-15

    Thermal gasification of straw is a highly efficient technology that produces bioenergy and gasification biochar that can be used as a soil amendment, thereby returning non-renewable nutrients and stable carbon, and securing soil quality and crop productivity. A Danish on-farm field study investigated the impact of traditional straw incorporation vs. straw removal for thermal gasification bioenergy production and the application of straw gasification biochar (GB) on soil quality and crop production. Two rates of GB were applied over three successive years in which the field was cropped with winter wheat (Triticum aestivum L.), winter oilseed rape (Brassica napus L.) and winter wheat, respectively, to assess the potential effects on the soil carbon pool, soil microorganisms, earthworms, soil chemical properties and crop yields. The application of GB did not increase the soil organic carbon content significantly and had no effect on crop yields. The application of straw and GB had a positive effect on the populations of bacteria and protists, but no effect on earthworms. The high rate of GB increased soil exchangeable potassium content and soil pH indicating its potassium bioavailability and liming properties. These results suggest, that recycling GB into agricultural soils has the potential to be developed into a system combining bioenergy generation from agricultural residues and crop production, while maintaining soil quality. However, future studies should be undertaken to assess its long-term effects and to identify the optimum balance between straw removal and biochar application rate.

  10. 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.

  11. The ecological consequences of biochar application to grasslands.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jeffery, S.; Memelink, I.; Voorde, T. V.; Mommer, L.; Bezemer, M.; Groenigen, J. W. V.

    2014-12-01

    Biochar application to soil is widely proposed as a means of sequestering carbon (C) in soils to aid climate change mitigation while concurrently improving crop yields. Other benefits include issues such as waste disposal. While there are numerous studies investigating the effects of biochar application to agricultural systems, the impact of application to grasslands is still an understudied area. We studied the impact of biochar application on aboveground (plant) and belowground community composition and effects on the functional repertoire of soil microbial communities under a semi-natural grassland in the Netherlands. We investigated the impacts and the underlying mechanisms behind observed effects. We found that biochar application to soil caused a transient competitive effect, enhancing legumes biomass when compared to grasses and forbs. Biological nitrogen fixation was shown to increase following biochar application, with potassium (K) introduced with the biochar the most likely reason. Furthermore, we found lasting effects on the functional repertoire of the soil microbial communities after three seasons. Different responses to C substrate additions of field soil under laboratory conditions indicated lasting effects on C utilisation of soil microbial communities following biochar application. Stable isotope techniques showed pyrolysis to increase the predicted C residence time in soil from ~30 years to >520 years as well as reducing N availability by ~70% compared to the unpyrolysed feedstock. Combined, these results suggest biochar production and application can be used to control the nutrient status of grasslands while concurrently storing C for extended periods. These results have implications for grassland management, including grazed pastures which may benefit from increased BNF. Further they demonstrate the potential of grasslands for climate change mitigation through increased C storage following biochar application.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-08-02

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Angela Libutti

    2016-08-01

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

  14. 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

    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......, biochar increased soil air-filled porosity by up to 25%. However, there was no difference in gas diffusivities between biochar-amended soil and the reference soil. At pF 3.0, the soil pore system became more tortuous after biochar application, with a trend that pore tortuosity increased with increasing...

  15. Design of a Soil Science practical exercise to understand the carbon sequestration in soil after biochar application

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gascó, Gabriel; Méndez, Ana; Antón, José Manuel; Grau, Juan; Sánchez, María Elena; Moratiel, Rubén; María Tarquis, Ana

    2013-04-01

    The adaptation of the Universities to European Higher Education Area (EHEA) involves changes in the learning system. Students must obtain specific capabilities in the different degrees or masters. For example, in the degree of Agronomy at the Universidad Politécnica de Madrid (UPM,Spain), they must command Soil science, Mathematics or English. Sometimes, There is not a good communication between teachers and it causes that students do not understand the importance of the different subjects of a career. For this reason, teachers of the Soil Science and Mathematics Departments of the UPM designed a common practice to teach to the students the importance of Soil Science and Mathematics in the study of carbon sequestration in a soil treated by biochar. The objective of this paper is to explain the followed steps to the design of the practice.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-04-01

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2007-01-01

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

  20. 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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2016-01-01

    , Kd (L kg−1), of the herbicide glyphosate. We measured Kd in equilibrium batch sorption experiments with triplicate soil samples from 20 field plots that received biochar at different application rates (0 to 100 Mg ha−1). The results showed that pure biochar had a lower glyphosate Kd value as compared...... to soils. Yet, at the Kalundborg soils, the application of biochar enhanced the sorption of glyphosate when tested after 7–19 months of soil–biochar interaction. The relative enhancement effect on glyphosate sorption diminished with increasing biochar application rate, presumably due to increased mineral......–biochar interactions. In the Risoe soils, potential biochar effects on glyphosate sorption were affected by a distinct gradient in soil pH (7.4 to 8.3) and electrical conductivity (0.40–0.90 mS cm −1) resulting from a natural CaCO3 gradient. Thus, glyphosate Kd showed strong linear correlation with pH and EC...

  2. 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

    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...... for agricultural soil, e.g. it improves soil WHC, adds minerals, enhances microbial activity/biomass, and increases the N and C turnover dynamics....

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Y. Wu

    2014-02-01

    Full Text Available 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. Biochar and earthworm effects on soil nitrous oxide and carbon dioxide emissions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Augustenborg, Cara A; Hepp, Simone; Kammann, Claudia; Hagan, David; Schmidt, Olaf; Müller, Christoph

    2012-01-01

    Biochar is the product of pyrolysis produced from feedstock of biological origin. Due to its aromatic structure and long residence time, biochar may enable long-term carbon sequestration. At the same time, biochar has the potential to improve soil fertility and reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from soils. However, the effect of biochar application on GHG fluxes from soil must be investigated before recommendations for field-scale biochar application can be made. A laboratory experiment was designed to measure carbon dioxide (CO) and nitrous oxide (NO) emissions from two Irish soils with the addition of two different biochars, along with endogeic (soil-feeding) earthworms and ammonium sulfate, to assist in the overall evaluation of biochar as a GHG-mitigation tool. A significant reduction in NO emissions was observed from both low and high organic matter soils when biochars were applied at rates of 4% (w/w). Earthworms significantly increased NO fluxes in low and high organic matter soils more than 12.6-fold and 7.8-fold, respectively. The large increase in soil NO emissions in the presence of earthworms was significantly reduced by the addition of both biochars. biochar reduced the large earthworm emissions by 91 and 95% in the low organic matter soil and by 56 and 61% in the high organic matter soil (with and without N fertilization), respectively. With peanut hull biochar, the earthworm emissions reduction was 80 and 70% in the low organic matter soil, and only 20 and 10% in the high organic matter soil (with and without N fertilization), respectively. In high organic matter soil, both biochars reduced CO efflux in the absence of earthworms. However, soil CO efflux increased when peanut hull biochar was applied in the presence of earthworms. This study demonstrated that biochar can potentially reduce earthworm-enhanced soil NO and CO emissions. Hence, biochar application combined with endogeic earthworm activity did not reveal unknown risks for GHG emissions

  10. Cadmium adsorption on plant- and manure-derived biochar and biochar-amended sandy soils: impact of bulk and surface properties.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, Dongyu; Zhao, Ye; Sun, Ke; Gao, Bo; Wang, Ziying; Jin, Jie; Zhang, Zheyun; Wang, Shuifeng; Yan, Yu; Liu, Xitao; Wu, Fengchang

    2014-09-01

    To investigate the role of the bulk and surface composition of both biochar and biochar-amended soils in the adsorption of Cd(2+), as well as the influence of different biochars added to the soils on Cd(2+) adsorption, swine-manure-derived biochars (BSs) and wheat-straw-derived biochars (BWs) were produced at 300, 450, and 600°C. These biochars were added to a sandy soil to investigate the effect of biochars on the adsorption of Cd(2+) by soil. The significantly higher surface C content of the amended soils compared to their bulk C content suggests that the minerals of the biochar-amended soils are most likely covered primarily by biochars. The maximum adsorption capacity (Qmax,total) of the BSs was 10-15 times higher than that of the BWs due to the high polarity and ash content of the BSs. The polarity ((N+O)/C) of the low-temperature biochars greatly affected their Cd(2+) adsorption. The Qmax,total of the BS-amended soils increased with increasing dose, whereas the Qmax,total of the BW-amended soils showed the opposite behavior, which was attributed to the different surface composition characteristics of the two types of soil. The BSs were more effective in immobilizing Cd(2+) upon application to the soil relative to the BWs. This study elucidates the spatial distribution of biochars in biochar-amended soils and highlights the importance of the surface composition of the investigated samples in Cd(2+) adsorption.

  11. The effects of straw or straw-derived gasification biochar applications on soil quality and crop productivity: a farm case study

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2017-01-01

    content significantly and had no effect on crop yields. The application of straw and GB had a positive effect on the populations of bacteria and protists, but no effect on earthworms. The high rate of GB increased soil exchangeable potassium content and soil pH indicating its potassium bioavailability...... investigated the impact of traditional straw incorporation vs. straw removal for thermal gasification bioenergy production and the application of straw gasification biochar (GB) on soil quality and crop production. Two rates of GB were applied over three successive years in which the field was cropped...

  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.

  13. Biochar as a sorbent for contaminant management in soil and water: a review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ahmad, Mahtab; Rajapaksha, Anushka Upamali; Lim, Jung Eun; Zhang, Ming; Bolan, Nanthi; Mohan, Dinesh; Vithanage, Meththika; Lee, Sang Soo; Ok, Yong Sik

    2014-03-01

    Biochar is a stable carbon-rich by-product synthesized through pyrolysis/carbonization of plant- and animal-based biomass. An increasing interest in the beneficial application of biochar has opened up multidisciplinary areas for science and engineering. The potential biochar applications include carbon sequestration, soil fertility improvement, pollution remediation, and agricultural by-product/waste recycling. The key parameters controlling its properties include pyrolysis temperature, residence time, heat transfer rate, and feedstock type. The efficacy of biochar in contaminant management depends on its surface area, pore size distribution and ion-exchange capacity. Physical architecture and molecular composition of biochar could be critical for practical application to soil and water. Relatively high pyrolysis temperatures generally produce biochars that are effective in the sorption of organic contaminants by increasing surface area, microporosity, and hydrophobicity; whereas the biochars obtained at low temperatures are more suitable for removing inorganic/polar organic contaminants by oxygen-containing functional groups, electrostatic attraction, and precipitation. However, due to complexity of soil-water system in nature, the effectiveness of biochars on remediation of various organic/inorganic contaminants is still uncertain. In this review, a succinct overview of current biochar use as a sorbent for contaminant management in soil and water is summarized and discussed.

  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. 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.

  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.

  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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-11-01

    The in situ use of carbon amendments such as activated carbon (AC) and biochar to minimize the bioavailability of organic contaminants is gaining in popularity. In the first in situ experiment conducted at a Canadian PCB-contaminated Brownfield site, GAC and two types of biochar were statistically equal at reducing PCB uptake into plants. PCB concentrations in Cucurbita pepo root tissue were reduced by 74%, 72% and 64%, with the addition of 2.8% GAC, Burt's biochar and BlueLeaf biochar, respectively. A complementary greenhouse study which included a bioaccumulation study of Eisenia fetida (earthworm), found mechanically mixing carbon amendments with PCB-contaminated soil (i.e. 24 h at 30 rpm) resulted in shoot, root and worm PCB concentrations 66%, 59% and 39% lower than in the manually mixed treatments (i.e. with a spade and bucket). Therefore, studies which mechanically mix carbon amendments with contaminated soil may over-estimate the short-term potential to reduce PCB bioavailability.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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%).

  2. 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 (pstraw 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 (pstraw amendments. Our results suggest that the function, size and structure of the microbial community were strongly influenced by the substrate composition and availability.

  3. Biochar carbon sequestration and downward translocation in contrasting soils under field conditions in Australia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pal Singh, Bhupinder; Fang, Yunying; Boersma, Mark; Matta, Pushpinder; Van Zwieten, Lukas; Macdonald, Lynne

    2014-05-01

    -amended Tenosol, whereas lower in the biochar-amended Dermosol and Ferrosol, relative to the corresponding controls. As the aboveground biomass production was similar between the biochar-amended and control micro-plots during the first 7 months, the higher cumulative CO2-C emission in the biochar versus control Tenosol may be related to positive priming of native SOC mineralisation by biochar, and/or greater belowground allocation of plant-assimilated C, or possibly alternative effects (i.e. negative priming or lower belowground plant C allocation) in the Dermosol and Ferrosol. At 4 months, most of the applied biochar was recovered in the top 12 cm depth, with the total recovery of 72.1% in the Tenosol, 103.7% in the Dermosol and 79.2% in the Ferrosol. Biochar C was clearly migrated downward from the application depth (0-10 cm) within 4 months, particularly in Tenosol and Ferrosol, with the recovery of 4.8%, 2.7% and 12.7% in the 12-20 cm profile, and 6.0%, 1.1% and 9.1% at the 20-30 cm profile, across the Tenosol, Dermosol and Ferrosol, respectively. At 4 months, MBC was higher in the biochar-amended Tenosol and Dermosol than the corresponding controls, whereas, biochar had no effect on MBC in the Ferrosol, possibly due to its higher native organic C content cf. the other soil types. The updated results will be presented at the conference.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2016-07-15

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-02-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-03-01

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

  7. Environmental benefits of biochar.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ippolito, James A; Laird, David A; Busscher, Warren J

    2012-01-01

    Understanding and improving environmental quality by reducing soil nutrient leaching losses, reducing bioavailability of environmental contaminants, sequestering C, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and enhancing crop productivity in highly weathered or degraded soils, has been the goal of agroecosystem researchers and producers for years. Biochar, produced by pyrolysis of biomass, may help attain these goals. The desire to advance understanding of the environmental and agronomic implication of biochar utilization led to the organization of the 2010 American Society of Agronomy-Soil Science Society of America Environmental Quality Division session titled "Biochar Effects on the Environment and Agricultural Productivity." This specialized session and sessions from other biochar conferences, such as the 2010 U.S. Biochar Initiative and the Biochar Symposium 2010 are the sources for this special manuscript collection. Individual contributions address improvement of the biochar knowledge base, current information gaps, and future biochar research needs. The prospect of biochar utilization is promising, as biochars may be customized for specific environmental applications.

  8. Short-Term Effect of Feedstock and Pyrolysis Temperature on Biochar Characteristics, Soil and Crop Response in Temperate Soils

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nelissen, Victoria; Ruysschaert, Greet; Müller-Stöver, Dorette Sophie

    2014-01-01

    At present, there is limited understanding of how biochar application to soil could be beneficial to crop growth in temperate regions and which biochar types are most suitable. Biochar’s (two feedstocks: willow, pine; three pyrolysis temperatures: 450 °C, 550 °C, 650 °C) effect on nitrogen (N) av...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    ZHU Pan

    2015-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

    Novel carbon sequestration strategies such as large-scale land application of biochar may provide sustainable pathways to increase the terrestrial storage of carbon. Biochar has a long residence time in the soil and hence comprehensive studies are urgently needed to quantify the environmental impacts of large-scale biochar application. In particular, black carbon emissions from soils amended with biochar may counteract the negative emission potential due to the impacts on air quality, climate, and biogeochemical cycles. We investigated, using wind tunnel experiments, the particulate matter emission potential of a sand and two agriculturally important soils amended with different concentrations of biochar, in comparison to control soils. Our results indicate that biochar application considerably increases particulate emissions possibly by two mechanisms–the accelerated emission of fine biochar particles and the generation and emission of fine biochar particles resulting from abrasion of large biochar particles by sand grains. Our study highlights the importance of considering the background soil properties (e.g., texture) and geomorphological processes (e.g., aeolian transport) for biochar-based carbon sequestration programs. PMID:27782159

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-10-01

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

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. 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 (straw biochar significantly (P straw biochar significantly (P 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 impact on acid phosphatase activity. In conclusion, the rice straw 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.

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. An index-based approach to assessing recalcitrance and soil carbon sequestration potential of engineered black carbons (biochars).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harvey, Omar R; Kuo, Li-Jung; Zimmerman, Andrew R; Louchouarn, Patrick; Amonette, James E; Herbert, Bruce E

    2012-02-07

    The ability of engineered black carbons (or biochars) to resist abiotic and, or biotic degradation (herein referred to as recalcitrance) is crucial to their successful deployment as a soil carbon sequestration strategy. A new recalcitrance index, the R(50), for assessing biochar quality for carbon sequestration is proposed. The R(50) is based on the relative thermal stability of a given biochar to that of graphite and was developed and evaluated with a variety of biochars (n = 59), and soot-like black carbons. Comparison of R(50), with biochar physicochemical properties and biochar-C mineralization revealed the existence of a quantifiable relationship between R(50) and biochar recalcitrance. As presented here, the R(50) is immediately applicable to pre-land application screening of biochars into Class A (R(50) ≥ 0.70), Class B (0.50 ≤ R(50) carbon sequestration classes. Class A and Class C biochars would have carbon sequestration potential comparable to soot/graphite and uncharred plant biomass, respectively, whereas Class B biochars would have intermediate carbon sequestration potential. We believe that the coupling of the R(50), to an index-based degradation, and an economic model could provide a suitable framework in which to comprehensively assess soil carbon sequestration in biochars.

  3. 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...

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2016-04-15

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

  5. 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.

  6. No Effect Level of Co-Composted Biochar on Plant Growth and Soil Properties in a Greenhouse Experiment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hardy Schulz

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available It is claimed that the addition of biochar to soil improves C sequestration, soil fertility and plant growth, especially when combined with organic fertilizers such as compost. However, little is known about agricultural effects of small amounts of composted biochar. This greenhouse study was carried out to examine effects of co-composted biochar on oat (Avena sativa L. yield in both sandy and loamy soil. The aim of this study was to test whether biochar effects can be observed at very low biochar concentrations. To test a variety of application amounts below 3 Mg biochar ha−1, we co-composted five different biochar concentrations (0, 3, 5, 10 kg Mg−1 compost. The biochar-containing compost was applied at five application rates (10, 50, 100, 150, 250 Mg ha−1 20 cm−1. Effects of compost addition on plant growth, Total Organic Carbon, Ntot, pH and soluble nutrients outweighed the effects of the minimal biochar amounts in the composted substrates so that a no effect level of biochar of at least 3 Mg ha−1 could be estimated.

  7. Characterization of biochar obtained from weeds and its effect on soil properties of North Eastern Region of India.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mandal, S; Verma, B C; Ramkrushna, G I; Singh, R K; Rajkhowa, D J

    2015-03-01

    In the global climate change scenario, application of biochar in soil has become one of the important management practices for carbon sequestration, soil health improvement and climate change mitigation. In this study, an attempt was made to see the effect of biochar prepared from weed biomass on soil properties in subtropical northeast India. Biochar were prepared from seven locally available weed biomass viz. Ageratum conyzoides, Lantana camera, Gynura sp., Setaria sp., Avena fatua, Maize stalk, Pine needles and were characterised. Apot experiment was conducted with maize, where biochar was applied alone and in combination with fertilizers. Results revealed that biochar had significant impact on soil pH, SOC, and available nutrients like N, P and K. It also had significant impact on maize biomass yield. All biochar contained more than 50% stable carbon. Increase in soil pH was in the range of 0.26 to 0.3 and that of SOC from 1.62% in control to 1.74% in biochar added treatments. Biochars alone improved the available nitrogen ranging from 4.5 to 21.3 mg kg(-1), available P from 3.32 to 3.68 mg kg(-1) and increased K content by 20% above control. Weed biomass can be potential alternative to enhance soil and crop productivity through conversion into biochar.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yang Lu

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  10. 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

  11. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

    Many studies have evaluated the effects of biochar application on soil structure and plant growth. However, there are very few studies describing the effect of biochar on native soil microbial communities. Microbial analysis of environmental samples requires accurate and reproducible methods for the extraction of DNA from samples. Because of the variety among microbial species and the strong adsorption of the phosphate backbone of the DNA molecule to biochar, extracting and purifying high quality microbial DNA from biochar-amended soil is not a trivial process and can be considerably more difficult than the extraction of DNA from other environmental samples. The aim of this study was to compare the relative efficacies of three commercial DNA extraction kits, the FastDNA® SPIN Kit for Soil (FD kit), the PowerSoil® DNA Isolation Kit (PS kit) and the ZR Soil Microbe DNA Kit Miniprep™ (ZR kit), for extracting microbial genomic DNA from sand treated with different types of biochar. The methods were evaluated by comparing the DNA yields and purity and by analysing the bacterial and fungal community profiles generated by PCR-DGGE. Our results showed that the PCR-DGGE profiles for bacterial and fungal communities were highly affected by the purity and yield of the different DNA extracts. Among the tested kits, the PS kit was the most efficient with respect to the amount and purity of recovered DNA and considering the complexity of the generated DGGE microbial fingerprint from the sand-biochar samples. PMID:24948928

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. Impacts of Biochar and Straw Application on Soil Organic Carbon Transformation%生物质炭和秸秆配合施用对土壤有机碳转化的影响

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    张婷; 王旭东; 逄萌雯; 刘恩新; 白如霞; 黎妮; 王钰莹

    2016-01-01

    为探讨生物质炭和秸秆碳输入对土壤碳构成和转化的影响,通过室内培养试验,研究了单施生物质炭、秸秆及两者配合施入下土壤二氧化碳的释放特征以及土壤微生物碳和有机碳的变化.结果表明,秸秆有机碳在土壤中的矿化率为21.50%(2%添加水平),远大于等量生物质炭的矿化率(8.09%);施用等量(占4%土重)生物质炭和秸秆,培养200 d 后土壤有机碳含量分别为24.40 g•kg -1、17.40 g•kg -1,表明生物质炭对有机碳的提升作用大于秸秆的.施用生物质炭对土壤固有有机碳有一定的保护作用,生物质炭与秸秆配合施用促进了秸秆的矿化,对有机碳矿化影响的交互效应为正值.施用秸秆能大幅度增加土壤微生物碳,而生物质炭对土壤微生物碳影响小;秸秆和生物质炭配合也增加了土壤微生物碳,但其交互效应与培养时间、施用量等有关,可正可负.%To explore the effects of biochar and straw application on soil carbon constitution and transformation, an incubation experiment was conducted to study the characteristics of the release of carbon dioxide,as well as the changes in microbial biomass carbon and organic carbon in soil after applying biochar or straw only, or biochar plus straw. The results showed that the straw mineralization rate of organic carbon in soil was 21. 50% at 2% application level, which was much higher than that of biochar (8. 09% ). With the same addition amount of biochar and straw at 4% level for 200 days incubation, the soil organic carbon content was 24. 40 and 17. 40 g•kg - 1 ,respectively. It suggested that the positive impact of biochar application on improving soil organic carbon was greater than that of straw. The application of biochar had protective function on soil original organic carbon. Biochar promoted the straw mineralization and resulted in positive interaction effect between biochar and straw on mineralization of soil organic

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hansen, Veronika

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

  17. Effects of Biochar on Chemical Properties of Three Types of Soil and Nutrient Uptake of Maize under Drought Stress

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    ThiHuong Nguyen

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available This study was conducted to determine the effects of biochar on the chemical properties of three types of soils and the nutrient uptake and yield of the maize plant grown on the soils. The experimental results are as follows: (i In Loess soil, when the biochar application rate was 15 t/ha, the soil chemical properties was barely improved, but the nutrient uptake of maize was obviously improved. The amount of biochar application was at 30 t/ha, the result was just on the contrary and 60 t/ha application of biochar performed a poor effect on the soil chemical properties as well as on the nutrient uptake of maize. (ii In sandy soil, when the application of biochar reached to 15 t/ha, there were not remarkable effects on soil chemical properties and moderate promoting effect on nutrient uptake of maize. Additionally, the biochar application at a rate of 30 t/ha led to a small effect on the both, but 60 t/ha amount made a significant improvement in both. (iii In loessal soil, applying 15 t/ha biochar to soil had a moderate effect on chemical properties’ improvement, but the promotional effect on nutrient uptake of maize is poor. When the amount of biochar application was at 30 t/ha, soil chemical properties were significantly improved but the effect on nutrient uptake of maize was moderate. However, 60 t/ha biochar application obviously improved nutrient uptake of maize, but the effect of chemical properties improvement was poor.

  18. 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.

  19. Biochar increases soil N2O emissions produced by nitrification-mediated pathways

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    María eSánchez-García

    2014-07-01

    Full Text Available In spite of the numerous studies reporting a decrease in soil nitrous oxide (N2O emissions after biochar amendment, there is still a lack of understanding of the processes involved. Hence the subject remains controversial, with a number of studies showing no changes or even an increase in N2O emissions after biochar soil application. Unraveling the exact causes of these changes, and in which circumstances biochar decreases or increases emissions, is vital to developing and applying successful mitigation strategies. With this objective, we studied two soils (Haplic Phaeozem (HP and Haplic Calcisol (HC, which showed opposed responses to biochar amendment. Under the same experimental conditions, the addition of biochar to soil HP decreased N2O emissions by 76%; whereas it increased emissions by 54% in soil HC. We combined microcosm experiments adding different nitrogen fertilizers, stable isotope techniques and the use of a nitrification inhibitor (dicyciandiamide with the aim of improving our understanding of the mechanisms involved in the formation of N2O in these two soils. Evidence suggests that denitrification is the main pathway leading to N2O emissions in soil HP, and ammonia oxidation and nitrifier-denitrification being the major processes generating N2O in soil HC. Biochar systematically stimulated nitrification in soil HC, which was probably the cause of the increased N2O emissions. Here we demonstrate that the effectiveness of using biochar for reducing N2O emissions from a particular soil is linked to its dominant N2O formation pathway.

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

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  1. 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.

  2. Effects of biochar addition on the sorption of polar herbicides in paddy soils

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garcia-Jaramillo, Manuel; Cox, Lucía; Hermosín, Mari Carmen; Helmus, Rick; Parsons, John R.; Kalbitz, Karsten

    2016-04-01

    Organic amendments, and their water soluble fraction, induce an important impact on pesticide dissipation in soils, affecting their adsorption and transport processes through various chemical interactions. Although in most cases addition of organic amendments increases sorption, leaching of the pesticides can be either reduced or promoted. Because of that, their effect on pesticide behavior must be assessed in order to optimize their use. The major objectives of this study were to investigate the impact of biochar and biochar water extractable substances (BWES) on the sorption behavior of two polar herbicides, azimsulfuron and penoxsulam, in two amended and unamended paddy soils under flooded conditions. The adsorption - desorption of these herbicides was studied in soils amended with fresh biochar and in soils amended with a washed version of the biochar, simulating the conditions of a soil recently amended and a soil where biochar was applied longer time before and most part of the BWES has been already removed because of the flooded conditions. Therefore, sorption on biochar was assessed before and after removing 80% of its water extractable substances, separately and in combination with each soil (at 2 and 5% w/w). BWES were analyzed by high resolution mass spectrometry. The most abundant fractions present in the high mass range were nitrogen-containing molecules. The aromatic character of the DOC-extracts of the unamended and amended soils, based on the specific UV absorbance at 280 nm (SUVA280), was increased with the amendment in all the conditions tested. Adsorption data of both herbicides fitted very well to the Freundlich equation, with R2 values higher than 0.9 in all the conditions tested. Sorption isotherms were in all cases nonlinear, with Nf values stress the importance of proper screening of biochar and soil characteristics before its application in combination with polar herbicides.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-12-01

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

  7. 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

  8. Biomass pyrolysis for biochar or energy applications? A life cycle assessment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peters, Jens F; Iribarren, Diego; Dufour, Javier

    2015-04-21

    The application of biochar as a soil amendment is a potential strategy for carbon sequestration. In this paper, a slow pyrolysis system for generating heat and biochar from lignocellulosic energy crops is simulated and its life-cycle performance compared with that of direct biomass combustion. The use of the char as biochar is also contrasted with alternative use options: cofiring in coal power plants, use as charcoal, and use as a fuel for heat generation. Additionally, the influence on the results of the long-term stability of the biochar in the soil, as well as of biochar effects on biomass yield, is evaluated. Negative greenhouse gas emissions are obtained for the biochar system, indicating a significant carbon abatement potential. However, this is achieved at the expense of lower energy efficiency and higher impacts in the other assessed categories when compared to direct biomass combustion. When comparing the different use options of the pyrolysis char, the most favorable result is obtained for char cofiring substituting fossil coal, even assuming high long-term stability of the char. Nevertheless, a high sensitivity to biomass yield increase is found for biochar systems. In this sense, biochar application to low-quality soils where high yield increases are expected would show a more favorable performance in terms of global warming.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-04-01

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

  10. 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

  11. Enhanced growth of halophyte plants in biochar-amended coastal soil: roles of nutrient availability and rhizosphere microbial modulation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zheng, Hao; Wang, Xiao; Chen, Lei; Wang, Zhenyu; Xia, Yang; Zhang, Yipeng; Wang, Hefang; Luo, Xianxiang; Xing, Baoshan

    2017-03-27

    Soil health is essential and irreplaceable for plant growth and global food production, which has been threatened by climate change and soil degradation. Degraded coastal soils are urgently required to reclaim using new sustainable technologies. Interest in applying biochar to improve soil health and promote crop yield has rapidly increased because of its multiple benefits. However, effects of biochar addition on the saline-sodic coastal soil health and halophyte growth were poorly understood. Response of two halophytes, Sesbania (Sesbania cannabina) and Seashore mallow (Kosteletzkya virginica), to the individual or co-application of biochar and inorganic fertilizer into a coastal soil was investigated using a 52-day pot experiment. The biochar alone or co-application stimulated the plant growth (germination, root development, biomass), primarily attributed to the enhanced nutrients availability from the biochar-improved soil health. Additionally, the promoted microbial activities and bacterial community shift towards the beneficial taxa (e.g., Pseudomonas and Bacillus) in the rhizosphere also contributed to the enhanced plant growth and biomass. Our findings showed the promising significance because biochar added at an optimal level (≤5%) could be a feasible option to reclaim the degraded coastal soil, enhance plant growth and production, and increase soil health and food security.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-02-15

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

  13. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-04-15

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

  15. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Amanda Joy Ashworth

    2014-10-01

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

  17. The effect of straw or straw-derived gasification biochar on soil quality and crop production

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2016-01-01

    Thermal gasification of straw is a highly efficient technology that produces bioenergy and gasification biochar that can be used as a soil amendment, thereby returning non-renewable nutrients and stable carbon, and securing soil quality and crop productivity. A Danish on-farm field study investig......Thermal gasification of straw is a highly efficient technology that produces bioenergy and gasification biochar that can be used as a soil amendment, thereby returning non-renewable nutrients and stable carbon, and securing soil quality and crop productivity. A Danish on-farm field study...... with winter wheat (Triticum aestivum L.), winter oilseed rape (Brassica napus L.) and winter wheat, respectively, to assess the potential effects on the soil carbon pool, soil microorganisms, earthworms, soil chemical properties and crop yields. The application of GB did not increase the soil organic carbon...

  18. Contrasted Effects of Biochar on Maize Growth and N Use Efficiency Depending on Soil Conditions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhu, Qiaohong; Peng, Xinhua; Huang, Taiqing

    2015-04-01

    Biochar amendment may improve crop growth through its nutrients and indirect fertility. However, this improvement varies in a wide range of biochars, crops, and soils. Our objectives were to determine the response of crop growth to biochar amendment and to assess the N use efficiency relative to the biochar and the soil types. In this pot experiment, we investigated five typical agricultural soils in China amended with two biochars. Four treatments were designed: the soil itself as a control, the soil amended with 1% biochar, the soil with fertilizer NPK, and the soil with added biochar and fertilizer. Biochar amendment increased the maize biomass and the N use efficiency in the red soil (p0.05). In the red soil, the biomass under biochar+NPK was 2.67-3.49 times higher than that of only NPK, and 1.48-1.62 times higher than that of only biochar amendment, 21-36 and 35-42% of which were contributed from biochar fertility and indirect fertility, respectively. This study indicates that biochar amendment is very plausible for the red soil but has a minor or even negative effect on the other four soils in China.

  19. Biochar Alteration of the Sorption of Substrates and Products in Soil Enzyme Assays

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mark Swaine

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Pine wood and barley straw biochar amendments to Kettering and Cameroon sandy silt loam soils (15, 30, or 150 mg biochar g−1 soil caused significant reductions (up to 80%, P<0.05 in concentrations of substrate and extractable product in soil dehydrogenase and phosphomonoesterase enzyme assays. Likely this was caused by increased solid-phase sorption of the chemicals in the presence of the biochars under assay conditions. The relationship between assay chemical sorption and biochar concentration depended on the chemical, soil type, biochar type, and their interactions; hence, no uniform correction factor could be derived. This biochar impact on assay constituents will limit the identification of genuine biochar effects on soil enzymes. It is recommended that the assumption of saturating substrate concentrations be checked and that product standards be matrix-matched when conducting enzyme assays with biochar-amended soil.

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. Effect of Corn Residue Biochar on the Hydraulic Properties of Sandy Loam Soil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Avanthi Deshani Igalavithana

    2017-02-01

    Full Text Available Biochar has an ability to alter the biological, chemical, and physical properties of soil due to its physicochemical properties such as surface area, porosity, nutrient retention ability, available nutrient contents, aromaticity, etc. The present study was designed to evaluate the impact of physical properties and application rate of biochar on the hydraulic properties of a sandy loam soil in the short term. Biochar was produced at 500 °C from dried corn residue (BC500. The BC500 was incorporated at the rates of 0, 2.5%, 5.0%, 7.5%, and 10% (w·w−1 into the sandy loam soil and filled up to a height of 4 cm, in cores having 5 cm diameter and height. Each treatment was performed in triplicate and equilibrated for 30 days. Then saturated hydraulic conductivity (Ksat, water holding capacity (WHC, and bulk density were determined in each sample after four days of saturation at room temperature in a water bath. The BC500 particle size distribution, pores, and surface functional groups were assessed. The Ksat exhibited a highly significant exponential reduction from 0% to 7.5% of BC500 application and approached an asymptote at 10% BC500. Bulk density showed a significant negative correlation to biochar application rate. The WHC and BC500 application rate illustrated a strong positive relationship. Biochar surface was free from hydrophobic functional groups. The addition of BC500 has a positive influence on soil hydraulic properties, primarily due to the increased soil porosity. The BC500 is composed of a microporous structure and hydrophilic surface that retain water in sandy textured soils. The application of BC500 would be a wise investment to maximize the water use efficiency in soils for agricultural production.

  3. Influence of biochar and seaweed extract applications on growth, yield and mineral composition of wheat (Triticum aestivum L. under sandy soil conditions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bahaa Badry Mosa Salim

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available Two pot experiments were conducted during 2013/2014 and 2014/2015 winter seasons to study the effect of biochar (BC as soil amendments at two rates 2% and 5%, seaweed extract (SWE as foliar applications at 1 and 2 g/l and the combination between BC 2% and SWE treatments on growth, yield attributes and some macro- and micronutrients concentration in roots, leaves and grains of wheat (Triticum aestivum L. cultivar Sakha 93. Two samples were taken at 105 and 150 days after sowing. At the first sample date, plant height, leaves number per main tiller, number of tillers/plant, shoot fresh weight, root length, root fresh weight, chlorophyll reading, spikes number per plant, main spike length and N, P, K, Mg, Ca, Fe, Mn, Zn and Cu concentrations in roots and leaves were determined. At the second sample date (harvesting time, spike weight, number of grains per spike, weight of grains/spike and weight of 100 grains were recorded and nutrients concentrations in grains were determined. Obtained results revealed that, adding biochar, sprayed seaweed extract treatments individually or in combination have stimulating effect on the most of morphological characters and yield components as compared with control plants in both seasons. Generally, using the low level of BC at 2% individually or in combination with SWE treatments has more promotion effect on the most of growth parameters and yield components and achieved the highest concentrations on the most of macro- and micronutrients in roots, leaves and grains as compared with the control in both seasons.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hansen, Veronika

    2014-01-01

    Thermal gasification of biomass is an efficient and flexible way to generate energy. Besides the energy, avaluable by-product, biochar, is produced. Biochar contains a considerable amount of recalcitrant carbon thathas potential for soil carbon sequestration and soil quality improvement if recycled...

  5. 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

  6. The impacts of pyrolysis temperature and feedstock type on biochar properties and the effects of biochar application on the properties of a sandy loam

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aston, Steve; Doerr, Stefan; Street-Perrott, Alayne

    2013-04-01

    The production of biochar and its application to soil has the potential to make a significant contribution to climate change mitigation whilst simultaneously improving soil fertility, crop yield and soil water-holding capacity. Biochar is produced from various biomass feedstock materials at varying pyrolysis temperatures, but relatively little is known about how these parameters affect the properties of the resultant biochars and their impact on the properties of the soils to which they are subsequently applied. Salix viminalis, M. giganteus and Picea sitchensis feedstocks were chipped then sieved to 2 - 5 mm, oven dried to constant weight, then pyrolyzed at 350, 500, 600 and 800° C in a nitrogen-purged tube furnace. Biochar yields were measured by weighing the mass of each sample before and after pyrolysis. Biochar hydrophobicity was assessed by using a goniometer to measure water-droplet contact-angles. Cation-exchange-capacity (CEC) was measured using the ammonium acetate method. Biochars were also produced in a rotary kiln from softwood pellets at 400, 500, 600 and 700° C then ground to 0.4 - 1 mm and applied to a sandy loam at a rate of 50 g kg-1. Bulk densities of these soil-biochar mixtures were measured on a tapped, dry, basis. The water-holding-capacity (WHC) of each mixture was measured gravimetrically following saturation and free-draining. The filter paper method was used to assess how pyrolysis temperature influences the effect of biochar application on matric suction. For all feedstocks, large decreases in biochar yield were observed between the pyrolysis temperatures of 350° C and 500° C. For Salix viminalis and M. giganteus feedstocks, subsequent reductions in the yield with increasing pyrolysis temperature were much lower. There were significant differences in hydrophobicity between biochars produced from different biomass and mean biochar hydrophobicity decreased with increasing pyrolysis temperature for all feedstocks. Results for CEC and WHC

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. Enhanced bioremediation of PAH-contaminated soil by immobilized bacteria with plant residue and biochar as carriers

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Chen, Baoliang; Yuan, Miaoxin; Qian, Linbo [Zhejiang Univ., Hangzhou (China). Dept. of Environmental Science; Zhejiang Provincial Key Laboratory of Organic Pollution Process and Control, Hangzhou (China)

    2012-10-15

    Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) are largely accumulated in soils in China. The immobilized-microorganism technique (IMT) is a potential approach for abating soil contamination with PAHs. However, few studies about the application of IMT to contaminated soil remediation were reported. Due to recalcitrance to decomposition, biochar application to soil may enhance soil carbon sequestration, but few studies on the application of biochars to remediation of contaminated soil were reported. In this study, we illustrated enhanced bioremediation of soil having a long history of PAH contamination by IMT using plant residues and biochars as carriers. Two PAH-degrading bacteria, Pseudomonas putida and an unidentified indigenous bacterium, were selected for IMT. The extractability and biodegradation of 15 PAHs in solution and an actual PAH-contaminated soil amended with immobilized-bacteria materials were investigated under different incubation periods. The effects of carriers and the molecular weight of PAHs on bioremediation efficiency were determined to illustrate their different bio-dissipation mechanisms of PAHs in soil. The IMT can considerably enhance the removal of PAHs. Carriers impose different effects on PAH bio-dissipation by amended soil with immobilized-bacteria, which can directly degrade the carrier-associated PAHs. The removal of PAHs from soil depended on PAH molecular weight and carrier types. Enhanced bio-dissipation by IMT was much stronger for 4- and 5-ring PAHs than for 3- and 6-ring ones in soil. Only P400 biochar-immobilized bacteria enhanced bio-dissipation of all PAHs in contaminated soil after a 90-day incubation. Biochar can promote bioremediation of contaminated soil as microbial carriers of IMT. It is vital to select an appropriate biochar as an immobilized carrier to stimulate biodegradation. It is feasible to use adsorption carriers with high sorptive capabilities to concentrate PAHs as well as microorganisms and thereby enhance

  10. Soil carbon sequestration and biochar as negative emission technologies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Pete

    2016-03-01

    Despite 20 years of effort to curb emissions, greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions grew faster during the 2000s than in the 1990s, which presents a major challenge for meeting the international goal of limiting warming to carbon capture and storage and afforestation/deforestation, showed that all NETs have significant limits to implementation, including economic cost, energy requirements, land use, and water use. In this paper, I assess the potential for negative emissions from soil carbon sequestration and biochar addition to land, and also the potential global impacts on land use, water, nutrients, albedo, energy and cost. Results indicate that soil carbon sequestration and biochar have useful negative emission potential (each 0.7 GtCeq. yr(-1) ) and that they potentially have lower impact on land, water use, nutrients, albedo, energy requirement and cost, so have fewer disadvantages than many NETs. Limitations of soil carbon sequestration as a NET centre around issues of sink saturation and reversibility. Biochar could be implemented in combination with bioenergy with carbon capture and storage. Current integrated assessment models do not represent soil carbon sequestration or biochar. Given the negative emission potential of SCS and biochar and their potential advantages compared to other NETs, efforts should be made to include these options within IAMs, so that their potential can be explored further in comparison with other NETs for climate stabilization.

  11. 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.

  12. Biochar applied with appropriate rates can reduce N leaching, keep N retention and not increase NH3 volatilization in a coastal saline soil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sun, Haijun; Lu, Haiying; Chu, Lei; Shao, Hongbo; Shi, Weiming

    2017-01-01

    The impacts of biochar addition on nitrogen (N) leaching, (ammonia) NH3 volatilization from coastal saline soils are not well understood. In this soil column study, the effects of wheat straw biochar application at rates of 0.5%, 1%, 2% and 4% by weight to a coastal saline soil on N leaching, NH3 volatilization, soil pH and N retention were investigated. Results showed that 0.5% and 1% biochar amendments reduce the NH4(+)-N, NO3(-)-N and total N concentrations of leachate and thereby significantly decrease their cumulative lost loads by 11.6-24.0%, 13.2-29.7%, and 14.6-26.0%, respectively, in compared with the control. The biochar-induced soil N leaching mitigation efficiency was weakened when the biochar application rates increased to 2% and 4%. However, the impact of biochar addition on cumulative NH3 volatilizations were negative and significantly 25.6-53.6% higher NH3 volatilizations in soils with 2% and 4% biochar amended than control were detected, which was mainly attributed to the averaged 0.53-0.88units higher soil pH as results of biochar addition. On average, the total N concentrations of soil were kept same with 1.01-1.06gkg(-1) under control and biochar treatments. Therefore, biochar application to the coastal saline soils with appropriate rates (i.e., 0.5% and 1% in current study) can reduce N leaching, keep soil N retention, and not increase NH3 volatilization, which was beneficial for sustainable use of saline soils.

  13. 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.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Arthur, Emmanuel; Tuller, Markus; Moldrup, Per;

    2015-01-01

    properties of soils, especially on water retention at low matric potentials. To overcome this knowledge gap, the effects of combined BC (0 to 100 Mg ha-1) and manure (21 and 42 Mg ha-1) applications on water vapor sorption and specific surface area was investigated for a sandy loam soil. In addition......, potential impacts of BC aging were evaluated. All considered BC-amendment rates led to a distinct increase of water retention, especially for low matric potentials. The observed increases were attributed to a significant increase of soil organic matter contents and specific surface areas in BCamended soils......Over the last few years, the application of biochar (BC) as a soil amendment to sequester carbon and mitigate global climate change has received considerable attention. While positive effects of biochar on plant nutrition are well documented, little is known about potential impacts on the physical...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-12-15

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

  16. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kammann, Claudia I.; Schmidt, Hans-Peter; Kappler, Andreas; Behrens, Sebastian

    2017-01-01

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    -gas diffusivity on intact 100cm3 soil samples (5 replicates in each plot). We found that biochar application significantly decreased soil bulk density, hereby creating higher porosity. At the same soil-water matric potential, all the soil-gas phase parameters (air-filled porosity, air permeability and gas...... 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...... due to the high micro porosity of added biochar. In conclusion, the results showed that biochar addition to soil changed key soil structural parameters at least in the short term (1 year). In perspective, the long-term variations in soil structural parameters and related changed in microbial activity...

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2016-02-15

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Judith Prommer

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

  1. Biochar carbon stability in a clayey soil as a function of feedstock and pyrolysis temperature.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Singh, Bhupinder Pal; Cowie, Annette L; Smernik, Ronald J

    2012-11-06

    The stability of biochar carbon (C) is the major determinant of its value for long-term C sequestration in soil. A long-term (5 year) laboratory experiment was conducted under controlled conditions using 11 biochars made from five C3 biomass feedstocks (Eucalyptus saligna wood and leaves, papermill sludge, poultry litter, cow manure) at 400 and/or 550 °C. The biochars were incubated in a vertisol containing organic C from a predominantly C4-vegetation source, and total CO(2)-C and associated δ(13)C were periodically measured. Between 0.5% and 8.9% of the biochar C was mineralized over 5 years. The C in manure-based biochars mineralized faster than that in plant-based biochars, and C in 400 °C biochars mineralized faster than that in corresponding 550 °C biochars. The estimated mean residence time (MRT) of C in biochars varied between 90 and 1600 years. These are conservative estimates because they represent MRT of relatively labile and intermediate-stability biochar C components. Furthermore, biochar C MRT is likely to be higher under field conditions of lower moisture, lower temperatures or nutrient availability constraints. Strong relationships of biochar C stability with the initial proportion of nonaromatic C and degree of aromatic C condensation in biochar support the use of these properties to predict biochar C stability in soil.

  2. Biochar and manure effects on net nitrogen mineralization and greenhouse gas emissions from calcareous soil under corn

    Science.gov (United States)

    Few multiyear field studies have examined the impacts of a one-time biochar application on net N mineralization and greenhouse gas emissions in an irrigated, calcareous soil; yet such applications are hypothesized as a means of sequestering atmospheric CO2 and improving soil quality. We fall-applie...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

  4. Effects of straw and biochar amendments on aggregate stability, soil organic carbon, and enzyme activities in the Loess Plateau, China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Man; Cheng, Gong; Feng, Hao; Sun, Benhua; Zhao, Ying; Chen, Haixin; Chen, Jing; Dyck, Miles; Wang, Xudong; Zhang, Jianguo; Zhang, Afeng

    2017-02-23

    Soil from the Loess Plateau of China is typically low in organic carbon and generally has poor aggregate stability. Application of organic amendments to these soils could help to increase and sustain soil organic matter levels and thus to enhance soil aggregate stability. A field experiment was carried out to evaluate the effect of the application of wheat straw and wheat straw-derived biochar (pyrolyzed at 350-550 °C) amendments on soil aggregate stability, soil organic carbon (SOC), and enzyme activities in a representative Chinese Loess soil during summer maize and winter wheat growing season from 2013 to 2015. Five treatments were set up as follows: no fertilization (CK), application of inorganic fertilizer (N), wheat straw applied at 8 t ha(-1) with inorganic fertilizer (S8), and wheat straw-derived biochar applied at 8 t ha(-1) (B8) and 16 t ha(-1) (B16) with inorganic fertilizer, respectively. Compared to the N treatment, straw and straw-derived biochar amendments significantly increased SOC (by 33.7-79.6%), microbial biomass carbon (by 18.9-46.5%), and microbial biomass nitrogen (by 8.3-38.2%), while total nitrogen (TN) only increased significantly in the B16 plot (by 24.1%). The 8 t ha(-1) straw and biochar applications had no significant effects on soil aggregation, but a significant increase in soil macro-aggregates (>2 mm) (by 105.8%) was observed in the B16 treatment. The concentrations of aggregate-associated SOC increased by 40.4-105.8% in macro-aggregates (>2 mm) under straw and biochar amendments relative to the N treatment. No significant differences in invertase and alkaline phosphatase activity were detected among different treatments. However, urease activity was greater in the biochar treatment than the straw treatment, indicating that biochar amendment improved the transformation of nitrogen in the soil. The carbon pool index and carbon management index were increased with straw and biochar amendments, especially in the B16

  5. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-11-01

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

  7. [Effects of cotton stalk biochar on microbial community structure and function of continuous cropping cotton rhizosphere soil in Xinjiang, China].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gu, Mei-ying; Tang, Guang-mu; Liu, Hong-liang; Li, Zhi-qiang; Liu, Xiao-wei; Xu, Wan-li

    2016-01-01

    In this study, field trials were conducted to examine the effects of cotton stalk biochar on microbial population, function and structural diversity of microorganisms in rhizosphere soil of continuous cotton cropping field in Xinjiang by plate count, Biolog and DGGE methods. The experiment was a factorial design with four treatments: 1) normal fertilization with cotton stalk removed (NPK); 2) normal fertilization with cotton stalk powdered and returned to field (NPKS); 3) normal fertilization plus cotton stalk biochar at 22.50 t · hm⁻² (NPKB₁); and 4) normal fertilization plus cotton stalk biochar at 45.00 t · hm⁻² (NPKB₂). The results showed that cotton stalk biochar application obviously increased the numbers of bacteria and actinomycetes in the rhizospheric soil. Compared with NPK treatment, the number of fungi was significantly increased in the NPKB₁treatment, but not in the NPKB₂ treatment. However, the number of fungi was generally lower in the biochar amended (NPKB₁, NPKB₂) than in the cotton stalk applied plots (NPKS). Application of cotton stalk biochar increased values of AWCD, and significantly improved microbial richness index, suggesting that the microbial ability of utilizing carbohydrates, amino acids and carboxylic acids, especially phenolic acids was enhanced. The number of DGGE bands of NPKB₂ treatment was the greatest, with some species of Gemmatimonadetes, Acidobacteria, Proteobacteria and Actinobacteria being enriched. UPGMC Cluster analysis pointed out that bacterial communities in the rhizospheric soil of NPKB₂ treatment were different from those in the NPK, NPKS and NPKB₁treatments, which belonged to the same cluster. These results indicated that application of cotton stalk biochar could significantly increase microbial diversity and change soil bacterial community structure in the cotton rhizosphere soil, thus improving the health of soil ecosystem.

  8. Biochar and manure effects on soil biochemical properties under corn production

    Science.gov (United States)

    Biochar (BC) is an aromatic carbon (C) rich compound that has been used to sequester carbon in terrestrial ecosystems. Biochar improves soil fertility and crop productivity when applied to soil. Biochemical properties of soil are the most sensitive parameter that directs change in soil processes as...

  9. 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.

  10. Sorption of polar herbicides and herbicide metabolites by biochar-amended soil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dechene, Annika; Rosendahl, Ingrid; Laabs, Volker; Amelung, Wulf

    2014-08-01

    Biochar-amended soil has been proven to possess superior sorption capacities for several environmental pollutants compared with pure soil. However, the role of biochar in the immobilization of polar pesticides and their metabolites has hardly been tested. The aim of this study was therefore to investigate the effect of a soil amendment with biochar on the sorption of selected polar herbicides and herbicide metabolites (log Kow 0.3-chloridazon, metazachlor oxalic acid, metazachlor sulfonic acid) were tested, i.e. three anionic and one neutral polar compound. The results showed that the presence of biochar increased the sorption capacity of the soil only in the case of the uncharged compound methyl-desphenyl-chloridazon, for which the average distribution coefficients in biochar-amended soils were higher than in pure soil by a factor of 2.1-2.5. However, this effect rather seemed to reflect the increased soil organic carbon content after the addition of biochar than a preferred sorption of methyl-desphenyl-chloridazon to biochar. In the case of the three anionic compounds imazamox, metazachlor oxalic acid and metazachlor sulfonic acid, biochar amendment did not increase the sorption capacity of the soil for these compounds, presumably as a result of its negative net charge. Similarly, desorption experiments did not show any significant effect of the biochar amendment on desorption. This suggests that the potential of using biochar to mitigate the leaching of the tested polar pesticides or metabolites is limited.

  11. 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.

  12. Effects of Bio-char on Soil Microbes in Herbicide Residual Soils

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    WANG Gen-lin

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available Effects of biological carbon (bio-char on soil microbial community were studied by pot experiments simulating long residual herbicide residues in soil environment, which clarifed the improvement of biochar and its structural properties on soil microenvironment. The results showed that fungi and actinomycetes had the same effect tendency within 0~0.72 mg·kg-1 in clomazone residue which increased the role of stimulation with crop growth process prolonged, especially in high residue treatment, but strong inhibitory effect on bacteria community was occured early which returned to normal until sugar beet growth to fiftieth day. Soil fungi community decreased with bio-char adding, but had no significant difference with the control. When clomazone residue in soil was below 0.24 mg·kg-1, soil actinomycetes community was higher than control without bio-char, bacteria increased first and then reduced after adding carbon as below 0.12 mg·kg-1. Biochar was ‘deep hole’ structure containing C, O, S and other elements. The results showed that a certain concentration clomazone residue in soil would stimulate soil fungi and actinomycetes to grow. After adding the biochar, the inhibition effect of high herbicides residual on bacterial would be alleviated.

  13. Biochar effects on methane emissions from soils

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Jeffery, Simon; Verheijen, Frank G.A.; Kammann, Claudia; Abalos Rodriguez, Diego

    2016-01-01

    Methane (CH4) emissions have increased by more than 150% since 1750, with agriculture being the major source. Further increases are predicted as permafrost regions start thawing, and rice and ruminant animal production expand. Biochar is posited to increase crop productivity while miti

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. Gas entrapment and microbial N2O reduction reduce N2O emissions from a biochar-amended sandy clay loam soil

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harter, Johannes; Guzman-Bustamante, Ivan; Kuehfuss, Stefanie; Ruser, Reiner; Well, Reinhard; Spott, Oliver; Kappler, Andreas; Behrens, Sebastian

    2016-12-01

    Nitrous oxide (N2O) is a potent greenhouse gas that is produced during microbial nitrogen transformation processes such as nitrification and denitrification. Soils represent the largest sources of N2O emissions with nitrogen fertilizer application being the main driver of rising atmospheric N2O concentrations. Soil biochar amendment has been proposed as a promising tool to mitigate N2O emissions from soils. However, the underlying processes that cause N2O emission suppression in biochar-amended soils are still poorly understood. We set up microcosm experiments with fertilized, wet soil in which we used 15N tracing techniques and quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) to investigate the impact of biochar on mineral and gaseous nitrogen dynamics and denitrification-specific functional marker gene abundance and expression. In accordance with previous studies our results showed that biochar addition can lead to a significant decrease in N2O emissions. Furthermore, we determined significantly higher quantities of soil-entrapped N2O and N2 in biochar microcosms and a biochar-induced increase in typical and atypical nosZ transcript copy numbers. Our findings suggest that biochar-induced N2O emission mitigation is based on the entrapment of N2O in water-saturated pores of the soil matrix and concurrent stimulation of microbial N2O reduction resulting in an overall decrease of the N2O/(N2O + N2) ratio.

  17. Transport of Escherichia coli, Salmonella typhimurium, and microspheres in biochar-amended soils with different textures

    Science.gov (United States)

    Biochar amendment has been shown to affect bacterial transport in soils. The effect of soil texture on the transport of Escherichia coli O157:H7 and Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium in soils amended with 2 % poultry litter or pine chip biochars pyrolyzed under two temperatures (350 and 700 'C...

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. Partitioning of carbon sources among functional pools to investigate short-term priming effects of biochar in soil: A {sup 13}C study

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kerré, Bart [Department of Earth and Environmental Science, KU Leuven, Kasteelpark Arenberg 20, B-3001 Heverlee (Belgium); Hernandez-Soriano, Maria C., E-mail: m.hernandezsoriano@uq.edu.au [Department of Earth and Environmental Science, KU Leuven, Kasteelpark Arenberg 20, B-3001 Heverlee (Belgium); The University of Queensland, School of Agriculture and Food Sciences, St. Lucia, Queensland 4072 (Australia); Smolders, Erik [Department of Earth and Environmental Science, KU Leuven, Kasteelpark Arenberg 20, B-3001 Heverlee (Belgium)

    2016-03-15

    Biochar sequesters carbon (C) in soils because of its prolonged residence time, ranging from several years to millennia. In addition, biochar can promote indirect C-sequestration by increasing crop yield while, potentially, reducing C-mineralization. This laboratory study was set up to evaluate effects of biochar on C-mineralization with due attention to source appointment by using {sup 13}C isotope signatures. An arable soil (S) (7.9 g organic C, OC kg{sup −1}) was amended (single dose of 10 g kg{sup −1} soil) with dried, grinded maize stover (leaves and stalks), either natural (R) or {sup 13}C enriched (R*), and/or biochar (B/B*) prepared from the maize stover residues (450 °C). Accordingly, seven different combinations were set up (S, SR, SB, SR*, SB*, SRB*, SR*B) to trace the source of C in CO{sub 2} (180 days), dissolved organic-C (115 days) and OC in soil aggregate fractions (90 days). The application of biochar to soil reduced the mineralization of native soil organic C but the effect on maize stover-C mineralization was not consistent. Biochar application decreased the mineralization of the non-enriched maize stover after 90 days, this being consistent with a significant reduction of dissolved organic C concentration from 45 to 18 mg L{sup −1}. However, no significant effect was observed for the enriched maize stover, presumably due to differences between the natural and enriched materials. The combined addition of biochar and enriched maize stover significantly increased (twofold) the presence of native soil organic C or maize derived C in the free microaggregate fraction relative to soil added only with stover. Although consistent effects among C sources and biochar materials remains elusive, our outcomes indicate that some biochar products can reduce mineralization and solubilization of other sources of C while promoting their physical protection in soil particles. - Highlights: • Biochar can reduce native soil organic carbon mineralization.

  1. 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...

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. Effect of Biochar-based Urea on Yield and Quality of Celery and Soil NO3--N Content

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    LIAO Shang-qiang

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available Field experiment was carried out to study the effect of biochar-based urea prepared by melt pressure(YA, water immersion(PAO and directly mixed(HUN methods on yield, quality of celery and NO3--N content in soil compared with urea(U and coated urea(SU. The results showed that three kinds of biochar-based urea and coated urea significantly increased the yield of celery, the order was: PAO> YA> HUN> SU, yield increased by 18.66%, 14.90%, 10.85% and 6.73%, respectively; Biochar-based fertilizer application significantly reduced nitrate content of celery, the order was: PAO> YA> HUN> SU, reduced by 48.24%, 44.93%, 31.73%, and 29.20%, respectively; Biochar-based fertilizer increased Vc content of celery from 7.21% to 37.02% compared with urea treatment; N use efficiency of celery increased 4.71%, 9.94%, 11.10% and 6.93% respectively by application of SU, YA, PAO and HUN treatments. Additionally, biochar-based urea application could evidently decrease the quantity of soil NO3--N leached to deep soil and decrease the pollution to ground water.

  5. 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.

  6. Terahertz Spectroscopy of Biochars and Related Aromatic Compounds

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-12-01

    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.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2016-01-01

    imposed on two highly weathered, acidic soils from the coastal savanna and tropical rainforest agroecological zones of Ghana, respectively, to elucidate their effect on yield of lettuce. The study showed that application of biochar solely or in combination with cow dung increased soil pH, total organic...

  8. 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.

  9. 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 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......, it was found that soil pH, rather than biochar rates, was a driving environmental variable. For ASA, the methodological approach was challenged by product sorption, but results did not suggest that biochar significantly stimulated the enzyme activity. Crop yields of maize in field experiments with 10–100 Mg...

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    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 (15)N gas-flux method we observed a consistent reduction of the N2O/(N2 + N2O) ratio, which demonstrates that biochar facilitates the last step of denitrification. Biochar acid buffer capacity was identified as an important aspect for mitigation that was not primarily caused by a pH shift in soil. We propose the function of biochar as an "electron shuttle" that facilitates the transfer of electrons to soil denitrifying microorganisms, which together with its liming effect would promote the reduction of N2O to N2.

  15. [Research progress on biochar carbon sequestration technology].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jiang, Zhi-Xiang; Zheng, Hao; Li, Feng-Min; Wang, Zhen-Yu

    2013-08-01

    Biochar is a fine-grained and porous material, which is produced by pyrolyzing biomass under anaerobic or oxygen-limiting condition. Due to the aromatic structure, it is resistant to the biotic and abiotic degradation which makes biochar production a promising carbon sequestration technology, and it has attracted widespread attention. Factors including biochar production, biochar stability in soil and the response of plant growth and soil organic carbon to the biochar addition can influence the carbon sequestration potential of biochar. Through exploring the mechanisms of biochar carbon sequestration, the influence of these factors was studied. Furthermore, the research progress of carbon sequestration potential and its economic viability were examined. Finally, aiming at the knowledge gaps in the influencing factors as well as the relationship between these factors, some further research needs were proposed for better application of biochar in China.

  16. 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...... region-water retention curve increased with increasing biochar rates....

  17. Effect of biochar addition on short-term N2O and CO2 emissions during repeated drying and wetting of an anthropogenic alluvial soil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Fang; Lee, Xinqing; Theng, Benny K G; Wang, Bing; Cheng, Jianzhong; Wang, Qian

    2016-06-07

    Agricultural soils are an important source of greenhouse gases (GHG). Biochar application to such soils has the potential of mitigating global anthropogenic GHG emissions. Under irrigation, the topsoils in arid regions experience repeated drying and wetting during the crop growing season. Biochar incorporation into these soils would change the soil microbial environment and hence affect GHG emissions. Little information, however, is available regarding the effect of biochar addition on carbon dioxide (CO2) and nitrous oxide (N2O) emissions from agricultural soils undergoing repeated drying and wetting. Here, we report the results of a 49-day aerobic incubation experiment, incorporating biochar into an anthropogenic alluvial soil in an arid region of Xinjiang Province, China, and measuring CO2 and N2O emissions. Under both drying-wetting and constantly moist conditions, biochar amendment significantly increased cumulative CO2 emission. At the same time, there was a significant reduction (up to ~20 %) in cumulative N2O emission, indicating that the addition of biochar to irrigated agricultural soils may effectively slow down global warming in arid regions of China.

  18. Retention of heavy metals by carboxyl functional groups of biochars in small arms range soil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Uchimiya, Minori; Bannon, Desmond I; Wartelle, Lynda H

    2012-02-22

    Long-term effectiveness of biochar for heavy metal stabilization depends upon biochar's sorptive property and recalcitrance in soil. To understand the role of carboxyl functional groups on heavy metal stabilization, cottonseed hull biochar and flax shive steam-activated biochar having a low O/C ratio (0.04-0.06) and high fixed carbon content (~80% dry weight basis) were oxidized using concentrated H(2)SO(4)/HNO(3) and 30% HNO(3). Oxidized and unoxidized biochars were characterized for O/C ratio, total acidity, pH, moisture, ash, volatile matter, and fixed carbon contents, Brunauer-Emmett-Teller surface area, and attenuated total reflectance Fourier transform infrared spectral features. Characterized biochars were amended (2%, 5%, 10%, and 20% in grams of biochar per gram of soil) on a sandy, slightly acidic (pH 6.27) heavy metal contaminated small arms range soil fraction (carbon (0.518%) and low cation exchange capacity (0.95 cmol(c) kg(-1)). Oxidized biochars rich in carboxyl functional groups exhibited significantly greater Pb, Cu, and Zn stabilization ability compared to unoxidized biochars, especially in pH 4.9 acetate buffer (standard solution for the toxicity characteristic leaching procedure). Oppositely, only oxidized biochars caused desorption of Sb, indicating a counteracting impact of carboxyl functional groups on the solubility of anions and cations. The results suggested that appropriate selection of biochar oxidant will produce recalcitrant biochars rich in carboxyl functional groups for a long-term heavy metal stabilization strategy in contaminated soils.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. Effects of biochar on soil infiltration, runoff and sediment production on a slopeland red soil

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jien, Shih-Hao; Chen, Jyun-Yuan; Liao, Chien-Sen

    2016-04-01

    Biochar has been considered as a useful amendment to ameliorate soil physical and chemical properties. This study aims to incorporate a wood biochar (WB), pyrolized by 400℃, into a clayey red soil with a slope gradient of 5o to improve infiltration and reduce runoff and sediment production. Field trials were conducted in four treatments including control, biochar (4%, w/w) (WB), compost (1%) + biochar (4%) (CWB) and polyacrylamide in 50 ppm (PAM) in this study. An erosion experiment was performed by a rainfall simulator in a rainfall intensity of 70 mm/hr after 12 months. The runoff and sediments were collected and weighted for each treatment. The results displayed that runoff amounts were obviously reduced by 2.3% -6.3% in treatments of WB and CWB compared with the control, but not in PAM. On contrary, the infiltration rates were obviously increased by 7.4%-18% in the treatment of WB and CWB compared with the control, but reduced by 25% in PAM treatment. After 12 months, all treatments could effectively prevent clayey soil from erosion, particularly in PAM. In conclusion, biochar could be an alternative strategy for improvement of permeability and erodibility compared with PAM practice on mild slopeland soils.

  4. Formation of hydrothermal biochar and char stability in soils

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baumert, Julia; Gleixner, Gerd

    2010-05-01

    The use of charcoal as an artificial soil additive is suggested to beneficially modify degraded soil, reduce greenhouse gas emission and improve crop yields. So far research has been mainly done using pyrolysis chars which are produced by dry pyrolysis of biomass. Here we used hydrothermal carbonisation (HTC). In this process wet biomass is converted to char at moderate temperatures (~200°C). Due to the exothermal carbonisation reaction this process is almost energy neutral, i.e. the energy needed to start the carbonisation equals the energy released during carbonisation. Different process parameters have been used to modify the properties of the produced chars. We examined the chemical and morphological properties of hydrothermally synthesized biochar. Cellulose, yeast and sucrose were used as model substances for a range of parent material types like organic and garden waste as well as residues from biogas production. By modifying the process conditions of hydrothermal carbonisation concerning temperature (180°C to 220°C) and duration (6 hours to 24 hours) we produced a variety of different biochars. Our findings suggest that the elemental composition and the thermal stability of resulting chars depend on the feedstock and production conditions. Functional group chemistry determined by NMR shows that the aromaticity of the product increases as a function of temperature whereas the amount of O-alkylic compounds declines, concurrently. Our results show that the properties of the biochar can be manipulated by the modification of process conditions. This opens the opportunity to adjust the charcoal to a given soil type.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  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. 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

  9. 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

  10. [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).

  11. 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.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Mukherjee, Santanu, E-mail: s.mukherjee@fz-juelich.de [Institute of Bio- and Geosciences (IBG-3), Agrosphere Institute, Forschungszentrum Jülich GmbH, 52425 Jülich (Germany); Tappe, Wolfgang; Weihermueller, Lutz; Hofmann, Diana; Köppchen, Stephan [Institute of Bio- and Geosciences (IBG-3), Agrosphere Institute, Forschungszentrum Jülich GmbH, 52425 Jülich (Germany); Laabs, Volker; Schroeder, Tom [BASF SE, Crop Protection, 67117, Limburgerhof (Germany); Vereecken, Harry [Institute of Bio- and Geosciences (IBG-3), Agrosphere Institute, Forschungszentrum Jülich GmbH, 52425 Jülich (Germany); Burauel, Peter [Sustainable Campus, Forschungszentrum Jülich GmbH, 52425 Jülich (Germany)

    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 {sup 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. - Highlights: • Biochar and digestate significantly affects the dissipation pattern of pesticides. • Addition of digestate enhanced mineralization of

  13. 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......, 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...... 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...

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. The impact of biochars on sorption and biodegradation of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in soils--a review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anyika, Chinedum; Abdul Majid, Zaiton; Ibrahim, Zahara; Zakaria, Mohamad Pauzi; Yahya, Adibah

    2015-03-01

    Amending polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH)-contaminated soils with biochar may be cheaper and environmentally friendly than other forms of organic materials. This has led to numerous studies on the use of biochar to either bind or stimulate the microbial degradation of organic compounds in soils. However, very little or no attention have been paid to the fact that biochars can give simultaneous impact on PAH fate processes, such as volatilization, sorption and biodegradation. In this review, we raised and considered the following questions: How does biochar affect microbes and microbial activities in the soil? What are the effects of adding biochar on sorption of PAHs? What are the effects of adding biochar on degradation of PAHs? What are the factors that we can manipulate in the laboratory to enhance the capability of biochars to degrade PAHs? A triphasic concept of how biochar can give simultaneous impact on PAH fate processes in soils was proposed, which involves rapid PAH sorption into biochar, subsequent desorption and modification of soil physicochemical properties by biochar, which in turn stimulates microbial degradation of the desorbed PAHs. It is anticipated that biochar can give simultaneous impact on PAH fate processes in soils.

  17. 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

    2014-03-01

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

  18. 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.

  19. 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 (papplication of biochar should be the potential way to mitigate GHGs emissions and simultaneously improve rice productivity in the paddy rice system.

  20. [Response of Straw and Straw Biochar Returning to Soil Carbon Budget and Its Mechanism].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hou, Ya-hong; Wang, Lei; Fu, Xiao-hua; Le, Yi-quan

    2015-07-01

    Direct straw returning and straw carbonization returning are the main measures of straw returning. Because of the differences in structure and nature as well as returning process between straw and straw biochar, the soil respiration and soil carbon budget after returning must have significant differences. In this study, outdoor pot experiment was carried out to study the response of soil respiration and carbon budget to straw and straw biochar returning and its possible mechanism. The results showed that soil respiration of straw biochar returning [mean value 21. 69 µmol.(m2.s)-1] was significantly lower than that of direct straw returning [mean value 65.32 µmol.(m2.s)-1], and its soil organic carbon content ( mean value 20. 40 g . kg-1) and plant biomass (mean value 138. 56 g) were higher than those of direct straw returning (mean values 17. 76 g . kg-1 and 76. 76 g). Considering the carbon loss after the biochar preparation process, its soil carbon budget was also significantly higher than that of direct straw returning, so it was a low carbon mode of straw returning. Direct straw returning significantly promoted soil dehydrogenase activity, soil β-glycosidase activity and soil microorganism quantity, leading to higher soil respiration, but straw biochar did play an obvious role in promoting the microbial activity index. Easily oxidizable carbon (EOC) and biodegradability of straw biochar were lower than those of straw, which showed that straw biochar had higher stability, and was more difficult to degrade for soil microorganisms so its soil microbial activity was generally lower, and could be retained in the soil for a long time.

  1. 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...

  2. 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.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  5. 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.

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

    OpenAIRE

    2014-01-01

    Biochars form recalcitrant carbon and increase water and nutrient retention in soils; however, the magnitude is contingent upon production conditions and thermo-chemical conversion processes. Herein we aim at (i) characterizing switchgrass (Panicum virgatum L.)-biochar morphology, (ii) estimating water-holding capacity under increasing ratios of char: soil; and, (iii) determining nutrient profile variation as a function of pyrolysis conversion methodologies (i.e. continuous, auger pyrolysis s...

  7. 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.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2016-08-15

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

  9. Interaction of biochar and organic residues from sugarcane industry in soil chemical attributes and greenhouse gases emissions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fernanda Abbruzzini, Thalita; Feola Conz, Rafaela; Pellegrino Cerri, Carlos Eduardo

    2014-05-01

    Researchers have highlighted the importance of providing soil quality in agricultural systems, besides mitigating greenhouse gases (GHG) emissions to the atmosphere and increasing soil carbon sequestration. Therefore, several studies have demonstrated the effectiveness of biochar as a soil conditioner, both in relation to increased C sequestration and improvements in soil chemical, physical and biological attributes, resulting in better conditions for plant growth. The aim of this study was to assess the impact of applying biochar produced from sugarcane straw to soils in relation to changes in soil chemical attributes and mitigation of greenhouse gases emissions into the atmosphere. To do so, we conducted a laboratory incubation under controlled environmental conditions (ie temperature and humidity) with and without the application of filter cake and vinasse (ie organic residues from sugarcane industry) and rates of biochar application (0, 10, 20 and 50 Mg ha-1). The fluxes of CO2, N2O and CH4 of each incubation unity were measured periodically (in days 1, 2, 5, 9, 13, 16, 20, 24, 28, 30, 47, 60, 91, 105, 123, 130, 138 and 150). Each treatment consisted of eight replicates with destructive samples evaluated at 30, 60, 90 and 150 days after incubation to characterize the chemical attributes of the incubated soil, besides GHG (CO2, N2O and CH4) emissions. In general, there was an increase in carbon dioxide (CO2) fluxes over time due to the application of filter cake and vinasse and increasing dose of biochar. Regarding nitrous oxide (N2O) emissions, there was an increase of 82.35% with the application of vinasse and filter cake compared to the control treatment. However, different doses of biochar (10, 20 and 50 Mg ha-1) reduced N2O emissions by 29, 38.7 and 70.9%, respectively. The methane (CH4) flux was negligible in all treatments. We observed improvements in soil chemical attributes, such as higher pH, a substantial increase in the soil CEC, reduced exchangeable

  10. 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 (pHalkaline soils. 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

  11. Chemical and physical properties of Paulownia elongata biochar modified with oxidants for horticultural applications

    Science.gov (United States)

    Treatment of biochar with oxidants such as acids and hydrogen peroxide has been shown to alter porosity, increase adsorption of chemicals, and introduce functional groups on the biochar surfaces, all of which are desirable for their use in horticultural applications. Biochar was produced from the py...

  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. Persistence of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in biochar-amended soil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kuśmierz, Marcin; Oleszczuk, Patryk; Kraska, Piotr; Pałys, Edward; Andruszczak, Sylwia

    2016-03-01

    In the present study the persistence of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) applied with biochar to acidic soil (loamy sand) was studied in two and half year field experiment. An experiment was carried out in three experimental plots (15 m(2) each). The biochar was introduced in the following doses: soil without fertilization - control (C-BC00), soil with 30 t ha(-1) (B-BC30) and soil with 45 t ha(-1) (A-BC45) of biochar. Biochar addition to soils resulted in an increase in the PAHs content from 0.239 μg g(-1) in control soil to 0.526 μg g(-1) and 1.310 μg g(-1) in 30 and 45 t ha(-1) biochar-amended soil respectively. However during the experimental period the PAHs content decreased to a level characteristic for the control soil. The highest losses of PAHs were observed during the first 105 days of the experiment. Three and four rings PAHs were the most susceptible for degradation and leaching. Migration of PAHs from 0-10 cm to 10-20 cm soil horizon was also observed.

  14. 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...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  16. Bioavailability and bioaccessibility of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in historically contaminated soils after lab incubation with sewage sludge-derived biochars.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zielińska, Anna; Oleszczuk, Patryk

    2016-11-01

    The objective of this study was to estimate the effectiveness of application of sewage sludge-derived biochars for the immobilisation of freely dissolved (Cfree) and bioaccessible (Cbioacc) polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in contaminated soils. Soil SL-COK collected from the area of a coking plant and soil SL-BIT collected from the area of a plant producing bituminous materials were chosen for the study. The biochars were produced from sewage sludge at temperatures of 500 °C (BC500) or 700 °C (BC700). The biochars were mixed with the soil at the dose of 5% and incubated for a period of 60 d. The content of PAHs was determined with the use of polyoxymethylene (POM) (Cfree) or a solution of cyclodextrins and silicon rod elastomer (Cbioacc). Biochars reduced the content of Cfree and Cbioacc PAHs in soils. A higher level of reduction was noted for Cfree PAHs than for Cbioacc PAHs. Biochar produced at 700 °C was more effective in the reduction of Cfree and Cbioacc PAHs than biochar produced at 500 °C. It was found that in the soil in which the source of contamination were processes related with the production of bituminous materials (SL-BIT), the effect of reduction of Cfree and Cbioacc was greater than in soil SL-COK where the source of PAHs were coking processes. It also needs to be emphasised that soil SL-BIT, for which better reduction of PAHs was noted, was also characterised by a lower affinity towards those compounds than soil SL-COK.

  17. Biochar carbon stability and effect on greenhouse gas emissions

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bruun, Esben Wilson; Cross, Andrew; Hammond, Jim;

    2016-01-01

    on the biochar quality is necessary in order to produce the most beneficial biochars for soil application. Beside carbon sequestration in soil biochar may improve the GHG balance by reducing N2O and CH4 soil emissions, although contrasting results are found in the literature. The mechanisms behind......As demonstrated by several scientific studies there is no doubt that biochar in general is very recalcitrant compared to other organic matter additions and soil organic matter fractions and also that it is possible to sequester carbon at a climate change relevant time scale (~100 years or more......) by soil application of biochar. However, the carbon stability of biochar in soil is strongly correlated with the degree of thermal alteration of the original feedstock (the lower the temperature, the larger the labile fraction) and in depth understanding of the technology used and its effect...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-08-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-08-01

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

  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.

  2. pH effects of the addition of three biochars to acidic Indonesian mineral soils

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Martinsen, V; Alling, V; Nurida, N L

    2015-01-01

    Soil acidity may severely reduce crop production. Biochar (BC) may increase soil pH and cation exchange capacity (CEC) but reported effects differ substantially. In a systematic approach, using a standardized protocol on a uniquely large number set of 31 acidic soils, we quantified the effect of ...

  3. Biochar from Swine solids and digestate influence nutrient dynamics and carbon dioxide release in soil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marchetti, Rosa; Castelli, Fabio

    2013-01-01

    Large amounts of livestock manure solids are expected to become available in the near future due to the development of technologies for the separation of the solid fraction of animal effluents. The charring of manure solids for biochar (BC) production represents an opportunity for recycling organic matter (OM) of high nutrient value. The objectives of this study were to evaluate the suitability of BC from swine solids (SS) to improve soil fertility through nutrient supply and decomposition of the OM incorporated into soil and to verify a possible interaction effect on soil nutrient dynamics between digestate application and soil amendment with BC. We monitored at laboratory scale the soil mineral nitrogen (N) and Olsen phosphorus (P) content, and the cumulative carbon dioxide (CO-C) release in treatments with or without a supply of digestate obtained from a biogas plant. The experiment was performed in laboratory microcosms during a 3-mo incubation period. Compared treatments were soil amendments with SS, BC from SS, wood chip, BC from wood chip, and soil with no amendment, each of them with and without incorporation of digestate (10 treatments in total). Soil N levels were unaffected by BC amendments and only increased temporarily when digestate was applied to soil amended with SS or BC from SS. For the same N content, the BC from SS supplied much more P than the nontreated OM. The amount of cumulative CO-C released from soil with BC with or without digestate did not differ from that in the unamended control soil and was lower than that in the soils with noncharred amendments. Soil amendment with BC from SS does not modify soil N availability, whereas it increases the content of P available for crops and reduces the release of CO-C from digestate applied to soil for agricultural purposes.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-10-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2011-12-15

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

  6. Pine Woodchip Biochar Impact on Soil Nutrient Concentrations and Corn Yield in a Silt Loam in the Mid-Southern U.S.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Katy E. Brantley

    2015-02-01

    Full Text Available Biochar has altered plant yields and soil nutrient availability in tropical soils, but less research exists involving biochar additions to temperate cropping systems. Of the existing research, results vary based on soil texture, crop grown, and biochar properties. The objective of this study was to determine the effects of pine (Pinus spp. woodchip biochar at 0, 5, and 10 Mg·ha−1 rates combined with urea nitrogen (N on soil chemical properties and corn (Zea mays L. yield under field conditions in the first growing season after biochar addition in a silt-loam alluvial soil. Biochar combined with fertilizer numerically increased corn yields, while biochar alone numerically decreased corn yields, compared to a non-amended control. Corn nitrogen uptake efficiency (NUE was greater with 10 Mg·ha−1 biochar compared to no biochar. There were limited biochar effects on soil nutrients, but biochar decreased nitrate, total dissolved N, and Mehlich-3 extractable sulfur and manganese concentrations in the top 10 cm. Pine woodchip biochar combined with N fertilizer has the potential to improve corn production when grown in silt-loam soil in the mid-southern U.S. by improving NUE and increasing yield. Further research will be important to determine impacts as biochar ages in the soil.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-10-17

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

  8. 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.

  9. Wettability of poultry litter biochars at variable pyrolysis temperatures and their impact on soil wettability and water retention relationships

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yi, S. C.; Witt, B.; Guo, M.; Chiu, P.; Imhoff, P. T.

    2012-12-01

    To reduce the impact of poultry farming on greenhouse gas emissions, poultry farming waste - poultry litter - can be converted to biofuel and biochar through slow-pyrolysis, with the biochar added to agricultural soil for nutrient enrichment and carbon sequestration. While biochars from source materials other than poultry litter have been shown to sequester carbon and increase soil fertility, there is considerable variability in biochar behavior - even with biochars created from the same source material. This situation is exacerbated by our limited understanding of how biochars alter physical, chemical, and biological processes in agricultural soils. The focus of this work is to develop a mechanistic understanding of how poultry litter (PL) biochars affect the hydrology, microbial communities, N2O emissions, and nitrogen cycling in agricultural soils. The initial focus is on the impact of PL biochar on soil hydrology. PL from Perdue AgriRecycle, LLC (Seaford, Delaware) was used to produce biochars at pyrolysis temperatures from 300°C to 600°C. To explore the impact of these biochars on soil wettability, the PL biochars were mixed with a 30/40 Accusand in mass fractions from 0% to 100%. The water contact angle was then measured using a goniometer on these sand/biochar mixtures using the sessile drop method and a single layer of sample particles. The PL biochars produced at temperatures between 300°C to 400°C were hydrophobic, while those pyrolized at > 400°C were hydrophilic. Water contact angles for samples with 100% biochar varied systematically with pyrolysis temperature, decreasing from 101.12° to 20.57° as the pyrolysis temperature increased from 300 to 600°C. Even for small amounts of hydrophobic biochar added to the hydrophilic sand, the contact angle of the mixture was altered: for sand/biochar mixtures containing only 2% hydrophobic PL biochar by weight, the contact angle of the mixture increased from ~ 8° (0% biochar) to 20° (2% biochar). For

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. Effect of the soil treated with biochar on the rye-grass in laboratory experiment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gulyás Miklós

    2014-11-01

    Full Text Available The application of biochars to improve soils and to mitigate global climate change is a popular research area all over the world, although it is not a new topic. In our study, wood chips char (BC and animal bone char (ABC were applied. The pot experiments were conducted under laboratory conditions. 2 grams of rye-grass (Lolium perenne were seeded into each pot. The following various soil parameters were measured: pH (KCl, AL-P2O5, AL-K2O, total water soluble salt content and organic matter content. The measured parameters from the plant samples were: total-P, total-K and micronutrients. Results show that the negative or positive effect of pyrolysis solids cannot be determined clearly, further experiments are needed.

  13. 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 (determining content of water stable aggregates remaining after wet sieving. This series of experiments is expected to provide a greater understanding on the impact biochar addition on soil physical and hydraulic properties. Furthermore, it provides insight into whether or not converting local agricultural waste into biochar for soil use will be beneficial, especially in agricultural systems undergoing climate stress.

  14. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-11-01

    A pot experiment was conducted to investigate the effects of biochars on the availability of heavy metals (Cd, Cu, Mn, Ni, Pb, and Zn) to ryegrass in an alkaline contaminated soil. Biochars only slightly decreased or even increased the availability of heavy metals assesses by chemical extractant (a mixture of 0.05 mol L(-1) ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid disodium, 0.01 mol L(-1) CaCl2, and 0.1 mol L(-1) triethanolamine). The significantly positive correlation between most chemical-extractable heavy metals and the ash content in biochars indicated the positive role of ash in this extraction. Biochars significantly reduced the plant uptake of heavy metals, excluding Mn. The absence of a positive correlation between the chemical-extractable heavy metals and the plant uptake counterparts (except for Mn) indicates that chemical extractability is probably not a reliable indicator to predict the phytoavailability of most heavy metals in alkaline soils treated with biochars. The obviously negative correlation between the plant uptake of heavy metals (except for Mn) and the (O + N)/C and H/C indicates that biochars with more polar groups, which were produced at lower temperatures, had higher efficiency for reducing the phytoavailability of heavy metals. The significantly negative correlations between the plant uptake of Mn and ryegrass biomass indicated the "dilution effect" caused by the improvement of biomass. These observations will be helpful for designing biochars as soil amendments to reduce the availability of heavy metals to plants in soils, especially in alkaline soils.

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. Effects of biochar on enhanced nutrient use efficiency of green bean, Vigna radiata L.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prapagdee, Songkrit; Tawinteung, Nukoon

    2017-04-01

    Biochar is the carbonized material produced from biomass and is used in several environmental applications. The biochar characteristics depend on the carbonization conditions and feedstock. The suitability of a given biochar for soil improvement depends on the biochar characteristics, soil properties, and target plants. Biochar has been applied at 1-20% (w/w) in the soil, but currently there is a lack of information on what type and concentration of biochar are most suitable for a specific plant and soil quality. Too much biochar will reduce plant growth because of the high alkalinity of biochar, which will cause long-term soil alkalinity. In contrast, too little biochar might be insufficient to enhance plant productivity. In this study, a suitable concentration of cassava stem (an abundant agricultural waste in Thailand) biochar produced at 350 °C was evaluated for green bean (Vigna radiata L.) growth from germination to seed production in pots over 8 weeks. The soil fertility was increased with increasing biochar concentration. At 5% (w/w) biochar, the soil fertility and plant growth were significantly enhanced, while 10% (w/w) biochar significantly enhanced bean growth and bean pod production. The increased biochar concentration in the soil significantly increased the soil total nitrogen and extractable potassium (K) levels but did not affect the amount of available phosphorous. Biochar at 10% (w/w) significantly induced the accumulation of K in the stems, leaves, nut shells, and roots but not in nut seeds. Moreover, biochar not only increased the K concentration in soil but also increased the plant nutrient use efficiency of K, which is important for plant growth. Graphical abstract ᅟ.

  19. Long-term influence of biochar on native organic carbon mineralisation in a low-carbon clayey soil

    Science.gov (United States)

    Singh, Bhupinder Pal; Cowie, Annette L.

    2014-01-01

    Biochar can influence native soil organic carbon (SOC) mineralisation through ``priming effects''. However, the long-term direction, persistence and extent of SOC priming by biochar remain uncertain. Using natural 13C abundance and under controlled laboratory conditions, we show that biochar-stimulated SOC mineralisation (``positive priming'') caused a loss of 4 to 44 mg C g-1 SOC over 2.3 years in a clayey, unplanted soil (0.42% OC). Positive priming was greater for manure-based or 400°C biochars, cf. plant-based or 550°C biochars, but was trivial relative to recalcitrant C in biochar. From 2.3 to 5.0 years, the amount of positively-primed soil CO2-C in the biochar treatments decreased by 4 to 7 mg C g-1 SOC. We conclude that biochar stimulates native SOC mineralisation in the low-C clayey soil but that this effect decreases with time, possibly due to depletion of labile SOC from initial positive priming, and/or stabilisation of SOC caused by biochar-induced organo-mineral interactions.

  20. 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%.

  1. 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.

  2. Root development of non-accumulating and hyperaccumulating plants in metal-contaminated soils amended with biochar.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rees, Frédéric; Sterckeman, Thibault; Morel, Jean Louis

    2016-01-01

    Biochar may be used as an amendment in contaminated soils in phytoremediation processes. The mechanisms controlling plant metal uptake in biochar-amended soils remain however unclear. This work aimed at evaluating the influence of biochar on root development and its consequence on plant metal uptake, for two non-hyperaccumulating plants (Zea mays and Lolium perenne) and one hyperaccumulator of Cd and Zn (Noccaea caerulescens). We conducted rhizobox experiments using one acidic and one alkaline soil contaminated with Cd, Pb and Zn. Biochar was present either homogeneously in the whole soil profile or localized in specific zones. A phenomenon of root proliferation specific to biochar-amended zones was seen on the heterogeneous profiles of the acidic soil and interpreted by a decrease of soil phytotoxicity in these zones. Biochar amendments also favored root growth in the alkaline soil as a result of the lower availability of certain nutrients in the amended soil. This increase of root surface led to a higher accumulation of metals in roots of Z.mays in the acidic soil and in shoots of N. caerulescens in the alkaline soil. In conclusion, biochar can have antagonist effects on plant metal uptake by decreasing metal availability, on one hand, and by increasing root surface and inducing root proliferation, on the other hand.

  3. 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

  4. 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......, and plots had been harrowed and ploughed twice to a depth of 25 cm prior to sampling. In the laboratory soil samples from (0-20 cm) were analyzed for aggregate stability and soil organic carbon (SOC) content. Soil erosional properties were measured during 3.5 hour rainfall simulations using a round flume...... 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...

  5. 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.

  6. Influence of soil biochar aging on sorption of the herbicides MCPA, nicosulfuron, terbuthylazine, indaziflam, and fluoroethyldiaminotriazine.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-11-12

    Sorption of four herbicides and a metabolite of indaziflam on a fresh macadamia nut biochar and biochars aged one or two years in soil was characterized. On fresh biochar, the sorption was terbuthylazine (Kd = 595) > indaziflam (Kd = 162) > MCPA (Kd = 7.5) > fluoroethyldiaminotriazine (Kd = 0.26) and nicosulfuron (Kd = 0). Biochar surface area increased with aging attributed to the loss of a surface film. This was also manifested in a decline in water extractable organic carbon with aging. Correspondingly, an increase in the aromaticity was observed. The higher surface area and porosity in aged biochar increased sorption of indaziflam (KdBC-2yr = 237) and fluoroethyldiaminotriazine (KdBC-1yr = 1.2 and KdBC-2yr = 3.0), but interestingly decreased sorption of terbuthylazine (KdBC-1yr = 312 and KdBC-2yr = 221) and MCPA (KdBC-1yr = 2 and KdBC-2yr = 2). These results will facilitate development of biochars for specific remediation purposes.

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  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

    2016-04-01

    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.

  15. Biochar-Facilitated Reduction of Crystalline Fe(III) in Hematite

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, S.; Yang, Y.; Roden, E. E.; Tang, Y.; Huang, R.; Adhikari, D.

    2015-12-01

    Pyrogenic organic matter is a significant component of soil organic matter, the transformation of which may play a crucial role in the coupled redox cycles of carbon and iron. However, scant information is available for the role of pyrogenic carbon in the redox cycle of iron. Herein, we studied the influences of wheat straw-derived biochar on the microbial reduction of hematite by Shewanella oneidensis MR-1. In the presence of 10 mg/L biochar, microbial reduction of hematite was substantially accelerated by 41% to 142%. Reduction of hematite was enhanced to similar degrees by aqueous biochar with the concentration of 1-3 mg C/L. Importance of the aqueous biochar was also supported by the response of enhancement of Fe reduction to the dose of biochar particles, closely linked to the change in aqueous biochar concentration rather than the amount of total biochar particles. Microbiologically pre-reduced biochar reduced hematite abiotically, demonstrating the electron shuttling capacity of aqueous biochar for hematite reduction. On the other side, biochar particles sorbed Fe(II) and consequently decreased the accumulation of Fe(II) in solution to facilitate the reduction of hematite further. We reported for the first time the biochar-facilitated microbial reduction of crystalline Fe(III), through electron shuttling processes mediated by aqueous biochar and complexation of Fe(II) by biochar particles. Such impacted redox cycles of Fe would be important for the soil environment with relatively high content of indigenous pyrogenic carbon or substantial application of biochar.

  16. Combined application of biochar and nitrogen fertilizers reducing heavy metals contents in potted rice planted in contaminated soil%生物质炭与氮肥配施降低水稻重金属含量的盆栽试验

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    陈少毅; 许超; 张文静; 吴启堂

    2014-01-01

    in rice from heavy metal contaminated rice paddies. To investigate and quantify the effects of combined application of biochar (BC) and nitrogen fertilizers on the growth, yield and heavy metal uptake of rice (Oryza sativa L.) on a historically multi-metal contaminated paddy soil, the pot experiments under waterlogged condition were carried out in a greenhouse and five different treatments were compared including control soil, soil only with common nitrogen fertilizer ammonium sulphate nitrate (ASN), soil only with nitrogen fertilizer ammonium sulphate nitrate with nitrification inhibitor 3,4-dimethylpyrazolephosphate (DMPP), soil both with biochar and common nitrogen fertilizer, and soil both with biochar and DMPP nitrogen fertilizer. Both soil and rice plant samples were collected after rice harvest. Available heavy metals of soils, roots, straws and grains of rice were analyzed. The results showed that nitrogen fertilizer with nitrification inhibitor DMPP had no significant (P>0.05) effect on rice grain yield if they were not used in combination with biochar. Biochar combined with common nitrogen fertilizer or DMPP nitrogen fertilizer could significantly (P<0.05) increased the grain yield. Compared with the single application of common nitrogen fertilizer, the grain yield of rice in the treatment with combined use of biochar and common nitrogen fertilizer was significantly (P<0.05) increased by 20.3%. Compared with the single application of DMPP nitrogen fertilizer, the grain yield of rice in the treatment with combined use of biochar and DMPP nitrogen fertilizer was significantly (P<0.05) increased by 49.3%. Compared with the control, the concentrations of Cu, Zn and Cd in grain of in the treatment with combined use of biochar and DMPP nitrogen fertilizer were significantly (P<0.05) decreased by 20.0%, 21.4% and 11.6%, respectively. DMPP could promote the transfer of Cu from straw to grain when biochar was not applied together, but promote the transfer of Cu and

  17. A Biochar Classification System and Associated Test Methods

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Camps-Arbestain, Marta; Amonette, James E.; Singh, Balwant; Wang, Tao; Schmidt, Hans-Peter

    2015-02-18

    In this chapter, a biochar classification system related to its use as soil amendment is proposed. This document builds upon previous work and constrains its scope to materials with properties that satisfy the criteria for biochar as defined by either the International Biochar Initiative (IBI) Biochar Standards or the European Biochar Community (EBC) Standards, and it is intended to minimise the need for testing in addition to those required according to the above-mentioned standards. The classification system envisions enabling stakeholders and commercial entities to (i) identify the most suitable biochar to fulfil the requirements for a particular soil and/or land-use, and (ii) distinguish the application of biochar for specific niches (e.g., soilless agriculture). It is based on the best current knowledge and the intention is to periodically review and update the document based on new data and knowledge that become available in the scientific literature. The main thrust of this classification system is based on the direct or indirect beneficial effects that biochar provides from its application to soil. We have classified the potential beneficial effects of biochar application to soils into five categories with their corresponding classes, where applicable: (i) carbon (C) storage value, (ii) fertiliser value, (iii) liming value, (iv) particle-size, and (v) use in soil-less agriculture. A summary of recommended test methods is provided at the end of the chapter.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. Influences of biochar addition on vegetable soil nitrogen balance and pH buffering capacity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yu, Y.; Odindo, AO; Xue, L.; Yang, L.

    2016-08-01

    Leaching is a major path for chemical nitrogen fertilizer loss from in vegetable soil, which would destroy soil pH buffering capacity soil and result in acidification. It has been a common phenomenon in Tai Lake Region, China. However, few study focused on the change soil pH buffering capacity, especially the effect of soil amendment on pH buffering capacity. In this study, a pot experiment was conducted to research the effects of biochar addition to a vegetable soil on nitrogen leaching and pH buffering capacity with pakchoi (B.chinensis L.) growth as the experimental crop. The results showed that biochar could significantly increase the pakchoi nitrogen utilization efficiency, decrease 48%-65% nitrogen loss from leaching under the urea continuous applied condition. Biochar also could effectively maintain the content of soil organic matter and base cations. Therefore, it rose up soil pH buffering capacity by 9.4%-36.8% and significantly slowed down acidification rate. It was suggested that 1%-2% addition ratio was recommended from this study when used as similar soil condition.

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 生物炭基肥料对小麦生长、养分吸收及土壤肥力的影响%Effects of biochar-based fertilizer on soil fertility, wheat growth and nutrient absorption

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    康日峰; 张乃明; 史静; 包立; 张传光

    2014-01-01

    The development of biochar-based fertilizer is an important research area of biochar applications in agriculture. A pot trial in greenhouse was adopted to study the effects of the fertilizer containing different quantities of biochar on wheat growth and soil fertility. It was shown that (1) In wheat growth periods, the application of biochar-based fertilizers which the biochar content were more than 70% fertilizer accessories significantly increased the shoot dry weight, the root dry weight and the total dry weight of wheat, especially in the 100% content biochar treatment NPB4. However, the application of biochar-based fer-tilizer had no significant effect on the 1 000-grain weight of wheat. (2) The biochar-based fertilizer significantly improved the absorption of nitrogen ( N) , phosphorus ( P) in wheat by an average of 19. 07% and 15% respectively, in the order of NPB4> NPB3> NPB2>NPB1>CK. (3) The order of the content of soil organic matter was NPB4>NPB3>NPB2>NPB1>CK, which had a significant positive correlation with the added amounts of biochar (pNPB3>NPB2>NPB1>CK,其中小麦 N吸收平均提高了19.07%, P吸收平均提高了15.00%;(3)土壤中有机质含量表现为NPB4>NPB3>NPB2>NPB1>CK,且与生物炭添加量呈显著正相关(p<0.05);(4)土壤碱解氮和有效磷含量大多呈先降低后升高的趋势,表明生物炭基肥料可持续供给小麦在生长后期对土壤中养分的需求。

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

  6. Biochar's role in mitigating soil nitrous oxide emissions: a review and meta-analysis

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Cayuela, M.L.; Zwieten, van L.; Singh, B.P.; Jeffery, S.L.; Roig, A.; Sánchez-Monedero, M.A.

    2014-01-01

    More than two thirds of global nitrous oxide (N2O) emissions originate from soil, mainly associated with the extensive use of nitrogen (N) fertilizers in agriculture. Although the interaction of black carbon with the N cycle has been long recognized, the impact of biochar on N2O emissions has only r

  7. 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 soil PLFAs concentration at the beginning of incubation, indicating that microorganisms were N-limited in test soil. Furthermore, N amendment significantly (P soil.

  8. Responses of bacterial community and functional marker genes of nitrogen cycling to biochar, compost and combined amendments in soil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Haipeng; Zeng, Guangming; Liang, Jie; Chen, Jin; Xu, Jijun; Dai, Juan; Li, Xiaodong; Chen, Ming; Xu, Piao; Zhou, Yaoyu; Li, Fei; Hu, Liang; Wan, Jia

    2016-10-01

    Biochar and compost are seen as two attractive waste management options and are used for soil amendment and pollution remediation. The interaction between biochar and composting may improve the potential benefits of biochar and compost. We investigated soil physicochemical properties, bacterial community, bacterial 16S rRNA, and functional marker genes of nitrogen cycling of the soil remedied with nothing (S), compost (SC), biochar (SB), a mixture of compost and biochar (SBC), composted biochar (SBced), and a composted mixture of biochar and biomass (SBCing). The results were that all amendments (1) increased the bacterial community richness (except SB) and SBCing showed the greatest efficiency; (2) increased the bacterial community diversity (SBCing > SBC > SC > SBced > SB > S); and (3) changed the gene copy numbers of 16S rRNA, nirK, nirS, and nosZ genes of bacteria, ammonia-oxidizing archaea (AOA), and ammonia-oxidizing bacteria (AOB). All amendments (except SB) could increase the gene copy number of 16S rRNA, and SBCing had the greatest efficiency. The changes of soil bacterial community richness and diversity and the gene copy numbers of 16S rRNA, nirK, nirS, nosZ, AOA, and AOB would affect carbon and nitrogen cycling of the ecosystem and also implied that BCing had the greatest efficiency on soil amendment.

  9. Biochar reduces copper toxicity in Chenopodium quinoa Willd. In a sandy soil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buss, Wolfram; Kammann, Claudia; Koyro, Hans-Werner

    2012-01-01

    Mining, smelting, land applications of sewage sludge, the use of fungicides containing copper (Cu), and other human activities have led to widespread soil enrichment and contamination with Cu and potentially toxic conditions. Biochar (BC) can adsorb several substances, ranging from herbicides to plant-inhibiting allelochemicals. However, the range of potential beneficial effects on early-stage plant growth with regard to heavy metal toxicity is largely unexplored. We investigated the ameliorating properties of a forestry-residue BC under Cu toxicity conditions on early plant growth. Young quinoa plants () were grown in the greenhouse in the presence of 0, 2, and 4% BC application (w/w) added to a sandy soil with 0, 50, or 200 μg g Cu supplied. The plants without BC showed severe stress symptoms and reduced growth shortly after Cu application of 50 μg g and died at 200 μg Cu g. Increasing BC concentrations in the growth medium significantly increased the plant performance without Cu toxicity or under Cu stress. At the 4% BC application rate, the plants with 200 μg g Cu almost reached the same biomass as in the control treatment. In the presence of BC, less Cu entered the plant tissues, which had reduced Cu concentrations in the order roots, shoots, leaves. The amelioration effect also was reflected in the plant-soil system CO gas exchange, which showed clear signs of improvement with BC presence. The most likely ameliorating mechanisms were adsorption of Cu to negatively charged BC surfaces and an improvement of the water supply. Overall, BC seems to be a beneficial amendment with the potential to ameliorate Cu toxicity in sandy soils. Further research with a broad spectrum of different soil types, BCs, and crop plants is required.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. Effects of biochar and maize straw on the short-term carbon and nitrogen dynamics in a cultivated silty loam in China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhu, Li-Xia; Xiao, Qian; Shen, Yu-Fang; Li, Shi-Qing

    2017-01-01

    Application of maize straw and biochar can potentially improve soil fertility and sequester carbon (C) in the soil, but little information is available about the effects of maize straw and biochar on the mineralization of soil C and nitrogen (N). We conducted a laboratory incubation experiment with five treatments of a cultivated silty loam, biochar produced from maize straw and/or maize straw: soil only (control), soil + 1 % maize straw (S), soil + 4 % biochar (B1), soil + 4 % biochar + 1 % maize straw (B1S), and soil + 8 % biochar + 1 % maize straw (B2S). CO2 emissions, soil organic C, dissolved organic C, easily oxidized C, total N, mineral N, net N mineralization, and microbial biomass C and N of three replicates were measured periodically during the 60-day incubation using destructive sampling method. C mineralization was highest in treatment S, followed by B2S, B1S, the control, and B1. Total net CO2 emissions suggested that negative or positive priming effect may occur between the biochar and straw according to the biochar addition rate, and biochar mineralization was minimal. By day 35, maize straw, irrespective of the rate of biochar addition, significantly increased microbial biomass C and N but decreased dissolved organic N. Biochar alone, however, had no significant effect on either microbial biomass C or N but decreased dissolved organic N. Mixing the soil with biochar and/or straw significantly increased soil organic C, easily oxidized C and total N contents, and decreased dissolved organic N content. Dissolved organic C contents showed mixed results. Notably, N was immobilized in soil mixed with straw and/or biochar, but the effect was stronger for soil mixed with straw, which may cause N deficiency for plant growth. The application of biochar and maize straw can thus affect soil C and N cycles, and the appropriate proportion of biochar and maize straw need further studies to increase C sequestration.

  13. 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.

  14. 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 activity was significantly increased (P 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-05-01

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

  16. 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

    in an agricultural field in Denmark with a calcium carbonate (CaCO3) gradient. The field comprised four reference plots and four plots to which biochar (birch wood pyrolyzed at 500°C) was applied at a rate of 20 t ha−1. 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 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...

  17. 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.

  18. Pine Woodchip Biochar Impact on Soil Nutrient Concentrations and Corn Yield in a Silt Loam in the Mid-Southern U.S.

    OpenAIRE

    Katy E. Brantley; Mary C. Savin; Brye, Kristofor R.; David E. Longer

    2015-01-01

    Biochar has altered plant yields and soil nutrient availability in tropical soils, but less research exists involving biochar additions to temperate cropping systems. Of the existing research, results vary based on soil texture, crop grown, and biochar properties. The objective of this study was to determine the effects of pine ( Pinus spp.) woodchip biochar at 0, 5, and 10 Mg·ha −1 rates combined with urea nitrogen (N) on soil chemical properties and corn ( Zea mays L.) yield under field con...

  19. 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 to water...... of rainfall-runoff simulations using round flumes in the laboratory indicated the positive effects of biochar amendment to mitigate runoff and soil erosion. Moreover laser scanning technique confirmed the positive effects of biochar lumps to enhance the soil surface roughness thereby reduce the runoff...

  20. 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.

  1. Biochar Preparation, Characterization, and Adsorptive Capacity and Its Effect on Bioavailability of Contaminants: An Overview

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Obemah D. Nartey

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available This paper provides an updated review on the subjects, the available alternative to produce biochar from biomass, quantification and characterization of biochar, the adsorptive capacity for the adsorption of contaminants, and the effect of biochar addition to agricultural soils on contaminant bioavailability. The property of biochar produced is much dependent upon the composition and type of biomass and the conditions at which biomass is carbonized. The physical and chemical characterizations are necessary to identify the basic structure and property of biochar and to predict its potential in various environmental application. Biochar is a promising alternative to remedy the soils contaminated with heavy metals and organic compounds through adsorption and immobilization due to its large surface area, charged surface, and functional groups. Overall, the bioavailability of heavy metals and organic compounds decreases when biochar is amended into soils.

  2. Organo-mineral interactions mask the true sorption potential of biochars in soils.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Singh, Neera; Kookana, Rai S

    2009-03-01

    The sorption of carbaryl (1-naphthyl methyl carbamate) and ethion [O,O,O',O'-tetraethyl S,S'-methylene bis(phosphorodithioate)] was studied in whole soils as well as after treatment of soil with 2% hydrofluoric acid (HF) to remove paramagnetic materials and to oxidize most forms of labile carbon by photo-oxidation with high energy (UV) on organo-mineral interactions of char in whole soils. This has implications for the modification of surfaces of the freshly applied biochars in soils due to organo-mineral interactions.

  3. 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.

  4. Characterizing Properties of Biochar Produced from Simulated Human Feces and Its Potential Applications.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ilango, Ajaykannan; Lefebvre, Olivier

    2016-03-01

    This study presents a comprehensive characterization of biochar obtained from simulated human feces (SHF) with a view to improve human waste sanitization and stabilization before usage as a resource. The possible applications of SHF are as a fuel, as a soil amendment, or for emerging applications (e.g., activated carbon precursor and odor control), depending on the charring conditions. Simulated human feces were charred under different conditions of peak temperature (200-800°C), heating rate (2-50°C min), and holding time (0.5-6.0 h); these parameters have been shown to have the largest influence on the thermal and physicochemical characteristics of the final product. The peak temperature was shown to have a higher impact than the heating rate or the holding time. At 200°C, the very mild structural changes of the product were characteristic of dry torrefaction, a process useful to remove moisture and sterilize the product. At 400°C the carbon content (76.2 ± 0.4) and the calorific heat value (30.6 ± 0.4 MJ kg) of the product increased by 60%. From 600°C onward, the improved degree of aromatization verified by Fourier transform infrared spectrometry (alkene [C=C] stretching around 1680-1450 cm) and C nuclear magnetic resonance (C=C stretching at 140-110 ppm) made the biochar increasingly suitable for carbon sequestration or commercial fabrication of briquettes of charcoal. In conclusion, SHF proved to be a suitable feedstock to produce a biochar whose characteristics depended mostly on the peak charring temperature. Ultimately, the selection of a suitable application may depend on local and sociological considerations.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Imparato, Valentina; Hansen, Veronika; Santos, Susana;

    2016-01-01

    -induced respiration (MicroResp™), soil toxicity test (BioTox™) and bacterial community structure (Illumina 16S rRNA gene sequencing). No significant effect of biochar treatment was observed regarding ATP content, catabolic community profiles and soil toxicity. The higher dose of GBC increased phenol oxidase activity......Biochar may enhance soil fertility and carbon (C) sequestration but there is still a lack of comprehensive understanding of its effects on soil microbial communities and functioning. This study tested the differential effects of two doses (6-8 and 0.8-1.4 t ha-1 for High and Low doses, respectively......) of wheat straw gasification biochar (GBC) and fresh straw incorporated as soil amendments into an agricultural field in Denmark. Soils were analysed three months after the amendments for pH, total organic matter, microbial biomass (ATP), ten enzymatic activities, catabolic potential by substrate...

  6. Agronomic properties of wastewater sludge biochar and bioavailability of metals in production of cherry tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hossain, Mustafa K; Strezov, Vladimir; Chan, K Yin; Nelson, Peter F

    2010-02-01

    This work presents agronomic values of a biochar produced from wastewater sludge through pyrolysis at a temperature of 550 degrees C. In order to investigate and quantify effects of wastewater sludge biochar on soil quality, growth, yield and bioavailability of metals in cherry tomatoes, pot experiments were carried out in a temperature controlled environment and under four different treatments consisting of control soil, soil with biochar; soil with biochar and fertiliser, and soil with fertiliser only. The soil used was chromosol and the applied wastewater sludge biochar was 10tha(-1). The results showed that the application of biochar improves the production of cherry tomatoes by 64% above the control soil conditions. The ability of biochar to increase the yield was attributed to the combined effect of increased nutrient availability (P and N) and improved soil chemical conditions upon amendment. The yield of cherry tomato production was found to be at its maximum when biochar was applied in combination with the fertiliser. Application of biochar was also found to significantly increase the soil electrical conductivity as well as phosphorus and nitrogen contents. Bioavailability of metals present in the biochar was found to be below the Australian maximum permitted concentrations for food.

  7. Phytotoxicity attenuation in Vigna radiata under heavy metal stress at the presence of biochar and N fixing bacteria.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seneviratne, Mihiri; Weerasundara, Lakshika; Ok, Yong Sik; Rinklebe, Jörg; Vithanage, Meththika

    2017-01-15

    This study assesses the effect of N-fixing bacteria and biochar synergism on plant growth and development of Vigna mungo under heavy metal stress (HM). Heavy metal stress is a worldwide problem, which causes critical effects on plant life due to oxidative stress. Application of biochar is a recent biological remediation technique, which often leads to an immobilization of heavy metals in soil. . Synergism of bacteria and biochar is a novel aspect to enhance plant growth under heavy metal stress. Woody biochar a byproduct of a dendro power industry was added as 1, 2.5 and 5% amounts combination with Bradyrhizobium japonicum, where mung seedlings were planted in serpentine soil rich in Ni, Mn, Cr and Co. Pot experiments were conducted for 12 weeks. The plant height, heavy metal uptake by plants, soil bioavailable heavy metal contents, soil N and P and microbial biomass carbon (MBC) were measured. The plant growth was enhanced with biochar amendment but a retardation was observed with high biochar application (5%). The soil N and P increased with the increase of biochar addition percentage while soil MBC showed reductions at 5% biochar amendment. Both soil bioavailable fractions of HM and up take of HMs by plants were gradually reduced with increase in biochar content. Based on the results, 2.5% biochar synergism with bacteria was the best for plant growth and soil nutrition status. Despite the synergism, available N was negatively correlated with the decrease of bioavailable metal percentage in soil whereas it was conversely for P.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-04-01

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

  9. Engineered biochar from microwave-assisted catalytic pyrolysis of switchgrass for increasing water-holding capacity and fertility of sandy soil

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Mohamed, Badr A. [Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering, University of British Columbia, Vancouver BC V6T 1Z3 (Canada); Agricultural Engineering Department, Cairo University, Giza (Egypt); Ellis, Naoko [Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering, University of British Columbia, Vancouver BC V6T 1Z3 (Canada); Kim, Chang Soo [Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering, University of British Columbia, Vancouver BC V6T 1Z3 (Canada); Clean Energy Research Center, Korea Institute of Science and Technology, 14 gil 5 Hwarang-no Seongbuk-gu, Seoul 136-791 (Korea, Republic of); Bi, Xiaotao, E-mail: tony.bi@ubc.ca [Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering, University of British Columbia, Vancouver BC V6T 1Z3 (Canada); Emam, Ahmed El-raie [Agricultural Engineering Department, Cairo University, Giza (Egypt)

    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 K{sub 3}PO{sub 4}, clinoptilolite and/or bentonite as catalysts during the pyrolysis process increased biochar surface area and plant nutrient contents. Adding biochar produced with 10 wt.% K{sub 3}PO{sub 4} + 10 wt.% clinoptilolite as catalysts to the soil at 2 wt% load increased soil WHC by 98% and 57% compared to the treatments without biochar (control) and with 10 wt.% 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 10 wt% clinoptilolite at 400 °C, and 30 wt% K{sub 3}PO{sub 4} 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. - Highlights: • High quality biochar was made by catalytic pyrolysis in a microwave reactor. • High heating rate and good biochar quality were achieved using K{sub 3}PO{sub 4} and clinoptilolite mixture. • Biochars showed significant increase in soil WHC and CEC.

  10. Does biochar with organic amendments affect denitrification in an agricultural soil?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maier, Regine; Soja, Gerhard; Friesl Hanl, Wolfgang; Dunst, Gerald; Kitzler, Barbara

    2016-04-01

    In this laboratory experiment we investigated the influence of biochar (BC) application on dinitrogen (N2) and nitrous oxide (N2O) emissions from an agricultural soil in Austria. We produced BC at 550°C from fiber sludge and husk, partly enriched with ammonium sulfate and mixed with garden green compost at a 50/50 ratio (w/w). The gleyic Cambisol originates from an experimental site in Kaindorf, Austria. For the incubation experiment we established three different treatments in 2014: K (control plots); T1 (1 % BC-compost mixture) and T2 (0.5 % BC-compost mixture enriched with 175 kg N ha-1). We used the helium gas flow soil core technique to quantify N2 and N2O fluxes simultaneously. Therefore, we incubated soil cores at ambient air temperature (20 and 24°C) at 20 and 50% water filled pore space (WFPS). Results show that before BC addition N2 and N2O fluxes were similar at all treatments. Measurements of pure nitrogen-enriched BC show very high gaseous losses in form of N2 and N2O. Raising temperature promotes N2 production at all treatments. Application of N-enriched BC led to significantly higher N2 fluxes compared to K. N2O fluxes increased significantly at fertilized BC plots (T2) compared to K and T1 at both water contents. Raising WFPS supports higher N2 production at all treatments but lowers N2 fluxes at BC plots.

  11. Biochar affects soil organic matter cycling and microbial functions but does not alter microbial community structure in a paddy soil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tian, Jing; Wang, Jingyuan; Dippold, Michaela; Gao, Yang; Blagodatskaya, Evgenia; Kuzyakov, Yakov

    2016-06-15

    The application of biochar (BC) in conjunction with mineral fertilizers is one of the most promising management practices recommended to improve soil quality. However, the interactive mechanisms of BC and mineral fertilizer addition affecting microbial communities and functions associated with soil organic matter (SOM) cycling are poorly understood. We investigated the SOM in physical and chemical fractions, microbial community structure (using phospholipid fatty acid analysis, PLFA) and functions (by analyzing enzymes involved in C and N cycling and Biolog) in a 6-year field experiment with BC and NPK amendment. BC application increased total soil C and particulate organic C for 47.4-50.4% and 63.7-74.6%, respectively. The effects of BC on the microbial community and C-cycling enzymes were dependent on fertilization. Addition of BC alone did not change the microbial community compared with the control, but altered the microbial community structure in conjunction with NPK fertilization. SOM fractions accounted for 55% of the variance in the PLFA-related microbial community structure. The particulate organic N explained the largest variation in the microbial community structure. Microbial metabolic activity strongly increased after BC addition, particularly the utilization of amino acids and amines due to an increase in the activity of proteolytic (l-leucine aminopeptidase) enzymes. These results indicate that microorganisms start to mine N from the SOM to compensate for high C:N ratios after BC application, which consequently accelerate cycling of stable N. Concluding, BC in combination with NPK fertilizer application strongly affected microbial community composition and functions, which consequently influenced SOM cycling.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Uchimiya, Minori; Bannon, Desmond I

    2013-08-14

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

  13. Exploring the potential roles of biochars on land degradation mitigation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A.K. Berek

    2014-04-01

    Full Text Available Land degradation was exacerbated and its management was challenged by population growth and global climate change. The impacts of land degradation on food security, ecosystem services and biodiversity become a more serious problem particularly in developing countries. Biochar, based on the current research findings, is capable to amend degraded lands. This paper reviewed relevant biocharproperties and identified the opportunities of its using for recovering deteriorated lands.Biochar was traditionally recognized as a good absorbent, energy source, and its ash was used by farmers to recover soil fertility. Recent findings revealed that application of biochar improved soil water retention, enhanced soil aggregation, decreased soil bulk density and increased soil infiltration. It also increased soil cation exchange capacity, soil pH, mineral nutrients, reduced nutrient leaching, support microbial population and activities, and suppressed the pest. The sorption capacity of biochar to soil and water pollutants such as Pb, Cu, Ni, Cr, Cd,dioxine, atrazine, and concurrently eliminatedthe environmental problems such as hypoxia, eutrophication, and algae bloom, have also been investigated. Investigation on its role to mitigate climate change revealed that biochar is capable in reducing greenhouse gasesemissions such as CO2, N2O, and CH4. All those beneficial effects of biochars were attributed to its high porosity, large surface area and surface charge, high carbon, ash and nutrient content, and its stability to be degraded. Thus, biochar could be potential for ameliorating degraded lands

  14. Influence of Al-oxide on pesticide sorption to woody biochars with different surface areas.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shou, Jianxin; Dong, Huaping; Li, Jianfa; Zhong, Jiaxing; Li, Saijun; Lü, Jinhong; Li, Yimin

    2016-10-01

    Biochars' properties will change after application in soil due to the interactions with soil constituents, which would then impact the performance of biochars as soil amendment. For a better understanding on these interactions, two woody biochars of different surface areas (SA) were physically treated with aluminum oxide (Al-oxide) to investigate its potential influence on biochars' sorption property. Both the micropore area and mesopore (17∼500 Å in diameter) area of the low-SA biochar were enhanced by at least 1.5 times after treatment with Al-oxide, whereas the same treatment did not change the surface characteristics of the high-SA biochar due partly to its well-developed porosity. The enhanced sorption of the pesticide isoproturon to the Al-oxide-treated low-SA biochar was observed and is positively related to the increased mesopore area. The desorption hysteresis of pesticide from the low-SA biochar was strengthened because of more pesticide molecules entrapped in the expanded pores by Al-oxide. However, no obvious change of pesticide sorption to the high-SA biochar after Al-oxide treatment was observed, corresponding to its unchanged porosity. The results suggest that the influence of Al-oxide on the biochars' sorption property is dependent on their porosity. This study will provide valuable information on the use of biochars for reducing the bioavailability of pesticides.

  15. Co-composted biochar can promote plant growth by serving as a nutrient carrier: first mechanistic insights

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kammann, Claudia; Haider, Ghulam; Messerschmidt, Nicole; Schmidt, Hans-Peter; Koyro, Hans-Werner; Steffens, Diedrich; Clough, Timothy; Müller, Christoph

    2014-05-01

    Pyrogenic carbon (biochar) offers considerable potential for carbon capture (CCSS) and soil storage and meta-analysis suggests that it can significantly reduce soil N2O emissions. Freshly produced biochars, however, do not always have yield-improving effects; pure, production-fresh biochar seems to 'claim' some nutrients initially from soil, particularly nitrogen, although the mechanisms are unclear to date. Hence, combining biochar with organic nutrient-rich materials and waste streams may be a promising strategy to enable CCSS by yield improvements, which may enable economically feasible biochar use in agriculture. We explored the potential of organically post-treated biochar to act as a nutrient carrier and thus to increase its socio-economic value as beneficial soil amendment with associated CCSS value. In a first proof-of-concept study the effects of untreated biochar were compared to those of co-composted biochar, combined with stepwise improved nutritional regimes (+/- compost; +/- mineral-N application). While the untreated biochar reduced plant growth under N-limiting conditions, or at best did not reduce it, the co-composted biochar always significantly stimulated plant growth. The relative stimulation was largest with the lowest nutrient additions (305% versus 61% of control with untreated biochar). Subsequent electro-ultra-filtration analyses revealed that the co-composted but not the untreated biochar carried considerable amounts of easily extractable as well as more strongly sorbed plant nutrients, in particular nitrate and phosphorus. Nevertheless the co-composted N-rich biochar still sorbed 15N labelled NH4+ or NO3- when present in the soil, and again released it to growing barley plants. We will report on the relationship between particle size, increased nutrient content, and plant accessibility of the nutrients associated with the co-composted biochar, and analyse the extent to which the strongly sorbed nutrients on the biochar may be 'invisible

  16. Impact of biochar produced from post-harvest residue on the adsorption behavior of diesel oil on loess soil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jiang, Yu Feng; Sun, Hang; Yves, Uwamungu J; Li, Hong; Hu, Xue Fei

    2016-02-01

    The primary objective of this study was to investigate the effect of biochar, produced from wheat residue at different temperatures, on the adsorption of diesel oil by loess soil. Kinetic and equilibrium data were processed to understand the adsorption mechanism of diesel by biochar-affected loess soil; dynamic and thermodynamic adsorption experiments were conducted to characterize this adsorption. The surface features and chemical structure of biochar, modified at varying pyrolytic temperatures, were investigated using surface scanning electron microscopy and Fourier transform infrared analysis. The kinetic data showed that the adsorption of diesel oil onto loess soil could be described by a pseudo-second-order kinetic model, with the rate-controlling step being intraparticle diffusion. However, in the presence of biochar, boundary layer control and intraparticle diffusion were both involved in the adsorption. Besides, the adsorption equilibrium data were well described by the Freundlich isothermal model. The saturated adsorption capacity weakened as temperature increased, suggesting a spontaneous exothermic process. Thermodynamic parameter analysis showed that adsorption was mainly a physical process and was enhanced by chemical adsorption. The adsorption capacity of loess soil for diesel oil was weakened with increasing pH. The biochar produced by pyrolytic wheat residue increased the adsorption behavior of petroleum pollutants in loess soil.

  17. Straw gasification biochar increases plant available water capacity and plant growth in coarse sandy soil

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hansen, Veronika; Hauggaard-Nielsen, Henrik; Petersen, Carsten Tilbæk

    Gasification biochar (GB) contains recalcitrant carbon that can contribute to soil carbon sequestration and soil quality improvement. However, the impact of GB on plant available water capacity (AWC) and plant growth in diverse soil types needs further reserach. A pot experiment with spring barley...... was conducted to investigate the effect of soil amendment of straw (SGB) and wood (WGB) GB on shoot and root growth under two levels of water supply in a temperate sandy loam and coarse sandy soil. In the sandy loam, the reduced water regime significantly affected plant growth and water consumption, whereas...... of plant biomass under both water regimes, most likely due to reduced mechanical impedance to root growth. No positive effects on plant growth were achieved by addition of WGB. Our results suggest that SGB has a great global potential to increase crop productivity on coarser soil types changing...

  18. Biochar addition to an arsenic contaminated soil increases arsenic concentrations in the pore water but reduces uptake to tomato plants (Solanum lycopersicum L.).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beesley, Luke; Marmiroli, Marta; Pagano, Luca; Pigoni, Veronica; Fellet, Guido; Fresno, Teresa; Vamerali, Teofilo; Bandiera, Marianna; Marmiroli, Nelson

    2013-06-01

    Arsenic (As) concentrations in soil, soil pore water and plant tissues were evaluated in a pot experiment following the transplantation of tomato (Solanum lycopersicum L.) plantlets to a heavily As contaminated mine soil (~6000 mg kg(-1) pseudo-total As) receiving an orchard prune residue biochar amendment, with and without NPK fertiliser. An in-vitro test was also performed to establish if tomato seeds were able to germinate in various proportions of biochar added to nutrient solution (MS). Biochar significantly increased arsenic concentrations in pore water (500 μg L(-1)-2000 μg L(-1)) whilst root and shoot concentrations were significantly reduced compared to the control without biochar. Fruit As concentrations were very low (soil, but uptake to plant was reduced, and toxicity-transfer risk was negligible. Therefore leaching rather than food chain transfer appears the most probable immediate consequence of biochar addition to As contaminated soils.

  19. Stochastic state-space temperature regulation of biochar production Part II: Application to manure processing via pyrolysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    BACKGROUND: The concept of a designer biochar that targets the improvement of a specific soil property imposes the need for production processes to generate biochars with both high consistency and quality. These important production parameters can be affected by variations in process temperature tha...

  20. A mycorrhizal fungus grows on biochar and captures phosphorus from its surfaces

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hammer, Edith; Balogh-Brunstad, Zsuzsanna; Jakobsen, Iver

    2014-01-01

    Biochar application to soils has potential to simultaneously improve soil fertility and store carbon to aid climate change mitigation. While many studies have shown positive effects on plant yields, much less is known about the synergies between biochar and plant growth promoting microbes...

  1. The way forward in biochar research: targeting trade-offs between the potential wins

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Jeffery, S.; Bezemer, T.M.; Cornelissen, G.; Kuyper, T.W.; Lehmann, J.; Mommer, L.; Sohi, S.; Van de Voorde, T.F.J.; Wardle, D.A.; Van Groenigen, J.W.

    2015-01-01

    Biochar application to soil is currently widely advocated for a variety of reasons related to sustainability. Typically, soil amelioration with biochar is presented as a multiple-‘win’ strategy, although it is also associated with potential risks such as environmental contamination. The most often c

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Woldetsadik, Desta; Drechsel, Pay; Keraita, Bernard;

    2016-01-01

    To assess the efficiency of seven treatments including biochars produced from dried faecal matter and manures as stabilizing agents of cadmium (Cd)-spiked soils, lettuce was grown in glasshouse on two contrasting soils. The soils used were moderately fertile silty loam and less fertile sandy loam...... concentrations of lettuce plants were induced by faecal matter and cow manure biochar treatments in both soils. Additionally, the greatest Cd phytoavailability reduction for lettuce was induced by poultry litter and cow manure biochars in the silty loam soil. Our results indicate that faecal matter and animal...

  3. Co-generated fast pyrolysis biochar mitigates green-house gas emissions and increases carbon sequestration in temperate soils

    Science.gov (United States)

    Biochar (BC) is a product of thermochemical conversion of biomass via pyrolysis, together with gas (syngas), liquid (bio-oil), and heat. Fast pyrolysis is a promising process for bio-oil generation, which leaves 10-30% of the original biomass as char. When applied to soils, BC may increase soil C s...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-04-01

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

  5. Biochar as potential sustainable precursors for activated carbon production: Multiple applications in environmental protection and energy storage.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tan, Xiao-Fei; Liu, Shao-Bo; Liu, Yun-Guo; Gu, Yan-Ling; Zeng, Guang-Ming; Hu, Xin-Jiang; Wang, Xin; Liu, Shao-Heng; Jiang, Lu-Hua

    2017-03-01

    There is a growing interest of the scientific community on production of activated carbon using biochar as potential sustainable precursors pyrolyzed from biomass wastes. Physical activation and chemical activation are the main methods applied in the activation process. These methods could have significantly beneficial effects on biochar chemical/physical properties, which make it suitable for multiple applications including water pollution treatment, CO2 capture, and energy storage. The feedstock with different compositions, pyrolysis conditions and activation parameters of biochar have significant influences on the properties of resultant activated carbon. Compared with traditional activated carbon, activated biochar appears to be a new potential cost-effective and environmentally-friendly carbon materials with great application prospect in many fields. This review not only summarizes information from the current analysis of activated biochar and their multiple applications for further optimization and understanding, but also offers new directions for development of activated biochar.

  6. Short-Term Responses of Soil Respiration and C-Cycle Enzyme Activities to Additions of Biochar and Urea in a Calcareous Soil

    Science.gov (United States)

    Song, Dali; Xi, Xiangyin; Huang, Shaomin; Liang, Guoqing; Sun, Jingwen; Zhou, Wei; Wang, Xiubin

    2016-01-01

    Biochar (BC) addition to soil is a proposed strategy to enhance soil fertility and crop productivity. However, there is limited knowledge regarding responses of soil respiration and C-cycle enzyme activities to BC and nitrogen (N) additions in a calcareous soil. A 56-day incubation experiment was conducted to investigate the combined effects of BC addition rates (0, 0.5, 1.0, 2.5 and 5.0% by mass) and urea (U) application on soil nutrients, soil respiration and C-cycle enzyme activities in a calcareous soil in the North China Plain. Our results showed soil pH values in both U-only and U plus BC treatments significantly decreased within the first 14 days and then stabilized, and CO2emission rate in all U plus BC soils decreased exponentially, while there was no significant difference in the contents of soil total organic carbon (TOC), dissolved organic carbon (DOC), total nitrogen (TN), and C/N ratio in each treatment over time. At each incubation time, soil pH, electrical conductivity (EC), TOC, TN, C/N ratio, DOC and cumulative CO2 emission significantly increased with increasing BC addition rate, while soil potential activities of the four hydrolytic enzymes increased first and then decreased with increasing BC addition rate, with the largest values in the U + 1.0%BC treatment. However, phenol oxidase activity in all U plus BC soils showed a decreasing trend with the increase of BC addition rate. Our results suggest that U plus BC application at a rate of 1% promotes increases in hydrolytic enzymes, does not highly increase C/N and C mineralization, and can improve in soil fertility. PMID:27589265

  7. Short-Term Responses of Soil Respiration and C-Cycle Enzyme Activities to Additions of Biochar and Urea in a Calcareous Soil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Song, Dali; Xi, Xiangyin; Huang, Shaomin; Liang, Guoqing; Sun, Jingwen; Zhou, Wei; Wang, Xiubin

    2016-01-01

    Biochar (BC) addition to soil is a proposed strategy to enhance soil fertility and crop productivity. However, there is limited knowledge regarding responses of soil respiration and C-cycle enzyme activities to BC and nitrogen (N) additions in a calcareous soil. A 56-day incubation experiment was conducted to investigate the combined effects of BC addition rates (0, 0.5, 1.0, 2.5 and 5.0% by mass) and urea (U) application on soil nutrients, soil respiration and C-cycle enzyme activities in a calcareous soil in the North China Plain. Our results showed soil pH values in both U-only and U plus BC treatments significantly decreased within the first 14 days and then stabilized, and CO2emission rate in all U plus BC soils decreased exponentially, while there was no significant difference in the contents of soil total organic carbon (TOC), dissolved organic carbon (DOC), total nitrogen (TN), and C/N ratio in each treatment over time. At each incubation time, soil pH, electrical conductivity (EC), TOC, TN, C/N ratio, DOC and cumulative CO2 emission significantly increased with increasing BC addition rate, while soil potential activities of the four hydrolytic enzymes increased first and then decreased with increasing BC addition rate, with the largest values in the U + 1.0%BC treatment. However, phenol oxidase activity in all U plus BC soils showed a decreasing trend with the increase of BC addition rate. Our results suggest that U plus BC application at a rate of 1% promotes increases in hydrolytic enzymes, does not highly increase C/N and C mineralization, and can improve in soil fertility.

  8. Biochar stability and priming effect on SOM decomposition in two European short rotation coppices

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ventura, Maurizio; Alberti, Giorgio; Viger, Maud; Jenkins, Joe; Girardin, Cyril; Baronti, Silvia; Zaldei, Alessandro; Taylor, Gail; Miglietta, Franco; Tonon, Giustino

    2014-05-01

    Biochar application to agricultural soils has been proposed as a promising strategy for carbon (C) sequestration and climate change mitigation. However, most of the knowledge on biochar stability is based on short-term lab incubation experiments, as field studies are scarce. Therefore, little is known about the interactions between biochar and roots and the related effects on biochar stability in field conditions. In two (Italy and UK) short rotation coppice systems (SRCs) the present study aimed to asses, through continuous soil respiration monitoring and δ13C periodic measurements, the stability of biochar in field conditions, the effect of plant roots on biochar stability, the effect of biochar on original soil organic matter (SOM) decomposition. The percentage of biochar-derived soil respiration (fB) varied according to the site and sampling date: at the Italian site, it was between 7% and 37%; at the UK site, it varied between 12% and 32%. At both sites, fB was generally higher in the presence of roots (Rtot) than in trenched plots (Rh) where the root growth was excluded. This suggests a positive priming effect of roots on biochar decomposition. On the other hand, a decreased decomposition rate of original SOM after soil biochar addition (-10% and -14% at Italian and UK site, respectively) was observed, suggesting a protective effect of biochar on SOM. In summary, regardless of the experimental site, biochar showed a slow decomposition and a protective effect on original SOM, confirming the carbon mitigation potential of this technology. However, the mechanisms that are behind the observed results deserve to be investigated more deeply in a long-term perspective, in order to understand the real potential of biochar as a strategy for soil C sequestration.

  9. Molecular Structures and Sorption Mechanisms of Biochars as Heterogeneous Carbon Materials

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Baoliang; Chen, Zaiming; Xiao, Xin; Fang, Qile

    2015-04-01

    Surface functional groups such as carboxyl play a vital role in the environmental applications of biochar as a soil amendment. However, the quantification of oxygen-containing groups on a biochar surface still lacks systematical investigation. An integrated method combining chemical and spectroscopic techniques was established to quantitatively identify the chemical states, dissociation constants (pKa), and contents of oxygen-containing groups on dairy manure-derived biochars prepared at 100-700 °C. The dissociation pH of carboxyl groups on the biochar surface covered a wide range of pH values (pH 2-11), due to the varied structural micro-environments and chemical states. For low temperature biochars (≤350 °C), carboxyl existed not only as hydrogen-bonded carboxyl and unbonded carboxyl groups but also formed esters at the surface of biochars. The esters consumed OH‒ via saponification in the alkaline pH region and enhanced the dissolution of organic matter from biochars. For high temperature biochars (≥500 °C), esters came from carboxyl were almost eliminated via carbonization (ester pyrolysis), while lactones were developed. The surface density of carboxyl groups on biochars decreased sharply with the increase of the biochar-producing temperature, but the total contents of the surface carboxyls for different biochars were comparable (with a difference minerals. For high temperature biochars (i.e., DM500 and DM700), the effect of acid/base dissociation on organic matter dissolution is eliminated, but other functions are similar. CGs are the major acid/base groups on biochar surfaces. In field applications, such abundant CGs are worthy of concern in terms of multiple functions of biochars, such as soil pH adjustment, soil nutrient retention, and toxic metals immobilization.

  10. Enhanced irreversible sorption of carbaryl to soils amended with crop-residue-derived biochar.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Qiu, Yuping; Wu, Minwei; Jiang, Jing; Li, Liang; Sheng, G Daniel

    2013-09-01

    The irreversible sorption-desorption of carbaryl in five soil types with crop-residue-derived biochar (CBC) amendment was determined. CBC has lower surface area and micropores volume than wood-based biochar and charcoal. However, CBC amendment (0.5%) still significantly enhanced the hysteresis effect on soils, with a 1.7- to 2.8-fold increase in the hysteresis index (HI) values. The HI values increased exponentially with the increased amount of CBC but decreased exponentially with the increased amount of soil organic matter (SOM%). Furthermore, the irreversible carbaryl sorption (qirr) and the irreversibility index (Iirr) values were proportional to the amount of CBC (0-1.0%) in soils. Likewise, the SOM-rich soil (S3) was washed ten times to reduce its SOM% to evaluate the influence of the dissolved organic matter (DOM) in the soils on the irreversible sorption. The Iirr values of the unamended S3 increased as the number of sorption-desorption cycles increased, whereas those of the 1.0% CBC-amended S3 decreased. In addition, the Iirr values of the unwashed S3 were lower than those of the washed S3. By contrast, the Iirr values of the 1.0% CBC-amended S3 soil were higher in the unwashed samples than in the washed samples. These results suggested that DOM had opposite effects on the irreversible carbaryl sorption by unamended and CBC-amended soils. The DOM release may expose more irreversible adsorption sites in the soils and may cover the surface of the CBC to form a desorption-resistant fraction in its mesopore or macropore regions, thereby preventing the desorption of adsorbed carbaryl molecules.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-02-01

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

  12. 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 (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.

  13. Changes in water, carbon, and nitrogen fluxes with the addition of biochar to soils: lessons learned from laboratory and greenhouse experiments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barnes, R. T.; Gallagher, M. E.; Masiello, C. A.; Liu, Z.; Dugan, B.; Rudgers, J. A.

    2011-12-01

    The addition of biochar to agricultural soils has the potential to provide a number of ecosystem services, ranging from carbon (C) sequestration to increased soil fertility and crop production. It is estimated that 0.5 to 0.9 Pg of C yr-1 can be sequestered through the addition of biochar to soils, significantly increasing the charcoal flux to the biosphere over natural inputs from fire (0.05 to 0.20 Pg C yr-1). There remain large uncertainties about biochar mobility within the environment, making it a challenge to assess the ecosystem residence time of biochar. We conducted laboratory and greenhouse experiments to understand how soil amendment with laboratory-produced biochar changes water, C, and nitrogen (N) fluxes from soils. We used column experiments to assess how biochar amendment to three types of soils (sand, organic, clay-rich) affected hydraulic conductivity and dissolved organic carbon (DOC) and total dissolved nitrogen (TDN) fluxes. Results varied with soil type; biochar significantly decreased the hydraulic conductivity of the sand and organic soils by a factor of 10.6 and 2.7, respectively. While not statistically significant, biochar addition increased the hydraulic conductivity of the clay-rich soil by 50% on average. The addition of biochar significantly increased the DOC fluxes from the C-poor sand and clay soils while it significantly decreased the DOC flux from the organic-rich soil. In contrast, TDN fluxes decreased with biochar additions from all soil types, though the results were not statistically significant from the clay-rich soil. These laboratory experiments suggest that changes in the hydraulic conductivity of soil due to biochar amendments could play a significant role in understanding how biochar additions to agricultural fields will change watershed C and N dynamics. We additionally conducted a 28-day greenhouse experiment with sorghum plants using a three-way factorial treatment (water availability x biochar x mycorrhizae) to

  14. The Role of Biochar in Ameliorating Disturbed Soils and Sequestering Soil Carbon in Tropical Agricultural Production Systems

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wolde Mekuria

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Agricultural soils in the tropics have undergone significant declines in their native carbon stock through the long-term use of extractive farming practices. However, these soils have significant capacity to sequester CO2 through the implementation of improved land management practices. This paper reviews the published and grey literature related to the influence of improved land management practices on soil carbon stock in the tropics. The review suggests that the implementation of improved land management practices such as crop rotation, no-till, cover crops, mulches, compost, or manure can be effective in enhancing soil organic carbon pool and agricultural productivity in the tropics. The benefits of such amendments were, however, often short-lived, and the added organic matters were usually mineralized to CO2 within a few cropping seasons leading to large-scale leakage. We found that management of black carbon (C, increasingly referred to as biochar, may overcome some of those limitations and provide an additional soil management option. Under present circumstances, recommended crop and land management practices are inappropriate for the vast majority of resource constrained smallholder farmers and farming systems. We argue that expanding the use of biochar in agricultural lands would be important for sequestering atmospheric CO2 and mitigating climate change, while implementing the recommended crop and land management practices in selected areas where the smallholder farmers are not resource constrained.

  15. A combination of biochar-mineral complexes and compost improves soil bacterial processes, soil quality and plant properties

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    JUN eYE

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available Organic farming avoids the use of synthetic fertilizers and promises food production with minimal environmental impact, however this farming practice does not often result in the same productivity as conventional farming. In recent years, biochar has received increasing attention as an agricultural amendment and by coating it with minerals to form biochar-mineral complex (BMC carbon retention and nutrient availability can be improved. However, little is known about the potential of BMC in improving organic farming. We therefore investigated here how soil, bacterial and plant properties respond to a combined treatment of BMC and an organic fertilizer, i.e. a compost based on poultry manure. In a pakchoi pot trial, BMC and compost showed synergistic effects on soil properties, and specifically by increasing nitrate content. Soil nitrate has been previously observed to increase leaf size and we correspondingly saw an increase in the surface area of pakchoi leaves under the combined treatment of BMC and chicken manure. The increase in soil nitrate was also correlated with an enrichment of bacterial nitrifiers due to BMC. Additionally, we observed that the bacteria present in the compost treatment had a high turnover, which likely facilitated organic matter degradation and a reduction of potential pathogens derived from the manure. Overall our results demonstrate that a combination of BMC and compost can stimulate microbial process in organic farming that result in better vegetable production and improved soil properties for sustainable farming.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tatarková, Veronika; Hiller, Edgar; Vaculík, Marek

    2013-06-01

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Imparato, Valentina; Hansen, Veronika; Santos, Susana;

    2016-01-01

    ) of wheat straw gasification biochar (GBC) and fresh straw incorporated as soil amendments into an agricultural field in Denmark. Soils were analysed three months after the amendments for pH, total organic matter, microbial biomass (ATP), ten enzymatic activities, catabolic potential by substrate......-induced respiration (MicroResp™), soil toxicity test (BioTox™) and bacterial community structure (Illumina 16S rRNA gene sequencing). No significant effect of biochar treatment was observed regarding ATP content, catabolic community profiles and soil toxicity. The higher dose of GBC increased phenol oxidase activity...... and soil pH, and decreased the cellulase activity. No major effect of high dose GBC was observed on the soil community diversity, and only minor effect on the community composition, with an increase in the relative abundance of a single OTU associated with Acidobacteria_Gp16. Addition of low dose of GBC...

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Imparato, Valentina; Hansen, Veronika; Santos, Susana

    2016-01-01

    and soil pH, and decreased the cellulase activity. No major effect of high dose GBC was observed on the soil community diversity, and only minor effect on the community composition, with an increase in the relative abundance of a single OTU associated with Acidobacteria_Gp16. Addition of low dose of GBC......Biochar may enhance soil fertility and carbon (C) sequestration but there is still a lack of comprehensive understanding of its effects on soil microbial communities and functioning. This study tested the differential effects of two doses (6e8 and 0.8e1.4 t ha1 for High and Low doses, respectively......) of wheat straw gasification biochar (GBC) and fresh straw incorporated as soil amendments into an agricultural field in Denmark. Soils were analysed three months after the amendments for pH, total organic matter, microbial biomass (ATP), ten enzymatic activities, catabolic potential by substrate...

  19. 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

  20. Effects of Exgo enous Biochar Application Amount on Functional Diversity of Soil Microbial Community in Black Soil%外源生物炭对黑土土壤微生物功能多样性的影响1)

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    韩锐; 魏红; 康璐一; 王大伟; 陈祥伟

    2016-01-01

    With the arable soil ( 0-10 cm) from typical black soil region of northeastern China , we studied the effects of biochar application amount on functional diversity of soil microbial community by measuring and analyzing Richness index , Shan-non-Weiner index, Simpson index and McIntosh index .The average well color development (AWCD) showed logarithmic changes during culture process , and its maximum value varying from 0.56 to 0.98 (168 h) at the turning point, with SA2 treatment ( 2%) as the peak .McIntosh indexes increased , then decreased with increasing biochar application amount and ranged from 5.61 to 8.53, and SA2 treatment ( 2% ) was also the peak .The carbon sources with higher utilization efficiency or utilization intensity by soil microbes were carbohydrate , polymers and amines .%以东北典型黑土区表层(0~10 cm)耕地土壤为研究对象,采用盆栽试验和Biolog-ECO微平板法,通过平均颜色变化( AWCD)、丰富度指数、Shannon-Winner多样性指数、Simpson指数、McIntosh指数和碳源利用率等指标的测定与分析,研究了生物炭添加量对黑土土壤微生物功能多样性的影响。结果表明(:1)黑土耕地土壤微生物群落碳源平均颜色变化,随培养时间呈现对数变化规律,在“拐点”处(168 h)平均颜色变化的范围为0.56~0.98,且以SA2处理(质量分数为2%)最高;(2)土壤微生物McIntosh指数表现出随生物炭添加量的增加,呈先增大后减小的趋势,平均颜色变化范围为5.61~8.53,同样以SA2处理最大;(3)外源生物炭对黑土耕地土壤微生物功能多样性的促进作用,主要是通过提高微生物对碳水类和胺类碳源的利用率得以实现。

  1. Digestion of high rate activated sludge coupled to biochar formation for soil improvement in the tropics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nansubuga, Irene; Banadda, Noble; Ronsse, Frederik; Verstraete, Willy; Rabaey, Korneel

    2015-09-15

    High rate activated sludge (HRAS) is well-biodegradable sludge enabling energy neutrality of wastewater treatment plants via anaerobic digestion. However, even through successful digestion a notable residue still remains. Here we investigated whether this residue can be converted to biochar, for its use as a fertilizer or as a solid fuel, and assessed its characteristics and overall process efficiency. In a first phase, HRAS was anaerobicaly digested under mesophilic conditions at a sludge retention time of 20 days. HRAS digested well (57.9 ± 6.2% VS degradation) producing on average 0.23 ± 0.04 L CH4 per gram VS fed. The digestate particulates were partially air-dried to mimic conditions used in developing countries, and subsequently converted to biochar by fixed-bed slow pyrolysis at a residence time of 15 min and at highest heating temperatures (HHT) of 300 °C, 400 °C and 600 °C. Subsequently, the produced chars were characterized by proximate analysis, CHN-elemental analysis, pH in solution and bomb calorimetry for higher heating value. The yield and volatile matter decreased with increasing HHT while ash content and fixed carbon increased with increasing HHT. The produced biochar showed properties optimal towards soil amendment when produced at a temperature of 600 °C with values of 5.91 wt%, 23.75 wt%, 70.35% on dry basis (db) and 0.44 for volatile matter, fixed carbon, ash content and H/C ratio, respectively. With regard to its use for energy purposes, the biochar represented a lower calorific value than the dried HRAS digestate likely due to high ash content. Based on these findings, it can be concluded that anaerobic digestion of HRAS and its subsequent biochar formation at HHT of 600 °C represents an attractive route for sludge management in tropic settings like in Uganda, coupling carbon capture to energy generation, carbon sequestration and nutrient recovery.

  2. Phytoremediating a copper mine soil with Brassica juncea L., compost and biochar.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rodríguez-Vila, Alfonso; Covelo, Emma F; Forján, Rubén; Asensio, Verónica

    2014-10-01

    The soils at a depleted copper mine in Touro (Galicia, Spain) are chemically degraded. In order to determine the effect of amendments and vegetation on the chemical characteristics of a mine soil and on the plant uptake of metals, a greenhouse experiment was carried out for 3 months. A settling pond soil was amended with different percentages of a compost and biochar mixture and vegetated with Brassica juncea L. The results showed that the untreated settling pond soil was polluted by Cu. Amendments and planting mustards decreased the pseudototal concentration of this metal, reduced the extreme soil acidity and increased the soil concentrations of C and TN. Both treatments also decreased the CaCl2-extractable Co, Cu and Ni concentrations. However, the amendments increased the pseudototal concentration of Zn in the soil, provided by the compost that was used. The results also showed that mustards extracted Ni efficiently from soils, suggesting that B. juncea L. is a good phytoextractor of Ni in mine soils.

  3. Remediation of lead contaminated soil by biochar-supported nano-hydroxyapatite.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Zhangmei; Fang, Zhanqiang; Zheng, Liuchun; Cheng, Wen; Tsang, Pokeung Eric; Fang, Jianzhang; Zhao, Dongye

    2016-10-01

    In this study, a high efficiency and low cost biochar-supported nano-hydroxyapatite (nHAP@BC) material was used in the remediation of lead (Pb)-contaminated soil. The remediation effect of nHAP@BC on Pb-contaminated soil was evaluated through batch experiments. The stability, bioaccessibility of Pb in the soil and the change in soil characteristics are discussed. Furthermore, the effects of the amendments on the growth of cabbage mustard seedlings and the accumulation of Pb were studied. The results showed that the immobilization rates of Pb in the soil were 71.9% and 56.8%, respectively, after a 28 day remediation using 8% nHAP and nHAP@BC materials, and the unit immobilization amount of nHAP@BC was 5.6 times that of nHAP, indicating that nHAP@BC can greatly reduce the cost of remediation of Pb in soil. After the nHAP@BC remediation, the residual fraction Pb increased by 61.4%, which greatly reduced the bioaccessibility of Pb in the soil. Moreover, nHAP@BC could effectively reduce the accumulation of Pb in plants by 31.4%. Overall, nHAP@BC can effectively remediate Pb-contaminated soil and accelerate the recovery of soil fertility.

  4. Biochar mineralization and priming effect on SOM decomposition. Results from a field trial in a short rotation coppice in Italy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ventura, Maurizio; Alberti, Giorgio; Panzacchi, Pietro; Delle Vedove, Gemini; Miglietta, Franco; Tonon, Giustino

    2016-04-01

    Biochar application to soil has been proposed as a promising strategy for carbon (C) sequestration and climate change mitigation, helping at the same time to maintain soil fertility. However, most of the knowledge on biochar stability is based on short-term lab incubation experiments, as field studies are scarce. Therefore, little is known about the interactions between biochar and roots and the related effects on biochar stability in field conditions. The present study aimed to assess the stability of biochar, its effect on original soil organic matter (SOM) decomposition, and the effect of plant roots on biochar stability in field conditions in Northern Italy, for a three-year monitoring period within the EuroChar project. The experiment was conducted in a poplar short rotation coppice (SRC). Biochar produced from maize (δ13C = -13.8‰) silage pellets in a gasification plant was applied in a poplar short rotation coppice (SRC) plantation in Northern Italy. Root exclusion subplots were established using the trenching method to measure heterotrophic respiration. Total (Rtot) and heterotrophic (Rh) respiration were measured every 2 hours in control and biochar-treated soil, with a closed dynamic soil respiration system. δ13C of the soil-emited CO2 was periodically measured using the Keeling plot method. The percentage of biochar-derived soil respiration (fB), was calculated using an isotopic mass balance. Results showed that fB varied between 7% and 37% according to the sampling date, and was generally higher in the presence of roots than in trenched plots where the root growth was excluded. Without roots, only the 14% of the carbon originally added with biochar was decomposed. In the presence of roots, this percentage increased to 21%, suggesting a positive priming effect of roots on biochar decomposition. On the other hand, biochar decreased the decomposition of original SOM by about 17%, suggesting a protective effect of biochar on SOM.

  5. 生物质炭对土壤养分淋溶的影响及潜在机理研究进展%Effects of biochar on soil nutrients leaching and potential mechanisms: A review

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    刘玉学; 吕豪豪; 石岩; 王耀锋; 钟哲科; 杨生茂

    2015-01-01

    农田生态系统中土壤养分淋溶控制一直是农业环境领域的研究热点.生物质炭因其特殊的理化性质,具有增加土壤碳库储量、改善土壤质量和提高作物产量等作用.作为一种外源输入的新型功能材料,生物质炭将直接或间接参与农田生态系统土壤养分循环,并对土壤养分淋溶产生重要影响.本文重点针对生物质炭影响土壤养分淋溶的内在因素(如:生物质炭的物理和化学性质及其与土壤生物的相互作用等)进行分析,并结合生物质炭添加量、土壤类型、土层深度、施肥情况、时间动态变化等外在因素,对生物质炭影响土壤氮磷等养分淋溶情况进行了综述.在此基础上,阐明了生物质炭对土壤养分淋溶的4种潜在影响机制:即通过微孔结构或表面电荷直接吸附养分、通过影响土壤持水能力影响养分淋溶、通过与土壤微生物的相互作用影响养分循环、被吸附的养分优先通过细微生物质炭颗粒发生迁移.最后对生物质炭与土壤养分流失控制领域的研究方向进行了展望.%Controlling soil nutrient leaching in farmland ecosystems has been a hotspot in the research field of agricultural environment.Biochar has its unique physical and chemical properties,playing a significant role in enhancing soil carbon storage,improving soil quality and increasing crop yield.As a kind of new exogenous material,biochar has the potential in impacting soil nutrient cycling directly or indirectly,and has profound influences on soil nutrient leaching.This paper analyzed the intrinsic factors affecting how biochar affects soil nutrient leaching,such as the physical and chemical properties of biochar,and the interaction between biochar and soil organisms.Then the latest literatures regarding the external factors,including biochar application rates,soil types,depth of soil layer,fertilization conditions and temporal dynamics,through which biochar influences

  6. Effect of biochar on mineral nitrogen content in soils with different pH values%生物质炭对不同pH值土壤矿质氮含量的影响

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    罗煜; 赵小蓉; 李贵桐; 赵立欣; 孟海波; 林启美

    2014-01-01

    concentration. The causes for high fertility of these soils are multiple, but the source of the large amounts of organic matter and their high nutrient retention has been attributed to the extraordinarily high proportions of black carbon. Besides, the high available nitrogen (N) is from both direct nutrient addition by the biochar and greater nutrient retention. It is also reported biochar can influence soil N concentrations via affecting soil process, such as N transformation. However, it remains largely unknown how biochar affect N transformations.In this study, biochars were produced at 350°C (BC350) and 700°C (BC700) by using Miscanthus giganteus, and applied with and without ryegrass into soils with low (pH=3.8) and high pH values (pH=7.6) incubated for 180 days. Our results showed that the addition of biochar to soils had an average increase of total N content of 22% and 17%, respectively in acid and alkaline soils. Biochars had obvious effect on NH4+-N in acid soil. After 87 days of incubation, NH4+-N was declined to very low concentration. BC350 had a slight increase of NO3--N in acid soil. Compared with BC350, soils with BC700 significantly (p0.05) was observed in treatments with and without ryegrass, neither between day 87 and 180, suggesting mineralization was largely occurred at the early incubation time in the soil with biochar added. The effects of biochar on the form and content of soil mineral nitrogen were closely related to the biochar’s abilities including ammonium adsorption, enhancing soil pH value, enhancing ammonia volatilization, and microbial biomass nitrogen formation. In the practical application, using biochar as coating materials in producing the slow-release fertilizer to improve nitrogen use efficiency seems to be very promised, and more research is needed in this area in the near future.

  7. A systematic review of biochar research, with a focus on its stability in situ and its promise as a climate mitigation strategy.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Noel P Gurwick

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Claims about the environmental benefits of charring biomass and applying the resulting "biochar" to soil are impressive. If true, they could influence land management worldwide. Alleged benefits include increased crop yields, soil fertility, and water-holding capacity; the most widely discussed idea is that applying biochar to soil will mitigate climate change. This claim rests on the assumption that biochar persists for hundreds or thousands of years, thus storing carbon that would otherwise decompose. We conducted a systematic review to quantify research effort directed toward ten aspects of biochar and closely evaluated the literature concerning biochar's stability. FINDINGS: We identified 311 peer-reviewed research articles published through 2011. We found very few field studies that addressed biochar's influence on several ecosystem processes: one on soil nutrient loss, one on soil contaminants, six concerning non-CO2 greenhouse gas (GHG fluxes (some of which fail to support claims that biochar decreases non-CO2 GHG fluxes, and 16-19 on plants and soil properties. Of 74 studies related to biochar stability, transport or fate in soil, only seven estimated biochar decomposition rates in situ, with mean residence times ranging from 8 to almost 4,000 years. CONCLUSIONS: Our review shows there are not enough data to draw conclusions about how biochar production and application affect whole-system GHG budgets. Wide-ranging estimates of a key variable, biochar stability in situ, likely result from diverse environmental conditions, feedstocks, and study designs. There are even fewer data about the extent to which biochar stimulates decomposition of soil organic matter or affects non-CO2 GHG emissions. Identifying conditions where biochar amendments yield favorable GHG budgets requires a systematic field research program. Finally, evaluating biochar's suitability as a climate mitigation strategy requires comparing its effects with

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-04-01

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

  9. The effect of straw and wood gasification biochar on carbon sequestration, selected soil fertility indicators and functional groups in soil: An incubation study

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2016-01-01

    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 formaintaining the soil organic carbon content and counteract soil degradation...... resulted in a high soil respiration rate, and about 80% of the added carbonwas respired at the end of the incubation.However, the addition of straw increased aggregate stability and decreased clay dispersibility. Results from Fourier ransformed infrared photoacoustic spectroscopy revealed a lower content...... 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 soil processes. Results fromthis...

  10. Assessment of mutagenic potential of pyrolysis biochars by Ames Salmonella/mammalian-microsomal mutagenicity test.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anjum, Reshma; Krakat, Niclas; Toufiq Reza, M; Klocke, Michael

    2014-09-01

    Biochar is of raising interest in sustainable biomass utilization concepts. Particularly biochar derived from pyrolysis attaches important agricultural capacities mandatory for an improved carbon sequestration, soil fertility and amelioration, respectively. In fact, large scale field trials and commercial business with biochar materials have already been started but still only few are known about the mutagenic potential of biochars produced. In this study hemp bedding and wood pellet biomass were used for biochar production by pyrolysis. The total concentrations of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) were 34.9µgg(-1) of dry mass and 33.7µgg(-1) of dry mass for hemp biochar and wood biochar, respectively. The concentration of PAHs in tar produced during wood carbonization was 17.4µgg(-1). The concentrations of phenolic compounds were 55µgg(-1) and 8.3µgg(-1) for hemp and wood biochar, respectively. Salmonella/microsomal mutagenicity tests (i.e. Ames test) revealed a maximum mutagenicity for hemp biochar extracts with strains TA97, TA98 and TA100 in the presence and absence of liver microsomal fractions, respectively. Wood biochar and tar extract exhibited maximum mutagenicity with strains TA98 and T100 both in the presence and absence of liver microsomal fraction. The reversion of the applied tester strains increased in the presence and absence of liver microsomal fractions with an increasing dose of hemp biochar extract up to 2µl per plate and decreased at a concentration of 2.5µl per plate. For wood biochar and tar extracts, reversion of tester strains increased both in the presence and absence of S9 at extract concentrations of 4µl per plate and declined at a dose of 8µl per plate. By this study a significant higher mutagenic potential for hemp biochar compared to wood biochar and tar could be observed suggesting careful application in soil melioration.

  11. Potentials to mitigate climate change using biochar - the Austrian perspective

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bruckman, Viktor J.; Klinglmüller, Michaela; Liu, Jay; Uzun, Basak B.; Varol, Esin A.

    2015-04-01

    Biomass utilization is seen as one of various promising strategies to reduce additional carbon emissions. A recent project on potentials of biochar to mitigate climate change (FOREBIOM) goes even a step further towards bioenergy in combination of CCS or "BECS" and tries to assess the current potentials, from sustainable biomass availability to biochar amendment in soils, including the identification of potential disadvantages and current research needs. The current report represents an outcome of the 1st FOREBIOM Workshop held in Vienna in April, 2013 and tries to characterize the Austrian perspective of biochar for climate change mitigation. The survey shows that for a widespread utilization of biochar in climate change mitigation strategies, still a number of obstacles have to be overcome. There are concerns regarding production and application costs, contamination and health issues for both producers and customers besides a fragmentary knowledge about biochar-soil interactions specifically in terms of long-term behavior, biochar stability and the effects on nutrient cycles. However, there are a number of positive examples showing that biochar indeed has the potential to sequester large amounts of carbon while improving soil properties and subsequently leading to a secondary carbon sink via rising soil productivity. Diversification, cascadic utilization and purpose designed biochar production are key strategies overcoming initial concerns, especially regarding economic aspects. A theoretical scenario calculation showed that relatively small amounts of biomass that is currently utilized for energy can reduce the gap between Austria's current GHG emissions and the Kyoto target by about 30% if biomass residues are pyrolized and biochar subsequently used as soil amendment. However, by using a more conservative approach that is representing the aims of the underlying FOREBIOM project (assuming that 10% of the annual biomass increment from forests is used for biochar

  12. Effects of biochar on water inifltration and water holding capacity of loessial soil%生物炭对黄绵土水分入渗和持水性能的影响

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    解倩; 王丽梅; 齐瑞鹏; 王彤彤; 郑纪勇

    2016-01-01

    increase with the increasing content of biochar. Under the conditions of the same biochar addition dose, cumulative infiltration and wetting front moving rate tended to decrease with the particle size decreased within a certain infiltration period (40 minutes after infiltration start), while water holding capacity increased with the particle size decreased, but there was no significant effect on water holding capacity at the dose of 10 g∙kg−1. 40 minutes after infiltration start, the wetting front moving rates for 1 — 2 mm treatment with 10 g∙kg−1, 50 g∙kg−1, 100 g∙kg−1 and 150 g∙kg−1 doses were decreased by 5.72%, 12.47%, 10.23% and 17.49%, respectively, compared with the control, cumulative infiltration were decreased by 11.17%, 24.48%, 22.07% and 31.10%, respectively; the wetting front moving rates of≤0.25 mm treatment with the addition doses of 10 g∙kg−1, 50 g∙kg−1, 100 g∙kg−1 and 150 g∙kg−1 were decreased by 13.49%, 14.79%, 22.79% and 36.28%, respectively, compared with the control, and cumulative infiltration were decreased most by 57.93% with the dose of 150 g∙kg−1. The averaged wetting front moving rate and cumulative infiltration were decreased by 16.69% and 27.79% in loessial soil with the comparison to the control. Overall, biochar addition reduced the water infiltration capacity and increased the water holding capacity for loessial soil. (2) Variation of the wetting front with time demonstrated a power function relationship, the determination coefficient was 0.997—0.999. Kostiakov, Philip and Horton infiltration model were successively used to simulation the soil water infiltration process and Kostiakov infiltration model of which determination coefficient was 0.989—0.998 fitted best. (3) van Genuchten model was suitable for simulation the soil water holding process with biochar application, and the determination coefficient of it was 0.995—0.999.DiscussionThe results showed that the infiltration capacity was

  13. In Situ Persistence and Migration of Biochar Carbon and Its Impact on Native Carbon Emission in Contrasting Soils under Managed Temperate Pastures.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bhupinder Pal Singh

    Full Text Available Pyrogenic carbon (PyC is an important component of the global soil carbon (C pool, but its fate, persistence, and loss dynamics in contrasting soils and environments under planted field conditions are poorly understood. To fill this knowledge gap, a 13C-labelled biochar, as a surrogate material for PyC, produced from Eucalyptus saligna by slow pyrolysis (450°C; δ13C -36.7‰ was surface (0-10 cm applied in C3 dominated temperate pasture systems across Arenosol, Cambisol and Ferralsol. The results show a low proportion of the applied biochar-C mineralised over 12 months in a relatively clay- and C-poor Arenosol (i.e., 2.0% loss via mineralisation, followed by a clay- and C-rich Cambisol (4.6%, and clay-, C- and earthworm-rich Ferralsol (7.0%. The biochar-C mean residence time (MRT, estimated by different models, varied between 44-1079 (Arenosol, 18-172 (Cambisol, and 11-29 (Ferralsol years, with the shorter MRT estimated by a one-pool exponential and the longer MRT by an infinite-pool power or a two-pool exponential model. The two-pool model was best fitted to biochar-C mineralisation. The biochar-C recovery in the 12-30 cm soil layer varied from between 1.2% (Arenosol, 2.5-2.7% (Cambisol and 13.8-15.7% (Ferralsol of the applied biochar-C after 8-12 months. There was a further migration of biochar-C below the 50-cm depth in the Arenosol, as the combined biochar-C recovery in the mineralised pool and soil profile (up to 30 or 50 cm was 82%, in contrast to 101% in the Cambisol and 104% in the Ferralsol after 12 months. These results indicate that the downward migration of biochar-C was greatest in the Arenosol (cf. Cambisol and Ferralsol. Cumulative CO2-C emission from native soil-plant sources was lower (p <0.10 in the biochar-amended vs. non-amended Ferralsol. This field-based study shows that the downward migration of biochar-C exceeded its loss via mineralisation in the Arenosol and Ferralsol, but not in the Cambisol. It is thus important to

  14. In Situ Persistence and Migration of Biochar Carbon and Its Impact on Native Carbon Emission in Contrasting Soils under Managed Temperate Pastures.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Singh, Bhupinder Pal; Fang, Yunying; Boersma, Mark; Collins, Damian; Van Zwieten, Lukas; Macdonald, Lynne M

    2015-01-01

    Pyrogenic carbon (PyC) is an important component of the global soil carbon (C) pool, but its fate, persistence, and loss dynamics in contrasting soils and environments under planted field conditions are poorly understood. To fill this knowledge gap, a 13C-labelled biochar, as a surrogate material for PyC, produced from Eucalyptus saligna by slow pyrolysis (450°C; δ13C -36.7‰) was surface (0-10 cm) applied in C3 dominated temperate pasture systems across Arenosol, Cambisol and Ferralsol. The results show a low proportion of the applied biochar-C mineralised over 12 months in a relatively clay- and C-poor Arenosol (i.e., 2.0% loss via mineralisation), followed by a clay- and C-rich Cambisol (4.6%), and clay-, C- and earthworm-rich Ferralsol (7.0%). The biochar-C mean residence time (MRT), estimated by different models, varied between 44-1079 (Arenosol), 18-172 (Cambisol), and 11-29 (Ferralsol) years, with the shorter MRT estimated by a one-pool exponential and the longer MRT by an infinite-pool power or a two-pool exponential model. The two-pool model was best fitted to biochar-C mineralisation. The biochar-C recovery in the 12-30 cm soil layer varied from between 1.2% (Arenosol), 2.5-2.7% (Cambisol) and 13.8-15.7% (Ferralsol) of the applied biochar-C after 8-12 months. There was a further migration of biochar-C below the 50-cm depth in the Arenosol, as the combined biochar-C recovery in the mineralised pool and soil profile (up to 30 or 50 cm) was 82%, in contrast to 101% in the Cambisol and 104% in the Ferralsol after 12 months. These results indicate that the downward migration of biochar-C was greatest in the Arenosol (cf. Cambisol and Ferralsol). Cumulative CO2-C emission from native soil-plant sources was lower (p <0.10) in the biochar-amended vs. non-amended Ferralsol. This field-based study shows that the downward migration of biochar-C exceeded its loss via mineralisation in the Arenosol and Ferralsol, but not in the Cambisol. It is thus important to

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Agegnehu, Getachew [College of Science, Technology and Engineering, Centre for Tropical Environmental and Sustainability Science, James Cook University, PO Box 6811, Cairns, Queensland 4870 (Australia); Bass, Adrian M. [Hawkesbury Institute for the Environment, University of Western Sydney, Science Road, Richmond, New South Wales 2753 (Australia); Nelson, Paul N.; Bird, Michael I. [College of Science, Technology and Engineering, Centre for Tropical Environmental and Sustainability Science, James Cook University, PO Box 6811, Cairns, Queensland 4870 (Australia)

    2016-02-01

    Soil quality decline represents a significant constraint on the productivity and sustainability of agriculture in the tropics. In this study, the influence of biochar, compost and mixtures of the two on soil fertility, maize yield and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions was investigated in a tropical Ferralsol. The treatments were: 1) control with business as usual fertilizer (F); 2) 10 t ha{sup −1} biochar (B) + F; 3) 25 t ha{sup −1} compost (Com) + F; 4) 2.5 t ha{sup −1} B + 25 t ha{sup −1} Com mixed on site + F; and 5) 25 t ha{sup −1} co-composted biochar–compost (COMBI) + F. Total aboveground biomass and maize yield were significantly improved relative to the control for all organic amendments, with increases in grain yield between 10 and 29%. Some plant parameters such as leaf chlorophyll were significantly increased by the organic treatments. Significant differences were observed among treatments for the δ{sup 15}N and δ{sup 13}C contents of kernels. Soil physicochemical properties including soil water content (SWC), total soil organic carbon (SOC), total nitrogen (N), available phosphorus (P), nitrate-nitrogen (NO{sub 3}{sup −} N), ammonium-nitrogen (NH{sub 4}{sup +}-N), exchangeable cations and cation exchange capacity (CEC) were significantly increased by the organic amendments. Maize grain yield was correlated positively with total biomass, leaf chlorophyll, foliar N and P content, SOC and SWC. Emissions of CO{sub 2} and N{sub 2}O were higher from the organic-amended soils than from the fertilizer-only control. However, N{sub 2}O emissions generally decreased over time for all treatments and emission from the biochar was lower compared to other treatments. Our study concludes that the biochar and biochar–compost-based soil management approaches can improve SOC, soil nutrient status and SWC, and maize yield and may help mitigate greenhouse gas emissions in certain systems. - Graphical abstract: Grain yield, cation exchange capacity (CEC), soil

  16. 生物质炭提高稻田甲烷氧化活性%Biochar improves methane oxidation activity in rice paddy soil

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    杨敏; 刘玉学; 孙雪; 董达; 吴伟祥

    2013-01-01

    Paddy fields are regarded as an important anthropogenic source of atmospheric CH4 and play a significant role in global warming. Biochar refers to the highly aromatic substance remaining after thermal decomposition of biomass under complete or partial exclusion of oxygen for the purpose of creating a soil amendment. Its application is widely accepted to be a promising method to decrease CH4 emission from paddy soil. The balance between CH4 production and consumption ultimately determines whether a paddy soil is a net source or a sink of atmospheric CH4. However, there are few studies concerning the effects of biochar amendments on methanogenic and methane oxidation activities in paddy soils. Meanwhile, the feedstock used for biochar production has a substantial impact on the physiochemical characteristics of biochar. These characteristics are then related to the actual environmental function in soil, such as response to methanogenic and methane oxidation activities. In this study, a one-year field experiment was conducted to gain insight into the potential effects of bamboo biochar (BB) and rice straw biochar (SB) amendments at the rate of 22.5 t/hm2 on the methanogenic and methane oxidation activities in rice rhizosphere soil. The SB had more hydrophilic groups such as carboxyl and hydroxyl, higher pH and electrical conductivity (EC) values and lower bulk density than the BB did. Soil water content, pH, and EC values in the SB treatments were greater than those in the BB treatments. Generally, urea application did not have notable impact on soil water content, pH and EC values. Compared with the control treatment, methanogenic activitiy in the rhizosphere soil at the rice seedling stage was significantly increased with the SB amendment. There was no significant difference in the methanogenic activity between the control and the BB treatments during the whole period of rice growth. Differences in the labile components and ash contents between the two biochars may

  17. Biochar increases arsenic release from an anaerobic paddy soil due to enhanced microbial reduction of iron and arsenic.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Ning; Xue, Xi-Mei; Juhasz, Albert L; Chang, Zhi-Zhou; Li, Hong-Bo

    2017-01-01

    Previous studies have shown that biochar enhances microbial reduction of iron (Fe) oxyhydroxide under anaerobic incubation. However, there is a lack of data on its influence on arsenic (As) release from As-contaminated paddy soils. In this study, paddy soil slurries (120 mg As kg(-1)) were incubated under anaerobic conditions for 60 days with and without the addition of biochar (3%, w/w) prepared from rice straw at 500 °C. Arsenic release, Fe reduction, and As fractionation were determined at 1, 10, 20, 30, and 60 d, while Illumina sequencing and real-time PCR were used to characterize changes in soil microbial community structure and As transformation function genes. During the first month of incubation, As released into soil solution increased sharply from 27.9 and 55.9 to 486 and 630 μg kg(-1) in unamended and biochar amended slurries, with inorganic trivalent As (As(III)) being the dominant specie (52.7-91.0% of total As). Compared to unamended slurries, biochar addition increased As and ferrous ion (Fe(2+)) concentrations in soil solution but decreased soil As concentration in the amorphous Fe/Al oxide fraction (F3). Difference in released As between biochar and unamended treatments (ΔAs) increased with incubation time, showing strong linear relationships (R(2) = 0.23-0.33) with ΔFe(2+) and ΔF3, confirming increased As release due to enhanced Fe reduction. Biochar addition increased the abundance of Fe reducing bacteria such as Clostridum (27.3% vs. 22.7%), Bacillus (3.34% vs. 2.39%), and Caloramator (4.46% vs. 3.88%). In addition, copy numbers in biochar amended slurries of respiratory As reducing (arrA) and detoxifying reducing genes (arsC) increased 19.0 and 1.70 fold, suggesting microbial reduction of pentavalent As (As(V)) adsorbed on Fe oxides to As(III), further contributing to increased As release.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2016-01-25

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

  19. Albedo impact on the suitability of biochar systems to mitigate global warming.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meyer, Sebastian; Bright, Ryan M; Fischer, Daniel; Schulz, Hardy; Glaser, Bruno

    2012-11-20

    Biochar application to agricultural soils can change the surface albedo which could counteract the climate mitigation benefit of biochar systems. However, the size of this impact has not yet been quantified. Based on empirical albedo measurements and literature data of arable soils mixed with biochar, a model for annual vegetation cover development based on satellite data and an assessment of the annual development of surface humidity, an average mean annual albedo reduction of 0.05 has been calculated for applying 30-32 Mg ha(-1) biochar on a test field near Bayreuth, Germany. The impact of biochar production and application on the carbon cycle and on the soil albedo was integrated into the greenhouse gas (GHG) balance of a modeled pyrolysis based biochar system via the computation of global warming potential (GWP) characterization factors. The analysis resulted in a reduction of the overall climate mitigation benefit of biochar systems by 13-22% due to the albedo change as compared to an analysis which disregards the albedo effect. Comparing the use of the same quantity of biomass in a biochar system to a bioenergy district heating system which replaces natural gas combustion, bioenergy heating systems achieve 99-119% of the climate benefit of biochar systems according to the model calculation.

  20. Aminocyclopyrachlor sorption in biochar and activated charcoal amended soils

    Science.gov (United States)

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

  1. 生物炭对土壤生境及植物生长影响的研究进展%Biochar effects on soil habitat and plant growth:A review

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    卜晓莉; 薛建辉

    2014-01-01

    Biochar is a fine-grained and porous carbonaceous material obtained by the rich carbon biomass pyrolysis under anaerobic or oxygen-limited conditions. In recent years, biochar as a new class of functional materials has caused widespread concern. Biochar is showing potential applications in soil improvement, greenhouse gas emissions and environmental remediation, which has become the current research hotspot. This paper summarizes the impact mechanism of biochar on soil habitats and plant growth, and points out the main direction of future research. High porosity and surface area of biochar can increase the field capacity of sandy soil, but the effect of this increase is limited. Biochar alkaline properties enable it to raise the pH of acidic soils, which has positive significance for the growth of basophilic crops. Biochar can inhibit leaching of nitrogen and phosphorus nutrients, and improve fertilizer use efficiency. Biochar addition can increase the soil microbial biomass, and change soil microbial community structure and soil enzyme activities. Biochar addition can improved soil properties, nutrient status and soil microbial properties, thus promoting plant growth. But the effect of biochar on soil habitats and plant growth depends on the soil fertility and properities, plant species, as well as the characteristics and application rate of biochar. Therefore, we must according to the main obstacle factors of different soil, select the appropriate biochar in order to get a better effect of soil improvement. Future research and application of biochar in woodland soil improvement and tree growth should be strengthened. We should make a further exploration on the mechanism of interaction between biochar and soil. The effect of biochar application need to be verified by field long-term positioning studies.%生物炭是指由含碳量丰富的生物质在无氧或限氧的条件下低温热解而得到的一种细粒度、多孔性的碳质材料。近年来,生物

  2. Sorption of Atrazine in Tropical Soil by Biochar Prepared from Cassava Waste

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hui Deng

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available Biochar (BC is a carbonaceous and porous product generated from the incomplete combustion of biomass and has been recognized as an efficient adsorbent. This study evaluated the ability of BC to sorb atrazine pesticide in tropical soil, and explored potential environmental values of BC on mitigating organic micro-pollutants. BC was produced from cassava waste via pyrolyzation under oxygen-limiting conditions at 350, 550, and 750 °C (MS350, MS550, and MS750, respectively. Three biochars were characterized and investigated as sorbents for the removal atrazine from tropical soil. BC pyrolyzed at higher temperatures more quickly reached equilibrium. The pseudo-second-order model perfectly simulated the sorption kinetics for atrazine with the coefficients R2 above 0.996, and the sorption amount at equilibrium (qe was 0.016 mg/g for MS350, 0.025 mg/g for MS550 and 0.050 mg/g for MS750. The isotherms of MS350 displayed relatively linear behavior, whereas the sorption of atrazine on MS550 and MS750 followed a nonlinear isotherm. The sorption data were well described by the Freundlich model with logKF of 0.476 for MS350, 0.771 for MS550, 1.865 for MS750. A thermodynamic study indicated that the sorption of atrazine in BC-added soil was a spontaneous and endothermic process and was primarily controlled by physisorption. In addition, lower pH was conducive to the sorption of atrazine in BC-added soil.

  3. Characteristics of and sorption to biochars derived from waste material

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sun, Huichao; Kah, Melanie; Sigmund, Gabriel; Hofmann, Thilo

    2015-04-01

    Biochars can exhibit a high sorption potential towards heavy metals and organic contaminants in various environmental matrices (e.g., water, soil). They have therefore been proposed for environmental remediation purposes to sequester contaminants. To date, most studies have focused on the physicochemical and sorption properties of mineral phases poor biochars, which are typically produced from plant residues. Only little knowledge is available for biochars derived from human and animal waste material, which are typically characterized by high mineral contents (e.g., sewage sludge, manure). Using human and animal waste as source material to produce biochars would support the development of attractive combined strategies for waste management and remediation. The potential impact of mineral phases on the physicochemical and sorption properties of biochars requires further studies so that the potential as sorbent material can be evaluated. With this purpose, different source material biochars were produced at 200°C, 350°C and 500°C, to yield a series of biochars representing a range of mineral content. The derived biochars from wood shavings (heavy metals and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons) of all materials were within the guidelines values proposed by the International Biochar Initiative, indicating their suitability for environmental application. Single point sorption coefficients for the model sorbate pyrene were measured to investigate the effect of mineral content, feedstock, pyrolysis temperature, particle size fractions and acid demineralization on sorption behavior. Overall, sorption of pyrene was strong for all materials (4 < Log Kd < 6.5 L/kg). Sorption generally increased with increasing pyrolysis temperature but there was no effect of particle size on sorption affinity. For mineral phase rich biochars, sorption generally increased after acid demineralization. When considering all materials together, the sorbent aromaticity (hydrogen-carbon ratio) was

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

  5. Soil respiration characteristics in different land uses and response of soil organic carbon to biochar addition in high-latitude agricultural area.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ouyang, Wei; Geng, Xiaojun; Huang, Wejia; Hao, Fanghua; Zhao, Jinbo

    2016-02-01

    The farmland tillage practices changed the soil chemical properties, which also impacted the soil respiration (R s ) process and the soil carbon conservation. Originally, the farmland in northeast China had high soil carbon content, which was decreased in the recent decades due to the tillage practices. To better understand the R s dynamics in different land use types and its relationship with soil carbon loss, soil samples at two layers (0-15 and 15-30 cm) were analyzed for organic carbon (OC), total nitrogen (TN), total phosphorus (TP), total carbon (TC), available nitrogen (AN), available phosphorus (AP), soil particle size distribution, as well as the R s rate. The R s rate of the paddy land was 0.22 (at 0-15 cm) and 3.01 (at 15-30 cm) times of the upland. The average concentrations of OC and clay content in cultivated areas were much lower than in non-cultivated areas. The partial least squares analysis suggested that the TC and TN were significantly related to the R s process in cultivated soils. The upland soil was further used to test soil CO2 emission response at different biochar addition levels during 70-days incubation. The measurement in the limited incubation period demonstrated that the addition of biochar improved the soil C content because it had high concentration of pyrogenic C, which was resistant to mineralization. The analysis showed that biochar addition can promote soil OC by mitigating carbon dioxide (CO2) emission. The biochar addition achieved the best performance for the soil carbon conservation in high-latitude agricultural area due to the originally high carbon content.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Woldetsadik, Desta; Drechsel, Pay; Keraita, Bernard; Marschner, Bernd; Itanna, Fisseha; Gebrekidan, Heluf

    2016-01-01

    To assess the efficiency of seven treatments including biochars produced from dried faecal matter and manures as stabilizing agents of cadmium (Cd)-spiked soils, lettuce was grown in glasshouse on two contrasting soils. The soils used were moderately fertile silty loam and less fertile sandy loam and the applied treatments were 7 % w/w. The reduction of bioavailable Cd (ammonium nitrate extractable) and its phytoavailability for lettuce were used as assessment criteria in the evaluation of stabilization performance of each treatment. Moreover, the agronomic values of the treatments were also investigated. Ammonium nitrate extraction results indicated that faecal matter biochar, cow manure biochar and lime significantly reduced bioavailable Cd by 84-87, 65-68 and 82-91 %, respectively, as compared to the spiked controls. Unpredictably, coffee husk biochar induced significant increment of Cd in NH4NO3 extracts. The immobilization potential of faecal matter biochar and lime were superior than the other treatments. However, lime and egg shell promoted statistically lower yield and P, K and Zn concentrations response of lettuce plants compared to the biochar treatments. The lowest Cd and highest P tissue concentrations of lettuce plants were induced by faecal matter and cow manure biochar treatments in both soils. Additionally, the greatest Cd phytoavailability reduction for lettuce was induced by poultry litter and cow manure biochars in the silty loam soil. Our results indicate that faecal matter and animal manure biochars have shown great potential to promote Cd immobilization and lettuce growth response in heavily contaminated agricultural fields.

  7. BIOCHAR AS A SUPPLEMENTARY MATERIAL FOR BIOGAS PRODUCTION

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Krystyna Malińska

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available In view to numerous physical and chemical properties biochars can be used in many applications in the area of environmental protection and engineering. Recent findings show that biochar can be also applied in biogas production. Relatively high chemical stability and low susceptibility to degradation, high specific surface area, microporosity and the presence of functional groups indicate that biochar can have a potential for production of biogas. The available results from laboratory studies show that biochar can facilitate mineralization of organic matter and increase the yield of methane. Due to relatively high cost of biochar, the most favourable solution would include the following applications of biochar: (1 production of biomass for biogas production (as an additive to animal feed and bedding, a soil conditioner, (2 preparation of mixture (as an amendment, (3 inoculation of microorganisms (as an inoculum carrier, (4 treatment of biogas (as an absorbent, (5 treatment of liquid fraction of digestate (as a sorbent, (6 management of solid fraction of digestate (as a substrate for biochar production. However, the conducted studies need further work and confirmation in larger scale. Also, the effects of biochar on anaerobic fermentation dynamics should be investigated and explained.

  8. Effect of soil weathering degree on the increase of cotton biomass and silicon mineralomass after amendment with biochar highly concentrated in phytoliths

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Zimin; Delvaux, Bruno; Yans, Johan; Dufour, Nicolas; Houben, David; Cornelis, Jean-Thomas

    2016-04-01

    Silicon (Si) is beneficial for plants, but not essential. It plays a crucial role in improving the yields of Si-accumulator crops through alleviating various biotic and abiotic stresses. The demand of Si fertilizers will likely increase due to soil desilication and removal of harvested biomass. Since plants accumulate Si in the form of readily soluble phytoliths, plant-derived biochar is considered as a Si source for Si accumulator crops. In addition to its beneficial effects on soil fertility and carbon sequestration, biochar is a promising cost-effective and environmentally friendly alternative to conventional Si amendments. Here, we study the impact of biochar materials with different phytolith concentrations on the bioavailability of Si in soils differing in weathering stage, and its effect on cotton biomass and Si mineralomass. Two biochar materials were used: Miscanthus x giganteus (Si concentration: 34.6 g/kg) and soft woody material (Si concentration: 0.9 g/kg). A conventional wollastonite (CaSiO3) treatment was carried for comparison purpose. The concentration of bioavailable Si was determined through 0.01 M CaCl2 extraction. Biochars were incorporated at the rate of 3% (w/w) in two soils: a slightly weathered Cambisol and a highly weathered Nitisol. The Miscanthus biochar ability to release bioavailable Si in the Cambisol (CaCl2 extractable Si/total Si concentration) is significantly smaller (0.9%) than the one of wollastonite (5.2%). In the highly weathered Nitisol, the Miscanthus biochar ability to release bioavailable Si is much larger (1.4%) than that of wollastonite (0.7%). Miscanthus biochar significantly increases the cotton biomass and Si mineralomass relative to soft wood biochar. The increase is larger in the highly weathered Nitisol than in the slightly weathered Cambisol. Principal component analyses and linear regression show that both the larger release rate of bioavailable Si and CEC are the main factors responsible for the increase of

  9. CHARACTERIZATION OF OIL PALM EMPTY FRUIT BUNCH AND RICE HUSK BIOCHARS AND THEIR POTENTIAL TO ADSORB ARSENIC AND CADMIUM

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Norazlina Abu Sari

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Biochar as a new soil amendment has a potential in controlling the fate of trace elements in the soil system. However, the production of biochar from different feedstocks and pyrolysis conditions resulted in variable biochar properties which have an influence on trace elements availability. The experimental works are focused on physical and chemical properties of biochars produced from Empty Fruit Bunch (EFB and Rice Husk (RH as heavy metals adsorbents. The morphology of EFB biochar comprise rigid structure with uniform pores size. The surface area of biochars ranged between 23.22-46.32 m2 g-1, dominated with mesopores. The chemical characterization of biochars revealed high carbon content in EFB biochar compared to RH biochar (54.08 and 7.78%. Both biochars are alkaline in nature (>pH 9 and contain substantial amounts of N, P, K, Ca and Mg. Fourier transform infra-red spectra showed the heterogenic functional groups on EFB biochar surface and domination of silica content in RH biochar. The batch experiment was employed to determine the adsorption capacity of these biochars for As and Cd. The adsorption data were fitted well in Langmuir isotherm with high correlation coefficient (R2>0.9 for As and Cd. The qmax of EFB biochar for As and Cd was higher than RH biochar. The qmax of EFB biochar was 0.4240 and 15.1515 mg g-1 for As and Cd, respectively. In contrast, the qmax of RH biochar for As and Cd was only 0.3522 and 3.1908 mg g-1. The results show that EFB biochar and RH biochar have potentials as good sorbent for As and Cd. Therefore, it can be suggested that the application of these biochars may possibly reduce the trace elements availability in the contaminated soil.

  10. The Biochar Option to Improve Plant Yields: First Results From Some Field and Pot Experiments in Italy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Silvia Baronti

    2010-03-01

    Full Text Available The pyrolysis conversion of agricultural residues into biochar and its incorporation in agricultural soil, avoids CO2 emissions providing a safe long-term soil carbon sequestration. Furthermore, biochar application to soil seems to increase nutrient stocks in the rooting zone, to reduce nutrient leaching and to improve crop yields. This study reports some preliminary results obtained using biochar in two typical Italian agricultural crops. Two field experiments were made on durum wheat (Triticum durum L. in Central Italy and maize (Zea mays L. in Northern Italy. In both the field experiments, an increase in yields (+ 10% and + 6% in terms of grain production, respectively was detected after a biochar application of 10 t ha-1. A further increase in grain production (+24% was detected when biochar was added with maize residues. The biochar dose-effect curve was studied on perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne L. in a pot experiment. The highest increase of dry matter (+120% was obtained at a biochar rate of 60 t ha-1 and above this threshold, a general reduction of biomass was observed. Results demonstrate the potential of biochar applications to improve in terms of dry matter production, while pointing out the needs for long-term field studies to better understand the effects of biochar on soil.

  11. Humification characterization of biochar and its potential as a composting amendment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Jining; Lü, Fan; Luo, Chenghao; Shao, Liming; He, Pinjing

    2014-02-01

    Biochar has received increasing attention due to its applications as a soil amendment. Here, the chemical properties of solid and water-extractable fractions of four biochar samples were investigated. The results showed that wood biochar and bamboo biochar samples were 60%-80% more hydrophobic than those of rice husk biochar and rice husk ash. In addition, the acidity was 3.88 mmol/g from the total functional groups and 1.03 mmol/g from the carboxyl groups/lactones/phenols found in the wood biochar sample, which were about 1.5 times greater than those of the bamboo biochar sample. These functional groups could be used to determine the sorptive capacity of biochar for ionic solutes and water content and to increase the degradation of compost organics. The wood biochar sample was found to have the most humification materials (fulvic acid-like material + humic acid-like material) in the water-extractable fraction, which was 3-10 times higher than that in the rice husk biochar and rice husk ash; humified materials were not detected in the bamboo biochar sample. Humification materials in biochar may be involved in increasing the proportion of humic acid-like materials in humic-like substances within the compost product. Wood biochar had better hydrophobic, sorptive, aromatic, and humification properties compared to other biochars, suggesting that it may be used in composting in order to exert its effect as both a bulking agent and a composting amendment during the solid waste composting process.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-04-01

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

  13. Methodological interference of biochar in the determination of extracellular enzyme activities in composting samples

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jindo, K.; Matsumoto, K.; García Izquierdo, C.; Sonoki, T.; Sanchez-Monedero, M. A.

    2014-07-01

    Biochar application has received increasing attention as a means to trap recalcitrant carbon and enhance soil fertility. Hydrolytic enzymatic assays, such as β-glucosidase and phosphatase activities, are used for the assessment of soil quality and composting process, which are based on use of p-nitrophenol (PNP) derivatives as substrate. However, sorption capacity of biochar can interfere with colorimetric determination of the hydrolysed PNP, either by the sorption of the substrate or the reaction product of hydrolysis into biochar surface. The aim of the present work is to study the biochar sorption capacity for PNP in biochar-blended composting mixtures in order to assess its impact on the estimation of the colorimetric-based enzymatic assays. A retention test was conducted by adding a solution of known amounts of PNP in universal buffer solution (pH = 5, 6.5 and 11, corresponding to the β-glucosidase, acid and alkaline phosphatase activity assays, respectively), in samples taken at the initial stage and after maturation stage from four different composting piles (two manure composting piles; PM: poultry manure, CM: cow manure and two other similar piles containing 10% of additional biochar (PM + B, CM + B)). The results show that biochar-blended composts (PM + B, CM + B) generally exhibited low enzymatic activities, compared to manure compost without biochar (PM, CM). In terms of the difference between the initial and maturation stage of composting process, the PNP retention in biochar was shown higher at maturation stage, caused most probably by an enlarged proportion of biochar inside compost mixture after the selective degradation of easily decomposable organic matter. TThe retention of PNP on biochar was influenced by pH dependency of sorption capacity of biochar and/or PNP solubility, since PNP was more efficiently retained by biochar at low pH values (5 and 6.5) than at high pH values (11).

  14. Porous media augmented with biochar for the retention of E. coli

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kolotouros, Christos A.; Manariotis, Ioannis D.; Karapanagioti, Hrissi K.

    2016-04-01

    A significant number of epidemic outbreaks has been attributed to waterborne fecal-borne pathogenic microorganisms from contaminated ground water. The transport of pathogenic microorganisms in groundwater is controlled by physical and chemical soil properties like soil structure, texture, percent water saturation, soil ionic strength, pore-size distribution, soil and solution pH, soil surface charge, and concentration of organic carbon in solution. Biochar can increase soil productivity by improving both chemical and physical soil properties. The mixing of biochar into soils may stimulate microbial population and activate dormant soil microorganisms. Furthermore, the application of biochar into soil affects the mobility of microorganisms by altering the physical and chemical properties of the soil, and by retaining the microorganisms on the biochar surface. The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of biochar mixing into soil on the transport of Escherichia coli in saturated porous media. Initially, batch experiments were conducted at two different ionic strengths (1 and 150 mM KCl) and at varying E. coli concentrations in order to evaluate the retention of E. coli on biochar in aqueous solutions. Kinetic analysis was conducted, and three isotherm models were employed to analyze the experimental data. Column experiments were also conducted in saturated sand columns augmented with different biochar contents, in order to examine the effect of biochar on the retention of E. coli. The Langmuir model fitted better the retention experimental data, compared to Freundlich and Tempkin models. The retention of E. coli was enhanced at lower ionic strength. Finally, biochar-augmented sand columns were more capable in retaining E. coli than pure sand columns.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hansen, Veronika; Hauggaard-Nielsen, Henrik; Petersen, Carsten Tilbæk

    2016-01-01

    Abstract Gasification biochar (GB) contains recalcitrant carbon that can contribute to soil carbon sequestration and soil quality improvement. However, the impact of GB on plant-available water capacity (AWC) and plant growth in diverse soil types still needs to be explored. A pot experiment......, the reduced water regime significantly affected plant growth and water consumption, whereas the effect was less pronounced in the coarse sand. Irrespective of the soil type, both GBs increased AWC by 17–42%, with the highest absolute effect in the coarse sand. The addition of SGB to coarse sand led...

  16. Impact of compost, vermicompost and biochar on soil fertility, maize yield and soil erosion in Northern Vietnam: a three year mesocosm experiment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Doan, Thuy Thu; Henry-des-Tureaux, Thierry; Rumpel, Cornelia; Janeau, Jean-Louis; Jouquet, Pascal

    2015-05-01

    Compost, vermicompost and biochar amendments are thought to improve soil quality and plant yield. However, little is known about their long-term impact on crop yield and the environment in tropical agro-ecosystems. In this study we investigated the effect of organic amendments (buffalo manure, compost and vermicompost) and bio