Biochar studies

Here you will find current studies on biochar

Author: Sutradhar et al. (2021)   Paper: Environment, Development and Sustainability

Introduction of urine-fortified vegetable charcoal-based fertilizer for vegetable production: results from rural Bangladesh.

Improved agricultural practices to increase yields and conserve soils are critical to addressing food insecurity and malnutrition among smallholder families. This study investigated the impact of a urine-fortified plant charcoal fertilizer on crop growth. For this purpose, studies were conducted among smallholder farmers in northeastern Bangladesh in 2016 and 2017. The result: the plant charcoal-based fertilizer was seen as beneficial by the farmers. For example, it increases yields, costs little, can be prepared with readily available natural materials, produces tastier crops, and improved the farmers' social and financial situation.

Author:
I. Sutradhar, M. J. de Grafenried, S. Akter, S. A. McMahon, J. L. Waid, H.-P. Schmidt, A. S. Wendt, S. Gabrysch
Published:
2021
Paper:
Environment, Development and Sustainability
Link/Pdf:
/fileadmin/pdf/Pflanzenkohle/2021_Sutradhar_et_al.pdf
Author: Rathnayakea et al. (2021)   Paper: Journal of Analytical and Applied Pyrolysis

Investigation of co-pyrolysis of biomass and agricultural plastic: influence on yield and properties of vegetable charcoal.

Complete separation of mixed plastic and biomass wastes is a technically difficult, laborious, expensive, and time-consuming process. Therefore, co-pyrolysis of these agricultural waste streams with low plastic contamination represents a novel approach to the disposal of these plastic-containing wastes, producing stable forms of carbon that can potentially be used in environmental, agricultural, and industrial applications. The study examines how the presence of plastics would affect the properties of the produced vegetable carbon.

Author:
D. Rathnayakea, P. Onosedeba, E. Caleb, E. Egeneb, C. V. Stevensc, E. Meersb, O. Mašekd, F. Ronsse
Published:
2021
Paper:
Journal of Analytical and Applied Pyrolysis
Link/Pdf:
https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0165237021000152
Author: Bruno Glaser (2021)   Paper: Biologie in unserer Zeit

Terra Preta - Facts and Myths

Vegetable carbon offers many possible applications in the future. Whether as fertilizer, building material or animal feed - vegetable carbon could gain enormous importance in the future. This article is dedicated to all the facts and myths that exist today about the miracle soil from Amazonia.

Author:
Bruno Glaser
Published:
2021
Paper:
Biologie in unserer Zeit
Pages
360-367
Link/Pdf:
/fileadmin/pdf/Pflanzenkohle/Terra_Preta_Fakten_und_Mythen.pdf
Author: Blanco-Canqui et al. (2020)   Paper: Bioenergy

Doubling of soil carbon content after six years: Field evidence for negative priming

The application of plant charcoal to agricultural soils can be used to sequester carbon while improving soil health and agricultural sustainability. However, current understanding of the long-term effects of plant charcoal versus annual and perennial cropping systems and their interactions on soil properties under field conditions is limited. This is investigated in the present study

Author:
H. Blanco-Canqui, D. A. Laird, E. A. Heaton, S. Rathke, B. S. Acharya
Published:
2020
Paper:
Bioenergy
Pages
240-251
Link/Pdf:
/fileadmin/pdf/Pflanzenkohle/2020_Blanco-Canqui_et_al.pdf
Author: Buss et al. (2020)   Paper: ACS Sustainable Chemistry & Engineering

Developing the fertilizer potential of biochar derived from waste.

Mankind is facing a phosphorus crisis, with phosphorus recycling from anthropogenic waste crucial to closing the phosphorus cycle. Pyrolysis could be the ideal treatment for materials like sewage sludge. This is because it produces safe, nutrient-rich plant carbon while also sequestering carbon. However, pyrolyzed sewage sludge typically contains low levels of potassium and plant-available phosphorus, making the material rather unsuitable for use as fertilizer. The study is therefore investigating a novel treatment to produce an optimized phosphorus and potassium biochar fertilizer.

Author:
W. Buss, A. Bogush, K. Ignatyev, O. Mašek
Published:
2020
Paper:
ACS Sustainable Chemistry & Engineering
Pages
12295–12303
Link/Pdf:
https://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/acssuschemeng.0c04336
Author: Sørmo et al. (2020)   Paper: Science of the total environment

Waste wood pyrolysis on a medium scale: emission budgets and quality of the plant carbon

Pyrolysis of organic waste or wood-based materials yields a stable carbonaceous product that can be mixed into the soil and is often referred to as vegetable charcoal. The production of vegetable charcoal from lightly contaminated wood waste is a promising option for waste treatment, as it leads to possible recycling of residues and stabilization of contaminants. For this process to be environmentally sound, emissions during the process must be low and the resulting charcoal must be of sufficient quality. These two challenges are investigated in the study.

Author:
Sørmo et al.
Published:
2020
Paper:
Science of the total environment
Link/Pdf:
/fileadmin/pdf/Pflanzenkohle/2020_Sormo_et_al.pdf
Author: Hagemann et al. (2020)   Paper: Science of the total environment

Wood-based vegetable carbon for the removal of organic micropollutants from biologically treated wastewater.

The implementation of advanced wastewater treatment to remove organic micropollutants is a necessary step to protect vulnerable freshwater ecosystems and water resources. For this purpose, sorption of OMP by plant carbon, among others, is a viable technology.

Author:
Hagemann et al.
Published:
2020
Paper:
Science of the total environment
Link/Pdf:
/fileadmin/pdf/Pflanzenkohle/2020_Hagemann_et_al.pdf
Author: Safarik et al. (2020)   Paper: Biochar

Plant charcoal and its derivatives as enzyme-like catalysts.

The observed mimetic activity of plant charcoal enzymes may find interesting applications in environmental technology for the degradation of selected xenobiotics. In general, this property predestines the low-cost biochar as a perspective complement or even substitution of common peroxidases in practical applications.

Author:
Safarik et al.
Published:
2020
Paper:
Biochar
Pages
121-234
Link/Pdf:
/fileadmin/pdf/Pflanzenkohle/2020_Safarik_et_al-komprimiert.pdf
Author: Schmidt et al. (2019)   Paper: NCBI

The use of vegetable carbon in animal nutrition

Vegetable charcoal, i.e. charred biomass similar to charcoal, has been used in acute medical treatment of animals for many centuries. Since 2010, livestock producers have increasingly used plant charcoal as a regular feed supplement to improve animal health, increase nutrient uptake efficiency and thus productivity. Because plant charcoal is enriched with nitrogen-rich organic compounds during the digestion process, excreted plant charcoal manure becomes a more valuable organic fertilizer that results in lower nutrient losses and greenhouse gas emissions when stored and applied to the soil.

Author:
Schmidt et al.
Published:
2019
Paper:
NCBI
Link/Pdf:
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6679646/
Author: Steffens (2019)   Paper: Landwirtschaft ohne Pflug

Putting carbon in the soil

In the Amazon basin, the use of charred carbon increased the fertility and thus the yield capacity of originally barren soils. The indigenous people used a mixture of organic substances, including charcoal residues, excrement and food waste, as fertilizer. The soils thus upgraded to high quality are known as "terra preta". After their discovery, the idea of harnessing this effect for soils in other regions such as Germany was not far off. In a field trial in Hesse, a research group from the University of Giessen investigated the effectiveness of various plant carbons on soil quality. However, vegetable carbon was not able to improve the water supply and yield performance of plants in semi-arid regions. In any case, plant charcoal can contribute to the sequestration of carbon.

Author:
Diedrich Steffens
Published:
2019
Paper:
Landwirtschaft ohne Pflug
Pages
36-39
Link/Pdf:
https://www.pfluglos.de/ausgaben/lop-2019/april-2019
Author: Brewer et al. (2019)   Paper: Enviromental Progress and Sustainable Energy

Characterization of vegetable carbon from fast pyrolysis and gasification systems.

The thermochemical processing of biomass produces a solid product that includes charcoal (mostly carbon) and ash. This charcoal can be burned to generate heat and electricity, gasified, activated for adsorption applications, or applied to soils as a soil amendment and carbon can be used as a sequestering agent. The most beneficial use of a of the given charcoal depends on its physical and chemical characteristics, although the relationship of charcoal's properties to these applications has not been well understood.

Author:
Brewer et al.
Published:
2019
Paper:
Enviromental Progress and Sustainable Energy
Pages
386-394
Link/Pdf:
https://aiche.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/ep.10378
Author: Krause (2019)   Paper: Doktorarbeit

Impact of soil management practices on N2O production and reduction of microbial communities.

Nitrous oxide (N2O) is an important greenhouse gas that also contributes to the depletion of stratospheric ozone. ozone. Mainly due to human impact on the global nitrogen cycle, atmospheric N2O concentrations have been continuously last decade, atmospheric N2O concentrations have been steadily increasing. In 2015, the atmospheric N2O concentration was 121% compared to the pre-industrial era. Since the N2O emissions originate from agricultural soils, the development of tillage systems is the development of soil management practices that can mitigate N2O emissions is an important challenge for the entire emissions is an important challenge for the entire agricultural sector.

Author:
Hans-Martin Krause
Published:
2019
Paper:
Doktorarbeit
Link/Pdf:
/fileadmin/images/Studien/2017_NO2_reduction_-_Krause_PhD_thesis.pdf
Author: Kammann & Schmidt (2017)   Paper: Interessengemeinschaft gesunder Boden

Vegetable carbon as a tool for sustainable agriculture?

What is biochar, what is vegetable carbon? New results from research and development are explained in the following text. The authors discuss the use of vegetable carbon in agriculture, possible risks and the legal framework.

Author:
Claudia Kammann und Hans-Peter Schmidt
Published:
2017
Paper:
Interessengemeinschaft gesunder Boden
Link/Pdf:
/fileadmin/pdf/Pflanzenkohle/Vortrag_Prof._Kamman__2.3.2017__Bodentag.pdf
Author: Li et al. (2017)   Paper: Chemosphere

Mechanisms of metal sorption by plant charcoal: properties of plant charcoal and changes.

Vegetable charcoal produced by thermal decomposition of biomass under oxygen-limited conditions has gained increasing importance as a cost-effective sorbent for treating metal-contaminated waters. However, there is a lack of information on the role of different sorption mechanisms for different metals and the recent development of modification of plant charcoal to improve metal sorption capacity, which is critical for the application of plant charcoal in the field. This report summarizes the properties of plant charcoal (e.g., surface area, porosity, pH, surface charge, functional groups, and mineral components) and the key mechanisms governing the sorption of As, Cr, Cd, Pb, and Hg by plant charcoal.

Author:
Li et al.
Published:
2017
Paper:
Chemosphere
Pages
466-478
Link/Pdf:
https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0045653517304356
Author: Tan et al. (2017)   Paper: Applied Soil Ecology

Returning plant carbon to the fields: A review

Vegetable charcoal, produced by thermochemical conversion of biomass, reduces greenhouse gas emissions and is useful for improving ecological systems in agriculture. However, certain plant charcoal works well for soil improvement, while other plant charcoal does not. Why? Because it is not clear how to prepare the best plant charcoal for soil. There is a discrepancy between the preparation of plant charcoal and the return of plant charcoal to the soil.

Author:
Tan et al.
Published:
2017
Paper:
Applied Soil Ecology
Pages
1-11
Link/Pdf:
https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0929139316303687
Author: Neumann (2017)   Paper: top agrar

Vegetable carbon: All-rounder for stable and field

Whether nitrate surplus or climate protection: plant carbon could solve many problems in agriculture. The market is rapidly gaining momentum and seems to offer an interesting utilization for biomass.

Author: Yang Ding, Yunguo Liu et al. (2016)   Paper: Agronomy for Sustainable Development

Biochar to improve soil fertility. An overview.

Soil mineral degradation is a major problem mainly due to soil erosion and nutrient leaching. The addition of biochar is a solution, as it has been shown that biochar improves soil fertility.

Author:
Yang Ding, Yunguo Liu et al.
Published:
2016
Paper:
Agronomy for Sustainable Development
Link/Pdf:
https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s13593-016-0372-z

Soil mineral depletion is a major issue due mainly to soil erosion and nutrient leaching. The addition of biochar is a solution because biochar has been shown to improve soil fertility, to promote plant growth, to increase crop yield, and to reduce contaminations. We review here biochar potential to improve soil fertility. The main properties of biochar are the following: high surface area with many functional groups, high nutrient content, and slow-release fertilizer. We discuss the influence of feedstock, pyrolysis temperature, pH, application rates, and soil types. We review the mechanisms ruling the adsorption of nutrients by biochar.

Author: Terytze et al. (2016)   Paper: Freie Universität Berlin

Closing loops through energy and material flow management when using terra preta technology in the Botanical Garden with regard to resource efficiency and climate protection - Urban farming model project

The recycling of organic residual and waste materials makes an important contribution to the climate and environmental protection and the conservation of fossil resources. Due to its ecological and economic importance, organic waste also plays an important role in regional material flow within regional material flow management (IfaS, 2008). Due to the energy policy dependency and the effects of climate change, it is necessary to develop locally to regionally concepts for innovative, integrated land use, energy and material flow management. material flow management.

Author:
Terytze et al.
Published:
2016
Paper:
Freie Universität Berlin
Link/Pdf:
https://refubium.fu-berlin.de/handle/fub188/15068
Author: Kammann et al. (2015)   Paper: Scientific Reports

Improvement of plant growth through nitrate trapping in co-composted plant charcoal.

Soil amendment with pyrogenic carbon (plant charcoal) is discussed as a strategy to improve soil fertility to enable economic and environmental benefits. However, in temperate soils, the use of pure plant charcoal usually has moderate negative to -positive yield effects. Here, we show that co-composting significantly enhances the positive effects of plant charcoal, primarily by capturing and releasing nitrate (nutrients).

Author:
Claudia I. Kammann, Hans-Peter Schmidt, Nicole Messerschmidt, Sebastian Linsel, Diedrich Steffens, Christoph Müller, Hans-Werner Koyro, Pellegrino Conte & Stephen Joseph
Published:
2015
Paper:
Scientific Reports
Link/Pdf:
https://www.nature.com/articles/srep11080
Author: Zhaoa et al. (2015)   Paper: Soil and Tillage Research

Effects of aged and fresh plant charcoal on soil acidity under different incubation conditions.

Vegetable charcoal has positive effects as soil acidification, which is a global concern. However, few studies have been reported on the effect of aged plant charcoal on soil acidification. Incubation methods with different aeration conditions may cause different effects on soil acidification by plant charcoal. In this study, the effects of fresh and aged plant charcoal on soil acidity change were analyzed using different incubation methods.

Author:
Rudong Zhaoa, Neil Colesb, Zhe Konga, Jiaping Wuc
Published:
2015
Paper:
Soil and Tillage Research
Pages
133-138
Link/Pdf:
https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0167198714002232
Author: Schmidt et al. (2015)   Paper: Agriculture

Quadrupling the pumpkin yield in response to the low dose root-urine application of urinary-enhanced biochar to a fertile tropical soil

This study shows for the first time that low-dose root zone application of urea-reinforced biochar resulted in a significant increase in yield in a fertile silt loam soil.

Author:
Schmidt et al.
Published:
2015
Paper:
Agriculture
Pages
723-741
Link/Pdf:
/fileadmin/pdf/Pflanzenkohle/Schmidt-etal-2015_Agriculture-05-00723.pdf

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 OPEN ACCESS Agriculture 2015, 5 724 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.

Author: McMichael et al. (2014)   Paper: PMC - NCBI

Prediction of pre-Columbian anthropogenic soils in Amazonia.

The extent and intensity of pre-Columbian impacts on lowland Amazonia remain uncertain and controversial. Various indicators can be used to assess the impact of pre-Columbian societies, but the formation of nutrient-rich terra preta soils has been widely accepted as an indicator of long-term settlement and site fidelity. Using known and newly discovered terra preta sites and maximum entropy algorithms, we determined the influence of regional environmental conditions on the probability that terra preta soils would have formed at a given site in lowland Amazonia.

Author:
C. H. McMichael, M. W. Palace, M. B. Bush, B. Braswell, S. Hagen, E. G. Neves, M. R. Silman, E. K. Tamanaha, and C. Czarnecki
Published:
2014
Paper:
PMC - NCBI
Link/Pdf:
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3896013/
Author: Case et al. (2014)   Paper: Global Change Biology Bioenergy

Can biochar reduce greenhouse gas emissions from a Miscanthus bioenergy harvest?

Energy production from bioenergy plants can significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions by substituting fossil fuels. Biochar incorporation into the soil can further reduce the net climate gas production of bioenergy crop cultivation.

Author:
Case et al.
Published:
2014
Paper:
Global Change Biology Bioenergy
Pages
76-89

Energy production from bioenergy crops may significantly reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions through substitution of fossil fuels. Biochar amendment to soil may further decrease the net climate forcing of bioenergy crop production, however, this has not yet been assessed under field conditions. Significant suppression of soil nitrous oxide (N2O) and carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions following biochar amendment has been demonstrated in short-term laboratory incubations by a number of authors, yet evidence from long-term field trials has been contradictory. This study investigated whether biochar amendment could suppress soil GHG emissions under field and controlled conditions in a Miscanthus × Giganteus crop and whether suppression would be sustained during the first 2 years following amendment. In the field, biochar amendment suppressed soil CO2 emissions by 33% and annual net soil CO2 equivalent (eq.) emissions (CO2, N2O and methane, CH4) by 37% over 2 years. In the laboratory, under controlled temperature and equalised gravimetric water content, biochar amendment suppressed soil CO2 emissions by 53% and net soil CO2 eq. emissions by 55%. Soil N2O emissions were not significantly suppressed with biochar amendment, although they were generally low. Soil CH4 fluxes were below minimum detectable limits in both experiments. These findings demonstrate that biochar amendment has the potential to suppress net soil CO2 eq. emissions in bioenergy crop systems for up to 2 years after addition, primarily through reduced CO2 emissions. Suppression of soil CO2 emissions may be due to a combined effect of reduced enzymatic activity, the increased carbon-use efficiency from the co-location of soil microbes, soil organic matter and nutrients and the precipitation of CO2 onto the biochar surface. We conclude that hardwood biochar has the potential to improve the GHG balance of bioenergy crops through reductions in net soil CO2 eq. emissions.

Author: Peake et al. (2014)   Paper: Geoderma

Quantification of the influence of biochar on the physical and hydrological properties of different soils

This paper presents a novel attempt to investigate the impact of biochar (applied at 0.1, 0.5 and 2.5%) on the physical properties of the soil in relation to quantified soil variables.

Author:
Peake et al.
Published:
2014
Paper:
Geoderma
Pages
182-190
Link/Pdf:
https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0016706114002651

Evidence suggests that biochar influences soil physical properties, especially soil hydrology, yet relatively little data exists on this topic, especially in relation to soil type or characteristics. This paper presents a novel attempt at analysing the influence of biochar (applied at 0.1, 0.5 and 2.5%) on the physical properties of soil with respect to quantified soil variables. Pot experiments were used to establish the effect of biochar on: bulk density, soil moisture content at field capacity and available water capacity. The aggregate effect of biochar across all soils was significant (P < 0.01) for all of the properties. With increasing amount of biochar, changes to bulk density, field capacity and available water were more pronounced. In the 2.5% treatments these changes ranged from − 4.2% to − 19.2%, 1.3% to 42.2% and 0.3% to 48.4%, respectively. Regression revealed that soil silt content negatively moderated the influence of biochar on field capacity and available water capacity. The results suggested that medium (20 t ha− 1) and high (100 t ha− 1) biochar applications could improve water-holding capacity (by up to 22%) and ameliorate compaction (by up to 15%) and that soils low in silt are likely to be more hydrologically responsive to biochar application.

Author: Wang et al. (2014)   Paper: Journal of Analytical and Applied Pyrolysis

Characterization of biochar from rapid pyrolysis and its effect on the chemical properties of the tea garden soil

The properties and application of biochar from conventionally slow pyrolysis have been much studied, but biochar by-product in bio-oil production, produced by rapid pyrolysis, has rarely been studied.

Author:
Wang et al.
Published:
2014
Paper:
Journal of Analytical and Applied Pyrolysis
Pages
375-381
Link/Pdf:
https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0165237014002563

The characteristics and application of biochar from conventionally slow pyrolysis have been studied a lot, but biochar, as a byproduct in the bio-oil production process, produced by fast pyrolysis was rarely studied. This work assessed the characterization and utilization of biochars derived from rice husk (RH) and elm sawdust (ES) by fast pyrolysis. Incubation experiment of rice husk biochar (RHB) and acid soil in a controlled cabinet was carried out to test the effect of biochar on soil available elements. The volatile and fixed carbon was 2.2 and 1.7-fold respectively higher in elm sawdust biochar (ESB) than those in RHB, but the ash content was 4.2-fold higher in RHB than that in ESB. Although the C, H, N, and O contents were significantly varied in two biochars, the ratio H/C and O/C were nearly the same. The Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy (FTIR) results revealed that RHB had more functional groups than ESB. More surface area was found in RHB (78.15 m2 g−1) than ESB (0.22 m2 g−1) by BET test. Incorporation of the biochar improved the quality of acid soil properties. The levels of soil pH, K, Ca, Mg, Na and total C and N increased while the Al and Pb contents decreased. Total carbon and potassium increased by 72% and by 6.7-fold respectively over the control at 4% of rice husk biochar adding level.

Author: Gomez et al. (2013)   Paper: British Society of Soil Science

Plant charcoal addition rate affects soil microbial diversity and activity in temperate soils

Crop carbon (BC) for soil improvement is a proposed strategy for improving soil fertility and mitigating climate change. However, before this can become a recommended management practice, a better understanding of the effects of BC on soil biota is needed. The study determined the effect of addition rates of 0, 1, 5, 10, and 20% by mass.

Author:
J. D. Gomez, K. Denef, C. E. Stewart, J. Zheng, M. F. Cotrufo
Published:
2013
Paper:
British Society of Soil Science
Pages
28-39
Link/Pdf:
https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/ejss.12097
Author: Schulz et al. (2013)   Paper: Agronomy for Sustainable Development

Positive effects of composted plant charcoal on plant growth and soil fertility

Humanity is indeed facing serious problems due to the over-exploitation of fossil fuels, biomass, soils, nitrogen and phosphorus. It is claimed that the addition of plant carbon to the soil improves C storage to prevent the CO2 cycle in the atmosphere. The addition of plant charcoal should also increase soil fertility in a manner similar to the anthropogenic dark soils of central Amazonia. Previous studies have shown that plant charcoal stimulates plant growth and increases fertilizer efficiency, especially when plant charcoal is combined with organic fertilizers such as compost.

Author:
H. Schulz, G. Dunst, B. Glaser
Published:
2013
Paper:
Agronomy for Sustainable Development
Link/Pdf:
https://www.researchgate.net/publication/257805348_Positive_effects_of_composted_biochar_on_plant_growth_and_soil_fertility
Author: Case et al. (2013)   Paper: Bioenergy

Can plant carbon reduce soil greenhouse gas emissions from a Miscanthus bioenergy crop?

Energy production from bioenergy crops can significantly reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by substituting fossil fuels. Modification of plant carbon in the soil may further reduce the net climate impact of bioenergy crop production, but this has not yet been evaluated under field conditions.

Author:
S. D. C. Case, N. P. McNamara, D. S. Reay, J. Whitaker
Published:
2013
Paper:
Bioenergy
Pages
76-89
Link/Pdf:
https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/gcbb.12052
Author: Mukherjee & Zimmermann (2013)   Paper: Geoderma

Organic carbon and nutrient release from a range of laboratory-produced biochar and biochar-soil mixtures

Here, nutrient release from a variety of new and aged biochar, pure and mixed with soil, is investigated using batch extraction and column leaching.

Author:
Mukherjee & Zimmermann
Published:
2013
Paper:
Geoderma
Pages
193-194
Link/Pdf:
http://users.clas.ufl.edu/azimmer/pdf/Mukh and Zim13_biochar leaching+SI.pdf

Biochar has shown promise as a soil amendment that increases carbon sequestration and fertility, but its effects on dissolved organic carbon (DOC), nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) cycling and loss is not well understood. Here, nutrient release from a variety of new and aged biochars, pure and mixed with soils, is examined using batch extraction and column leaching. In successive batch extractions of biochar, cumulative losses were about 0.1–2, 0.5–8 and 5–100% of the total C, N and P initially present, respectively, with greater releases from biochars made at lower temperature and from grass. Ammonium was usually the most abundant N form in leachates but nitrate was also abundant in some biochars, while organic N and P represented as much as 61% and 93% of the total N and P lost, respectively. Release of DOC, N and P into water was correlated with biochar volatile matter content and acid functional group density. However, P release via Mehlich-1 extraction was more strongly related to ash content, suggesting a mineral-associated P fraction. Columns with soil/biochar mixtures showed evidence of both soil nutrient sorption by biochar and biochar nutrient sorption by soil, depending upon biochar and soil type. This study demonstrates that biochars contain a range of nutrient forms with different release rates, explaining biochar's variable effect on soil fertility with soil and crop type and over time.

Author: Fang et. al. (2013)   Paper: European Journal of Soil Science

Stability of plant charcoal in four contrasting soils.

There is limited understanding of the effects of soil properties on plant carbon (C) stability. This knowledge is essential to evaluate the ability of plant charcoal to retain soil C over the long term.

Author:
Y. Fang, B. Singh, B. P. Singh, E. Krull
Published:
2013
Paper:
European Journal of Soil Science
Pages
60-71
Link/Pdf:
https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/ejss.12094
Author: Gomez et al. (2013)   Paper: Wiley Online Library

The addition rate of plant charcoal influences the microbial diversity and activity of temperate soils

Plant charcoal for soil amendment is a strategy to improve soil fertility and mitigate climate change. This study investigates the effects of addition rates (0, 1, 5, 10, and 20 mass percent) of a fast pyrolyzing, wood-derived plant charcoal on the extraction efficiency, abundance, and temporal dynamics of phospholipid fatty acids in four temperate soils during a one-year incubatio

Author:
J. D. Gomez K. Denef C. E. Stewart J. Zheng M. F. Cotrufo
Published:
2013
Paper:
Wiley Online Library
Pages
28-38
Link/Pdf:
https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/ejss.12097
Author: Fischer & Glaser (2012)   Paper: Management of Organic Waste

Synergisms between compost and vegetable carbon for sustainable soil improvement

Driven by climate change and population growth, increasing human pressure on the land is forcing the conversion of natural landscapes to agricultural land and pasture, while at the same time depleting land is currently being used for agriculture (Lal, 2009). As a result, a vicious cycle is developing: further exacerbation of climate change, soil degradation, erosion, loss of soil organic matter (SOM), and leaching of nutrients.

Author:
Daniel Fischer, Bruno Glaser
Published:
2012
Paper:
Management of Organic Waste
Link/Pdf:
http://www.biomastec.com/fileadmin/Sonstiges/InTech-Synergisms_between_compost_and_biochar_for_sustainable_soil_amelioration.pdf
Author: Wang et al. (2012)   Paper: Plant Soil

Effects of changing plant carbon in two soils on greenhouse gas emissions and crop production.

There is growing interest worldwide in the use of plant carbon in agriculture to mitigate global warming and improve crop productivity. Methods that have impacts of plant charcoal on greenhouse gas and GHG emissions, as well as rice and wheat yields, are measured in the study using field trials in two different soils (upland soil vs. raw soil) and an aerobic incubation experiment in raw soil.

Author:
Jinyang Wang & Xiaojian Pan & Yinglie Liu & Xiaolin Zhang & Zhengqin Xiong
Published:
2012
Paper:
Plant Soil
Pages
287-298
Link/Pdf:
https://www.researchgate.net/publication/230563476_Effects_of_biochar_amendment_in_two_soils_on_greenhouse_gas_emissions_and_crop_production
Author: Yao et al. (2012)   Paper: Chemosphere

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

When applied to soils, it is unclear whether and how plant charcoal can affect soil nutrients. This has implications for both the availability of nutrients to plants or microbes and whether soil amendment with plant charcoal can improve or reduce nutrient leaching. In this study, a series of laboratory experiments are conducted to determine the effect of plant charcoal amendment on sorption and leaching of nitrate, ammonium, and phosphate in a sandy soil. A total of thirteen plant charcoals were tested in laboratory experiments, and most of them showed little/no ability to sorpt nitrate or phosphate.

Author:
Ying Yao, Bin Gao, Ming Zhang, Mandu Inyang, Andrew R. Zimmerman
Published:
2012
Paper:
Chemosphere
Pages
1467-1471
Link/Pdf:
https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0045653512007709
Author: Biedermann et al. (2012)   Paper: Bioenergy

Crop charcoal and its effects on plant productivity and nutrient cycling: a meta-analysis.

Vegetable charcoal is a carbon-rich byproduct produced during the pyrolysis of biomass. The study shows: When applied to soil, it does not decompose, effectively sequestering the applied carbon and mitigating anthropogenic CO2 emissions. Other benefits of applying plant carbon to soil include increased plant productivity and reduced nutrient leaching.

Author:
L. A. Biederman, W. S. Harpole
Published:
2012
Paper:
Bioenergy
Pages
202-214
Link/Pdf:
https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/gcbb.12037
Author: Mukherjee & Zimmermann (2012)   Paper: Geoderma

Organic carbon and nutrient release from a series of laboratory-produced plant charcoal and plant charcoal-soil mixtures.

Plant charcoal has shown promise as a soil amendment that increases carbon sequestration and fertility. However, currently its effects on cycling and loss of dissolved organic carbon, nitrogen, and phosphorus are not well understood. Due to this, the study investigates nutrient release from a variety of new and aged plant charcoal, pure and mixed with soils, using batch extraction and column leaching.

Author:
A. Mukherjee, A. R. Zimmerman
Published:
2012
Paper:
Geoderma
Pages
122-130
Link/Pdf:
https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0016706112003382
Author: Wang et al. (2011)   Paper: Environmental Science and Technology, Volume 47

Insight into the effect of biochar on the composting of manure: Evidence for the relationship between N2O emission and denitrification

In this study, the effects of biochar changes during the composting of pig manure were examined to investigate the correlation between N2O emission and the amount of denitrifying bacteria.

Author:
Wang et al.
Published:
2011
Paper:
Environmental Science and Technology, Volume 47
Pages
7341–7349
Link/Pdf:
http://pubs.acs.org

Although nitrous oxide (N2O) emissions from composting contribute to the accelerated greenhouse effect, it is difficult to implement practical methods to mitigate these emissions. In this study, the effects of biochar amendment during pig manure composting were investigated to evaluate the inter-relationships between N2O emission and the abundance of denitrifying bacteria. Analytical results from two pilot composting treatments with (PWSB, pig manure + wood chips + sawdust + biochar) or without (PWS, pig manure + wood chips + sawdust) biochar (3% w/w) demonstrated that biochar amendment not only lowered NO2-N concentrations but also lowered the total N2O emissions from pig manure composting, especially during the later stages. Quantification of functional genes involved in denitrification and Spearman rank correlations matrix revealed that the N2O emission rates correlated with the abundance of nosZ, nirK, and nirS genes. Biochar-amended pig manure had a higher pH and a lower moisture content. Biochar amendment altered the abundance of denitrifying bacteria significantly; less N2O-producing and more N2O-consuming bacteria were present in the PWSB, and this significantly lowered N2O emissions in the maturation phase. Together, the results demonstrate that biochar amendment could be a novel greenhouse gas mitigation strategy during pig manure composting.

Author: Karhu et al. (2010)   Paper: Agriculture Ecosystems and Environment

Addition of plant charcoal to agricultural soil increases CH4 uptake and water storage capacity - results of a short-term pilot field study.

The addition of plant charcoal to agricultural soils has been proposed as a measure to mitigate climate change by increasing biogenic carbon storage and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Therefore, this study investigates the fluxes of N2O, CO2, and CH4 after addition of 9tha-1 plant charcoal to an agricultural soil in southern Finland in May 2009.

Author: Schimmelpfennig & Glaser (2010)   Paper: Journal of Environmental Quality

A step forward to characterization: some important properties for distinguishing vegetable charcoal

Terra Preta research provides evidence for the positive impact of charred organic matter (plant charcoal) on infertile tropical soils. In the face of global challenges such as soil degradation, fossil fuel decline, water scarcity and climate change, the use of plant charcoal, as a soil amendment embedded in regional material cycles, seems to offer a comprehensive solution.

Author:
S. Schimmelpfennig, B. Glaser
Published:
2010
Paper:
Journal of Environmental Quality
Pages
1001-1013
Link/Pdf:
https://www.researchgate.net/publication/228102866_One_Step_Forward_toward_Characterization_Some_Important_Material_Properties_to_Distinguish_Biochars
Author: M.P. Bernal et al. (2009)   Paper: Bioresource Technology

Animal manure composting and chemical criteria for compost maturity evaluation - A status report.

New systems of livestock production based on the intensification of large farms produce huge quantities of manure and feces without sufficient agricultural land available for their direct application as fertilizer. Composting of manure is increasingly seen as a good way to utilize the surplus of it as a stabilized and hygienic end product for agriculture. Much research has been done in this regard over the past decade. The study provides an overview.

Author:
M.P. Bernal, J.A. Alburquerque, R. Moral
Published:
2009
Paper:
Bioresource Technology
Pages
5444–5453
Link/Pdf:
https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0960852408009917
Author: Kuzyakov et al. (2009)   Paper: Soil Biology and Biochemistry

Decomposition of black carbon and incorporation into soil microbial biomass estimated by 14C labeling.

The burning of organic matter such as vegetation or fossil fuels has historically resulted in the accumulation of charred products in the upper soil horizon. Such charred products, often referred to as pyrogenic carbon or soot, may act as an important long-term carbon sink because their microbial decomposition and chemical transformation is likely to be very slow.

Author:
Y. Kuzyakov, I. Subbotina, H. Chen, I. Bogomolova, X. Xu
Published:
2009
Paper:
Soil Biology and Biochemistry
Pages
210-219
Link/Pdf:
https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0038071708003544
Author: Yu et al. (2009)   Paper: Chemosphere

Reduced plant uptake of pesticides with plant carbon additives in the soil.

This study investigates the effectiveness of two types of plant charcoal in reducing the bioavailability of two soil-applied insecticides (chlorpyrifos and carbofuran) to spring onions (Allium cepa). The plant charcoal prepared from pyrolysis of eucalyptus and wood chips at 450 °C and 850 °C was thoroughly mixed into the soil. The effectiveness of the plant charcoal was tested at 0, 0.1, 0.5, and 1% of the soil weight.

Author:
X.-Y. Yu, G.-G. Yinga, R. S. Kookana
Published:
2009
Paper:
Chemosphere
Pages
665-671
Link/Pdf:
https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0045653509004226
Author: Lehmann et al.   Paper: Nature Communications

Sustainable biochar to curb global climate change

The production of biochar (the carbonaceous solid formed by pyrolysis of biomass) and its storage in soils may potentially help to mitigate climate change by binding carbon, while providing energy and crop yields.

Author:
Lehmann et al.
Published:
Paper:
Nature Communications
Link/Pdf:
/fileadmin/pdf/Pflanzenkohle/Lehmann_et_al__2010__Sustainable_biochar_to_mitigate_global_climate_change.pdf

Production of biochar (the carbon (C)-rich solid formed by pyrolysis of biomass) and its storage in soils have been suggested as a means of abating climate change by sequestering carbon, while simultaneously providing energy and increasing crop yields. Substantial uncertainties exist, however, regarding the impact, capacity and sustainability of biochar at the global level. In this paper we estimate the maximum sustainable technical potential of biochar to mitigate climate change. Annual net emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2), methane and nitrous oxide could be reduced by a maximum of 1.8 Pg CO2-C equivalent (CO2-Ce) per year (12% of current anthropogenic CO2-Ce emissions; 1 Pg=1 Gt), and total net emissions over the course of a century by 130 Pg CO2-Ce, without endangering food security, habitat or soil conservation. Biochar has a larger climate-change mitigation potential than combustion of the same sustainably procured biomass for bioenergy, except when fertile soils are amended while coal is the fuel being offset.

Author: J. E. Thies, M. C. Rillig (2008)   Paper: Biochar for Environmental Management

Features of vegetable carbon: biological properties

Decades of research in Japan and recent studies in the U.S. have shown that plant charcoal stimulates the activity of several important soil microorganisms. Differently sized pores in plant charcoal create a suitable habitat for many microorganisms by protecting them from predation and desiccation and providing for many of their diverse needs for carbon, energy, and minerals. Because soil organisms provide a variety of ecosystem services, understanding how the addition of plant charcoal to soil can affect soil ecology is critical to ensuring that soil quality and soil subsystem integrity are maintained

Author:
Thies & Rillig
Published:
2008
Paper:
Biochar for Environmental Management
Link/Pdf:
https://www.researchgate.net/publication/284041311_Characteristics_of_biochar_biological_properties
Author: R. Renner (2007)   Paper: Environmental Science & Technology

Rethinking vegetable carbon

Imagine a simple agricultural soil amendment with the potential for double or triple crop yields with reduced fertilizer requirements. What if, in addition to reducing nutrient-laden runoff, this amazing ingredient could also reduce greenhouse gases on a large scale? This revolutionary substance exists, and it's not even high-tech or novel. Its use can be traced back to the time before Columbus discovered South America.

Author:
Rebecca Renner
Published:
2007
Paper:
Environmental Science & Technology
Pages
5932–5933
Link/Pdf:
https://pubs.acs.org/doi/10.1021/es0726097
Author: Steinbeiss et al. (2006)   Paper: Soil Biology and Biochemistry

Effect of plant charcoal amendment on soil carbon balance and microbial activity.

The study investigates the behavior of plant carbon in arable and forest soils in a greenhouse experiment. The aim is to prove that the incorporation of plant charcoal into soils can increase soil carbon storage. Two types of plant charcoal were prepared by hydrothermal pyrolysis from 13C-labeled glucose (0% N) and yeast (5% N), respectively. This study quantifies the respiratory losses of soil and plant carbon and calculates the mean residence time of plant carbon using isotopic labeling.

Author:
S. Steinbeiss, G. Gleixner, M. Antonietti
Published:
2006
Paper:
Soil Biology and Biochemistry
Pages
1301-1310
Link/Pdf:
https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0038071709001242
Author: Lehmann et al. (2006)   Paper: Mitigation and Adaptation Strategies for Global Change

Plant carbon sequestration in the terrestrial ecosystem - A review.

The application of plant carbon (charcoal or biomass-derived black carbon (C)) to soil is proposed as a new approach to provide significant, long-term reductions for atmospheric carbon dioxide in terrestrial ecosystems. The study shows: Apart from the positive effects in reducing emissions and increasing sequestration of greenhouse gases, the production of plant carbon and its application to soil will provide immediate benefits through improved soil fertility and increased crop production.

Author:
J. Lehmann, J. Gaunt, M. Rondon
Published:
2006
Paper:
Mitigation and Adaptation Strategies for Global Change
Pages
403-427
Link/Pdf:
https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11027-005-9006-5
Author: Brodowski et al. (2005)   Paper: Geoderma

Morphological and chemical properties of black carbon in physical soil fractions determined by scanning electron microscopy and energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy.

Soils contain significant amounts of plant carbon from biomass and fossil fuel combustion. However, the origin, morphology, and chemistry of this has remained unclear. Therefore, this study examines plant charcoal in particle size and density fractions of the surface soil of a haplian chernozem using a scanning electron microscope coupled to an energy dispersive X-ray spectrometer to investigate the morphological and chemical properties of plant charcoal as a function of its origin and fate in soils.

Author:
S. Brodowski, W. Amelung, L. Haumaier, C. Abetz, W. Zech
Published:
2005
Paper:
Geoderma
Pages
116-129
Link/Pdf:
https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0016706104003301
Author: unbekannt (2003)   Paper: wave GmbH

Study on Phosphorus Recycling from Municipal Wastewater in Baden- Württemberg - Possibilities and Limits

In the past, a large part of the sewage sludge produced during wastewater treatment was utilized agriculturally as "fertilizer" and thus the nutrients contained therein (such as nitrogen and phosphorus) were returned to the nutrient cycle. Since the share of this recycling method compared to the thermal treatment of the sewage sludge is continuously decreasing and, in addition, there is currently an intensive discussion about the advantages and disadvantages of the agricultural use of sewage sludge, the handling of phosphorus in particular - as a non-substitutable nutrient - requires increased attention.

Author: Schmidt & Noack (2000)   Paper: AGU 100

Black carbon in soils and sediments: Analysis, distribution, impacts, and current challenges

This report highlights the ubiquity of plant carbon, which results from the incomplete combustion of plant material and fossil fuels in peat, soils, and lacustrine and marine sediments. The study examines various definitions and analytical approaches and attempts to find a common language.

Author:
M. W. I. Schmidt, A. G. Noack
Published:
2000
Paper:
AGU 100
Pages
777-793
Link/Pdf:
https://agupubs.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1029/1999GB001208

Protect Nature

Support our projects and protect habitats in Germany and around the world.

Sponsored by

Naturefund e. V.
Karl-Glässing-Straße 5
65183 Wiesbaden

+49 611 504 581 011
info(at)naturefund.de

Jetzt spenden

Registriert beim Registergericht Wiesbaden, VR 3739

Umsatzsteuer-Identifikationsnummer: DE 293241718

Freistellungsbescheid: Als gemeinnützige Körperschaft
befreit von der Körperschaftssteuer gem. §5 Abs.1 Nr.9 KStG
unter der Steuernummer 43/250/76281.

Ihre Spende an Naturefund kann steuerlich abgesetzt werden.