Page Banner

United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: Improving Nutrient Utilization in Western Irrigated Crop Production Systems

Location: Northwest Irrigation and Soils Research

Title: Environmental benefits of biochar

Authors
item IPPOLITO, JAMES
item Laird, David -
item Busscher, Warren

Submitted to: Journal of Environmental Quality
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: June 8, 2012
Publication Date: July 1, 2012
Citation: Ippolito, J.A., Laird, D.A., Busscher, W.J. 2012. Environmental benefits of biochar. Journal of Environmental Quality. 41(4):967-972.

Interpretive Summary: Understanding and improving environmental quality in agroecosystems 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, may be attained through the use of biochar. Twenty-five presentations from three symposia presented in 2010 make up a special collection of review and technical research papers focused on biochar creation and utilization. This overarching manuscript outlines the improvement of the biochar knowledge base, current information gaps, and future biochar research needs.

Technical Abstract: 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 ASA-CSSA-SSSA Environmental Quality Division session entitled Biochar Effects on the Environment and Agricultural Productivity (Long Beach, CA; Oct. 31-Nov. 3). Twenty-five presentations from this session, and sessions at the 2010 U.S. Biochar Initiative Conference (Ames, IA; June 27-30) and Biochar Symposium 2010 (organized by Dr. Bruno Glaser; University of Bayreuth, Bayreuth, Germany, July 8-9), make up a special collection of review and technical research papers focused on biochar creation and utilization. Individual contributions deal with 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 custom designed for specific environmental applications.

Last Modified: 9/10/2014
Footer Content Back to Top of Page