Skip to main content
ARS Home » Midwest Area » St. Paul, Minnesota » Soil and Water Management Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #257553

Title: Impacts of biochar (black carbon) additions on the sorption and efficacy of herbicides

item CABRERA MESA, A - University Of Sevilla
item Spokas, Kurt

Submitted to: Book Chapter
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: 9/30/2011
Publication Date: 1/3/2011
Citation: Cabrera Mesa, A., Spokas, K.A. 2011. Impacts of biochar (black carbon) additions on the sorption and efficacy of herbicides. In: Kortekamp, A., editor. Herbicides and Environment. Rijeka, Croatia. InTech. p. 315-340.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: There is renewed interest in the soil application of charcoal (biochar) as a means of increasing carbon sequestration and combating climate change. The land areas that are targeted for biochar applications are agricultural land, due to the potential positive impacts that charcoal additions have on overall soil fertility as well as plant growth and yield. However, the application of organic materials to soils has been known for some time to increase herbicide sorption and reduce efficacy. Overall, there is the assumption that increased soil sorption could reduce leaching of agrochemicals to groundwater, thus improving overall water quality. On the other hand, increased sorption leads to decreased efficacy of soil applied herbicides thereby eliminating the residual action of these chemicals for weed management. However, the impacts on the fate and dissipation of herbicides are still largely studied with limited number of biochars and soils. To overcome this shortcoming, this chapter will extensively review the existing literature and compile the results of the individual studies to examine if any overall conclusions can be gleamed from the data to date. In particular, production conditions (e.g. temperature, pyrolysis type, residency time) as well as parent material (biomass type) will be compiled to assess any dependency on these parameters as a function of herbicide efficacy, dissipation, and sorption. This chapter will provide insights for the future directions of herbicide-biochar research.