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ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Parlier, California » San Joaquin Valley Agricultural Sciences Center » Water Management Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #302561

Research Project: Developing Sustainable Cropping Systems to Improve Water Productivity and Protect Water and Soil Quality in Irrigated Agriculture

Location: Water Management Research

Title: Surface application of biochar to reduce chloropicrin emissions

item Wang, Qiuxia
item Cao, Aocheng
item Wang, Dong
item Gao, Suduan

Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 2/1/2014
Publication Date: 2/4/2014
Citation: Wang, Q., Cao, A., Wang, D., Gao, S. 2014. Surface application of biochar to reduce chloropicrin emissions. California Plant and Soil Conference Proceedings. p. 140.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Biochar is the carbon-enriched and porous material produced by heating organic material under conditions of limited or no oxygen. As biochar has a large surface area and strong sorption capacity, it can enhance the sequestration of organic contaminants such as pesticides in soil. Chloropicrin (CP) is an important fumigant for the production of many fruit and vegetable crops, but its emissions must be minimized to reduce exposure risks and air pollution. Applying biochar to surface soil has the potential to reduce fumigant emissions. The objective of this study was to determine the effect of biochar amendments to surface soil on CP emissions after injection to soil columns. The treatments included a polyethylene (PE) tarp only, and PE tarp + biochar at 2 and 5% (on a weight basis) in the top 5 cm soil. The total CP emission (percent of total applied) over 14 days were 15.9% for no biochar treatment, 2.3% for 2% biochar treatment and 0.4% for 5% biochar treatment. The results indicate that biochar amendment at 2% to 5% (w/w) reduced total emission losses from 85.7% to 97.7%. This study demonstrated that biochar amendment in surface soil can significantly reduce CP emission losses.