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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Florence, South Carolina » Coastal Plain Soil, Water and Plant Conservation Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #324034

Research Project: Improving Chemical, Physical, and Biological Properties of Degraded Sandy Soils for Environmentally Sustainable Production

Location: Coastal Plain Soil, Water and Plant Conservation Research

Title: Designing advanced biochar products for maximizing greenhouse gas mitigation potential

Author
item Mandal, Sanchita - University Of South Australia
item Sarkar, Binoy - University Of South Australia
item Bolan, Nanthi - University Of Newcastle
item Novak, Jeffrey - Jeff
item Ok, Yong Sik - Kangwon National University
item Van Zwienten, Lukas - Southern Cross University
item Bhupinder, Pal Singh - University Of New England
item Kirkham, Mary Beth - Kansas State University
item Choppala, Girish - Southern Cross University
item Spokas, Kurt
item Naidu, Ravi - University Of New England

Submitted to: Critical Reviews in Environmental Science Technology
Publication Type: Review Article
Publication Acceptance Date: 9/6/2016
Publication Date: 9/26/2016
Citation: Mandal, S., Sarkar, B., Bolan, N., Novak, J.M., Ok, Y., Van Zwienten, L., Bhupinder, P., Kirkham, M., Choppala, G., Spokas, K.A., Naidu, R. 2016. Designing advanced biochar products for maximizing greenhouse gas mitigation potential. Critical Reviews in Environmental Science Technology. 46(17):1367-1401.

Interpretive Summary: Rising emissions of greenhouse gasses (GHG) from agricultural land, due to man’s activities of burning fossil fuels and land use changes (deforestation) are major contributors to global warming. Agricultural activities have been linked as major sources for GHG production. The GHG emissions from agricultural soil can be reduced by organic amendments, such as biochar, which can improve soil physical, chemical and biological properties. Biochar materials are a solid residual, which contain between 30 to 80% carbon. Thus, biochars applied to soils can offset carbon emitted as GHG. However, biochars affects in soils are variable and the duration of their impact remains uncertain. The purpose of our paper was to review the scientific literature and report on methods that can reduce the variable response of biochars in soils. We report that biochars can be modified through chemical and physical activation to optimize outcomes for lowering GHG emissions.

Technical Abstract: Greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from agricultural operations continue to increase. Carbon enriched char materials like biochar have been described as a mitigation strategy. Utilization of biochar material as a soil amendment has been demonstrated to provide potentially further soil GHG suppression due to its interactions in the soil system. However, these effects are variable and the duration of the impact remains uncertain. Various (nano) materials can be used to modify chars to obtain surface functionality to mitigate GHG emissions. This review critically focuses on the innovative methodologies for improving char efficiency underpinning GHG mitigation and carbon sequestration.