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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: Biogeochemical Processes and Soil Management Impacts on Soil Erosion, Soil/air/water Quality, and Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Location: National Soil Erosion Research Lab

Title: Feedstock and Processes Affect Environmental Properties of Biochars

item Gonzalez, Javier
item Hass, Amir -
item Lima, Isabel
item Boateng, Akwasi

Submitted to: American Chemical Society Abstracts
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: May 21, 2013
Publication Date: July 17, 2013
Citation: Gonzalez, J.M., Hass, A., Lima, I.M., Boateng, A.A. 2013. Feedstock and Processes Affect Environmental Properties of Biochars [abstract]. American Chemical Society Abstracts. Pub. No. 4.

Technical Abstract: Biochar, a byproduct of the pyrolysis process of biomass-to-energy conversion, can be used as a soil amendment to improve soil health, providing beneficial use for biochar. The quality of the biochar as soil amendment and its environmental impact are likely to depend on feedstock source and processing conditions. Chicken litter- and plant residue-derived biochars processed under different conditions were evaluated for characteristics that impact the soil health and water quality. The results indicated that the biochar CaCO3 equivalent increased with temperature and with steam activation, whereas increase in macro- and micro- nutrients content was affected by steam activation. Metal enrichment was temperature dependent; however, metal solubility was feedstock, process, and metal dependent. The results of the study suggest that feedstock and pyrolysis processes markedly affect biochar properties. Management practices need to be further refined in order to assure agronomically beneficial and environmentally safe use of biochar in soil.

Last Modified: 8/31/2015
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