Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 32

Biochar Related Abstracts

32 Investigation of Biochar from Banana Peel

Authors: Anurita Selvarajoo, Svenja Hanson


Growing energy needs and increasing environmental issues are creating awareness for alternative energy which substitutes the non-renewable and polluting fossil fuels. Agricultural wastes are a good feedstock for biochar production through the pyrolysis process. There is potential to generate solid fuel from agricultural wastes, as there are large quantities of agricultural wastes available in Malaysia. This paper outlines the experimental study on the pyrolysis of banana peel. The effects of pyrolysis temperatures on the yield of biochar from the banana peel were investigated. Banana peel was pyrolysed in a horizontal tubular reactor under inert atmosphere by varying the temperatures between 300 and 700 0C. With increasing temperature, the total biochar yield decreased with increased heating value. It was found that the pyrolysis temperature had major effect on the yield of biochar product. It also exerted major influence on the heating value and C,H and O composition. The obtained biochar ranged between 31.9 to 56.7 %wt, at different pyrolysis temperatures. The optimum biochar yield was obtained at 325 0C. Biochar yield obtained at optimum temperature was 47 % wt with a heating value of 25.9 MJ kg-1. The study has been performed in order to demonstrate that agricultural wastes like banana peel are also important source of solid fuel.

Keywords: Agricultural wastes, pyrolysis, Biochar, banana peel

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31 Effects of Application of Rice Husk Charcoal-Coated Urea and Rice Straw Compost on Growth, Yield, and Soil Properties of Rice

Authors: D. A. S. Gamage, B. F. A Basnayake, W. A. J. M. de Costa


Rice is one of the world’s most important cereals. Increasing food production both to meet in-country requirements and to help overcome food crises is one of the major issues facing Sri Lanka today. However, productive land is limited and has mostly been utilized either for food crop production or other uses. Agriculture plays an important and strategic role in the performance of Sri Lankan national economy. A variety of modern agricultural inputs have been introduced, namely ploughs and harvesters, pesticides, fertilizers and lime. Besides, there are several agricultural institutions developing and updating the management of agricultural sector. Modern agricultural inputs cooperate as a catalyst in raising the productivity. However, in the eagerness of gaining profits from the efficient and productive techniques, this modern agricultural input has affected the environment and living things especially those which have been blended from various chemical substance. The increased pressure to maintain a high level of rice output for consumption has resulted in increased use of pesticides and inorganic fertilizer on rice fields in Sri Lanka. The application of inorganic fertilizer has become a burdened to the country in many ways. The excessive reuse of the ground water resources with a considerable application of organic and chemical fertilizers will lead to a deterioration of the quality and quantity of water. Biochar is a form of charcoal produced through the heating of natural organic materials. It has received significant attention recently for its potential as a soil conditioner, a fertilizer and as a means of storing carbon in a sustainable manner. It is the best solution for managing the agricultural wastes while providing a useful product for increasing agricultural productivity and protecting the environment. The objective of this study was to evaluate rice husk charcoal coated urea as a slow releasing fertilizer and compare the total N, P, K, organic matter in soil and yield of rice production.

Keywords: Biochar, paddy husk, soil conditioner, rice straw compost

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30 The Potential Effect of Biochar Application on Microbial Activities and Availability of Mineral Nitrogen in Arable Soil Stressed by Drought

Authors: Helena Dvořáčková, Jakub Elbl, Irina Mikajlo, Antonín Kintl, Jaroslav Hynšt, Olga Urbánková, Jaroslav Záhora


Application of biochar to arable soils represents a new approach to restore soil health and quality. Many studies reported the positive effect of biochar application on soil fertility and development of soil microbial community. Moreover biochar may affect the soil water retention, but this effect has not been sufficiently described yet. Therefore this study deals with the influence of biochar application on: microbial activities in soil, availability of mineral nitrogen in soil for microorganisms, mineral nitrogen retention and plant production. To demonstrate the effect of biochar addition on the above parameters, the pot experiment was realized. As a model crop, Lactuca sativa L. was used and cultivated from December 10th 2014 till March 22th 2015 in climate chamber in thoroughly homogenized arable soil with and without addition of biochar. Five variants of experiment (V1–V5) with different regime of irrigation were prepared. Variants V1–V2 were fertilized by mineral nitrogen, V3–V4 by biochar and V5 was a control. The significant differences were found only in plant production and mineral nitrogen retention. The highest content of mineral nitrogen in soil was detected in V1 and V2, about 250 % in comparison with the other variants. The positive effect of biochar application on soil fertility, mineral nitrogen availability was not found. On the other hand results of plant production indicate the possible positive effect of biochar application on soil water retention.

Keywords: Biochar, Drought, mineral nitrogen, arable soil

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29 Effect of PGPB Inoculation, Addition of Biochar and Mineral N Fertilization on Mycorrhizal Colonization

Authors: Irina Mikajlo, Jaroslav Záhora, Helena Dvořáčková, Jaroslav Hynšt, Jakub Elbl


Strong anthropogenic impact has uncontrolled consequences on the nature of the soil. Hence, up-to-date sustainable methods of soil state improvement are essential. Investigators provide the evidence that biochar can positively effects physical, chemical and biological soil properties and the abundance of mycorrhizal fungi which are in the focus of this study. The main aim of the present investigation is to demonstrate the effect of two types of plant growth promoting bacteria (PGPB) inoculums along with the beech wood biochar and mineral N additives on mycorrhizal colonization. Experiment has been set up in laboratory conditions with containers filled with arable soil from the protection zone of the main water source ‘Brezova nad Svitavou’. Lactuca sativa (lettuce) has been selected as a model plant. Based on the obtained data, it can be concluded that mycorrhizal colonization increased as the result of combined influence of biochar and PGPB inoculums amendment. In addition, correlation analyses showed that the numbers of main groups of cultivated bacteria were dependent on the degree of mycorrhizal colonization.

Keywords: Biochar, Soil Microorganisms, Arbuscular mycorrhiza, PGPB inoculum

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28 The Effect of Biochar, Inoculated Biochar and Compost Biological Component of the Soil

Authors: Helena Dvořáčková, Mikajlo Irina, Záhora Jaroslav, Elbl Jakub


Biochar can be produced from the waste matter and its application has been associated with returning of carbon in large amounts into the soil. The impacts of this material on physical and chemical properties of soil have been described. The biggest part of the research work is dedicated to the hypothesis of this material’s toxic effects on the soil life regarding its effect on the soil biological component. At present, it has been worked on methods which could eliminate these undesirable properties of biochar. One of the possibilities is to mix biochar with organic material, such as compost, or focusing on the natural processes acceleration in the soil. In the experiment has been used as the addition of compost as well as the elimination of toxic substances by promoting microbial activity in aerated water environment. Biochar was aerated for 7 days in a container with a volume of 20 l. This way modified biochar had six times higher biomass production and reduce mineral nitrogen leaching. Better results have been achieved by mixing biochar with compost.

Keywords: Soil, Biochar, compost, leaching of nitrogen

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27 Co-Pyrolysis of Olive Pomace with Plastic Wastes and Characterization of Pyrolysis Products

Authors: Merve Sogancioglu, Esra Yel, Ferda Tartar, Nihan Canan Iskender


Waste polyethylene (PE) is classified as waste low density polyethylene (LDPE) and waste high density polyethylene (HDPE) according to their densities. Pyrolysis of plastic waste may have an important role in dealing with the enormous amounts of plastic waste produced all over the world, by decreasing their negative impact on the environment. This waste may be converted into economically valuable hydrocarbons, which can be used both as fuels and as feed stock in the petrochemical industry. End product yields and properties depend on the plastic waste composition. Pyrolytic biochar is one of the most important products of waste plastics pyrolysis. In this study, HDPE and LDPE plastic wastes were co-pyrolyzed together with waste olive pomace. Pyrolysis runs were performed at temperature 700°C with heating rates of 5°C/min. Higher pyrolysis oil and gas yields were observed by the using waste olive pomace. The biochar yields of HDPE- olive pomace and LDPEolive pomace were 6.37% and 7.26% respectively for 50% olive pomace doses. The calorific value of HDPE-olive pomace and LDPE-olive pomace of pyrolysis oil were 8350 and 8495 kCal.

Keywords: Biochar, waste plastic, co-pyrolysis, waste olive pomace

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26 Biochar and Food Security in Central Uganda

Authors: Nataliya Apanovich, Mark Wright


Uganda is among the poorest but fastest growing populations in the world. Its annual population growth of 3% puts additional stress through land fragmentation, agricultural intensification, and deforestation on already highly weathered tropical (Ferralsol) soils. All of these factors lead to decreased agricultural yields and consequently diminished food security. The central region of Uganda, Buganda Kingdom, is especially vulnerable in terms of food security as its high population density coupled with mismanagement of natural resources led to gradual loss of its soil and even changes in microclimate. These changes are negatively affecting livelihoods of smallholder farmers who comprise 80% of all population in Uganda. This research focuses on biochar for soil remediation in Masaka District, Uganda. If produced on a small scale from locally sourced materials, biochar can increase the quality of soil in a cost and time effective manner. To assess biochar potential, 151 smallholder farmers were interviewed on the types of crops grown, agricultural residues produced and their use, as well as on attitudes towards biochar use and its production on a small scale. The interviews were conducted in 7 sub-counties, 32 parishes, and 92 villages. The total farmland covered by the study was 606.2 kilometers. Additional information on the state of agricultural development and environmental degradation in the district was solicited from four local government officials via informal interviews. This project has been conducted in collaboration with the international agricultural research institution, Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda. The results of this research can have implications on the way farmers perceive the value of their agricultural residues and what they decide to do with them. The underlying objective is to help smallholders in degraded soils increase their agricultural yields through the use of biochar without diverting the already established uses of agricultural residues to a new soil management practice.

Keywords: Food Security, Agricultural Residues, Soil remediation, Biochar, soil erosion, central Uganda

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25 Effect of Two Different Biochars on Germination and Seedlings Growth of Salad, Cress and Barley

Authors: L. Bouqbis, H.W. Koyro, M. C. Harrouni, S. Daoud, L. F. Z. Ainlhout, C. I. Kammann


The application of biochar to soils is becoming more and more common. Its application which is generally reported to improve the physical, chemical, and biological properties of soils, has an indirect effect on soil health and increased crop yields. However, many of the previous results are highly variable and dependent mainly on the initial soil properties, biochar characteristics, and production conditions. In this study, two biochars which are biochar II (BC II) derived from a blend of paper sludge and wheat husks and biochar 005 (BC 005) derived from sewage sludge with a KCl additive, are used, and the physical and chemical properties of BC II are characterized. To determine the potential impact of salt stress and toxic and volatile substances, the second part of this study focused on the effect biochars have on germination of salad (Lactuca sativa L.), barley (Hordeum vulgare), and cress (Lepidium sativum) respectively. Our results indicate that Biochar II showed some unique properties compared to the soil, such as high EC, high content of K, Na, Mg, and low content of heavy metals. Concerning salad and barley germination test, no negative effect of BC II and BC 005 was observed. However, a negative effect of BC 005 at 8% level was revealed. The test of the effect of volatile substances on germination of cress revealed a positive effect of BC II, while a negative effect was observed for BC 005. Moreover, the water holding capacities of biochar-sand mixtures increased with increasing biochar application. Collectively, BC II could be safely used for agriculture and could provide the potential for a better plant growth.

Keywords: Biochar, water holding capacity, phytotoxic tests, seedlings growth

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24 Rubber Wood as a Potential Biomass Feedstock for Biochar via Slow Pyrolysis

Authors: Adilah Shariff, Radin Hakim, Nurhayati Abdullah


Utilisation of biomass feedstock for biochar has received increasing attention because of their potential for carbon sequestration and soil amendment. The aim of this study is to investigate the characteristics of rubber wood as a biomass feedstock for biochar via slow pyrolysis process. This was achieved by using proximate, ultimate, and thermogravimetric analysis (TGA) as well as heating value, pH and lignocellulosic determination. Rubber wood contains 4.13 mf wt.% moisture, 86.30 mf wt.% volatile matter, 0.60 mf wt.% ash content, and 13.10 mf wt.% fixed carbon. The ultimate analysis shows that rubber wood consists of 44.33 mf wt.% carbon, 6.26 mf wt.% hydrogen, 19.31 mf wt.% nitrogen, 0.31 mf wt.% sulphur, and 29.79 mf wt.% oxygen. The higher heating value of rubber wood is 22.5 MJ/kg, and its lower heating value is 21.2 MJ/kg. At 27 °C, the pH value of rubber wood is 6.83 which is acidic. The lignocellulosic analysis revealed that rubber wood composition consists of 2.63 mf wt.% lignin, 20.13 mf wt.% cellulose, and 65.04 mf wt.% hemicellulose. The volatile matter to fixed carbon ratio is 6.58. This led to a biochar yield of 25.14 wt.% at 500 °C. Rubber wood is an environmental friendly feedstock due to its low sulphur content. Rubber wood therefore is a suitable and a potential feedstock for biochar production via slow pyrolysis.

Keywords: biomass, Biochar, rubber wood, slow pyrolysis

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23 The Effect of Feedstock Type and Slow Pyrolysis Temperature on Biochar Yield from Coconut Wastes

Authors: Adilah Shariff, Nur Syairah Mohamad Aziz, Norsyahidah Md Saleh, Nur Syuhada Izzati Ruzali


The first objective of this study is to investigate the suitability of coconut frond (CF) and coconut husk (CH) as feedstocks using a laboratory-scale slow pyrolysis experimental setup. The second objective is to investigate the effect of pyrolysis temperature on the biochar yield. The properties of CF and CH feedstocks were compared. The properties of the CF and CH feedstocks were investigated using proximate and elemental analysis, lignocellulosic determination, and also thermogravimetric analysis (TGA). The CF and CH feedstocks were pyrolysed at 300, 400, 500, 600 and 700 °C for 2 hours at 10 °C/min heating rate. The proximate analysis showed that CF feedstock has 89.96 mf wt% volatile matter, 4.67 mf wt% ash content and 5.37 mf wt% fixed carbon. The lignocelluloses analysis showed that CF feedstock contained 21.46% lignin, 39.05% cellulose and 22.49% hemicelluloses. The CH feedstock contained 84.13 mf wt% volatile matter, 0.33 mf wt% ash content, 15.54 mf wt% fixed carbon, 28.22% lignin, 33.61% cellulose and 22.03% hemicelluloses. Carbon and oxygen are the major component of the CF and CH feedstock compositions. Both of CF and CH feedstocks contained very low percentage of sulfur, 0.77% and 0.33%, respectively. TGA analysis indicated that coconut wastes are easily degraded. It may be due to their high volatile content. Between the temperature ranges of 300 and 800 °C, the TGA curves showed that the weight percentage of CF feedstock is lower than CH feedstock by 0.62%-5.88%. From the D TGA curves, most of the weight loss occurred between 210 and 400 °C for both feedstocks. The maximum weight loss for both CF and CH are 0.0074 wt%/min and 0.0061 wt%/min, respectively, which occurred at 324.5 °C. The yield percentage of both CF and CH biochars decreased significantly as the pyrolysis temperature was increased. For CF biochar, the yield decreased from 49.40 wt% to 28.12 wt% as the temperature increased from 300 to 700 °C. The yield for CH biochars also decreased from 52.18 wt% to 28.72 wt%. The findings of this study indicated that both CF and CH are suitable feedstock for slow pyrolysis of biochar.

Keywords: biomass, Biochar, slow pyrolysis, coconut wastes

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22 A Comparative Study on Biochar from Slow Pyrolysis of Corn Cob and Cassava Wastes

Authors: Adilah Shariff, Nurhidayah Mohamed Noor, Alexander Lau, Muhammad Azwan Mohd Ali


Biomass such as corn and cassava wastes if left to decay will release significant quantities of greenhouse gases (GHG) including carbon dioxide and methane. The biomass wastes can be converted into biochar via thermochemical process such as slow pyrolysis. This approach can reduce the biomass wastes as well as preserve its carbon content. Biochar has the potential to be used as a carbon sequester and soil amendment. The aim of this study is to investigate the characteristics of the corn cob, cassava stem, and cassava rhizome in order to identify their potential as pyrolysis feedstocks for biochar production. This was achieved by using the proximate and elemental analyses as well as calorific value and lignocellulosic determination. The second objective is to investigate the effect of pyrolysis temperature on the biochar produced. A fixed bed slow pyrolysis reactor was used to pyrolyze the corn cob, cassava stem, and cassava rhizome. The pyrolysis temperatures were varied between 400 °C and 600 °C, while the heating rate and the holding time were fixed at 5 °C/min and 1 hour, respectively. Corn cob, cassava stem, and cassava rhizome were found to be suitable feedstocks for pyrolysis process because they contained a high percentage of volatile matter more than 80 mf wt.%. All the three feedstocks contained low nitrogen and sulphur content less than 1 mf wt.%. Therefore, during the pyrolysis process, the feedstocks give off very low rate of GHG such as nitrogen oxides and sulphur oxides. Independent of the types of biomass, the percentage of biochar yield is inversely proportional to the pyrolysis temperature. The highest biochar yield for each studied temperature is from slow pyrolysis of cassava rhizome as the feedstock contained the highest percentage of ash compared to the other two feedstocks. The percentage of fixed carbon in all the biochars increased as the pyrolysis temperature increased. The increment of pyrolysis temperature from 400 °C to 600 °C increased the fixed carbon of corn cob biochar, cassava stem biochar and cassava rhizome biochar by 26.35%, 10.98%, and 6.20% respectively. Irrespective of the pyrolysis temperature, all the biochars produced were found to contain more than 60 mf wt.% fixed carbon content, much higher than its feedstocks.

Keywords: biomass, pyrolysis, Biochar, corn cob, cassava wastes

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21 Production and Characterization of Biochars from Torrefaction of Biomass

Authors: Serdar Yaman, Hanzade Haykiri-Acma


Biomass is a CO₂-neutral fuel that is renewable and sustainable along with having very huge global potential. Efficient use of biomass in power generation and production of biomass-based biofuels can mitigate the greenhouse gasses (GHG) and reduce dependency on fossil fuels. There are also other beneficial effects of biomass energy use such as employment creation and pollutant reduction. However, most of the biomass materials are not capable of competing with fossil fuels in terms of energy content. High moisture content and high volatile matter yields of biomass make it low calorific fuel, and it is very significant concern over fossil fuels. Besides, the density of biomass is generally low, and it brings difficulty in transportation and storage. These negative aspects of biomass can be overcome by thermal pretreatments that upgrade the fuel property of biomass. That is, torrefaction is such a thermal process in which biomass is heated up to 300ºC under non-oxidizing conditions to avoid burning of the material. The treated biomass is called as biochar that has considerably lower contents of moisture, volatile matter, and oxygen compared to the parent biomass. Accordingly, carbon content and the calorific value of biochar increase to the level which is comparable with that of coal. Moreover, hydrophilic nature of untreated biomass that leads decay in the structure is mostly eliminated, and the surface properties of biochar turn into hydrophobic character upon torrefaction. In order to investigate the effectiveness of torrefaction process on biomass properties, several biomass species such as olive milling residue (OMR), Rhododendron (small shrubby tree with bell-shaped flowers), and ash tree (timber tree) were chosen. The fuel properties of these biomasses were analyzed through proximate and ultimate analyses as well as higher heating value (HHV) determination. For this, samples were first chopped and ground to a particle size lower than 250 µm. Then, samples were subjected to torrefaction in a horizontal tube furnace by heating from ambient up to temperatures of 200, 250, and 300ºC at a heating rate of 10ºC/min. The biochars obtained from this process were also tested by the methods applied to the parent biomass species. Improvement in the fuel properties was interpreted. That is, increasing torrefaction temperature led to regular increases in the HHV in OMR, and the highest HHV (6065 kcal/kg) was gained at 300ºC. Whereas, torrefaction at 250ºC was seen optimum for Rhododendron and ash tree since torrefaction at 300ºC had a detrimental effect on HHV. On the other hand, the increase in carbon contents and reduction in oxygen contents were determined. Burning characteristics of the biochars were also studied using thermal analysis technique. For this purpose, TA Instruments SDT Q600 model thermal analyzer was used and the thermogravimetric analysis (TGA), derivative thermogravimetry (DTG), differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), and differential thermal analysis (DTA) curves were compared and interpreted. It was concluded that torrefaction is an efficient method to upgrade the fuel properties of biomass and the biochars from which have superior characteristics compared to the parent biomasses.

Keywords: biomass, Biochar, Torrefaction, fuel upgrade

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20 Environmental Potential of Biochar from Wood Biomass Thermochemical Conversion

Authors: Cora Bulmău


Soil polluted with hydrocarbons spills is a major global concern today. As a response to this issue, our experimental study tries to put in evidence the option to choose for one environmentally friendly method: use of the biochar, despite to a classical procedure; incineration of contaminated soil. Biochar represents the solid product obtained through the pyrolysis of biomass, its additional use being as an additive intended to improve the quality of the soil. The positive effect of biochar addition to soil is represented by its capacity to adsorb and contain petroleum products within its pores. Taking into consideration the capacity of the biochar to interact with organic contaminants, the purpose of the present study was to experimentally establish the effects of the addition of wooden biomass-derived biochar on a soil contaminated with oil. So, the contaminated soil was amended with biochar (10%) produced by pyrolysis in different operational conditions of the thermochemical process. After 25 days, the concentration of petroleum hydrocarbons from soil treated with biochar was measured. An analytical method as Soxhlet extraction was adopted to estimate the concentrations of total petroleum products (TPH) in the soil samples: This technique was applied to contaminated soil, also to soils remediated by incineration/adding biochar. The treatment of soil using biochar obtained from pyrolysis of the Birchwood led to a considerable decrease in the concentrations of petroleum products. The incineration treatments conducted under experimental stage to clean up the same soil, contaminated with petroleum products, involved specific parameters: temperature of about 600°C, 800°C and 1000°C and treatment time 30 and 60 minutes. The experimental results revealed that the method using biochar has registered values of efficiency up to those of all incineration processes applied for the shortest time.

Keywords: biomass, Soil, Biochar, TPH ‎, remediaton

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19 Biochar from Empty Fruit Bunches Generated in the Palm Oil Extraction and Its Nutrients Contribution in Cultivated Soils with Elaeis guineensis in Casanare, Colombia

Authors: Alvarado M. Lady G., Ortiz V. Yaylenne, Quintero B. Quelbis R.


The oil palm sector has seen significant growth in Colombia after the insertion of policies to stimulate the use of biofuels, which eventually contributes to the reduction of greenhouse gases (GHG) that deteriorate not only the environment but the health of people. However, the policy of using biofuels has been strongly questioned by the impacts that can generate; an example is the increase of other more harmful GHGs like the CH₄ that underlies the amount of solid waste generated. Casanare's department is estimated be one of the major producers of palm oil of the country given that has recently expanded its sowed area, which implies an increase in waste generated primarily in the industrial stage. For this reason, the following study evaluated the agronomic potential of the biochar obtained from empty fruit bunches and its nutritional contribution in cultivated soils with Elaeis guineensis in Casanare, Colombia. The biochar was obtained by slow pyrolysis of the clusters in a retort oven at an average temperature of 190 °C and a residence time of 8 hours. The final product was taken to the laboratory for its physical and chemical analysis as well as a soil sample from a cultivation of Elaeis guineensis located in Tauramena-Casanare. With the results obtained plus the bibliographical reports of the nutrient demand in this cultivation, the possible nutritional contribution of the biochar was determined. It is estimated that the cultivation requirements of nitrogen is 12.1 kg.ha⁻¹, potassium is 59.3 kg.ha⁻¹, magnesium is -31.5 kg.ha⁻¹ and phosphorus is 5.6 kg.ha⁻¹ obtaining a biochar contribution of 143.1 kg.ha⁻¹, 1204.5 kg.ha⁻¹, 39.2 kg.ha⁻¹ and 71.6 kg.ha⁻¹ respectively. The incorporation of biochar into the soil would significantly improve the concentrations of N, P, K and Mg, nutrients considered important in the yield of palm oil, coupled with the importance of nutrient recycling in agricultural production systems sustainable. The biochar application improves the physical properties of soils, mainly in the humidity retention. On the other hand, it regulates the availability of nutrients for plants absorption, with economic savings in the application of synthetic fertilizers and water by irrigation. It also becomes an alternative to manage agricultural waste, reducing the involuntary emissions of greenhouse gases to the environment by decomposition in the field, reducing the CO₂ content in the atmosphere.

Keywords: pyrolysis, Biochar, Nutrient Recycling, oil palm

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18 Evaluation of the Rheological Properties of Bituminous Binders Modified with Biochars Obtained from Various Biomasses by Pyrolysis Method

Authors: Muhammed Ertuğrul Çeloğlu, Mehmet Yılmaz


In this study, apricot seed shell, walnut shell, and sawdust were chosen as biomass sources. The materials were sorted by using a sieve No. 50 and the sieved materials were subjected to pyrolysis process at 400 °C, resulting in three different biochar products. The resulting biochar products were added to the bitumen at three different rates (5%, 10% and 15%), producing modified bitumen. Penetration, softening point, rotation viscometer and dynamic shear rheometer (DSR) tests were conducted on modified binders. Thus the modified bitumen, which was obtained by using additives at 3 different rates obtained from biochar produced at 400 °C temperatures of 3 different biomass sources were compared and the effects of pyrolysis temperature and additive rates were evaluated. As a result of the conducted tests, it was determined that the rheology of the pure bitumen improved significantly as a result of the modification of the bitumen with the biochar. Additionally, with biochar additive, it was determined that the rutting parameter values obtained from softening point, viscometer and DSR tests were increased while the values in terms of penetration and phase angle decreased. It was also observed that the most effective biomass is sawdust while the least effective was ground apricot seed shell.

Keywords: biomass, Rheology, pyrolysis, Biochar

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17 Biodiesel Synthesis Using Animal Excreta-Based Biochar and Waste Cooking Oil

Authors: Sang-Ryong Lee, Min-Woon Jung, Deugwoo Han, Kiyong Kim


This study laid an emphasis on the possible employment of biochar generated from pyrolysis of animal excreta to establish a green platform for producing biodiesel. To this end, the pseudo-catalytic transesterification reaction using chicken manure biochar and waste cooking oil was investigated. Compared with a commercial porous material (SiO2), chicken manure biochar generated from 350 C showed better performance, resulting in 95.6% of the FAME yield at 350C. The Ca species in chicken manure biochar imparted strong catalytic capability by providing the basicity for transesterification. The identified catalytic effect also led to the thermal cracking of unsaturated FAMEs, which decreased the overall FAME yield. For example, 40–60% of converted FAMEs were thermally degraded. To avoid undesirable thermal cracking arising from the high content of the Ca species in chicken manure biochar, the fabrication of chicken manure biochar at temperatures ≥350C was highly recommended.

Keywords: Biochar, fame, Trasesterification, Animal excreta, Chicken manure

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16 High Physical Properties of Biochar Issued from Cashew Nut Shell to Adsorb Mycotoxins (Aflatoxins and Ochratoxine A) and Its Effects on Toxigenic Molds

Authors: Abderahim Ahmadou, Alfredo Napoli, Noel Durand, Didier Montet


Biochar is a microporous and adsorbent solid carbon product obtained from the pyrolysis of various organic materials (biomass, agricultural waste). Biochar is distinguished from vegetable charcoal by its manufacture methods. Biochar is used as the amendment in soils to give them favorable characteristics under certain conditions, i.e., absorption of water and its release at low speed. Cashew nuts shell from Mali is usually discarded on land by local processors or burnt as a mean for waste management. The burning of this biomass poses serious socio-environmental problems including greenhouse gas emission and accumulation of tars and soot on houses closed to factories, leading to neighbor complaints. Some mycotoxins as aflatoxins are carcinogenic compounds resulting from the secondary metabolism of molds that develop on plants in the field and during their conservation. They are found at high level on some seeds and nuts in Africa. Ochratoxin A, member of mycotoxins, is produced by various species of Aspergillus and Penicillium. Human exposure to Ochratoxin A can occur through consumption of contaminated food products, particularly contaminated grain, as well as coffee, wine grapes. We showed that cashew shell biochars produced at 400, 600 and 800°C adsorbed aflatoxins (B1, B2, G1, G2) at 100% by filtration (rapid contact) as well as by stirring (long contact). The average percentage of adsorption of Ochratoxin A was 35% by filtration and 80% by stirring. The duration of the biochar-mycotoxin contact was a significant parameter. The effect of biochar was also tested on two strains of toxigenic molds: Aspergillus parasiticus (producers of Aflatoxins) and Aspergillus carbonarius (producers of Ochratoxins). The growth of the strain Aspergillus carbonarius was inhibited at up to 60% by the biochar at 600°C. An opposite effect to the inhibition was observed on Aspergillus parasiticus using the same biochar. In conclusion, we observed that biochar adsorbs mycotoxins: Aflatoxins and Ochratoxin A to different degrees; 100% adsorption of aflatoxins under all conditions (filtration and stirring) and adsorption of Ochratoxin A varied depending on the type of biochar and the experiment conditions (35% by filtration and 85% by stirring). The effects of biochar at 600 °C on the toxigenic molds: Aspergillus parasiticus and Aspergillus carbonarius, varied according to the experimental conditions and the strains. We observed an opposite effect on the growth with an inhibition of Aspergillus carbonarius up to 60% and a stimulated growth of Aspergillus parasiticus.

Keywords: Biochar, Mycotoxins, cashew nut shell, toxicogenic molds

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15 Poultry Manure and Its Derived Biochar as a Soil Amendment for Newly Reclaimed Sandy Soils under Arid and Semi-Arid Conditions

Authors: W. S. Mohamed, A. A. Hammam


Sandy soils under arid and semi-arid conditions are characterized by poor physical and biochemical properties such as low water retention, rapid organic matter decomposition, low nutrients use efficiency, and limited crop productivity. Addition of organic amendments is crucial to develop soil properties and consequently enhance nutrients use efficiency and lessen organic carbon decomposition. Two years field experiments were developed to investigate the feasibility of using poultry manure and its derived biochar integrated with different levels of N fertilizer as a soil amendment for newly reclaimed sandy soils in Western Desert of El-Minia Governorate, Egypt. Results of this research revealed that poultry manure and its derived biochar addition induced pronounced effects on soil moisture content at saturation point, field capacity (FC) and consequently available water. Data showed that application of poultry manure (PM) or PM-derived biochar (PMB) in combination with inorganic N levels had caused significant changes on a range of the investigated sandy soil biochemical properties including pH, EC, mineral N, dissolved organic carbon (DOC), dissolved organic N (DON) and quotient DOC/DON. Overall, the impact of PMB on soil physical properties was detected to be superior than the impact of PM, regardless the inorganic N levels. In addition, the obtained results showed that PM and PM application had the capacity to stimulate vigorous growth, nutritional status, production levels of wheat and sorghum, and to increase soil organic matter content and N uptake and recovery compared to control. By contrast, comparing between PM and PMB at different levels of inorganic N, the obtained results showed higher relative increases in both grain and straw yields of wheat in plots treated with PM than in those treated with PMB. The interesting feature of this research is that the biochar derived from PM increased treated sandy soil organic carbon (SOC) 1.75 times more than soil treated with PM itself at the end of cropping seasons albeit double-applied amount of PM. This was attributed to the higher carbon stability of biochar treated sandy soils increasing soil persistence for carbon decomposition in comparison with PM labile carbon. It could be concluded that organic manures applied to sandy soils under arid and semi-arid conditions are subjected to high decomposition and mineralization rates through crop seasons. Biochar derived from organic wastes considers as a source of stable carbon and could be very hopeful choice for substituting easily decomposable organic manures under arid conditions. Therefore, sustainable agriculture and productivity in newly reclaimed sandy soils desire one high rate addition of biochar derived from organic manures instead of frequent addition of such organic amendments.

Keywords: Biochar, Poultry, sandy soil, dissolved organic carbon, N-uptake

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14 Experimental Research of Biogas Production by Using Sewage Sludge and Chicken Manure Bioloadings with Wood Biochar Additive

Authors: P. Baltrenas, D. Paliulis, V. Kolodynskij, D. Urbanas


Bioreactor; special device, which is used for biogas production from various organic material under anaerobic conditions. In this research, a batch bioreactor with a mechanical mixer was used for biogas production from sewage sludge and chicken manure bioloadings. The process of anaerobic digestion was mesophilic (35 °C). Produced biogas was stoted in a gasholder and the concentration of its components was measured with INCA 4000 biogas analyser. Also, a specific additive (pine wood biochar) was applied to prepare bioloadings. The application of wood biochar in bioloading increases the CH₄ concentration in the produced gas by 6-7%. The highest concentrations of CH₄ were found in biogas produced during the decomposition of sewage sludge bioloadings. The maximum CH₄ reached 77.4%. Studies have shown that the application of biochar in bioloadings also reduces average CO₂ and H₂S concentrations in biogas.

Keywords: bioreactor, Biogas, Biochar, Sewage Sludge

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13 Influence of Applied Inorganic and Organic Nitrogen Fertilizers on Nitrogen Forms in Biochar-Treated Soil

Authors: Eman H. El-Gamal, Maher E. Saleh, Mohamed Rashad, Ibrahim Elsokkary, Mona M. Abd El-Latif


Biochar application to calcareous soils could potentially influence the nitrogen dynamics that affect the bioavailability of plants. This study was carried out to investigate the effect of incubation periods on the changes of nitrogen levels (total nitrogen TN and exchangeable ammonium NH₄⁺ and nitrate NO₃⁻) in biochar-treated calcareous soil. The incubation course was extended to 144 days at 30 ± 3 ℃ and at 50% of soil water holding capacity (WHC). Two types of biochars were obtained by pyrolysis at 500 ℃ from rice husk (RHB) and sugarcane bagasse (SCBB). The experiment was planned in a factorial experimental design with three factors (6 periods '24 days for each period' × 3 biochar types 'un-amended, RHB and SCBB' × 3 nitrogen fertilizers 'control, ammonium nitrate; AN and animal manure; AM') in a completely randomized design. The results obtained showed that the highest level of TN was found in the first 24 days of the incubation period in all treatments. However, the amount of TN was decreased with proceeding incubation period up to 144 days and reached to the lowest level at the end of incubation with values of change rate was 17.5, 16.6, and 14.6 g kg⁻¹ day⁻¹ for the un-amended, RHB and SCBB treated soil, respectively. The values of change rate in biochar-soils treated with nitrogen fertilizers were decreased gradually through the whole incubation time from 127.22 to 12.45 g kg⁻¹ day⁻¹ and from 65.00 to 13.43 g kg⁻¹ day⁻¹ for AN and AM respectively, in the case of RHB-soil. While in SCBB-soil, these values were decreased from 70.83 to 12.13 g kg⁻¹ day⁻¹ and from 59.17 to 11.48 g kg⁻¹ day⁻¹ for AN and AM treatments, respectively. The lowest concentration of exchangeable NH₄⁺ was generally found through the period from 24-48 days of incubation. However, the addition of nitrogen fertilizers, enhanced NH₄⁺ production through incubation periods. In the case of RHB-soil, the value of change rate in NH₄⁺ level in the first 24 days of incubation was 0.43 mg kg⁻¹ day⁻¹ and with the addition of AN and AM this value increased to 1.54 and 4.38 mg kg⁻¹ day⁻¹, respectively. In the case of SCBB-soil, the value of change rate in NH₄⁺ level was 0.29 mg kg⁻¹ day⁻¹ which increased to 1.04 mg kg⁻¹ day⁻¹ at the end of incubation, and due to the addition of AN and AM this value increased to 2.78 and 1.90 mg kg⁻¹ day⁻¹ in the first 24 days of incubation period, respectively. However, as compared to the control treatment, the lowest rate of change in NH₄⁺ level was found at the end of incubation. On the other hand, incubation of all biochars-amended soil and treated with AN and AM decreased the concentration levels of NO₃⁻, especially through the first 24-72 days of incubation period. As a result, the values of change rate in NO₃⁻ concentrations in all treatments were almost negative.

Keywords: Biochar, rice husk, sugarcane bagasse, ammonium nitrate, animal manure

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12 Biochar Assisted Municipal Wastewater Treatment and Nutrient Recycling

Authors: A. Pokharel, A. Farooque, B. Acharya


Pyrolysis can be used for energy production from waste biomass of agriculture and forestry. Biochar is the solid byproduct of pyrolysis and its cascading use can offset the cost of the process. A wide variety of research on biochar has highlighted its ability to absorb nutrients, metal and complex compounds; filter suspended solids; enhance microorganisms’ growth; retain water and nutrients as well as to increase carbon content of soil. In addition, sustainable biochar systems are an attractive approach for carbon sequestration and total waste management cycle. Commercially available biochar from Sigma Aldrich was studied for adsorption of nitrogen from effluent of municipal wastewater treatment plant. Adsorption isotherm and breakthrough curve were determined for the biochar. Similarly, biochar’s effects in aerobic as well as anaerobic bioreactors were also studied. In both cases, the biomass was increased in presence of biochar. The amount of gas produced for anaerobic digestion of fruit mix (apple and banana) was similar but the rate of production was significantly faster in biochar fed reactors. The cumulative goal of the study is to use biochar in various wastewater treatment units like aeration tank, secondary clarifier and tertiary nutrient recovery system as well as in anaerobic digestion of the sludge to optimize utilization and add value before being used as a soil amendment.

Keywords: wastewater treatment, Biochar, Soil Amendment, nutrient recyling

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11 The Effect of Manure Loaded Biochar on Soil Microbial Communities

Authors: T. Weber, D. MacKenzie


The script in this paper describes the use of advanced simulation environment using electronic systems (microcontroller, operational amplifiers, and FPGA). The simulation was used for non-linear dynamic systems behaviour with required observer structure working with parallel real-time simulation based on state-space representation. The proposed deposited model was used for electrodynamic effects including ionising effects and eddy current distribution also. With the script and proposed method, it is possible to calculate the spatial distribution of the electromagnetic fields in real-time and such systems. For further purpose, the spatial temperature distribution may also be used. With upon system, the uncertainties and disturbances may be determined. This provides the estimation of the more precise system states for the required system and additionally the estimation of the ionising disturbances that arise due to radiation effects in space systems. The results have also shown that a system can be developed specifically with the real-time calculation (estimation) of the radiation effects only. Electronic systems can take damage caused by impacts with charged particle flux in space or radiation environment. TID (Total Ionising Dose) of 1 Gy and Single Effect Transient (SET) free operation up to 50 MeVcm²/mg may assure certain functions. Single-Event Latch-up (SEL) results on the placement of several transistors in the shared substrate of an integrated circuit; ionising radiation can activate an additional parasitic thyristor. This short circuit between semiconductor-elements can destroy the device without protection and measurements. Single-Event Burnout (SEB) on the other hand, increases current between drain and source of a MOSFET and destroys the component in a short time. A Single-Event Gate Rupture (SEGR) can destroy a dielectric of semiconductor also. In order to be able to react to these processes, it must be calculated within a shorter time that ionizing radiation and dose is present. For this purpose, sensors may be used for the realistic evaluation of the diffusion and ionizing effects of the test system. For this purpose, the Peltier element is used for the evaluation of the dynamic temperature increases (dT/dt), from which a measure of the ionization processes and thus radiation will be detected. In addition, the piezo element may be used to record highly dynamic vibrations and oscillations to absorb impacts of charged particle flux. All available sensors shall be used to calibrate the spatial distributions also. By measured value of size and known location of the sensors, the entire distribution in space can be calculated retroactively or more accurately. With the formation, the type of ionisation and the direct effect to the systems and thus possible prevent processes can be activated up to the shutdown. The results show possibilities to perform more qualitative and faster simulations independent of space-systems and radiation environment also. The paper gives additionally an overview of the diffusion effects and their mechanisms.

Keywords: Manure, Biochar, Cattle, microbial activity

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10 Use of Locally Effective Microorganisms in Conjunction with Biochar to Remediate Mine-Impacted Soils

Authors: Thomas F. Ducey, Kristin M. Trippe, James A. Ippolito, Jeffrey M. Novak, Mark G. Johnson, Gilbert C. Sigua


The Oronogo-Duenweg mining belt –approximately 20 square miles around the Joplin, Missouri area– is a designated United States Environmental Protection Agency Superfund site due to lead-contaminated soil and groundwater by former mining and smelting operations. Over almost a century of mining (from 1848 to the late 1960’s), an estimated ten million tons of cadmium, lead, and zinc containing material have been deposited on approximately 9,000 acres. Sites that have undergone remediation, in which the O, A, and B horizons have been removed along with the lead contamination, the exposed C horizon remains incalcitrant to revegetation efforts. These sites also suffer from poor soil microbial activity, as measured by soil extracellular enzymatic assays, though 16S ribosomal ribonucleic acid (rRNA) indicates that microbial diversity is equal to sites that have avoided mine-related contamination. Soil analysis reveals low soil organic carbon, along with high levels of bio-available zinc, that reflect the poor soil fertility conditions and low microbial activity. Our study looked at the use of several materials to restore and remediate these sites, with the goal of improving soil health. The following materials, and their purposes for incorporation into the study, were as follows: manure-based biochar for the binding of zinc and other heavy metals responsible for phytotoxicity, locally sourced biosolids and compost to incorporate organic carbon into the depleted soils, effective microorganisms harvested from nearby pristine sites to provide a stable community for nutrient cycling in the newly composited 'soil material'. Our results indicate that all four materials used in conjunction result in the greatest benefit to these mine-impacted soils, based on above ground biomass, microbial biomass, and soil enzymatic activities.

Keywords: Remediation, Biochar, reclamation, locally effective microorganisms

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9 Adsorptive Removal of Methylene Blue Dye from Aqueous Solutions by Leaf and Stem Biochar Derived from Lantana camara: Adsorption Kinetics, Equilibrium, Thermodynamics and Possible Mechanism

Authors: Deepa Kundu, Prabhakar Sharma, Sayan Bhattacharya, Jianying Shang


The discharge of dye-containing effluents in the water bodies has raised concern due to the potential hazards related to their toxicity in the environment. There are various treatment technologies available for the removal of dyes from wastewaters. The use of biosorbent to remove dyes from wastewater is one of the effective and inexpensive techniques. In the study, the adsorption of phenothiazine dye methylene blue onto biosorbent prepared from Lantana camara L. has been studied in aqueous solutions. The batch adsorption experiments were conducted and the effects of various parameters such as pH (3-12), contact time, adsorbent dose (100-400 mg/L), initial dye concentration (5-20 mg/L), and temperature (303, 313 and 323 K) were investigated. The prepared leaf (BCL600) and shoot (BCS600) biochar of Lantana were characterized using FTIR, SEM, elemental analysis, and zeta potential (pH~7). A comparison between the adsorption potential of both the biosorbent was also evaluated. The results indicated that the amount of methylene blue dye (mg/g) adsorbed onto the surface of biochar was highly dependent on the pH of the dye solutions as it increased with an increase in pH from 3 to 12. It was observed that the dye treated with BCS600 and BCL600 attained an equilibrium within 60 and 100 minutes, respectively. The rate of the adsorption process was determined by performing the Lagergren pseudo-first-order and pseudo-second-order kinetics. It was found that dye treated with both BCS600 and BCL600 followed pseudo-second-order kinetics implying the multi-step nature of the adsorption process involving external adsorption and diffusion of dye molecules into the interior of the adsorbents. The data obtained from batch experiments were fitted well with Langmuir and Freundlich isotherms (R² > 0.98) to indicate the multilayer adsorption of dye over the biochar surfaces. The thermodynamic studies revealed that the adsorption process is favourable, spontaneous, and endothermic in nature. Based on the results, the inexpensive and easily available Lantana camara biomass can be used to remove methylene blue dye from wastewater. It can also help in managing the growth of the notorious weed in the environment.

Keywords: Thermodynamics, Biochar, adsorption kinetics, Lantana camara, methylene blue dye, possible mechanism

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8 Investigation of the Usability of Biochars Obtained from Olive Pomace and Smashed Olive Seeds as Additives for Bituminous Binders

Authors: Muhammed Ertugrul Celoglu, Beyza Furtana, Mehmet Yilmaz, Baha Vural Kok


Biomass, which is considered to be one of the largest renewable energy sources in the world, has a potential to be utilized as a bitumen additive after it is processed by a wide variety of thermochemical methods. Furthermore, biomasses are renewable in short amounts of time, and they possess a hydrocarbon structure. These characteristics of biomass promote their usability as additives. One of the most common ways to create materials with significant economic values from biomasses is the processes of pyrolysis. Pyrolysis is defined as the process of an organic matter’s thermochemical degradation (carbonization) at a high temperature and in an anaerobic environment. The resultant liquid substance at the end of the pyrolysis is defined as bio-oil, whereas the resultant solid substance is defined as biochar. Olive pomace is the resultant mildly oily pulp with seeds after olive is pressed and its oil is extracted. It is a significant source of biomass as the waste of olive oil factories. Because olive pomace is waste material, it could create problems just as other waste unless there are appropriate and acceptable areas of utilization. The waste material, which is generated in large amounts, is generally used as fuel and fertilizer. Generally, additive materials are used in order to improve the properties of bituminous binders, and these are usually expensive materials, which are produced chemically. The aim of this study is to investigate the usability of biochars obtained after subjecting olive pomace and smashed olive seeds, which are considered as waste materials, to pyrolysis as additives in bitumen modification. In this way, various ways of use will be provided for waste material, providing both economic and environmental benefits. In this study, olive pomace and smashed olive seeds were used as sources of biomass. Initially, both materials were ground and processed through a No.50 sieve. Both of the sieved materials were subjected to pyrolysis (carbonization) at 400 ℃. Following the process of pyrolysis, bio-oil and biochar were obtained. The obtained biochars were added to B160/220 grade pure bitumen at 10% and 15% rates and modified bitumens were obtained by mixing them in high shear mixtures at 180 ℃ for 1 hour at 2000 rpm. Pure bitumen and four different types of bitumen obtained as a result of the modifications were tested with penetration, softening point, rotational viscometer, and dynamic shear rheometer, evaluating the effects of additives and the ratios of additives. According to the test results obtained, both biochar modifications at both ratios provided improvements in the performance of pure bitumen. In the comparison of the test results of the binders modified with the biochars of olive pomace and smashed olive seed, it was revealed that there was no notable difference in their performances.

Keywords: biomass, pyrolysis, Biochar, olive pomace, pomace, bituminous binders

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7 Organic Contaminant Degradation Using H₂O₂ Activated Biochar with Enhanced Persistent Free Radicals

Authors: Kalyani Mer


Hydrogen peroxide (H₂O₂) is one of the most efficient and commonly used oxidants in in-situ chemical oxidation (ISCO) of organic contaminants. In the present study, we investigated the activation of H₂O₂ by heavy metal (nickel and lead metal ions) loaded biochar for phenol degradation in an aqueous solution (concentration = 100 mg/L). It was found that H₂O₂ can be effectively activated by biochar, which produces hydroxyl (•OH) radicals owing to an increase in the formation of persistent free radicals (PFRs) on biochar surface. Ultrasound treated (30s duration) biochar, chemically activated by 30% phosphoric acid and functionalized by diethanolamine (DEA) was used for the adsorption of heavy metal ions from aqueous solutions. It was found that modified biochar could remove almost 60% of nickel in eight hours; however, for lead, the removal efficiency reached up to 95% for the same time duration. The heavy metal loaded biochar was further used for the degradation of phenol in the absence and presence of H₂O₂ (20 mM), within 4 hours of reaction time. The removal efficiency values for phenol in the presence of H₂O₂ were 80.3% and 61.9%, respectively, by modified biochar loaded with nickel and lead metal ions. These results suggested that the biochar loaded with nickel exhibits a better removal capacity towards phenol than the lead loaded biochar when used in H₂O₂ based oxidation systems. Meanwhile, control experiments were set in the absence of any activating biochar, and the removal efficiency was found to be 19.1% when only H₂O₂ was added in the reaction solution. Overall, the proposed approach serves a dual purpose of using biochar for heavy metal ion removal and treatment of organic contaminants by further using the metal loaded biochar for H₂O₂ activation in ISCO processes.

Keywords: Ultrasound, Heavy Metals, Biochar, chemical activation, in-situ chemical oxidation

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6 Investigation of the Properties of Biochar Obtained by Dry and Wet Torrefaction in a Fixed and in a Fluidized Bed

Authors: Natalia Muratova, Dmitry Klimov, Rafail Isemin, Sergey Kuzmin, Aleksandr Mikhalev, Oleg Milovanov


We investigated the processing of poultry litter into biochar using dry torrefaction methods (DT) in a fixed and fluidized bed of quartz sand blown with nitrogen, as well as wet torrefaction (WT) in a fluidized bed in a medium of water steam at a temperature of 300 °C. Torrefaction technology affects the duration of the heat treatment process and the characteristics of the biochar: the process of separating CO₂, CO, H₂ and CH₄ from a portion of fresh poultry litter during torrefaction in a fixed bed is completed after 2400 seconds, but in a fluidized bed — after 480 seconds. During WT in a fluidized bed of quartz sand, this process ends in 840 seconds after loading a portion of fresh litter, but in a fluidized bed of litter particles previously subjected to torrefaction, the process ends in 350 - 450 seconds. In terms of the ratio between (H/C) and (O/C), the litter obtained after DT and WT treatment corresponds to lignite. WT in a fluidized bed allows one to obtain biochar, in which the specific pore area is two times larger than the specific pore area of biochar obtained after DT in a fluidized bed. Biochar, obtained as a result of the poultry litter treatment in a fluidized bed using DT or WT method, is recommended to be used not only as a biofuel but also as an adsorbent or the soil fertilizer.

Keywords: Biochar, fluidized bed, fixed bed, poultry litter, dry and wet torrefaction

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5 Biochar as a Strong Adsorbent for Multiple-Metal Removal from Contaminated Water

Authors: Eman H. El-Gamal, Mai E. Khedr, Randa Ghonim, Mohamed Rashad


In the past few years, biochar - a highly carbon-rich material produced from agro-wastes by pyrolysis process - was used as an effective adsorbent for heavy metals removal from polluted water. In this study, different types of biochar (rice straw 'RSB', corn cob 'CCB', and Jatropha shell 'JSB' were used to evaluate the adsorption capacity of heavy metals removal from multiple-metal solutions (Cu, Mn, Zn, and Cd). Kinetics modeling has been examined to illustrate potential adsorption mechanisms. The results showed that the potential removal of metal is dependent on the metal and biochar types. The adsorption capacity of the biochars followed the order: RSB > JSB > CCB. In general, RSB and JSB biochars presented high potential removal of heavy metals from polluted water, which was higher than 90 and 80% after 2 hrs of contact time for all metals, respectively. According to the kinetics data, the pseudo-second-order model was agreed strongly with Cu, Mn, Zn, and Cd adsorption onto the biochars (R2 ≥ 0.97), indicating the dominance of specific adsorption process, i.e., chemisorption. In conclusion, this study revealed that RSB and JSB biochar have the potential to be a strong adsorbent for multiple-metal removal from wastewater.

Keywords: Adsorption, Biochar, chemisorption, Polluted Water

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4 Enhanced Methane Yield from Organic Fraction of Municipal Solid Waste with Coconut Biochar as Syntrophic Metabolism Biostimulant

Authors: Maria Altamirano, Alfonso Duran


Biostimulation has recently become important in order to improve the stability and performance of the anaerobic digestion (AD) process. This strategy involves the addition of nutrients or supplements to improve the rate of degradation of a native microbial consortium. With the aim of biostimulate sytrophism between secondary fermenting bacteria and methanogenic archaea, improving metabolite degradation and efficient conversion to methane, the addition of conductive materials, mainly carbon based have been studied. This research seeks to highlight the effect that coconut biochar (CBC) has on the metanogenic conversion of the organic fraction of municipal solid waste (OFMSW), analyzing the surface chemistry properties that give biochar its capacity to serve as a redox mediator in the anaerobic digestion process. The biochar characterization techniques were electrical conductivity (EC) scanning electron microscopy (SEM), energy dispersive spectroscopy (EDS), Fourier Transform Infrared Transmission Spectroscopy (FTIR) and Cyclic Voltammetry (CV). Effect of coconut biochar addition was studied using Authomatic Methane Potential Test System (AMPTS II) applying a one-way variance analysis to determine the dose that leads to higher methane performance. The surface chemistry of the CBC could confer properties that enhance the AD process, such as the presence of alkaline and alkaline earth metals and their hydrophobicity that may be related to their buffering capacity and the adsorption of polar and non-polar compounds, such as NH4+ and CO2. It also has aromatic functional groups, just as quinones, whose potential as a redox mediator has been demonstrated and its morphology allows it to form an immobilizing matrix that favors a closer activity among the syntrophic microorganisms, which directly contributed in the oxidation of secondary metabolites and the final reduction to methane, whose yield is increased by 39% compared to controls, with a CBC dose of 1 g/L.

Keywords: Biochar, Biostimulation, Anaerobic Digestion, syntrophic metabolism

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3 Influence of Biochar Application on Growth, Dry Matter Yield and Nutrition of Corn (Zea mays L.) Grown on Sandy Loam Soils of Gujarat, India

Authors: Pravinchandra Patel


Sustainable agriculture in sandy loam soil generally faces large constraints due to low water holding and nutrient retention capacity, and accelerated mineralization of soil organic matter. There is need to increase soil organic carbon in the soil for higher crop productivity and soil sustainability. Recently biochar is considered as sixth element and work as a catalyst for increasing crop yield, soil fertility, soil sustainability and mitigation of climate change. Biochar was generated at the Sansoli Farm of Anand Agricultural University, Gujarat, India by pyrolysis at temperatures (250-400°C) in absence of oxygen using slow chemical process (using two kilns) from corn stover (Zea mays, L), cluster bean stover (Cyamopsis tetragonoloba) and Prosopis julifera wood. There were 16 treatments; 4 organic sources (3 biochar; corn stover biochar (MS), cluster bean stover (CB) & Prosopis julifera wood (PJ) and one farmyard manure-FYM) with two rate of application (5 & 10 metric tons/ha), so there were eight treatments of organic sources. Eight organic sources was applied with the recommended dose of fertilizers (RDF) (80-40-0 kg/ha N-P-K) while remaining eight organic sources were kept without RDF. Application of corn stover biochar @ 10 metric tons/ha along with RDF (RDF+MS) increased dry matter (DM) yield, crude protein (CP) yield, chlorophyll content and plant height (at 30 and 60 days after sowing) than CB and PJ biochar and FYM. Nutrient uptake of P, K, Ca, Mg, S and Cu were significantly increased with the application of RDF + corn stover @ 10 metric tons/ha while uptake of N and Mn were significantly increased in RDF + corn stover @ 5 metric tons/ha. It was found that soil application of corn stover biochar @ 10 metric tons/ha along with the recommended dose of chemical fertilizers (RDF+MS ) exhibited the highest impact in obtaining significantly higher dry matter and crude protein yields and larger removal of nutrients from the soil and it also beneficial for built up nutrients in soil. It also showed significantly higher organic carbon content and cation exchange capacity in sandy loam soil. The lower dose of corn stover biochar @ 5 metric tons/ha (RDF+ MS) was also remained the second highest for increasing dry matter and crude protein yields of forage corn crop which ultimately resulted in larger removals of nutrients from the soil. This study highlights the importance of mixing of biochar along with recommended dose of fertilizers on its synergistic effect on sandy loam soil nutrient retention, organic carbon content and water holding capacity hence, the amendment value of biochar in sandy loam soil.

Keywords: Biochar, fertility status, corn yield, plant nutrient

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