Industrial & Engineering Chemistry Research, Vol.54, No.16, 4123-4135, 2015
Nutrient Transport in Soils Amended with Biochar: A Transient Model with Two Stationary Phases and Intraparticle Diffusion
We present the development of a rate model that simulates nutrient transport in soils amended with biochar. The model considers two statiOnary adsorbent phases (biochar and soil), axial dispersion, interphase mass transfer, and intrapartide,diffusioh. Langmuir isotherms govern, the Itcal eqlibria between the solute diffusing in th liquid-filled pores and adsorbed on the pore surfaces of biochar and soil particles. We demonstrate that addition of biochar can effectively slow nutrient transport through the soil if the biochar/soil ratio and crucial biochar properties (such as its adsorption-capacity and affinity to-the sorbate) are carefully matched to the soil properties (water velocity and soil type) and the amount of rainfall or irrigation. Simulations can also track the spatial and temporal evolution of nutrient concentration profiles, information that is essential for analyzing arid interpreting experimental data. The new model can be a valuable tool for fine-tuning the production and use of biochar.