Process Safety and Environmental Protection, Vol.120, 24-36, 2018
Microcosm incubation study for monitoring the mid-term effects of different biochars on acidic sandy soil applying a multiparameter approach
Biochar is produced from organic materials by pyrolysis specifically for soil improvement. Interactions with beneficial outcomes between biochar and soil can arise within a short time but it is uncertain whether the effects are similar in all soil types and at different time-scale. The objective of this study was to evaluate the short-term and mid-term effects of biochars from different feedstocks (grain husks and paper fibre sludge, post-treated grain husks and paper fibre sludge, woodscreenings) on the soil physico-chemical, biological and ecotoxicological properties. As part of a complete scale-up technology, aiming improvement of an acidic sandy soil, a 12-month microcosm experiment was conducted with combined application of biochars, compost and fertilizer. The applied multiparameter approach made possible the selection of the most optimal treatment. All the three biochars had favourable influence on the soil, but the effects were different in terms of extent and time. Although the biochar from woodscreenings had not the most promising short-term effects, but combined with fertilizer at 0.5 w/w% biochar rate it was the most favourable treatment after 12 months. The grain husk and the paper fibre sludge biochar at 1 w/w% rate could also efficiently improve soil parameters and functions. (C) 2018 Published by Elsevier B.V. on behalf of Institution of Chemical Engineers.