Applications of Biochar in Agriculture and Its Impact on Agricultural Systems

A special issue of Agriculture (ISSN 2077-0472). This special issue belongs to the section "Agricultural Systems and Management".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (15 July 2023) | Viewed by 4548

Special Issue Editors


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Department of Bioenergetics, Food Analysis and Microbiology, Institute of Food Technology and Nutrition, College of Life Sciences, University of Rzeszow, 2D Ćwiklińskiej Street, 35-601 Rzeszow, Poland
Interests: thermal modification of plant materials—pyrolysis; biochar in the agri-food sector; mobility of heavy metals in the soil-water environment; analysis of energy value and elemental composition of food products and plant biomass
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Guest Editor
Department of Bioenergetics, Food Analysis and Microbiology, Institute of Food Technology and Nutrition, College of Life Sciences, University of Rzeszow, 2D Ćwiklińskiej Street, 35-601 Rzeszow, Poland
Interests: functional beverages; sports drinks; hydration; dehydration; CHO-enriched beverages; lipid-enriched beverages; protein-enriched beverages; osmolality; athletes; performance; recovery
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Bioenergetics, Food Analysis and Microbiology, Institute of Food Technology and Nutrition, College of Life Sciences, University of Rzeszow, 2D Ćwiklińskiej Street, 35-601 Rzeszow, Poland
Interests: functional beverages; sports drinks; hydration; dehydration; CHO-enriched beverages; lipid-enriched beverages; protein-enriched beverages; osmolality; athletes; performance; recovery
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The uses of biochar in environmental protection include the remediation of polluted soils, energy production, climate change aspects, waste management, and sustainable development issues. The production of biochar allows a reduction in the need for the disposal of animal and plant waste. Interest in biochar as a potential soil enhancer began with the discovery of preta de Indio (Indian black earth) in Amazonia. From an agricultural point of view, the application of carbonization products for soil amelioration seems to be beneficial because the treatment improves the conditions for plant growth, leading to a better yield. Furthermore, due to the rapid effects and relatively low costs of such treatment, biochars are becoming more frequently used in soil remediation and conservation.

In this Special Issue, authors are actively invited to submit their papers covering high-quality novel research, as well as review studies regarding the use of biochar as a material used in agricultural systems. This Issue is devoted to interdisciplinary research on the production of biochar, optimization of the pyrolysis process, and the possibility of biochar uses as a fertilizer in laboratory research, as well as field crops.

Dr. Bogdan Saletnik
Dr. Marcin Bajcar
Prof. Dr. Grzegorz Zaguła
Guest Editors

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Keywords

  • biochar
  • pyrolysis
  • waste management
  • carbon sequestration
  • soil fertilization
  • soil ameliorant
  • crop production

Published Papers (2 papers)

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Research

13 pages, 4078 KiB  
Article
Effects of Combined Application of Chemical Fertilizer and Biochar on Soil Physio-Biochemical Properties and Maize Yield
by Jiajun Wu, Liang Jin, Na Wang, Dan Wei, Min Pang, Dahao Li, Junqiang Wang, Yan Li, Xin Sun, Wen Wang and Lei Wang
Agriculture 2023, 13(6), 1200; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture13061200 - 5 Jun 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2076
Abstract
Excessive, long-term chemical fertilizer application adversely affects soil quality and maize yield. The combined application of biochar with chemical fertilizer can increase maize yield and improve soil fertility. A four-year field experiment was conducted to determine soil physio-biochemical properties and maize yield under [...] Read more.
Excessive, long-term chemical fertilizer application adversely affects soil quality and maize yield. The combined application of biochar with chemical fertilizer can increase maize yield and improve soil fertility. A four-year field experiment was conducted to determine soil physio-biochemical properties and maize yield under a soybean–maize rotation in the black soils of Northeast China. There were five treatments, including no fertilization (CK), fertilizer (NPK), fertilizer + biochar (15.75 t·hm−2, BC1), fertilizer + biochar (31.50 t·hm−2, BC2), and fertilizer + biochar (47.25 t·hm−2, BC3). Compared with CK, the number of macroaggregates and the average weight diameter of soil aggregates in BC2 treatment increased significantly by 10.3% and 24.5%, respectively. The soil pH in the study area was 7.03, and it increased in all treatments except for BC1. The highest pH of 7.17 was recorded in NPK and BC2 treatments, which was around the optimal soil pH. In contrast to the CK and NPK treatments, the biochar application increased soil organic carbon (SOC) and total nitrogen (TN) content. The BC2 treatment improved soil C/N and increased the copy number of soil bacteria by 25.6% compared to CK. The combined application of chemical fertilizer and biochar was better than NPK treatment alone, and improved soil mechanical composition and fine soil particle contents (powder and clay). Mixed biochar with chemical fertilizer application also significantly increased maize yield and the weight of 100 grains increased from 9.5% to 10.9% compared to CK. The maize yield of the three fertilizer and biochar treatments was higher than treatments with applied chemical fertilizer alone, in the order of BC2 > BC3 > BC1 > NPK > CK (BC2 treatment increased by 34.8%). Additionally, the maize yield was significantly and positively correlated with soil aggregates, organic carbon and total nitrogen (p < 0.05) as well as the 100-grain weight (p < 0.01). The application of 31.50 t·hm−2 (BC2 treatment) of biochar can enhance soil physicochemical properties and improve maize yield. Full article
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15 pages, 887 KiB  
Article
Short-Term Biochar Impacts on Crop Performance and Soil Quality in Arid Sandy Loam Soil
by Lindsay Keller, Omololu John Idowu, April Ulery, Mohammed Omer and Catherine E. Brewer
Agriculture 2023, 13(4), 782; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture13040782 - 29 Mar 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2006
Abstract
A two-year field study was conducted in sandy loam soil to evaluate the impacts of biochar on soil quality and the growth and yields of pinto bean (Phaseolus vulgaris) and sorghum–Sudan (Sorghum × drummondii). A wood-derived commercial biochar was [...] Read more.
A two-year field study was conducted in sandy loam soil to evaluate the impacts of biochar on soil quality and the growth and yields of pinto bean (Phaseolus vulgaris) and sorghum–Sudan (Sorghum × drummondii). A wood-derived commercial biochar was applied at three rates to pinto bean (PB) and sorghum–Sudan (SS) plots. The biochar application rates applied annually for two years to PB plots were 0, 2.2, and 11.2 Mg ha−1, whereas the rates for SS plots were 0, 3.4, and 6.7 Mg ha−1. Crop growth and harvest parameters were evaluated. Assessed soil measurements included pH, electrical conductivity, available nutrients, soil organic matter (SOM), permanganate oxidizable carbon (POXC), soil aggregates, and volumetric soil moisture content. The results showed no significant differences in plant growth parameters and yields over the two growing seasons for both PB and SS. Compared to the control treatment, the biochar at 11.2 Mg ha−1 in PB plots improved soil moisture retention after irrigation by 19% in the first year and 25% in the second year. The SOM in the SS plot at 6.7 Mg ha−1 biochar rate was higher (1.02%) compared to the control plot (0.82%), whereas a similar increase was not observed in the PB plot. Although biochar rates did not affect most of the soil measurements, there were significant changes in soil properties over time, regardless of biochar treatments: POXC increased in the PB and SS plots; SOM increased in the SS plot; and electrical conductivity, sodium adsorption ratio, and most soil micronutrients decreased. This research was conducted over two years; the effects of biochar can persist for much longer, indicating the need for longer-term biochar field studies in arid agroecosystems. Full article
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