Wood Science and Technology

, 41:169 | Cite as

Retention properties of wood residues and their potential for soil amelioration

  • Oliver DünischEmail author
  • Valmiqui Costa Lima
  • Günther Seehann
  • Johannes Donath
  • Valdinez Ribeiro Montóia
  • Thomas Schwarz


The particle size distribution, the nutrient content and the sorption behaviour of six solid wood and ash/charcoal residues collected in three wood-processing companies in Germany and Brazil were investigated in order to elucidate the potential of these residues for the development of new products for soil amelioration. The absorption of N, P, and K by the residues and the leaching of nutrients from impregnated samples were studied in the laboratory at substrate temperatures of 20 and 300°C. The release of elements by the impregnated samples and the sorption behaviour of ash/charcoal incorporated in the soil were also studied in the field on a temperate site (Hamburg, 53°32′N 09°59′E), on a subtropical site (Ivaí, 25°15′S 50°45′W), and on a tropical site (Aripuanã, 10°09′S 59°26′W). Under laboratory conditions the solid wood residues absorbed 2.0–9.1% of the N, 0.1–0.4% of the P, and 1.0–8.5% of the K available in the impregnation solution. At a temperature of 20°C, selected sieve fractions of the ash/charcoal residues absorbed up to twice as much as N and up to 100 times more K than the treated wood residues. The absorption of N, P, and K to the ash/charcoal residues increased significantly at a substrate temperature of 300°C compared to a substrate temperature of 20°C. In absolute numbers, the leaching of N, P, and K from the impregnated ash/charcoal residues was in the range of the release by the impregnated solid wood residues, whilst the relative rate of nutrient leaching was strongly reduced. The field experiments confirmed the results obtained in the laboratory and indicated that ash/charcoal residues are suitable raw materials for the development of new products for soil amelioration, in particular for application under humid climate conditions.


Charcoal Substrate Temperature Wood Residue Solid Wood High Cation Exchange Capacity 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



We thank the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD-program “Integrierte Umwelttechnik”), Bonn and the Otto Henneberg-Poppenbüttel Foundation, Hamburg for financial support. We are indebted to Dr. habil. O. Greis, TU Hamburg-Harburg, for making available topochemical element analyses of soil samples. We thank the Fazenda Bitumirim, Ivai and the Pytec Thermochemische Anlagen GmbH, Hamburg for providing wood and soil samples. The assistance of M.A. de Carvalho Santos, Federal University of Parana State, Curitiba and of S. Strauß, University of Hamburg is greatly appreciated. We thank two referees for the improvement of the manuscript.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Oliver Dünisch
    • 1
    Email author
  • Valmiqui Costa Lima
    • 2
  • Günther Seehann
    • 3
  • Johannes Donath
    • 3
  • Valdinez Ribeiro Montóia
    • 4
  • Thomas Schwarz
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute for Wood Biology and Wood ProtectionFederal Research Centre for Forestry and Forest ProductsHamburgGermany
  2. 2.Federal University of Parana StateCuritibaBrazil
  3. 3.Otto Henneberg-Poppenbüttel StiftungHamburgGermany
  4. 4.EMBRAPA Amazônia OcidentalManaus-AMBrazil

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