Advertisement

Environmental Science and Pollution Research

, Volume 25, Issue 26, pp 25648–25658 | Cite as

Quantitative characterization of pore structure of several biochars with 3D imaging

  • Jari Hyväluoma
  • Sampo Kulju
  • Markus Hannula
  • Hanne Wikberg
  • Anssi Källi
  • Kimmo Rasa
Environmental functions of biochar

Abstract

Pore space characteristics of biochars may vary depending on the used raw material and processing technology. Pore structure has significant effects on the water retention properties of biochar amended soils. In this work, several biochars were characterized with three-dimensional imaging and image analysis. X-ray computed microtomography was used to image biochars at resolution of 1.14 μm and the obtained images were analysed for porosity, pore size distribution, specific surface area and structural anisotropy. In addition, random walk simulations were used to relate structural anisotropy to diffusive transport. Image analysis showed that considerable part of the biochar volume consist of pores in size range relevant to hydrological processes and storage of plant available water. Porosity and pore size distribution were found to depend on the biochar type and the structural anisotopy analysis showed that used raw material considerably affects the pore characteristics at micrometre scale. Therefore, attention should be paid to raw material selection and quality in applications requiring optimized pore structure.

Keywords

Biochar Soil amendment Pore structure Water retention X-ray tomography Image analysis 

Notes

Acknowledgements

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement no. 637020 – MOBILE FLIP.

References

  1. Baltrėnas P, Baltrėnaitė E, Spudulis E (2015) Biochar from pine and birch morphology and pore structure change by treatment in biofilter. Water Air Soil Pollut 226:69CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Bird MI, Ascough PL, Young IM, Wood CV, Scott AC (2008) X-ray microtomographic imaging of charcoal. J Archaeol Sci 35:2698–2706CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Brewer CE, Chuang VJ, Masiello CA, Gonnermann H, Gao X, Dugan B, Driver LE, Panzacchi P, Zygourakis K, Davies CA (2014) New approaches to measuring biochar density and porosity. Biomass Bioenerg 66:176–185CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Bubici S, Korb J-P, Kučerik J, Conte P (2016) Evaluation of the surface affinity of water in three biochars using fast field cycling NMR relaxometry. Magn Reson Chem 54:365–370CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Conte P, Nestle N (2015) Water dynamics in different biochar fractions. Magn Reson Chem 53:726–734CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Eibisch N, Schroll R, Fuß R, Mikutta R, Helfrich M, Flessa H (2015) Pyrochars and hydrochars differently alter the sorption of the herbicide isoproturon in an agricultural soil. Chemosphere 119:155–162CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Fagernäs L, Kuoppala E, Arpiainen V (2015) Composition, utilization and economic assessment of torrefaction condensates. Energ Fuel 29:3134–3142CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Giesche H (2006) Mercury porosimetry: a general (practical) overview. Part Part Syst Charact 23:9–19CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Gray M, Johnson MG, Dragila MI, Kleber M (2014) Water uptake in biochars: the roles of porosity and hydrophobicity. Biomass Bioenerg 61:196–205CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Hapca SM, Houston AN, Otten W, Baveye PC (2013) New local thresholding method for soil images by minimizing grayscale Intra-Class variance. Vadose Zone J 12. doi: 10.2136/vzj2012.0172
  11. Hilpert M, Glantz R, Miller CT (2003) Calibration of a pore-network model by a pore-morphological analysis. Transp Porous Media 51:267–285CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Horgan GW (1998) Mathematical morphology for analysing soil structure from images. Eur J Soil Sci 49:161–173CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Jeffery S, Meinders MBJ, Stoof CR, Bezemer TM, van de Voorde TFJ, Mommer L, van Groenigen JW (2015) Biochar application does not improve the soil hydrological function of a sandy soil. Geoderma 251-252:47–54Google Scholar
  14. Jones K, Ramakrishnan G, Uchimiya M, Orlov A (2015) New applications of X-ray tomography in pyrolysis of biomass: biochar imaging. Energ Fuel 29:1628–1634CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Kambo HS, Dutta A (2015) A comparative review of biochar and hydrochar in terms of production, physico-chemical properties and applications. Renew Sust Energ Rev 45:359–378CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Kinney TJ, Masiello CA, Dugan B, Hockaday WC, Dean MR, Zygourakis K, Barnes RT (2012) Hydrologic properties of biochar produced at different temperatures. Biomass Bioenerg 41:34– 43CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Mukherjee A, Lal R (2014) The biochar dilemma. Soil Research 52:217–230CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Nakashima Y, Kamiya S (2007) Mathematica programs for the analysis of three dimensional pore connectivity and anisotropic tortuosity of porous rocks using X ray computed tomography image data. J Nucl Sci Technol 44:1233–1247CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Novak JM, Ippolito JA, Lentz RD, Spokas KA, Bolster CH, Sistani K, Trippe KM, Phillips CL, Johnson MG (2016) Soil health, crop productivity, microbial transport, and mine spoil response to biochars. Bioenergy Research 9:454–464CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Otsu N (1979) A threshold selection method from Gray-Level histograms. IEEE T Syst Man Cyb 9:62–66CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Pratt WK (2007) Digital image processing, 4th ed. John Wiley & Sons, Hoboken, New JerseyCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Promentilla MAB, Sugiyama T, Hitomi T, Takeda N (2009) Quantification of tortuosity in hardened cement pastes using synchrotron-based X-ray computed tomography. Cem Concr Res 39:548–557CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Quin PR, Cowie AL, Flavel RJ, Keen BP, Macdonald LM, Morris SG, Singh BP, Young IM, Van Zwieten L (2014) Oil mallee biochar improves soil structural properties—a study with x-ray micro-CT. Agr Ecosyst Environ 191:142–149Google Scholar
  24. Rawal A, Joseph SD, Hook JM, Chia CH, Munroe PR, Donne S, Lin Y, Phelan D, Mitchell DRG, Pace B, Horvat J, Webber JBW (2016) Mineral-biochar composites: molecular structure and porosity. Environ Sci Technol 50:7706–7714CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Schnee LS, Knauth S, Hapca S, Otten W, Eickhorst T (2016) Analysis of physical pore space characteristics of two pyrolytic biochars and potential as microhabitat. Plant Soil 408:357–368CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Shaaban A, Se S-M, Dimin MF, Juoi JM, Husin MHM, Mitan NMM (2014) Influence of heating temperature and holding time on biochars derived from rubber wood sawdust via slow pyrolysis. J Anal Appl Pyrol 107:31–39CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Tabor Z, Rokita E (2007) Quantifying anisotropy of trabecular bone from gray-level images. Bone 40:966–972CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Verheijen FGA, Jeffery S, Bastos AC, van der Velde M, Diafas I (2010) Biochar application to soils—a critical scientific review of effects on soil properties, processes and functions 149 pp (EUR 24099 EN, Office for the Official Publications of the European Communities, LuxembourgGoogle Scholar
  29. Vogel HJ, Weller U, Schlüter S (2010) Quantification of soil structure based on Minkowski functions. Comput Geosci 36:1236–1245CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Yu X, Wu C, Fu Y, Brookers PC, Lu S (2016) Three-dimensional pore structure and carbon distribution of macroaggregates in biochar-amended soil. Eur J Soil Sci 67:109–120CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke)JokioinenFinland
  2. 2.BioMediTech Institute and Faculty of Biomedical Sciences and EngineeringTampere University of TechnologyTampereFinland
  3. 3.VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland Ltd.EspooFinland

Personalised recommendations