Journal of Soils and Sediments

, Volume 13, Issue 9, pp 1561–1572 | Cite as

Effects of biochars derived from different feedstocks and pyrolysis temperatures on soil physical and hydraulic properties

SOILS, SEC 2 • GLOBAL CHANGE, ENVIRON RISK ASSESS, SUSTAINABLE LAND USE • RESEARCH ARTICLE

Abstract

Purpose

Biochar addition to soils potentially affects various soil properties, and these effects are dependent on biochars derived from different feedstock materials and pyrolysis processes. The objective of this study was to investigate the effects of amendment of different biochars on soil physical and hydraulic properties.

Materials and methods

Biochars were produced with dairy manure and woodchip at temperatures of 300, 500, and 700 °C, respectively. Each biochar was mixed at 5 % (w/w) with a forest soil, and the mixture was incubated for 180 days, during which soil physical and hydraulic properties were measured.

Results and discussion

Results showed that the biochar addition significantly enhanced the formation of soil macroaggregates at the early incubation time. The biochar application significantly reduced soil bulk density, increased the amount of soil organic matter, and stimulated microbial activity at the early incubation stage. Saturated hydraulic conductivities of the soil with biochars, especially produced at high pyrolysis temperature, were higher than those without biochars on the sampling days. The treatments with woodchip biochars resulted in higher saturated hydraulic conductivities than the dairy manure biochar treatments. Biochar applications improved water retention capacity, with stronger effects by biochars produced at higher pyrolysis temperatures. At the same suction, the soil with woodchip biochars possessed higher water content than that with the dairy manure biochars.

Conclusions

Biochar addition significantly affected the soil physical and hydraulic properties. The effects were different with biochars derived from different feedstock materials and pyrolysis temperatures.

Keywords

Biochar Feedstock Pyrolysis temperature Soil hydraulic properties Soil physical properties 

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Guangdong Provincial Key Laboratory of Environmental Pollution Control and Remediation Technology, School of Environmental Science and EngineeringSun Yat-sen UniversityGuangzhouPeople’s Republic of China

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