Journal of Soils and Sediments

, Volume 15, Issue 4, pp 816–824 | Cite as

Structure alteration of a sandy-clay soil by biochar amendments

  • Giorgio Baiamonte
  • Claudio De Pasquale
  • Valentina Marsala
  • Giulia Cimò
  • Giuseppe Alonzo
  • Giuseppina Crescimanno
  • Pellegrino Conte
Impact of Natural and Anthropogenic Pyrogenic Carbon in Soils and Sediments

Abstract

Purpose

The aim of the present study was to investigate structure alterations of a sandy-clay soil upon addition of different amounts of biochar (fbc).

Materials and methods

All the fbc samples were analyzed by high energy moisture characteristic (HEMC) technique and 1H nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) relaxometry. HEMC was applied in order to evaluate aggregate stability of biochar-amended soil samples. 1H NMR relaxometry experiments were conducted for the evaluation of the pore distributions through the investigation of water dynamics of the same samples.

Results and discussion

The HEMC technique revealed improvement in aggregate stability through measurements of the amount of drainable pores and the stability ratio. The latter increased as the amount of biochar was raised up. The 1H NMR relaxometry revealed a unimodal T1 distribution for both the sole sandy-clay soil and the biochar. Conversely, a bimodal T1 distribution was acquired for all the different fbc samples.

Conclusions

Improvement in aggregate stability was obtained as biochar was progressively added to the sandy-clay soil. A dual mechanism of water retention has been hypothesized. In particular, intra-aggregate porosity was indicated as the main responsible for molecular water diffusion when fbc comprised between 0 and 0.33. Conversely, inter-aggregate porosity resulted predominant, through swelling processes, when fbc overcame 0.33.

Keywords

Biochar Biochar amended soils High energy moisture characteristics NMR relaxometry 

References

  1. Agnese C, Baiamonte G, Corrao C (2001) A simple model of hillslope response for overland flow generation. Hydrol Process 15:3225–3238CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Agnese C, Baiamonte G, Corrao C (2007) Overland flow generation on hillslopes of complex topography: analytical solutions. Hydrol Process 21:1308–1317CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Agnese C, Bagarello V, Baiamonte G, Iovino M (2011) Comparing physical quality of forest and pasture soils in a sicilian watershed. Soil Sci Soc Am J 75:1958–1970CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Alaoui A, Lipiec J, Gerke HH (2011) A review of the changes in the soil pore system due to soil deformation: a hydrodynamic perspective. Soil Till Res 115–116:1–15CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Atkinson CJ, Fitzgerald JD, Hipps NA (2010) Potential mechanisms for achieving agricultural benefits from biochar application to temperate soils: a review. Plant Soil 337:1–18CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Bagarello V, Baiamonte G, Castellini M, Di Prima S, Iovino M (2013) A comparison between the single ring pressure infiltrometer and simplified falling head techniques. Hydrol Process. doi:10.1002/hyp.9980 Google Scholar
  7. Chan KY, Van Zwieten L, Meszaros I, Downie A, Joseph S (2007) Agronomic values of green waste biochar as a soil amendment. Aust J Soil Res 45:629–634CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Chan KY, Van Zwieten L, Meszaros I, Downie A, Joseph S (2008) Using poultry litter biochars as soil amendments. Soil Res 46:437–444CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Collis-George N, Figueroa BS (1984) The use of soil moisture characteristics to assess soil stability. Aust J Soil Res 22:349–356CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Conte P, Alonzo G (2013) Environmental NMR: fast-field-cycling relaxometry. eMagRes 2:389–398Google Scholar
  11. Conte P, Marsala V, De Pasquale C, Bubici S, Valagussa M, Pozzi A, Alonzo G (2013a) Nature of water-biochar interface interactions. GCB Bioenergy 5(2):116–121CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Conte P, Loddo V, De Pasquale C, Marsala V, Alonzo G, Palmisano L (2013b) Nature of interactions at the interface of two water-saturated commercial TiO2 polymorphs. J Phys Chem C 117:5269–5273CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Crescimanno G, Baiamonte G (1999) Hydraulic characterization of swelling/shrinking soils by a combination of laboratory and optimization techniques. In: Int. Workshop European-Society-of-Agricultural-Engineers, Field of Interest on Soil and Water on “Modelling of transport processes in soils at various scale in time and space”, Leuven, Belgium, 24–26 November 1999Google Scholar
  14. Crescimanno G, Iovino M, Provenzano G (1995) Influence of salinity and sodicity on soil structural and hydraulic characteristic. Soil Sci Soc Am J 59(6):1701–1708CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Day D, Evans RJ, Lee JW, Reicosky D (2005) Economical CO2, SOx, and NOx capture from fossil-fuel utilization with combined renewable hydrogen production and large-scale carbon sequestration. Energy 30:2558–2579CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. De Pasquale C, Marsala V, Berns AE, Valagussa M, Pozzi A, Alonzo G, Conte P (2012) Fast field cycling NMR relaxometry characterization of biochars obtained from an industrial thermochemical process. J Soils Sediments 12(8):1211–1221CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Edwards AP, Bremner JM (1967) Microaggregates in soils. J Soil Sci 18:64–73CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Eswaran H, Rice T, Ahrens R, Stewart BA (2002) Soil classification—a global desk reference. CRC Press Boca Radon FL (USA)Google Scholar
  19. Hillel D (2004) Introduction to environmental soil physics. Elsevier Science, London UKGoogle Scholar
  20. Karhu K, Mattila T, Bergström I, Regina K (2011) Biochar addition to agricultural soil increased CH4 uptake and water holding capacity—results from a short-term pilot field study. Agr Ecosyst Environ 140:309–313CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Kishimoto S, Sugiura G (1985) Charcoal as a soil conditioner. Int Achieve Future 5:12–23Google Scholar
  22. Lehmann J, da Silva Jr JP, Steiner C, Nehls T, Zech W, Glaser B (2003) Nutrient availability and leaching in an archaeological Anthrosol and Ferralsol of the Central Amazon basin: fertilizer, manure and charcoal amendments. Plant Soil 249:343–357CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Lehmann J, Kinyangi J, Solomon D (2007) Organic matter stabilization in soil microaggregates: implications from spatial heterogeneity of organic carbon contents and forms. Biogeochemistry 85:45–57CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Levy GJ, Mamedov AI (2002) High energy moisture characteristic aggregate stability as a predictor for seal formation. Soil Sci Soc Am J 66:1603–1609CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Li X, Zhang LM (2009) Characterization of the dual-structure pore-size distribution of soil. Can Geothec J 46:129–141CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Liang B, Lehmann J, Solomon D, Kinyangi J, Grossman J, O'Neill B, Skjemstad JO, Thies J, Luizao FJ, Petersen J, Neves EG (2006) Black carbon increases cation exchange capacity in soils. Soil Sci Soc Am J 70:1719–1730CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Mamedov AI, Wagner LE, Huang C, Norton LD, Levy GJ (2010) Polyacrylamide effects on aggregate and structure stability of soils with different clay mineralogy. Soil Sci Soc Am J 74:1720–1732CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Mikan CJ, Abrams MD (1995) Altered forest composition and soil properties of historic charcoal hearths in southeastern Pennsylvania. Can J Forest Res 25:687–696CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Mualem Y (1976) A new model for predicting the hydraulic conductivity of unsaturated porous media. Water Resour Res 12:513–522CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Ouyang L, Wang F, Tang J, Yu L, Zhang R (2013) Effects of biochar amendment on soil aggregates and hydraulic properties. J Soil Sci Plant Nutr 13(4):991–1002Google Scholar
  31. Pierson FB, Mulla DJ (1989) An improved method for measuring aggregate stability of a weakly aggregated loessial soil. Soil Sci Soc Am J 53:1825–1831CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Pusceddu E, Criscuoli I, Miglietta F (2013) Morphological investigation and physical characterization of ancient fragments of pyrogenic carbon. J Phys: Conf Ser 470:012003Google Scholar
  33. Rawls WJ, Pachepsky YA, Ritchie JC, Sobecki TM, Bloodworth H (2003) Effect of soil organic carbon on soil water retention. Geoderma 116:61–76CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Rillig MC, Wagner M, Salem M, Antunes PM, George C, Ramke HG, Titirici MM, Antonietti M (2010) Material derived from hydrothermal carbonization: effects on plant growth and arbuscular mycorrhiza. Appl Soil Ecol 45(3):238–242CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Rondon MA, Lehmann J, Ramirez J, Hurtado M (2007) Biological nitrogen fixation by common beans (Phaseolus vulgaris L.) increases with bio-char additions. Biol Fert Soils 43:699–708CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Sohi SP, Krull E, Lopez-Capel E, Bol R (2010) A review of biochar and its use and function in soil. Adv Agron 105:47–82CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Spokas KA, Koskinen WC, Baker JM, Reicosky DC (2009) Impacts of woodchip biochar additions on greenhouse gas production and sorption/degradation of two herbicides in a Minnesota soil. Chemosphere 77:574–581CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Stolte J, Veerman G (1991) Manual of soil physical measurements. Version 2.0 Winand Staring Centre (ed) Wageningen, the NetherlandsGoogle Scholar
  39. Uchimiya M, Lima IM, Klasson KT, Chang S, Wartelle LH, Rodgers JE (2010) Immobilization of heavy metal ions (CuII, CdII, NiII, and PbII) by broiler litter-derived biochars in water and soil. J Agr Food Chem 58:5538–5544CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. van Genuchten MT (1980) A closed-form equation for predicting the hydraulic conductivity of unsaturated soils. Soil Sci Soc Am J 44:892–898CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. van Genuchten MT, ThLeij FJ, Yates SR (1991) The RETC code for quantifying the hydraulic functions of unsaturated soils. U.S. Salinity Laboratory, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, Riverside, CaliforniaGoogle Scholar
  42. Wagner S, Cattle SR, Scholten T (2007) Soil-aggregate formation as influenced by clay content and organic-matter amendment. J Plant Nutr Soil Sci 170:173–180CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Wallace J (2000) Increasing agricultural water use efficiency to meet future food production. Agr Ecosyst Environ 82(1–3):105–119CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Warnock DD, Lehmann J, Kuyper TW, Rillig MC (2007) Mycorrhizal responses to biochar in soil—concepts and mechanisms. Plant Soil 300:9–20CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. White RE (2006) Principles and practice of soil science, 4th edn. Blackwell Publishing, MA, USAGoogle Scholar
  46. Yuan JH, Xu RK, Wang N, Li JY (2011) Amendment of acid soils with crop residues and biochars. Pedosphere 21(3):302–308CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Giorgio Baiamonte
    • 1
  • Claudio De Pasquale
    • 1
  • Valentina Marsala
    • 1
  • Giulia Cimò
    • 1
  • Giuseppe Alonzo
    • 1
  • Giuseppina Crescimanno
    • 1
  • Pellegrino Conte
    • 1
  1. 1.Dipartimento di Scienze Agrarie e ForestaliUniversità degli Studi di PalermoPalermoItaly

Personalised recommendations