Effect of Biochar on the Yield of Potatoes Cultivated Under Wastewater Irrigation for Two Seasons

  • Christopher NzediegwuEmail author
  • Shiv Prasher
  • Eman Elsayed
  • Jaskaran Dhiman
  • Ali Mawof
  • Ramanbhai Patel
Original Paper


This study investigated the effects of biochar, produced from plantain peel, on the yield of potatoes (Solanum tuberosum L.) irrigated with wastewater in two consecutive seasons. Potatoes were grown in 2015 and 2016 in nine lysimeters (1.0 m × 0.45 m), packed with sandy soil to a bulk density of 1.35 Mg m−3. The lysimeters were arranged in a completely randomized design with three replicates. The treatments were (i) wastewater with biochar, (ii) wastewater without biochar, and (iii) freshwater without biochar. The soil with biochar treatments was amended in 2015 with an application rate of 1% (w/w) on the top 0.1 m of soil. After 33 days of planting, the potatoes were irrigated 8 times, on a 10-day irrigation interval, with freshwater or wastewater that was synthesized to represent a typical wastewater in developing countries. Plant health parameters (e.g., photosynthetic rate) were measured. After 120 days of planting, the potato tubers were harvested; the fresh weight was measured and the tubers were counted. The plant health parameters (e.g., photosynthesis rate) varied with time but were not affected by biochar amendment. Also, the total fresh tuber weights as well as the total number of tubers were similar in all treatments although the biochar showed a significant positive effect (p < 0.05) on the pH and the cation exchange capacity of the soil. Thus, it was concluded that application of the plantain peel biochar as soil amendment showed no significant effect on the yield of potatoes irrigated with wastewater.


Potato yield Wastewater irrigation Lysimeters Plantain peel biochar Sandy soils 



The authors would also like to thank Sedigheh Zarayan, Lab Manager.

Funding Information

This study was funded by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada, Tertiary Education Trust Fund, Nigeria, and the India-Canada Centre for Innovative Multidisciplinary Partnerships to Accelerate Community Transformation and Sustainability.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Sociedad Chilena de la Ciencia del Suelo 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Bioresource Engineering, Macdonald CampusMcGill UniversityMontrealCanada

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