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Maize straw and rice husk-derived biochars produced in a simple metal kiln: characteristics and effects on crop productivity in three fields


Maize straw- and rice husk-derived biochars were produced in a simple metal kiln without automated control. Their characteristics and effects on crop productivity were investigated in three fields in Nepal. The maximum temperature inside the kiln reached ~ 450 °C; the charring reaction was maintained for 90 min and 10 h for maize straw- and rice husk-derived biochars, respectively, until 30 °C was reached. The physicochemical properties of the biochars were similar to those of biochars manufactured previously in electric furnaces with automated control. Compared with control soil, incorporation of maize straw- and/or rice husk-derived biochars into soil significantly (p < 0.05) increased spinach biomass, onion bulb, millet and maize yields. The increase in crop productivity varied from 12.8% (millet yield at 10 t ha−1 maize straw-derived biochar addition) to 220% (spinach biomass production at 10 t ha−1 rice husk-derived biochar addition). Further research is needed to standardize the operating conditions of biochar manufacturing in a kiln to optimize crop productivity.

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The authors would like to acknowledge the financial support by the Science and Technology Support Program through the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) rendered by the Ministry of Science and ICT (MSIT) (NRF-2019K1A3A9A01000029). The authors also appreciate the technical support from BrainKorea21 FOUR program of the National Research Foundation of Korea, and Institute of Engineering Research and Institute of Construction and Environmental Engineering at Seoul National University.

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EC: conceptualization, methodology, data curation, formal analysis, investigation, visualization, writing. SK: methodology, investigation, visualization. SM: formal analysis. AG: investigation, resources. RB: investigation, resources. JYK: supervision, conceptualization, methodology, resources.

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Correspondence to Jae Young Kim.

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Choi, E., Kim, S., Mam, S. et al. Maize straw and rice husk-derived biochars produced in a simple metal kiln: characteristics and effects on crop productivity in three fields. J Mater Cycles Waste Manag 23, 2307–2317 (2021).

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  • Biochar
  • Kiln
  • Maize straw
  • Productivity
  • Rice husk