Environmental Science and Pollution Research

, Volume 21, Issue 4, pp 2486–2495 | Cite as

Pyrolysis temperature influences ameliorating effects of biochars on acidic soil

  • Qing Wan
  • Jin-Hua Yuan
  • Ren-Kou XuEmail author
  • Xing-Hui Li
Research Article


The biochars were prepared from straws of canola, corn, soybean, and peanut at different temperatures of 300, 500, and 700 °C by means of oxygen-limited pyrolysis. Amelioration effects of these biochars on an acidic Ultisol were investigated with incubation experiments, and application rate of biochars was 10 g/kg. The incorporation of these biochars induced the increase in soil pH, soil exchangeable base cations, base saturation, and cation exchange capacity and the decrease in soil exchangeable acidity and exchangeable Al. The ameliorating effects of biochars on acidic soil increased with increase in their pyrolysis temperature. The contribution of oxygen-containing functional groups on the biochars to their ameliorating effects on the acidic soil decreased with the rise in pyrolysis temperature, while the contribution from carbonates in the biochars changed oppositely. The incorporation of the biochars led to the decrease in soil reactive Al extracted by 0.5 mol/L CuCl2, and the content of reactive Al was decreased with the increase in pyrolysis temperature of incorporated biochars. The biochars generated at 300 °C increased soil organically complexed Al due to ample quantity of oxygen-containing functional groups such as carboxylic and phenolic groups on the biochars, while the biochars generated at 500 and 700 °C accelerated the transformation of soil exchangeable Al to hydroxyl-Al polymers due to hydrolysis of Al at higher pH. Therefore, the crop straw-derived biochars can be used as amendments for acidic soils and the biochars generated at relatively high temperature have great ameliorating effects on the soils.


Amelioration of acidic soil Biochar Crop straw Ultisol Soil acidity 



The study was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (no. 41230855).


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Qing Wan
    • 1
    • 2
  • Jin-Hua Yuan
    • 2
    • 3
  • Ren-Kou Xu
    • 2
    Email author
  • Xing-Hui Li
    • 1
  1. 1.Tea Science Research InstituteNanjing Agriculture UniversityNanjingChina
  2. 2.State Key Laboratory of Soil and Sustainable Agriculture, Institute of Soil ScienceChinese Academy of SciencesNanjingPeople’s Republic of China
  3. 3.University of the Chinese Academy of SciencesBeijingPeople’s Republic of China

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