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Influence of biochar amendment obtained from organic wastes typical for Western Siberia on morphometric characteristics of plants and soil properties

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Abstract

Global climate change necessitates the rational application of resources and careful policy in the field of waste management regulation. The pyrolytic processing of wastes from agriculture, forestry, and land use, which are significant sources of greenhouse gas emissions, can result in obtaining biochar ameliorants due to the high content of inorganic components in the feedstock that should positively affect the increase in soil fertility. However, there are no generally accepted recommendations on the choice of both feedstock and thermal processing parameters to get carbon-based ameliorants for soils. In this study, organic wastes typical for Western Siberia, including wheat straw, cow manure, pine sawdust, and pine nut shells, were applied as potential soil amendments. For this, the most appropriate pyrolytic processing parameters, as well as heat engineering characteristics and elemental composition of initial biomass and produced biochars, were studied. The influence of the biochar amendment type on the morphometric characteristics of plants (in the example of spring wheat) and soil properties during a greenhouse experiment was assessed. The amendment of biochars from such wastes as wheat straw and cow manure results in improving a number of plant morphometric parameters (plant height, number of leaves, root length) and reducing soil acidity. Thus, the proposed way of organic waste disposal through thermochemical conversion by producing biochar ameliorants can be considered as an effective solution for managing the environmental situation by minimizing the negative impact of waste decomposition on the environment and increasing the productivity of agricultural land by improving soil quality.

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Data availability

The datasets generated during and/or analyzed during the current study are not publicly available due to the Russian Federation legislation in the field of mass disclosure of information but are available from the corresponding author on reasonable request.

Abbreviations

CM:

Cow manure

CMB:

Cow manure biochar

PNS:

Pine nutshell

PNSB:

Pine nut shell biochar

PS:

Pine sawdust

PSB:

Pine sawdust biochar

WS:

Wheat straw

WSB:

Wheat straw biochar

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Acknowledgements

Authors heartily thank the Research Resource Center “Natural Resource Management and Physico-Chemical Research” (University of Tyumen) for support in performing analytical studies.

Funding

The study was supported by the State assignment No. FEWZ-2021–0014 (Scientific and technical foundations and applied solutions for integrated energy and thermal processing of biomass to ensure environmentally friendly technologies in energy industry and metallurgy). The experiments were performed on equipment purchased in the framework of the academic leadership program of the University of Tyumen (strategic academic leadership program “Priority-2030”). This work was partially performed using resources of the Research Resource Center “Natural Resource Management and Physico-Chemical Research” (University of Tyumen).

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Contributions

All authors contributed to the study’s conception and design. The pyrolysis processing experiments were performed by R.B. Tabakaev and I.I. Shanenkov. The greenhouse experiment was carried out by K.O. Ponomarev, A.N. Pervushina, and K.S. Korotaeva under the supervision of A.A. Yurtaev. A.S. Petukhov was responsible for analyzing the content of trace elements in the extract from the considered biochars. Material preparation, data collection, and analysis were performed by K.O. Ponomarev, R.B. Tabakaev, and I.I. Shanenkov. The first draft of the manuscript was written by K.O. Ponomarev, and all authors commented on previous versions of the manuscript. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.

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Correspondence to Ivan Shanenkov.

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Statement of novelty

When conducting research, the authors were inspired by the idea of finding the best ways to dispose the wastes of agriculture, forestry, and land use, which not only lead to greenhouse gas emissions, but also affect people’s daily lives (malodorous odors). As a disposal method, thermal processing (pyrolysis) was chosen, because it results in obtaining the value-added by-products (gas, tars) in addition to biochar, which is the main research object. We established the optimal processing modes for various biomass, as well as determined the differences in the mineral composition of biochars. Within a greenhouse experiment, the biochar amendments were found to positively affect both the plant morphometric characteristics and soil properties and, as a result, increase the yield of spring wheat.

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Ponomarev, K., Pervushina, A., Korotaeva, K. et al. Influence of biochar amendment obtained from organic wastes typical for Western Siberia on morphometric characteristics of plants and soil properties. Biomass Conv. Bioref. (2023). https://doi.org/10.1007/s13399-023-03927-1

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