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Agronomy 2013, 3(2), 313-339; doi:10.3390/agronomy3020313

Biochar Impacts on Soil Physical Properties and Greenhouse Gas Emissions

*  and
Carbon Management and Sequestration Center, The Ohio State University, 2021, Coffey Road, Columbus, OH 43210, USA
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 3 December 2012 / Revised: 25 February 2013 / Accepted: 7 April 2013 / Published: 18 April 2013
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biochar as Option for Sustainable Resource Management)
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Biochar, a co-product of a controlled pyrolysis process, can be used as a tool for sequestering C in soil to offset greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, and as a soil amendment. Whereas the impacts of biochar application on soil chemical properties are widely known, the research information on soil physical properties is scarce. The objectives of this review are to (i) synthesize available data on soil physical properties and GHG emissions, (ii) offer possible mechanisms related to the biochar-amended soil processes, and (iii) identify researchable priorities. Application rates of 1%–2% (w/w) of biochar can significantly improve soil physical quality in terms of bulk density (BD), and water holding capacity (WHC). However, little data are available on surface area (SA), aggregation stability, and penetration resistance (PR) of biochar-amended soil. While biochar amendment can initially accentuate the flux of carbon dioxide (CO2), the emission of GHGs may be suppressed over time. A 2-phase complexation hypothesis is proposed regarding the mechanisms of the interaction between soil and biochar.
Keywords: biochar; green house gas (GHG) emissions; soil amendment; soil physical properties; soil quality biochar; green house gas (GHG) emissions; soil amendment; soil physical properties; soil quality
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Mukherjee, A.; Lal, R. Biochar Impacts on Soil Physical Properties and Greenhouse Gas Emissions. Agronomy 2013, 3, 313-339.

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