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The Electrochemical Properties of Biochars and How They Affect Soil Redox Properties and Processes

Discipline of Chemistry, University of Newcastle, Callaghan NSW 2308, Australia
School of Materials Science and Engineering, University of NSW, Sydney NSW 2052, Australia
Institute of Resource, Ecosystem and Environment of Agriculture, Nanjing Agricultural University, Nanjing 210095, China
CIRAD/PERSYST/UPR 115 AIDA and AfricaRice Centre, 01 BP2031 Cotonou, Benin
Institute of Soil, Water & Environmental Sciences, The Volcani Center, Agricultural Research Organization, P.O. Box 6, Bet Dagan 50250, Israel
NSW Department of Primary Industries, Bruxner Highway, Wollongbar, 2480 NSW, Australia
Southern Cross Plant Science, Southern Cross University, Lismore, 2477 NSW, Australia
School of Biotechnology and Biomolecular Sciences, University of NSW, Sydney NSW 2052, Australia
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Peter Langridge
Agronomy 2015, 5(3), 322-340;
Received: 28 May 2015 / Revised: 8 July 2015 / Accepted: 13 July 2015 / Published: 21 July 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Reactions of Biochar in Soil from Modified Redox Properties)
Biochars are complex heterogeneous materials that consist of mineral phases, amorphous C, graphitic C, and labile organic molecules, many of which can be either electron donors or acceptors when placed in soil. Biochar is a reductant, but its electrical and electrochemical properties are a function of both the temperature of production and the concentration and composition of the various redox active mineral and organic phases present. When biochars are added to soils, they interact with plant roots and root hairs, micro-organisms, soil organic matter, proteins and the nutrient-rich water to form complex organo-mineral-biochar complexes Redox reactions can play an important role in the development of these complexes, and can also result in significant changes in the original C matrix. This paper reviews the redox processes that take place in soil and how they may be affected by the addition of biochar. It reviews the available literature on the redox properties of different biochars. It also reviews how biochar redox properties have been measured and presents new methods and data for determining redox properties of fresh biochars and for biochar/soil systems. View Full-Text
Keywords: biochar; cyclic voltammetry; Pourbaix diagram; electron shuttling biochar; cyclic voltammetry; Pourbaix diagram; electron shuttling
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Joseph, S.; Husson, O.; Graber, E.R.; Van Zwieten, L.; Taherymoosavi, S.; Thomas, T.; Nielsen, S.; Ye, J.; Pan, G.; Chia, C.; Munroe, P.; Allen, J.; Lin, Y.; Fan, X.; Donne, S. The Electrochemical Properties of Biochars and How They Affect Soil Redox Properties and Processes. Agronomy 2015, 5, 322-340.

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