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Review

A Critical Review on Advancement and Challenges of Biochar Application in Paddy Fields: Environmental and Life Cycle Cost Analysis

1
Department of Engineering and Chemical Sciences, Karlstad University, 65188 Karlstad, Sweden
2
Key Laboratory of Non-Point Source Pollution of Ministry of Agricultural and Rural Affairs, Institute of Agricultural Resources and Regional Planning, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Beijing 100081, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Processes 2020, 8(10), 1275; https://doi.org/10.3390/pr8101275
Received: 9 August 2020 / Revised: 3 October 2020 / Accepted: 9 October 2020 / Published: 12 October 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biochar-Bioenergy Production Systems)
Paddy fields emit considerable amounts of methane (CH4), which is a potent greenhouse gas (GHG) and, thereby, causes significant environmental impacts, even as they generate wealth and jobs directly in the agricultural sector, and indirectly in the food-processing sector. Application of biochar in rice production systems will not just help to truncate their carbon footprints, but also add to the bottom-line. In this work, the authors have reviewed the literature on climate change, human health, and economic impacts of using organic residues to make biochar for the addition to croplands especially to rice paddy fields. Biochar-bioenergy systems range in scale from small household cook-stoves to large industrial pyrolysis plants. Biochar can be purveyed in different forms—raw, mineral-enriched, or blended with compost. The review of published environmental life cycle assessment (E-LCA) studies showed biochar has the potential to mitigate the carbon footprint of farming systems through a range of mechanisms. The most important factors are the stabilization of the carbon in the biochar and the generation of recoverable energy from pyrolysis gases produced as co-products with biochar as well as decreased fertiliser requirement and enhanced crop productivity. The quantitative review of E-LCA studies concluded that the carbon footprint of rice produced in biochar-treated soil was estimated to range from −1.43 to 2.79 kg CO2-eq per kg rice grain, implying a significant reduction relative to rice produced without a biochar soil amendment. The suppression of soil-methane emission due to the biochar addition is the dominant process with a negative contribution of 40–70% in the climate change mitigation of rice production. The review of the life cycle cost studies on biochar use as an additive in farmlands demonstrated that biochar application can be an economically-feasible approach in some conditions. Strategies like the subsidization of the initial biochar capital cost and assignment of a non-trivial price for carbon abatement in future pricing mechanisms will enhance the economic benefits for the rice farmers. View Full-Text
Keywords: rice cropping systems; biochar; pyrolysis gas; E-LCA; carbon abatement; human health; economic analysis rice cropping systems; biochar; pyrolysis gas; E-LCA; carbon abatement; human health; economic analysis
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MDPI and ACS Style

Mohammadi, A.; Khoshnevisan, B.; Venkatesh, G.; Eskandari, S. A Critical Review on Advancement and Challenges of Biochar Application in Paddy Fields: Environmental and Life Cycle Cost Analysis. Processes 2020, 8, 1275. https://doi.org/10.3390/pr8101275

AMA Style

Mohammadi A, Khoshnevisan B, Venkatesh G, Eskandari S. A Critical Review on Advancement and Challenges of Biochar Application in Paddy Fields: Environmental and Life Cycle Cost Analysis. Processes. 2020; 8(10):1275. https://doi.org/10.3390/pr8101275

Chicago/Turabian Style

Mohammadi, Ali, Benyamin Khoshnevisan, G. Venkatesh, and Samieh Eskandari. 2020. "A Critical Review on Advancement and Challenges of Biochar Application in Paddy Fields: Environmental and Life Cycle Cost Analysis" Processes 8, no. 10: 1275. https://doi.org/10.3390/pr8101275

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