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Article

Pyrolysis Temperature Effects on Biochar–Water Interactions and Application for Improved Water Holding Capacity in Vineyard Soils

1
School of Chemical Engineering, The University of Adelaide, Adelaide, SA 5005, Australia
2
School of Agriculture, Food and Wine, The University of Adelaide, PMB 1 Glen Osmond, Adelaide, SA 5064, Australia
3
School of Physical Sciences, The University of Adelaide, Adelaide, SA 5005, Australia
4
Sustainability Research Centre, University of the Sunshine Coast, Sippy Downs, QLD 4556, Australia
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Soil Syst. 2019, 3(2), 27; https://doi.org/10.3390/soilsystems3020027
Received: 1 March 2019 / Revised: 3 April 2019 / Accepted: 3 April 2019 / Published: 9 April 2019
Grapevine cane and stalks were considered for pyrolysis at 400 to 700 °C to produce biochar for increasing the water holding capacity of vineyard soil. Feedstocks were pyrolysed using a continuous feed reactor and the resulting biochars characterized in terms of physico-chemical properties, including water retention performance. Hydrophobicity was found in biochar from both feedstocks pyrolysed at 400 °C, but not at higher temperatures. At low soil matric potential, the pyrolysis temperature was the defining variable in determining water retention whereas at higher pressures, the feedstock was the more important variable. Available water content (AWC) of biochar increased with increasing pyrolysis temperatures, with optimal results obtained from grapevine cane at a pyrolysis temperature of 700 °C, which had an AWC 23% higher than a typical clay type soil. Principal component analysis showed variability in water retention of these biochars to be closely associated with the zeta potential, as well as the carbon and ionic content, suggesting that surface charge and hydrophobicity are key properties determining water holding capacity. Pure biochars were superior in water retention performance to typical sandy soils, and so biochar amendment of these soil types may improve water holding (particularly at field capacity). Further study with pot or field trials is recommended to confirm water retention behaviour and assess the feasibility of application under different viticultural scenarios. View Full-Text
Keywords: soil water holding capacity; viticulture; biochar; pyrolysis; waste valorisation soil water holding capacity; viticulture; biochar; pyrolysis; waste valorisation
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MDPI and ACS Style

Marshall, J.; Muhlack, R.; Morton, B.J.; Dunnigan, L.; Chittleborough, D.; Kwong, C.W. Pyrolysis Temperature Effects on Biochar–Water Interactions and Application for Improved Water Holding Capacity in Vineyard Soils. Soil Syst. 2019, 3, 27. https://doi.org/10.3390/soilsystems3020027

AMA Style

Marshall J, Muhlack R, Morton BJ, Dunnigan L, Chittleborough D, Kwong CW. Pyrolysis Temperature Effects on Biochar–Water Interactions and Application for Improved Water Holding Capacity in Vineyard Soils. Soil Systems. 2019; 3(2):27. https://doi.org/10.3390/soilsystems3020027

Chicago/Turabian Style

Marshall, Jon, Richard Muhlack, Benjamin J. Morton, Lewis Dunnigan, David Chittleborough, and Chi W. Kwong 2019. "Pyrolysis Temperature Effects on Biochar–Water Interactions and Application for Improved Water Holding Capacity in Vineyard Soils" Soil Systems 3, no. 2: 27. https://doi.org/10.3390/soilsystems3020027

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