Special Issue "The Efficiency of Biochar and Bioslurry toward Sustainable Agriculture and Circular Economy"

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050). This special issue belongs to the section "Sustainable Agriculture".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 October 2021.

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Keiji Jindo
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Agrosystems Research, Wageningen University & Research, P.O. Box 16, 6700 AA Wageningen, The Netherlands
Interests: organic matter, biochar, smallholder farming, precision agriculture, carbon sequestration
Mr. Hans Langeveld
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Biomass research, 6702 AA Wageningen, The Netherlands
Interests: nitrogen management, GHG emissions, organic matter, biogas, biomass, land use
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

There is an urgent need to develop organic waste treatment systems that serve the circular economy and fit in a climate abatement agenda, redefining the role of waste management and sustainable agriculture in our society. Biochar and biogas play a crucial role in this process, providing a range of services to agricultural and environmental domains.

Biochar is used for carbon sequestration, reduction of greenhouse-gas emissions and removal of heavy metals. Bioslurry (or digestate) is a liquid organic fertilizer, that can be used to enhance soil structure, provide valuable nutrients in practical ratios and support livestock diets while killing harmful micro-organisms. Together, biochar and bioslurry can play an important role in the development and deployment of effective carbon-negative routes in food as well as energy production. To date, however, information regarding the beneficial roles of the biochar and bioslurry still is quite limited and pitfalls of their uses within the framework of the circular economy across different sectors (agriculture, industry, energy, hydrology, etc.) need further attention.

This Special Issue explores the benefits of biochar and bioslurry application, evaluating their potential role in a sustainable agriculture and the circular economy at large. It aims to bring together a wide range of contributions from researchers working in diverse fields including agronomy, microbiology, chemistry, environmental sciences, economics, and policy sciences. We welcome original scientific articles related to a wide range of biochar and bioslurry use from all parts of the world.

Dr. Keiji Jindo
Mr. Johannes W.A. Langeveld
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Sustainability is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1900 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • digestate
  • pyrolysis
  • soil
  • greenhouse gas emissions
  • water
  • contaminant
  • energy
  • microbial fuel cell

Published Papers (2 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle
One Year Residual Effect of Sewage Sludge Biochar as a Soil Amendment for Maize in a Brazilian Oxisol
Sustainability 2021, 13(4), 2226; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13042226 - 19 Feb 2021
Viewed by 333
Abstract
The thermochemical transformation of sewage sludge (SS) to biochar (SSB) allows exploring the advantages of SS and reduces possible environmental risks associated with its use. Recent studies have shown that SSB is nutrient-rich and may replace mineral fertilizers. However, there are still some [...] Read more.
The thermochemical transformation of sewage sludge (SS) to biochar (SSB) allows exploring the advantages of SS and reduces possible environmental risks associated with its use. Recent studies have shown that SSB is nutrient-rich and may replace mineral fertilizers. However, there are still some questions to be answered about the residual effect of SSB on soil nutrient availability. In addition, most of the previous studies were conducted in pots or soil incubations. Therefore, the residual effect of SSB on soil properties in field conditions remains unclear. This study shows the results of nutrient availability and uptake as well as maize yield the third cropping of a three-year consecutive corn cropping system. The following treatments were compared: (1) control: without mineral fertilizer and biochar; (2) NPK: with mineral fertilizer; (3) SSB300: with biochar produced at 300 °C; (4) SSB300+NPK; (5) SSB500: with biochar produced at 500 °C; and (6) SSB500+NPK. The results show that SSB has one-year residual effects on soil nutrient availability and nutrient uptake by maize, especially phosphorus. Available soil P contents in plots that received SSB were around five times higher than the control and the NPK treatments. Pyrolysis temperature influenced the SSB residual effect on corn yield. One year after suspending the SSB application, SSB300 increased corn yield at the same level as the application of NPK. SSB300 stood out and promoted higher grain yield in the residual period (8524 kg ha−1) than SSB500 (6886 kg ha−1). Regardless of pyrolysis temperature, biochar boosted the mineral fertilizer effect resulting in higher grain yield than the exclusive application of NPK. Additional long-term studies should be focused on SSB as a slow-release phosphate fertilizer. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
The Effect of Untreated and Acidified Biochar on NH3-N Emissions from Slurry Digestate
Sustainability 2021, 13(2), 837; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13020837 - 15 Jan 2021
Viewed by 632
Abstract
The development of new options to reduce ammonia (NH3) emissions during slurry manure storage is still required due to the shortcomings of the current technologies. This study aimed to identify to what extent untreated and acid-treated biochar (BC) and pure acids [...] Read more.
The development of new options to reduce ammonia (NH3) emissions during slurry manure storage is still required due to the shortcomings of the current technologies. This study aimed to identify to what extent untreated and acid-treated biochar (BC) and pure acids could reduce ammonia nitrogen (NH3-N) volatilization and increase nitrogen retention in slurry digestate. The NH3-N emissions were effectively reduced by H2SO4 and H3PO4 acids, untreated BC when applied mixed into the digestate and acidified BC treatments applied on the surface of the digestate. Acidification increased the specific surface area and number of O-containing surface functional groups of the BC and decreased the pH, alkalinity and the hydrophobic property. Compared to untreated BC, the ability of BC to reduce NH3-N emissions was greater when it was acidified with H2SO4 and applied to the digestate surface. The effect on digestate pH of acidified BC when applied mixed into the digestate was not different, except for H2O2, from that of the addition of the respective pure acid to digestate. The total N concentration in digestate was not significantly correlated with NH3-N emissions. These findings indicate that acidified BC could be an effective conditioner to reduce NH3-N emissions from slurry digestate storage. Full article
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