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Biochar: A valuable soil amendment

Ippolito, J.A. and Lentz, R.D. and Novak M, J (2009) Biochar: A valuable soil amendment. Nutrient Management Newsletter for Idaho. 2(2):1-2. University of Idaho Extension.


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Biochar is a fine-grained, carbon enriched product created when biomass (e.g. wood waste, manures) is bumed at relatively low temperatures (less than 1300°F) and under an anoxic (lack of oxygen) atmosphere. The process itself is called pyrolysis and is similar to the production of charcoal, yet the intent is generally to create biofuel with the concomitant production of the secondary product, biochar. Benefits of biochar addition to soils are recognized. Arnazonian dark earth soils, also known as terra preta, are charcoalenriched soils containing a high nutrient content from reduced leaching, likely a response of human-induced biochar accumulation. These soils, dating to between 450 BC and 950 AD, are unique to the Amazon region, as most tropical soils are highly weathered and thus generally infertile.

Item Type: Article
NWISRL Publication Number: 1327
Subjects: Soil
Soil > Amendments
Depositing User: Michelle Wayment
Date Deposited: 17 Dec 2009 16:44
Last Modified: 14 Oct 2016 14:53
Item ID: 1350

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