Skip to main content

Biochar Usage: Pros and Cons

Ippolito, J.A. and Lentz, R.D. and Novak M, J and Spokas, K.A. and Collins, H.P. and Streubel, J (2011) Biochar Usage: Pros and Cons. Western Nutrient Management Conference Proceedings, March 3-4, 2011, Reno, Nevada. 9:93-98.

[img] PDF

Download (482kB)


Soil fertility benefits of charcoal application have been reported as early as 1847 indicating that plant nutrients are sorbed within charcoal pores. The use of biomass-derived black carbon or biochar, the solid byproduct from the pyrolysis processing of any organic feedstock, has garnered recent attention as a potential vehicle for carbon sequestration and a beneficial soil conditioner. However, most of the past biochar research has focused on improving the physico-chemical properties of tropical (i.e. terra preta) and highly weathered soils, while little research has focused on improving arid or semi-arid soils of the USA. Here, we present an overview of the potential benefits and drawbacks of biochar usage in western US agro-ecosystems based on research performed at multiple USDA-Agricultural Research Service locations (Washington, Idaho, Minnesota, and South Carolina).

Item Type: Article
NWISRL Publication Number: 1484
Subjects: Soil > Soil quality
Water > Water quality > Nutrients
Depositing User: Users 6 not found.
Date Deposited: 03 Mar 2014 22:03
Last Modified: 03 Mar 2014 22:03
Item ID: 1522