Algal biochar: effects and applications

Bird, Michael I., Wurster, Christopher M., de Paula Silva, Pedro H., Paul, Nicholas A., and de Nys, Rocky (2012) Algal biochar: effects and applications. GCB Bioenergy, 4 (1). pp. 61-69.

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Algae represent a promising target for the generation of bioenergy through slow pyrolysis, leading to the production of biochar. This study reports experiments conducted on the production of freshwater and saltwater macroalgal biochar in pilot-scale quantities, the physical and chemical characteristics of the biochars, and their impact on plant growth. The biochars are low in carbon (C) content, surface area and cation exchange capacity, while being high in ash and nutrients. Trace element analysis demonstrates that macroalgal biochar produced from unpolluted water does not contain toxic trace elements in excess of levels mandated for unrestricted use as a biosolids amendment to soils. Pot trials conducted using a C and nutrient-poor soil, without and with additional fertilizer, demonstrate dramatic increases between 15 and 32 times, respectively, in plant growth rate for biochar treatments compared with the no biochar controls, with additional smaller increases when fertilizer was added. Pot trials conducted using a relatively fertile agricultural soil showed smaller but significant impacts of biochar amendment over the controls.

Item ID: 18985
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1757-1707
Keywords: biofuels; bioremediation; carbon sequestration; green tide algae; macroalgae; seaweed; soil carbon
Date Deposited: 02 Feb 2012 06:33
FoR Codes: 10 TECHNOLOGY > 1001 Agricultural Biotechnology > 100199 Agricultural Biotechnology not elsewhere classified @ 100%
SEO Codes: 82 PLANT PRODUCTION AND PLANT PRIMARY PRODUCTS > 8298 Environmentally Sustainable Plant Production > 829899 Environmentally Sustainable Plant Production not elsewhere classified @ 50%
96 ENVIRONMENT > 9612 Rehabilitation of Degraded Environments > 961205 Rehabilitation of Degraded Mining Environments @ 50%
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