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Biochar from sugarcane filtercake reduces soil CO2 emissions relative to raw residue and improves water retention and nutrient availability in a highly-weathered tropical soil.

Eykelbosh AJ, Johnson MS, Santos de Queiroz E, Dalmagro HJ, Guimarães Couto E - PLoS ONE (2014)

Bottom Line: Filtercake was pyrolyzed at 575°C for 3 h yielding a biochar with increased surface area and porosity compared to the raw filtercake.Furthermore, mixtures of 5 or 10% biochar (d.w.) in this highly weathered tropical soil significantly increased water retention within the plant-available range and also improved nutrient availability.Accordingly, application of sugarcane filtercake as biochar, with or without vinasse application, may better satisfy soil management objectives than filtercake applied to soils in its raw form, and may help to build soil carbon stocks in sugarcane-cultivating regions.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Institute for Resources, Environment, and Sustainability, University of British Columbia (UBC), Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.

ABSTRACT
In Brazil, the degradation of nutrient-poor Ferralsols limits productivity and drives agricultural expansion into pristine areas. However, returning agricultural residues to the soil in a stabilized form may offer opportunities for maintaining or improving soil quality, even under conditions that typically promote carbon loss. We examined the use of biochar made from filtercake (a byproduct of sugarcane processing) on the physicochemical properties of a cultivated tropical soil. Filtercake was pyrolyzed at 575°C for 3 h yielding a biochar with increased surface area and porosity compared to the raw filtercake. Filtercake biochar was primarily composed of aromatic carbon, with some residual cellulose and hemicellulose. In a three-week laboratory incubation, CO2 effluxes from a highly weathered Ferralsol soil amended with 5% biochar (dry weight, d.w.) were roughly four-fold higher than the soil-only control, but 23-fold lower than CO2 effluxes from soil amended with 5% (d.w.) raw filtercake. We also applied vinasse, a carbon-rich liquid waste from bioethanol production typically utilized as a fertilizer on sugarcane soils, to filtercake- and biochar-amended soils. Total CO2 efflux from the biochar-amended soil in response to vinasse application was only 5% of the efflux when vinasse was applied to soil amended with raw filtercake. Furthermore, mixtures of 5 or 10% biochar (d.w.) in this highly weathered tropical soil significantly increased water retention within the plant-available range and also improved nutrient availability. Accordingly, application of sugarcane filtercake as biochar, with or without vinasse application, may better satisfy soil management objectives than filtercake applied to soils in its raw form, and may help to build soil carbon stocks in sugarcane-cultivating regions.

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Total CO2 effluxes from soil and soil amended with filtercake, biochar and/or vinasse.Treatments included the control (soil, S), soil amended vinasse (SV), soil with 5% filtercake (d.w.) (SF), soil amended with filtercake and vinasse (SVF), soil amended with 5% biochar (d.w.) produced from filtercake (SB), and soil amended with biochar and vinasse (SVB). These data show the strong effect of applying filtercake as biochar on reducing CO2 effluxes (e.g., SF vs. SB and SFV vs. SBV).
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pone-0098523-g005: Total CO2 effluxes from soil and soil amended with filtercake, biochar and/or vinasse.Treatments included the control (soil, S), soil amended vinasse (SV), soil with 5% filtercake (d.w.) (SF), soil amended with filtercake and vinasse (SVF), soil amended with 5% biochar (d.w.) produced from filtercake (SB), and soil amended with biochar and vinasse (SVB). These data show the strong effect of applying filtercake as biochar on reducing CO2 effluxes (e.g., SF vs. SB and SFV vs. SBV).

Mentions: To examine the effect of sugarcane residues on soil respiration and carbon utilization, field-moist soil was mixed with filtercake or biochar and incubated for three weeks. During the first 7 days, a large initial efflux of CO2 was observed for soil amended with filtercake (SF), which peaked after two days; the soil plus biochar (SB) and soil-only treatment showed a more muted response that began to decrease immediately (Fig. 4). Respiration was also moisture-limited, as evidenced by brief increases in CO2 efflux that accompanied water or vinasse addition (gray arrows in Fig. 4). Among treatment groups, soil-only (S) incubations showed the lowest mean efflux, whereas biochar incubations (SB) were slightly but consistently higher over time. Vinasse application increased CO2 efflux in the SV and SVB incubations relative to the S and SB controls, respectively. After calculating total g CO2 emissions over the entire experimental period, we found that the addition of raw filtercake to soil (SF) led to a 100-fold increase in g CO2 emitted relative to the unamended soil (S) control. However, this large increase was greatly ameliorated by applying the filtercake as a pyrolyzed product (Fig. 5).


Biochar from sugarcane filtercake reduces soil CO2 emissions relative to raw residue and improves water retention and nutrient availability in a highly-weathered tropical soil.

Eykelbosh AJ, Johnson MS, Santos de Queiroz E, Dalmagro HJ, Guimarães Couto E - PLoS ONE (2014)

Total CO2 effluxes from soil and soil amended with filtercake, biochar and/or vinasse.Treatments included the control (soil, S), soil amended vinasse (SV), soil with 5% filtercake (d.w.) (SF), soil amended with filtercake and vinasse (SVF), soil amended with 5% biochar (d.w.) produced from filtercake (SB), and soil amended with biochar and vinasse (SVB). These data show the strong effect of applying filtercake as biochar on reducing CO2 effluxes (e.g., SF vs. SB and SFV vs. SBV).
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4045802&req=5

pone-0098523-g005: Total CO2 effluxes from soil and soil amended with filtercake, biochar and/or vinasse.Treatments included the control (soil, S), soil amended vinasse (SV), soil with 5% filtercake (d.w.) (SF), soil amended with filtercake and vinasse (SVF), soil amended with 5% biochar (d.w.) produced from filtercake (SB), and soil amended with biochar and vinasse (SVB). These data show the strong effect of applying filtercake as biochar on reducing CO2 effluxes (e.g., SF vs. SB and SFV vs. SBV).
Mentions: To examine the effect of sugarcane residues on soil respiration and carbon utilization, field-moist soil was mixed with filtercake or biochar and incubated for three weeks. During the first 7 days, a large initial efflux of CO2 was observed for soil amended with filtercake (SF), which peaked after two days; the soil plus biochar (SB) and soil-only treatment showed a more muted response that began to decrease immediately (Fig. 4). Respiration was also moisture-limited, as evidenced by brief increases in CO2 efflux that accompanied water or vinasse addition (gray arrows in Fig. 4). Among treatment groups, soil-only (S) incubations showed the lowest mean efflux, whereas biochar incubations (SB) were slightly but consistently higher over time. Vinasse application increased CO2 efflux in the SV and SVB incubations relative to the S and SB controls, respectively. After calculating total g CO2 emissions over the entire experimental period, we found that the addition of raw filtercake to soil (SF) led to a 100-fold increase in g CO2 emitted relative to the unamended soil (S) control. However, this large increase was greatly ameliorated by applying the filtercake as a pyrolyzed product (Fig. 5).

Bottom Line: Filtercake was pyrolyzed at 575°C for 3 h yielding a biochar with increased surface area and porosity compared to the raw filtercake.Furthermore, mixtures of 5 or 10% biochar (d.w.) in this highly weathered tropical soil significantly increased water retention within the plant-available range and also improved nutrient availability.Accordingly, application of sugarcane filtercake as biochar, with or without vinasse application, may better satisfy soil management objectives than filtercake applied to soils in its raw form, and may help to build soil carbon stocks in sugarcane-cultivating regions.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Institute for Resources, Environment, and Sustainability, University of British Columbia (UBC), Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.

ABSTRACT
In Brazil, the degradation of nutrient-poor Ferralsols limits productivity and drives agricultural expansion into pristine areas. However, returning agricultural residues to the soil in a stabilized form may offer opportunities for maintaining or improving soil quality, even under conditions that typically promote carbon loss. We examined the use of biochar made from filtercake (a byproduct of sugarcane processing) on the physicochemical properties of a cultivated tropical soil. Filtercake was pyrolyzed at 575°C for 3 h yielding a biochar with increased surface area and porosity compared to the raw filtercake. Filtercake biochar was primarily composed of aromatic carbon, with some residual cellulose and hemicellulose. In a three-week laboratory incubation, CO2 effluxes from a highly weathered Ferralsol soil amended with 5% biochar (dry weight, d.w.) were roughly four-fold higher than the soil-only control, but 23-fold lower than CO2 effluxes from soil amended with 5% (d.w.) raw filtercake. We also applied vinasse, a carbon-rich liquid waste from bioethanol production typically utilized as a fertilizer on sugarcane soils, to filtercake- and biochar-amended soils. Total CO2 efflux from the biochar-amended soil in response to vinasse application was only 5% of the efflux when vinasse was applied to soil amended with raw filtercake. Furthermore, mixtures of 5 or 10% biochar (d.w.) in this highly weathered tropical soil significantly increased water retention within the plant-available range and also improved nutrient availability. Accordingly, application of sugarcane filtercake as biochar, with or without vinasse application, may better satisfy soil management objectives than filtercake applied to soils in its raw form, and may help to build soil carbon stocks in sugarcane-cultivating regions.

Show MeSH