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Biochar Characteristics and its Effect on Soil Physico-chemical Properties

Department of Agronomy, School of Agriculture, Lovely Professional University, Phagwara-144 411 (Punjab), India
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(Received :August 28; 2018; Accepted : October 26, 2018)


Biochar amendment to agricultural soils has been promoted for use in agricultural systems, both to mitigate global warming by increasing long-term soil carbon (C) sequestration and to enhance soil fertility and crop productivity. Biochar has the power to form farm-based renewable energy in a climate-friendly manner and provides a good soil amendment to increase crop productivity. Biochar is the result of turning biomass into gas or oil with the priority of adding it to crop production systems as a soil amendment. Balancing an optimum level of soil organic matter and biological cycling of nutrients is critical to the success of any soil management. Some other amendments like cover crops, mulches, compost, or manure additions have been used successfully, supplying nutrients to crops, providing quick nutrient cycling through microbial biomass, and helping to keep applied mineral fertilizers better. The advantage of these amendments is for short time because decomposition and mineralization rates are high and C is not retained in the soil for long time. Organic amendments therefore, have to be applied each year to maintain soil productivity. Management of black carbon (C) increasingly referred to as bio–char-may overcome some of those limitations and provide an additional soil management option. This paper will review the current research and issues surrounding the production and use of this emerging biomass energy technology (biochar) and explore how biochar can contribute to sustainable agriculture.
Key words : Biochar, soil amendment, black carbon, sustainable agriculture