Physicochemical Characteristics of Biochars Derived From Corn, Hardwood, Miscanthus, and Horse Manure Biomasses

Kurt Nagel, Nigel O. Hoilett, M. Abdul Mottaleb, Mohammed J. Meziani, Jonathan Wistrom, Michael Bellamy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations

Abstract

Biochar, a carbon-rich by-product of biomass pyrolysis, is widely recognized as a potential ingredient for soil amendment, fertility, and carbon sequestration owing to its favorable physicochemical properties. The objective of this study was to investigate the chemical and physical properties of biochars produced through pyrolysis at 450°C from agricultural residues available in Northwest Missouri, namely hardwood (HW), corn stover (CR), miscanthus (MS), and horse manure (HM). These properties were assessed through the analysis of pyrolysis yield, pH, volatile matter, fixed carbon, ash and carbon (C), hydrogen (H), sulfur (S), nitrogen (N) contents, trace metal concentrations, surface morphology, surface functional groups, bulk density, and water holding capacity. The biochars derived from HW, MS and CR materials showed high volatile-matter (33–42%), high fixed carbon contents (42–47%), very low ash contents (6–15%), and low bulk density (0.14–0.28 g cm−3) as compared to that of HM. A wide range of trace elements was observed in biochar samples with significant differences in concentrations. In addition, CR, HW and MS biochars displayed a disordered graphitic-like structure with well-developed pores and surface areas of 23, 70 and 90 m2/g respectively, and high water-holding capacity up to 750%, indicating their potential application as a soil amendment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)987-1002
Number of pages16
JournalCommunications in Soil Science and Plant Analysis
Volume50
Issue number8
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 28 2019

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Funding for the project was provided by Northwest Missouri State University through their Faculty Research Program.

Funding Information:
for the project was provided by Northwest Missouri State University through their Faculty Research Program.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019, © 2019 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.

Keywords

  • Biochar
  • Biomass
  • Physicochemical properties
  • Pyrolysis
  • Surface area

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Soil Science

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