Restoration of soil quality using biochar and brown coal waste: A review
Thornton, Steven F.
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CitationCollins Amoah-Antwi, Jolanta Kwiatkowska-Malina, Steven F. Thornton, Owen Fenton, Grzegorz Malina, Ewa Szara, Restoration of soil quality using biochar and brown coal waste: A review, Science of The Total Environment, Volume 722, 2020, 137852, ISSN 0048-9697, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2020.137852.
AbstractSoils in intensively farmed areas of the world are prone to degradation. Amendment of such soils with organic waste materials attempts to restore soil quality. Organic amendments are heterogeneous media, which are a source of soil organic matter (SOM) and maintain or restore chemical, physical, biological and ecological functionality. More specifically, an increase in SOM can influence the soil microclimate, microbial community structure, biomass turnover and mineralisation of nutrients. The search is on-going for locally sourced alternatives as many forms may be costly or geographically limiting. The present review focuses on a heterogeneous group of amendments i.e. biochar and brown coal waste (BCW). Both biochar (made from a variety of feedstocks at various temperatures) and BCW (mined extensively) are options that have worldwide applicability.These materials have very high C contents and soil stability, therefore can be used for long-term C sequestration to abate greenhouse gas emissions and as conditioners to improve soil quality. However, biochar is costly for large-scale applications and BCW may have inherently high moisture and pollutant contents. Future studies should focus on the long-term application of these amendments and determine the physicochemical properties of the soil, bioavailability of soil contaminants, diversity of soil communities and productivity of selected crops. Furthermore, the development of in situ technologies to lower production and processing costs of biochar and BCW would improve their economic feasibility for large-scale application.
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