Pedosphere 26(2): 265--272, 2016
ISSN 1002-0160/CN 32-1315/P
©2016 Soil Science Society of China
Published by Elsevier B.V. and Science Press
Biochar effect on water evaporation and hydraulic conductivity in sandy soil
ZHANG Jun, CHEN Qun and YOU Chang-Fu
Key Laboratory for Thermal Science and Power Engineering of the Ministry of Education, Department of Thermal Engineering, Tsinghua University, Beijing 100084 (China)
      Biochar, as a kind of soil amendment, has important effects on soil water retention. In this research, 4 different kinds of biochars were used to investigate the influences of biochar addition on hydraulic properties and water evaporation in a sandy soil from Hebei Province, China. Biochar had strong absorption ability in the sandy soil. The ratio of water content in the biochar to that in the sandy soil was less than the corresponding ratio of porosity. Because of the different hydraulic properties between the sandy soil and the biochar, the saturated hydraulic conductivity of the sandy soil gradually decreased with the increasing biochar addition. The biochar with larger pore volume and average pore diameter had better water retention. More water was retained in the sandy soils when the biochar was added in a single layer, but not when the biochar was uniformly mixed with soil. Particle size of the added biochar had a significant influence on the hydraulic properties of the mixture of sand and biochar. Grinding the biochar into powder destroyed the pore structure, which simultaneously reduced the water absorption ability and hydraulic conductivity of the biochar. For this reason, adding biochar powder to the sandy soil would not decrease the water evaporation loss of the soil itself.
Key Words:  porosity, pore structure, pore volume, soil water retention, water holding capacity
Citation: Zhang, J., Chen, Q. and You, C. F. 2016. Biochar effect on water evaporation and hydraulic conductivity in sandy soil. Pedosphere. 26(2): 265-272.
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