Pedosphere 27(4): 645--661, 2017
ISSN 1002-0160/CN 32-1315/P
©2017 Soil Science Society of China
Published by Elsevier B.V. and Science Press
Potential benefits of biochar in agricultural soils: A review
DING Yang1,2, LIU Yunguo1,2, LIU Shaobo3,4, HUANG Xixian1,2, LI Zhongwu1,2, TAN Xiaofei1,2, ZENG Guangming1,2 and ZHOU Lu5
1College of Environmental Science and Engineering, Hunan University, Changsha 410082 (China)
2Key Laboratory of Environmental Biology and Pollution Control (Hunan University), Ministry of Education, Changsha 410082 (China)
3School of Architecture and Art, Central South University, Changsha 410082 (China)
4 School of Metallurgy and Environment, Central South University, Changsha 410083 (China)
5School of Hydraulic Engineering, Changsha University of Science and Technology, Changsha410004 (China)
      Soil degradation, characterized by declines in nutrient status and simultaneous accumulation of pesticide residues, is a major problem affecting agricultural ecosystems. Previous studies indicate that biochar application to soil has promise as a practical method to alleviate these pressures: increasing crop yield and enhancing pesticide degradation. Here, we review the roles of biochar in both chemical and biological promotion of pesticide degradation and the potential benefits of biochar relating to the efficiency of fertilizer use, availability of nutrients, and nutrient exchange. Biochar typically has a high surface area featuring many functional groups, a high cation exchange capacity, and high stability. Major factors that impact on the nutrient retention characteristics of biochar (e.g., feedstock, pyrolysis temperature, and application rate) are also discussed herein. Nonetheless, more studies of the long-term impacts on soil properties from biochar addition are still required before it can be possible to accurately quantify the sustainability of this approach to sequester carbon and restore soil function.
Key Words:  chemical degradation, biodegradation, crop yield, feedstock, nutrient, pesticide, pollution, pyrolysis temperature
Citation: Ding, Y., Liu, Y., Liu, S., Huang, X., Li, Z., Tan, X., Zeng, G. and Zhou, L. 2017. Potential benefits of biochar in agricultural soils: A review. Pedosphere. 27(4): 645-661.
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