Biochar composition-dependent impacts on soil nutrient release, carbon mineralization, and potential environmental risk: A review
Ahmed Hamdy El-Nagga
07 December 2019
Biochar application has multiple benefits for soil fertility improvement and climate change mitigation. Biochar can act as a source of nutrients and sequester carbon (C) in the soil. The nutrient release capacity of biochar once applied to the soil varies with the composition of the biochar, which is a function of the feedstock type and pyrolysis condition used for biochar production. Biochar has a crucial influence on soil C mineralization, including its positive or negative priming of microorganisms involved in soil C cycling. However, in various cases, biochar application to the soil may cause negative effects in the soil and the wider environment. For instance, biochar may suppress soil nutrient availability and crop productivity due to the reduction in plant nutrient uptake or reduction in soil C mineralization. In this review, the linkage between biochar composition and function, evaluate the role biochar plays in soil fertility improvement and C sequestration, and discuss regulations and concerns regarding biochar's negative environmental impact are discussed. It is also summarized advancements in biochar production technologies and discuss future challenges and priorities in biochar research.