Thursday, August 8, 2013

What motivates me to study "biochar"

Motivation
To apply biochar into soil is being considered as a means to sequester carbon (C) while concurrently improving soil functions.  Biochar research is in its relatively on its first steps and as such, substantially more data is required before robust predictions can be made regarding the effects of biochar application to soils, across a range of soils, climatic, and land management factors. 


Concomitant with carbon sequestration, biochar is intended to improve soil properties and soil functioning relevant to agronomic and environmental performance. Hypothesized mechanisms were suggested but are not very clearly, for potential improvement water and nutrient retention (as well as improved soil structure, drainage) would be mainly enhanced. 



Considering the multi-dimensional and crosscutting nature of biochar, an imminent need is anticipated for a strong and balanced scientific review to effectively inform policy development on the current state of knowledge with reference to biochar application to soils.



Objectives

To realize an investigation of the short-term effects related to slow pyrolysis biochar amendments on soil fertility, nutrient dynamics, plant growth and greenhouse gas emissions. 


Furthermore, we plan to determine biochar characteristics such as biodegradability, porosity and cation exchange capacity, produced from agricultural waste (Figure 1).



1. Investigate the effect on soil chemistry, growth and nutrient uptake of edible crops.

2. Elucidate the soil chemical mechanisms behind the positive and/or negative plant growth responses to the addition of biochar.
3. Determine the optimum application level of biochar to the clayey ultisoil soil to obtain improved soil fertility and maximum plant growth. 
4. Determine the potential of biochar to interact with municipal solid waste incineration bottom ash.
5. Assess polyphenol release from a bottom ash-biochar carbon matrix and its effect in plant development. 
6. Determine best pyrolyzation temperatures in biochar production through soil applications and results in plant growth.




Figure 1. Represents a continuing sequence of stages in the biochar process in a circular flow where feedstock selection for biochar production is the first and most important stage in the process.


The research flowchart as shown in Figure 2 explains the overall process of the biochar study step by step.


Firstly, the research concept is defined. After the areas of study are identified, the research topic is appropriately chosen in order to cover the entire content of the study and the motivation is established. The hypotheses is established in this research based on the investigation structure.  The research tries to determine the objectives in the next procedure.

Secondly, the literature review look back on the concepts, descriptions and investigations previously realized.

Thirdly, this part is the process of the experimental design. The study collects data from four different experiments realized together with the different biochars produced and or used for the tests. These biochars went through a process of characterization during each experiment.

Fourthly, the data from field and net house trials are analyzed using different statistical programs.

Fifthly, the characterization results and statistical analyses are explained.

Sixthly, the discussion part provides more details to explain and support the findings of our research.

Finally, the conclusions summarize the main findings of the research based on the multiple analyses performed to the biochars produced and supports the data analyzed with strong statements after data analysis obtained from the field applications and crop production improvement.


Figure 2. Conceptual framework of the research.

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