Evaluation of the effect of biochar on greenhouse gas emissions from slurry storage and slurry amended arable soil
Biochar has been identified as a potentially useful soil amendment for agriculture due to its stable nature which allows it to sequester carbon (C) for timescales of up to hundreds of years. Biochar application also offers other benefits to the soil environment including the potential to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, particularly nitrous oxide (N2O) through disruption of the soil nitrogen cycle. This can also lead to reduced volatilisation of soil ammonium (NH4+-N) and leaching of nitrate (NO3+-N). Although the impact of biochar on processes in the soil nitrogen cycle have been investigated in laboratory scale experiments, little work has been carried out to assess whether the observed results can be scaled up to the field environment and what viable strategies are available for application of biochar. To address these limitations we undertook a field experiment where we combined biochar with slurry and stored it for 50 days before application to arable land, accounting also for effects on GHG emissions during slurry storage demonstrated in other laboratory experiments. Post-application monitoring of soil GHG emissions was undertaken to assess whether any biochar-driven GHG mitigation processes could continue in the soil environment as well as in storage, therefore allowing GHG emissions from two stages of the biochar and slurry “lifecycle” to be measured. Potential agronomic improvements through application of biochar-amended slurry to arable systems was also assessed.
Other Titles/Title of Conference
20th World Congress of Soil Science, Jeju, South Korea
International Union of Soil Sciences