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Environmental Applications of Biochar

Call for Papers

Biochar, a by-product of biomass pyrolysis, has been suggested as a mean to combat climate change and at the same time to achieve agricultural and environmental benefits. As one possible source of the components with high aromatic structure in soil humus, biochar is of great importance in increasing soil carbon storage and improving soil nutrient retention and nutrient availability and in maintaining the balance of soil ecosystem. Recent advances in biochar research have shown that it can reduce methane and nitrous oxide emissions from the soil, both known for their global warming potential, whereas at the same time enhance plant growth and root development through improvements in soil properties, such as aeration, water retention, and pH. Additionally, it can be used in soil remediation as an adsorbent of heavy metals and other contaminants. Ongoing research is focused on addressing issues such as the optimal application rates and methods, the effect of biochar additions on the accumulation of carbon over the long term, the interaction of biochar with soil microbial communities and the long-term fate, and stability and toxicity in soil. We invite investigators to contribute original research articles as well as review articles that will explore as many aspects as possible of the environmental applications of biochar.

Potential topics include, but are not limited to:

  • Next generation biochars modified to adsorb known and emerging contaminants in soil
  • New, robust methods of biochar application in various soils and crops, to avoid run-off and other technical drawbacks
  • Long-term stability and potential risks
  • Environmental applications of biochars produced through nonconventional pyrolysis methods, e.g., hydrothermal carbonization
  • Economics of biochar: commercialization and current and future markets
Manuscript DueFriday, 15 August 2014
First Round of ReviewsFriday, 7 November 2014
Publication DateFriday, 2 January 2015

Lead Guest Editor

Guest Editors

  • Gabriel Gascó, Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, Madrid, Spain
  • Etelvino H. Novotny, Embrapa Solos Rua Jardim Botânico, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
  • Jan Mumme, Leibniz-Institut für Agrartechnik Potsdam-Bornim e.V., Potsdam, Germany