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Solid Earth An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Volume 5, issue 1
Solid Earth, 5, 585-594, 2014
https://doi.org/10.5194/se-5-585-2014
© Author(s) 2014. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

Special issue: Environmental benefits of biochar

Solid Earth, 5, 585-594, 2014
https://doi.org/10.5194/se-5-585-2014
© Author(s) 2014. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

Research article 30 Jun 2014

Research article | 30 Jun 2014

Factors driving the carbon mineralization priming effect in a sandy loam soil amended with different types of biochar

P. Cely1, A. M. Tarquis2,3, J. Paz-Ferreiro1, A. Méndez4, and G. Gascó1 P. Cely et al.
  • 1Departamento de Edafología. E.T.S.I. Agrónomos. Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, Ciudad Universitaria, 28004 Madrid, Spain
  • 2CEIGRAM, Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, Ciudad Universitaria, 28004 Madrid, Spain
  • 3Departamento de Matemática aplicada a la Ingeniería Agronómica. Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, Ciudad Universitaria, 28040 Madrid, Spain
  • 4Departamento de Ingeniería de Materiales. E.T.S.I. Minas. Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, C/Ríos Rosas no. 21, 28003 Madrid, Spain

Abstract. The effect of biochar on the soil carbon mineralization priming effect depends on the characteristics of the raw materials, production method and pyrolysis conditions. The goal of the present study is to evaluate the impact of three different types of biochar on physicochemical properties and CO2 emissions of a sandy loam soil. For this purpose, soil was amended with three different biochars (BI, BII and BIII) at a rate of 8 wt% and soil CO2 emissions were measured for 45 days. BI is produced from a mixed wood sieving from wood chip production, BII from a mixture of paper sludge and wheat husks and BIII from sewage sludge. Cumulative CO2 emissions of biochars, soil and amended soil were well fit to a simple first-order kinetic model with correlation coefficients (r2) greater than 0.97. Results show a negative priming effect in the soil after addition of BI and a positive priming effect in the case of soil amended with BII and BIII. These results can be related to different biochar properties such as carbon content, carbon aromaticity, volatile matter, fixed carbon, easily oxidized organic carbon or metal and phenolic substance content in addition to surface biochar properties. Three biochars increased the values of soil field capacity and wilting point, while effects over pH and cation exchange capacity were not observed.

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