Masto, R.E. and Sarkar, P. and George , Joshy and Ram, L.C. (2013) Biochar from water hyacinth (Eichornia crassipes) and its impact on soil biological activity. Catena, 111. pp. 64-71. ISSN 0341-8162

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Biochar is a useful material for carbon storage in soils. In this report, we explored conversion of water hyacinth (Eichornia crassipes) to biochar as a sustainableweed management strategy, as it also has potential for improving soil quality. Eichornia biomass samples were carbonised with limited supply of air in a muffle furnace at varied temperature (200 to 500 °C) and residence time (30 to 120 min). The biochar yield decreased with temperature and time, but biochar carbon stability increased with temperature. The optimum condition for obtaining maximum stable carbon in Eichornia biochar (EBC) is 300–350 °C temperature with 30–40 min residence time. TGA and FTIR studies showed that EBC has increased aromaticity and carbon stability compared to the starting biomass. Impact of the EBC on soil quality was studied using a red soil, from Dhanbad, India. Soil biochemical properties (dehydrogenase, fluorescein hydrolases, catalase, respiration, active microbial biomass) and maize seedling growth were used to investigate the effects of biochar addition to the soil. Maize seedling vigour index increased from 1.0 at control to 1.61 in 20 g/kg EBC treatment. The maximum increase in soil enzymes like acid phosphatase activity (+32%), alkaline phosphatase activity (+22.8%), and fluorescein hydrolases activity (50%) occurred at the EBC dose of 20 g/kg. EBC significantly enhanced the soil biological activity particularly the active microbial biomass which has increased by 3 times and soil respiration by 1.9 times. The study shows that the waste Eichornia weed could be gainfully utilised as a soil quality amendment material by converting it to EBC.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Biochar Eichornia Microbial biomass Soil enzyme Respiration
Subjects: Enviornmental Management
Depositing User: Dr. Satyendra Kumar Singh
Date Deposited: 26 Dec 2013 08:29
Last Modified: 26 Dec 2013 08:32

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