Characterization and carbon mineralization of biochars produced from different animal manures and plant residues

Qamar Sarfaraz, Leandro Silva, Gerson Drescher, Mohsin Zafar, Fabiane Severo, Allan Kokkonen, Gustavo Molin, Muhammad Shafi, Qudsia Shafique, Zakaria Solaiman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Renewing carbon and re-establishing it again in the soil is one of the valuable means to cope with climate change. There are many technologies for carbon apprehension and storage, but the most important one gaining attention is biochar technology. So, to carbonize and return different biological materials back to the farmland, a comprehensive study was proposed to characterize and evaluate the carbon (C) mineralization of biochars produced from different animal manures and crop straws. Six types of biochars were prepared from animal manures (poultry litter, swine and cattle manures) and crop straws (rice, soybean, and corn straws). The biochars were analyzed for chemical characteristics (elemental variables, thermal decomposition, cation exchange capacity, pH, electrical conductivity, specific surface area, and surface functional groups) and an incubation experiment was conducted to evaluate C mineralization from soil biochar mixture. Biochars produced from crop straws resulted to have more C as compared to the biochars produced from animal manures. Concentration of nitrogen was low, while P, K, Ca, and Mg were found reasonably higher in all biochars except swine manure biochar. The plant-derived biochars presented lower CO2 emissions when incorporated to soil at 1 and 2% of C. Varying but all the biochars prepared represented an alkaline pH. Biochars prepared from the crop straws resulted to have more C, alkaline in nature, high CEC, low CO2 emissions, can sequester C and more suitable to enhance the soil fertility in comparison to biochars produced from other sources.

Original languageEnglish
Article number955
JournalScientific Reports
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2020


Cite this