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PHOTO: Bob Cirino, University of Delaware into chlorophyllcarbohydratesphotosynthesis + water = electrolytes Nitrogen, Boron, Iodine Phosphorus, Sulfur,

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Presentation on theme: "PHOTO: Bob Cirino, University of Delaware into chlorophyllcarbohydratesphotosynthesis + water = electrolytes Nitrogen, Boron, Iodine Phosphorus, Sulfur,"— Presentation transcript:

1 PHOTO: Bob Cirino, University of Delaware into chlorophyllcarbohydratesphotosynthesis + water = electrolytes Nitrogen, Boron, Iodine Phosphorus, Sulfur, Chlorine Anions most Trace Elements Sodium, Potassium, Calcium, Magnesium Cations Energy Flow Biochar Properties

2 Cation adsorption (positive ions) Huge capacity: micropore surfaces Increase CEC sharply (+20-50) Increase stored growth potential Easily available forms Adsorbed on micropore surfaces Retain nutrients in root zone Simple ion exchange with roots Reduce leaching (40-80%) Enhance microbial activity Efficient nutrient use by plants Reduce fertillizer applications Enhance growth of crops Higher crop nutrient content Sorption to detoxify & remediate Heavy metals Organic molecules Store charge as ions (micropore adsorption) Store charge as electrons (carbon rings) Release charge to power growth Regulate charge level & polarity Source of charge? A nions Phosphorus, Sulfur, Chlorine Nitrogen, Boron, Iodine C ations Sodium, Potassium, Calcium, Magnesium most Trace Elements Cation Exchange Capacity Soil ClassCEC Sandy3-5 Silt Loam10-15 Heavy Clay20-25 Corn YieldCEC 80 bu5 100 bu7 120 bu9 140 bu bu bu16 Soil as battery Where are the electrons? Electron adsorption capacity Soil conducivity Cations add charge to battery Anions carry charge around in cell & plant Acid = H+ charge = electron deficient Charge carriers: electrons = negative Cellulose & micropores: charge conductor Carbon ring & electron cloud: capacitor Ions, membranes & biofilms: circuit board Capacity to contain electrons Ability to pass electric current Cation Exchange Capacity (CEC) C C C C C C C C C C C C −e−e −e−e PARADIGM SHIFT Biochar Properties corncob battery biochar LED bulb super- capacitor lit by

3 Anion adsorption (negative ions) Huge capacity: micropores Unique ability among soil components Increase AEC tremendously (+10–20) Form nutrient reservoirs in soil matrix Nitrogen, Phosphorus & Microbes Nitrogen-cycle bacteria Free-living nitrogen-fixing bacteria Phosphorus, fungi & biochar Challenges to handle living cultures Probiotic: create microbe-friendly soil Reduce non-point pollution Curb eutrophication C ation E xchange C apacity Sodium, Potassium, Calcium, Magnesium most Trace Elements A nion E xchange C apacity Phosphorus, Sulfur, Chlorine Nitrogen, Boron, Iodine Nitrogen Phosphorus Major non-point water pollutant Half of US Hydrogen production Nitrogen into Amino Acids into Proteins Reduce nitrate leaching 40-80% Reduce NO x, NH 4 out-gassing: adsorption Toxic Algae Blooms Lake Erie 2013 Phosphate & Nitrate Pollution “Charcoal surpasses all other substances in the power [to] condense ammonia within its pores… absorbs 90 times its volume of ammonia gas, which separates by simple moistening by water.” − Justus Liebig, father of chemical fertilizers Peak Phosphorus: supply limited Major non-point water pollutant Phosphorus availability in soil UVM Burlington & Lake Champlain Phosphorus traps vs. broadcast Biochar & Phosphorus Study Quantify Phosphorus adsorption & availability: 1) corn stover (Zea mays L.) 2) pine wood residue (Pinus ponderosa) 3) switchgrass (Panicum virgatum L.). three very different physical & chemical properties Phosphorus adsorption corn stover highest - avg: 79%) switchgrass - avg: 76%) pine wood residue - avg: 31%) Available Phosphorus : % P adsorbed (bicarbonate extract) pine wood - avg: 43% highest switchgrass - avg: 33% corn stover - avg: 25% Biochar added to acid soil (at 40 g/kg = 4%) increased equilibrium P (reduced adsorption) increased available adsorbed P < Alkali biochar in calcareous soil (corn stover & switchgrass) significantly increased P adsorption decreased adsorbed P availability PARADIGM SHIFT Anion Exchange Capacity (AEC) Biochar Properties

4 What [ in the H ] is pH? C ation E xchange C apacity A nion E xchange C apacity Nitrogen, Boron, Iodine Phosphorus, Sulfur, Chlorine Sodium, Potassium, Calcium, Magnesium most Trace Elements The Neutral Zone −1 −1−2 −3−4 Acid (H+)Alkali (OH-) xtremeverystrongmild mildstrongveryxtreme 6. 4 i d e a l p l a n t s a p h u m a n b l o o d Electric balance between + & − Similar to voltage in electricity Balance: Acid ( H+ ) & Alkali (OH-) Balance: The Neutral Zone Balance: Cations (+) Soil nutrients, plant sap, human blood = Anions (−) pH Biochar Properties What is pH?

5 pH Slow Pyrolysis Fast Pyrolysis Gasification char made with steam at 475°C char made without steam at 500°C char produced with steam at 700°C tend to be acid (carboxyl) tend to be very basic make good lime agents tend to be slightly basic Biochar Properties C ation E xchange C apacity A nion E xchange C apacity Nitrogen, Boron, Iodine Phosphorus, Sulfur, Chlorine Sodium, Potassium, Calcium, Magnesium most Trace Elements Varies Biochar is pH buffer Stable pH: prime function of biology Adsorbs excess ions Flywheel effect for ion balance Balanced electric charges Store, distribute & share energy What is pH? Electric balance between + & − Similar to voltage in electricity Balance: Acid (H+) + Alkali (OH-) Balance: The Neutral Zone Balance: Cations (+) = Anions (−) Soil nutrients, plant sap, human blood with feedstock with production process with post-production process

6 Moiste n Fresh char is bone dry and sterile Hydrophobic, due to tar & resin residues Excess moisture is also trouble Micronize Maximize surface area Rice grain size, down to dust Grind, crush, screen Weedy vs. woody feedstocks Water-soluble, low-weight carbons Mineralize Huge internal adsorption capacity High efficiency delivery of nutrients Charge with sea minerals (trace elements) Major Cations (Ca, Mg, K) & Anions (N, P, S) Microbial Inoculation Encourage colonization by microbes Simplest method: blend with compost Commercial cultures: BD preps, EM, SCD BioAg, Trichoderma, Mycorrhizae….. Moisten The 4M’s Steps to Prepare BiocharUsing Biochar in Soil Micronize Mineralize Microbial Inoculation


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