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High nitrogen supply alleviates reduced sugarbeet growth caused by hydrochar application Heinz-Josef Koch & Ana Gajić Institute of Sugar Beet Research,

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Presentation on theme: "High nitrogen supply alleviates reduced sugarbeet growth caused by hydrochar application Heinz-Josef Koch & Ana Gajić Institute of Sugar Beet Research,"— Presentation transcript:

1 High nitrogen supply alleviates reduced sugarbeet growth caused by hydrochar application Heinz-Josef Koch & Ana Gajić Institute of Sugar Beet Research, Goettingen, Germany 2012 US Biochar Conference – Sonoma (CA),

2 2 Introduction | Material and Methods | Results and Discussion | Summary and Outlook  In Germany, increasing cultivation of energy crops and use of crop residues for energy production has considerably reduced the amount of crop residue left on arable fields  The German Federal Soil Protection Act stipulates that "the site-specific soil humus content must be preserved by the agricultural practices applied, in particular by an adequate supply of organic matter...“  To prevent humus depletion of arable fields, alternative practices and concepts must be developed (e.g. biochar, hydrochar)

3 3  F. Bergius (1913) – HydroThermal Carbonization  Biomass → hydrochar + process water + gas + heat  Processing conditions: aqueous solution (acidic), °C, h  Carbon conversion efficiency ~ 90% Hydrochar (HTC-biochar)  Lignite alike product Energy production  Large specific surface area Nutrient storage and buffering?  Porous structure Water storage?  Decomposition stability Carbon sequestration? HTC Hydrochar nanoparticles Introduction | Material and Methods | Results and Discussion | Summary and Outlook

4 4 The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of hydrochar on sugar beet growth and mineral N (N min ) availability on typical German arable soils. Introduction | Material and Methods | Results and Discussion | Summary and Outlook Hydrochar made from Plant available nutrients Other properties N NO3, NH4 P CAL K CAL Mg CaCl2 CtCt NtNt C:NpHEC [g kg -1 ] [%] [ ] [mS cm -1 ] Beet pulp Draff** * VDLUFA - horticultural substrates **Spent grains Hydrochar production conditions: 12 h, 190 °C

5 5 Introduction | Material and Methods | Results and Discussion | Summary and Outlook Site Goettingen, 2010 Field trial (51 N, 10 E)  Luvisol (loessial), temperate climate (620 mm, ~9 °C)  2 factorial (split-plot, 4 replicates)  1. Hydrochar (H) Control, Beet pulp, Draff  2. Nitrogen fertilization (N) 0, 50, 100, 150 kg N ha -1  Hydrochar 10 Mg ha -1 (dm)  Test crop: Sugar beet (April – October)

6 6 Beet pulp / N 0 DC 10 cotyledon DC leaves DC leaves Introduction | Material and Methods | Results and Discussion | Summary and Outlook May: Hydrochar effect on seedling emergence and growth Growth stage: Hydrochar

7 7 June harvest: Hydrochar effect on sugar beet yield and N content Introduction | Material and Methods | Results and Discussion | Summary and Outlook Hydrochar

8 8 Hydrochar effect on Soil N min (N-NO 3 + N-NH 4 ) Introduction | Material and Methods | Results and Discussion | Summary and Outlook andLeaf Area Index

9 9 October harvest: Hydrochar effect on Beet N Uptake Introduction | Material and Methods | Results and Discussion | Summary and Outlook Hydrochar Hydrochar andWhite Sugar Yield

10 10 IfZ Goettingen, 2011 Greenhouse trial  Cambisol (100 mg N kg -1 ), 1 kg soil pot -1  Block design (4 replicates)  1. Hydrochar (H) Control, Beet pulp, Draff  2. Nitrogen fertilization (N) 0, 100, 200 mg N kg -1 soil  Hydrochar 30 Mg ha -1 (dm)  Test crop: Sugar beet Introduction | Material and Methods | Results and Discussion | Summary and Outlook 4 weeks of growing, 20 °C, % WHC max

11 11 Beet pulp Beer draff Beet pulp Draff Control Whole plants harvested after 4 weeks of growing Hydrochar effect on single plant yield and N content Introduction | Material and Methods | Results and Discussion | Summary and Outlook Hydrochar

12 12 Hydrochar effects (10-30 Mg ha -1 ) on Early sugar beet growth:  Seedling emergence and establishment was not affected  Seedling growth was significantly reduced at low N supply  Increased N supply partly (field) or completely (greenhouse) compensated for stunted early growth (toxic compounds?)  Early growth reduction was more severe with hydrochar from beet pulp (C/N 38) compared to draff (C/N 16) Final sugar beet yield and quality:  No yield decrease due to hydrochar, when N supply was adequate  Beet pulp hydrochar (but not draff) reduced yield at low N supply  Draff hydrochar slightly increased N uptake at low N supply Introduction | Material and Methods | Results and Discussion | Summary and Outlook N immobi- lization → Re-mineralization of N

13 13  Mean residence time (microcosm study): Wheat straw (1 y) < Hydrochar (5-8 y) <<< Biochar (4x10 12 y)  Hydrochar (30 Mg ha -1 ) effects on soil properties:  pH and CEC  Aggregate stability  Water holding capacity  Open questions  Optimum HTC conditions: feedstock, temperature, time?  Optimum crop and time of application?  Phytotoxicity?  C balance, energy balance, GHG emission? Introduction | Material and Methods | Results and Discussion | Summary and Outlook

14 14 Thanks for Your attention! Gajić, A. & Koch H.-J. (2012): Sugar Beet (Beta vulgaris L.) Growth Reduction Caused by Hydrochar Is Related to Nitrogen Supply. J Environ Qual doi: /jeq


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