Researchers at the RIKEN Center for Sustainable Resource Science in Japan have shown that torrefied biomass can improve the quality of poor soil found in arid regions. Published in Scientific Reports, the study showed that adding torrefied biomass to poor soil from Botswana increased water retention in the soil as well as - the amount of plant growth.

When high temperatures and the absence of oxygen are used to bring about the decomposition of biomass residue from agricultural products such as grains, the result is a charcoal-rich substance called biochar. Torrefied biomass - sometimes called bio-coal - is a type of biochar made at relatively lower temperatures that has recently received attention as a pretreatment method for biomass utilization.

In order to characterize the biological properties of soil treated with biochar, the team incorporated torrefied plant residual biomass from the biodiesel crop Jatropha curcas into aridisol, a type of soil found in arid regions such as Botswana, and compared several soil properties with samples that had not been treated.
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Source: RIKEN Center for Sustainable Resource Science

    17-06-2016 00:00