Use as a Soil Amendment

Produced from a variety of biomass and agricultural wastes, biochar has enormous potential for helping the environment and enhancing the agricultural economy. When used as a soil amendment, biochar has been shown in certain soils to boost soil fertility and improve soil quality by trapping moisture; attracting more beneficial fungi and microbes; improving cation exchange capacity; and helping the soil hold nutrients as well as absorbing heavy metals and pesticides. Therefore, biochar has the potentical to increase crop yields, reduce the amount of chemical fertilizers needed, and minimize the adverse environmental effects of agrochemicals on the environment. However, in other soils it has shown no effect or even a negative effect on productivity. Center scientists have conducted a number of studies using biochar as a soil amendment to test its ability to sorb nutrients and contaminants, increase plant growth, reduce fertilizer use, and more.