Thematic training material for the use of biochar as fertilizer has been published

Biochar is above 400°C low temperature reductive thermal processed carboniferous material with high carbon content, produced from cellulose based plant or bio-based by-products. This product is expressively made for soil functional applications, which does not have economical important level of nutrient content itself but acting as soil improver.

The word "biochar" is a combination of "bio-" as in "biomass" and "char" as in "charcoal". It is obtained by charring/pyrolysis of plant or bio-byproducts, via a process of heating it in the absence of oxygen. Different types of pyrolysis process used to make biochar between the material core temperature ranges of 400°C to 550°C, including slow pyrolysis, fast pyrolysis and flash pyrolysis. There are currently processes on the market which enable energy-neutral processing of pig manure or other manure to biochar as well. This is a stable recycled carboniferous material which is beneficial for the soil, containing d stable carbon which is applied to the soil. The following materials are not classified as biochar products and materials: charcoal, HTC hydrochar, torrified products, char products that have no EU/MS Authority permits for production and use as soil functionality biochar, char products that are not labelled as of EU/MS Authority permits and all materials which are not produced from biomass. The carbon content of pyrolysed chars fluctuates between 25% and 95% of the dry mass, dependent on the feedstock and process temperature used. For instance the C content of pyrolysed beech wood is around 85% while that of poultry manure is around 25%. There are two major elements impacting biochar quality: primarily the carbonisation engineering design performance quality to efficiently thermal process the material and the input feed material characteristics. Biochar is used for soil improver, usually between 5 tons/ha and 20 tons/ha to reach soil improver effects.

Examples for biochar product available on the NUTRIMAN Farmer Platform

The term “Terra-Preta biochar” is a specific quality product with unique characters, which is processed by the “3R” Recycle-Recover-Reuse high temperature pyrolysis technology and formulations.

Terra-Preta biochar product is plant biomass by-product based stabile carboniferous substance that is processed under true value reductive 3R thermal conditions. Wood biochar is used for soil improver to reach any soil improver effect and eco-safe carbon negative applications. Terra-Preta biochars are highly suitable for soil improver that is mainly based on high dose effects with high water retention capacity. This is very important as many plant crops are very sensitive to abiotic stress as too hot and dry weather, which climate change is already a reality of today.

This wood-based Terra-Preta biochar could be formulated to BIO-NPK-C in any compounds as of user/market demands for both organic and low input farming application cases. The product is a fully safe and innovative soil improver with primarily application in the horticultural organic/low input farming cultivations with combined beneficial and multiple effects. One of the properties of wood biochar is its high specific surface area that is influenced by the nature of the organic material and the conditions in which it is produced. It is a product rich in micro and macro-pores, which increase the water retention capacity, allow the development of microorganisms and retain nutrients, releasing them gradually over time.

Nutrient Content (N-P2O5-K2O %) of biochar: 1- 0.2 -0.5, TC:>80 %. Biochar is a soil improver with low NPK content and high carbon content, that application is aiming water and nutrient retention, carbon sequestration and other beneficial effects

Fields of application in agricultureID 1571 Terra Preta biochar product is used at 5-20 t/ha according to soil quality, season and crop uptake with application targets to improve the production of the horticultural cultivations, mainly in the field of fresh vegetables, permanent crops (fruit trees), grapes, rice and tobacco. The main application area is organic and low input farming but applicable in the conventional farming practices as well.

Benefits for farmersBiochar products have wide range and multiple beneficial effects as soil improver – amendment - conditioning agent, reducing soil bulk density, improving aeration and water - nutrient holding capacity of soils, while reducing nutrient leaching losses. The biochar is potentially ”carbon negative,” taking more carbon out of the atmosphere than it puts back into it, and mitigating climate change by storing plant derived carbon in the soil in a very stable form that resists long term decomposition.

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