Introduction of biochar and its impacts on soil: An overview
Ghulam Murtaza, Rose Mary, Zia Ullah, Abdul Razzaq, Md Jashim Uddin Bhuiyan, Tun Nile
Biochar is a type of black carbon produced from a carbonaceous material through the application of heat or chemicals (Lehmann, 2007b; Novak et al., 2009). Black carbon in soils can be a result of anthropogenic activities like fire pits or natural occurrences like volcanic activity or forest fires (Spokas et al., 2012). Biochar is differentiated from black carbon in that it is created with the intent to be used as a soil ameliorant (Barrow, 2012). Specifically, biochar is a stable substrate created from organic material that has been combusted under low or no oxygen conditions through the process of pyrolysis (Atkinson et al., 2010; Karhu et al., 2011). Biochar may increase soil pH, nutrient retention, cation exchange capacity (CEC), crop biomass, and many other variables important to soil quality and agriculture (Schnell et al., 2012; Xu et al., 2012) in addition to increased soil C sequestration (Lehmann, 2007a).