• Period | 2012 - 2021
  • Country | Flere land
  • Market | Environmental engineering
  • Project Manager | Gerard Cornelissen
R&D program|

Biochar

Mitigating climate change and improving soil quality. Investigating the potential of biochar produced from organic waste to sequester carbon and improve soil quality and therefore livelihoods.

Generating PDF file

NGI and partners aim at investigating the potential of biochar produced from organic waste to sequester carbon and improve soil quality and therefore livelihoods. Through this work a very relevant win-win can be obtained; mitigation of climate change and simultaneously improving soil fertility.

NGI currently has biochar initiatives in Zambia, Indonesia/Malaysia, Nepal, Tanzania and Brazil, coupled to laboratory work in Norway. The Zambia initiative is financed by Norad and the Zambian Conservation Farming Unit, partly supported by a personal grant from the Norwegian Research Council. The Indonesia/Malaysia and Nepal projects are financed by the Norwegian Research Council. The Tanzania initiative is financed by the Nordic Climate Fund (NCF) and led by Norges Vel. The Brazil Project is financed by support provided by Norad.

Background

Biochar is charcoal from incomplete combustion of organic waste. When mixed into soil, biochar is stable, and thus its carbon is removed from the carbon cycle.

This mitigates climate change and transfers a waste product into a valuable resource. In addition energy is generated within the combustion process. The offset for climate is substantial; If all rice husk in, for example, Indonesia was converted to biochar and mixed into the soil, it would compensate the whole of Norwegian climate gas emissions. (around 50 million ton CO2 per year).

Due to its alkaline reaction, biochar also increases soil quality by reducing soil acidity. Especially in sandy soils, biochar can increase the water-holding capacity to alleviate water stress of plants. In addition, biochar can also reduce nutrient leaching, pesticide run off and organic pollutant bioavailability. All of these in combination can increase seed germination, plant growth and crop yield.

background pic

 

Norway and abroad

Biochar in soil: Mechanisms of Carbon sequestration, Soil quality improvement and Contaminant remediation 2012-2016 NRC Fri-Pro program ("excellent" proposal in EU-ERC Ideas program).

The core aim of the proposed research is to elucidate the mechanisms of biochar's potential to simultaneously sequester carbon, improve soil quality and chemically remediate polluted soils in diverse environments.

Unconventional, multidisciplinary approaches are proposed to unravel the mechanisms of biochar effects on soil quality: systematic lab and field studies on soil acidity, nutrient availability, GHG emissions, (de)nitrification, microbial populations, plant growth, biodiversity and pollutant availability will be undertaken.

Elements will include leaching tests, passive sampler sorption experiments, gas sorption experiments, and molecular modelling. A combination of environmental, soil, biogeochemical and climate science is envisioned.

A PhD candidate , Alfred Obia, has recently started his research at the University of Life Sciences (UMB) on the collaborative NGI/UMB biochar projects. The topic of his research will be the effect of biochar on soil physics (water repellency, soil aggregation) as well as mechanism of biochar effect on greenhouse gas emissions (nitrous oxide and methane).

main norway

Period |
Loading...

NGI and partners aim at investigating the potential of biochar produced from organic waste to sequester carbon and improve soil quality and therefore livelihoods. Through this work a very relevant win-win can be obtained; mitigation of climate change and simultaneously improving soil fertility.
 

NGI currently has biochar initiatives in Zambia, Indonesia/Malaysia, Nepal, Tanzania and Brazil, coupled to laboratory work in Norway. The Zambia initiative is financed by Norad and the Zambian Conservation Farming Unit, partly supported by a personal grant from the Norwegian Research Council. The Indonesia/Malaysia and Nepal projects are financed by the Norwegian Research Council. The Tanzania initiative is financed by the Nordic Climate Fund (NCF) and led by Norges Vel. The Brazil Project is financed by support provided by Norad.

Biochar links

International Biochar initiative  
Profile: Biochar Field Trials in Zambia, Indonesia, Malaysia and Nepal as well as New Biochar Characterization Research from a Team in Norway.

geoforskning.no - artikkel 7. mars 2012  
Nyheter - Klima og CO2 - Bærekraftig presisjonsjordbruk i Zambia.

forskning.no - artikkel 1. mars 2012  
Økte avlinger og bedre klima - Norske forskere har blandet inn biokull i jordsmonnet på seks ulike maisåkre i Zambia, og resultatene er oppsiktsvekkende: Avlingene ble opptil firedoblet, og klimagassutslippene ble redusert.

Aftenposten-artikkel 12. desember 2011  
Vil redusere klimagassutslipp med avgnagde maiskolber - Norske forskere oppnår oppløftende resultater i tre-i-ett-prosjekt som på samme tid hjelper folk ut av fattigdom, reduserer klimagassutslipp og avskoging.

The Norwegian Biochar Competence centre  
The center's goal is to investigate the biokulls potential as an agriculture and climate change initiatives and communicate this knowledge to relevant stakeholders and interested parties.

International biochar initiative  
IBI is a member-based organization with over 600 members from 34 countries. The mission of the IBI is to promote the development of biochar systems that follow Cradle to Cradle sustainability guidelines.

UK Biochar Research Centre  
UKBRC is undertaking disciplinary and interdisciplinary research on the role of biochar as a carbon storage technology, its production, properties and functions and its use as a soil amendment within agricultural systems.

Conservation Farming Unit (CFU)  
The development and promotion of Conservation Farming and Conservation Agriculture technologies for the small-scale farming community in Zambia.

UNDP/UN-REDD  
United Nations Collaborative Programme on Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation in Developing Countries.

Publications

  1. Schmidt, H. P., Pandit, B. H., Cornelissen, G., & Kammann, C. I. (2017). Biochar‐Based Fertilization with Liquid Nutrient Enrichment: 21 Field Trials Covering 13 Crop Species in Nepal. Land Degradation & Development. DOI: 10.1002/ldr.2761
    http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/ldr.2761/full
     
  2. Smebye, A. B., Sparrevik, M., Schmidt, H. P., & Cornelissen, G. (2017). Life-cycle assessment of biochar production systems in tropical rural areas: Comparing flame curtain kilns to other production methods. Biomass and Bioenergy, 101, 35-43.
    Open source: http://ac.els-cdn.com/S0961953417301356/1-s2.0-S0961953417301356-main.pdf?_tid=65619c96-991f-11e7-8a8e-00000aab0f02&acdnat=1505374758_924d324ce74156e10302fbd26bb00485
     
  3. Obia, A., Børresen, T., Martinsen, V., Cornelissen, G., & Mulder, J. (2017). Effect of biochar on crust formation, penetration resistance and hydraulic properties of two coarse-textured tropical soils. Soil and Tillage Research, 170, 114-121.
    http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0167198717300636
     
  4. Pandit, N. R., Mulder, J., Hale, S. E., Schmidt, H. P., & Cornelissen, G. (2017). Biochar from" Kon Tiki" flame curtain and other kilns: Effects of nutrient enrichment and kiln type on crop yield and soil chemistry. PloS one, 12(4), e0176378.
    Open source: http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article/file?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0176378&type=printable 
     
  5. Martinsen, V., Shitumbanuma, V., Mulder, J., Ritz, C., & Cornelissen, G. (2017). Effects of hand-hoe tilled conservation farming on soil quality and carbon stocks under on-farm conditions in Zambia. Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment, 241, 168-178.
    http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0167880917301317
  6. Cornelissen, G., Pandit, N. R., Taylor, P., Pandit, B. H., Sparrevik, M., & Schmidt, H. P. (2016). Emissions and Char Quality of Flame-Curtain" Kon Tiki" Kilns for Farmer-Scale Charcoal/Biochar Production. PloS one, 11(5), e0154617.
    Open source: http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article/file?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0154617&type=printable 
     
  7. Hilber, I., Bastos, A. C., Loureiro, S., Soja, G., Marsz, A., Cornelissen, G., & Bucheli, T. D. (2017). The different faces of biochar: contamination risk versus remediation tool. Journal of Environmental Engineering and Landscape Management, 1-19.
    http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.3846/16486897.2016.1254089 
     
  8. Obia, A., Børresen, T., Martinsen, V., Cornelissen, G., & Mulder, J. (2017). Vertical and lateral transport of biochar in light-textured tropical soils. Soil and Tillage Research, 165, 34-40.
    http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0167198716301374
     
  9. Kerré, B., Bravo, C. T., Leifeld, J., Cornelissen, G., & Smolders, E. (2016). Historical soil amendment with charcoal increases sequestration of non‐charcoal carbon: a comparison among methods of black carbon quantification. European Journal of Soil Science, 67(3), 324-331.
    http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/ejss.12338/full
     
  10. Mayer, P., Hilber, I., Gouliarmou, V., Hale, S. E., Cornelissen, G., & Bucheli, T. D. (2016). How to determine the environmental exposure of PAHs originating from biochar. Environmental science & technology, 50(4), 1941-1948.
    http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/acs.est.5b05603
     
  11. Manickam, T., Cornelissen, G., Bachmann, R. T., Ibrahim, I. Z., Mulder, J., & Hale, S. E. (2015). Biochar Application in Malaysian Sandy and Acid Sulfate Soils: Soil Amelioration Effects and Improved Crop Production over Two Cropping Seasons. Sustainability, 7(12), 16756-16770.
    Open access: http://www.mdpi.com/2071-1050/7/12/15842/htm
       
  12. Gerard Cornelissen, Morten Schaanning, Jonas S. Gunnarsson and Espen Eek. A large-scale field trial of thin-layer capping of PCDD/F-contaminated sediments: Sediment-to-water fluxes up to five years post-amendment. Integrated Environmental Assessment and Management. Accepted Article 2015, Brief Communication. DOI: 10.1002/ieam.1665
    http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/ieam.1665/full
     
  13. Hans Peter Schmidt, Bishnu Hari Pandit, Vegard Martinsen, Gerard Cornelissen, Pellegrino Conte, Claudia I. Kammann. Fourfold Increase in Pumpkin Yield in Response to Low-Dosage Root Zone Application of Urine-Enhanced Biochar to a Fertile Tropical Soil. Agriculture 2015, 5, 723-741.
    Open access: http://www.mdpi.com/2077-0472/5/3/723/htm
     
  14. Kupryianchyk Hale Rumpel Schmidt Rutherford Zimmerman Knicker Harvey Cornelissen. Sorption of hydrophobic organic compounds to a diverse suite of carbonaceous materials with emphasis on biochar. Chemosphere 2015.
    http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0045653515301429
     
  15. Obia, A., Mulder, J., Martinsen, V., Cornelissen, G., & Børresen, T. (2016). In situ effects of biochar on aggregation, water retention and porosity in light-textured tropical soils. Soil and Tillage Research, 155, 35-44.
    http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0167198715001798
     
  16. Hale, S.E.; Arp, H.P.H.; Kupryianchyk, D.; Cornelissen, G. A synthesis of parameters related to the binding of neutral organic compounds to charcoal. Chemosphere, 2016, 144, 65-74.
    http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0045653515300564
     
  17. Abiven, S., Hund, A., Martinsen, V., & Cornelissen, G. (2015). Biochar amendment increases maize root surface areas and branching: a shovelomics study in Zambia. Plant and Soil, 1-11.
    Open access: https://link.springer.com/content/pdf/10.1007%2Fs11104-015-2533-2.pdf
     
  18. Martinsen, V., Alling, V., Nurida, N. L., Mulder, J., Hale, S. E., Ritz, C., & Cornelissen, G. (2015). pH effects of the addition of three biochars to acidic Indonesian mineral soils. Soil Science and Plant Nutrition, (ahead-of-print), 1-14.
    http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/00380768.2015.1052985
     
  19. Smebye, A., Alling, V., Vogt, R. D., Gadmar, T. C., Mulder, J., Cornelissen, G., & Hale, S. E. (2015). Biochar amendment to soil changes dissolved organic matter content and composition. Chemosphere.
    http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0045653515004336
     
  20. Obia, A., Cornelissen, G., Mulder, J., & Dörsch, P. (2015). Suppression of N2O and NO from denitrification by biochar: the role of pH. PLOS One, in press.
    Open access: http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article/file?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0138781&type=printable
     
  21. Kupryianchyk, D., Hale, S. E., Breedveld, G. D., & Cornelissen, G. (2015). Treatment of sites contaminated with perfluorinated compounds using biochar amendment. Chemosphere.
    http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0045653515004312
     
  22. Hale, S.E.; Endo, S.; Arp, H.P.H.; Zimmerman, A.R.; Cornelissen, G. Sorption of the monoterpenes α-pinene and limonene to soil and carbonaceous geosorbents including biochar. Chemosphere 2015, 119, 881-888.
    http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S004565351401025X
     
  23. Patmont, C. R.; Ghosh, U.; LaRosa, P.; Menzie, C. A.; Luthy, R. G.; Greenberg, M. S.; Cornelissen, G.; Eek, E.; Collins, J.; Hull, J.; Hjartland, T.; Glaza, E.; Bleiler, J.; Quadrini, J. In situ sediment treatment using activated carbon: A demonstrated sediment cleanup technology. Integrated Environmental Assessment and Management. 2015
    http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/ieam.1589/full
     
  24. Kupryianchyk, D.; Rakowska, M. I.; Reible, D.; Harmsen, J.; Cornelissen, G.; van Veggel, M.; Hale, S. E.; Grotenhuis, T.; Koelmans, A. A. Positioning activated carbon amendment technologies in a novel framework for sediment management. Integrated Environmental Assessment and Management. 2015
    http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/ieam.1606/abstract
     
  25. Sparrevik, M., Adam, C., Martinsen, V., & Cornelissen, G. (2015). Emissions of gases and particles from charcoal/biochar production in rural areas using medium-sized traditional and improved “retort” kilns. Biomass and Bioenergy, 72, 65-73.
    http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0961953414005170
     
  26. Jeffery, S.; Bezemer, T. M.; Cornelissen, G.; Kuyper, T. W.; Lehmann, J.; Mommer, L.; Sohi, S. P.; Voorde, T. F.; Wardle, D. A.; Groenigen, J. W. The way forward in biochar research: targeting trade‐offs between the potential wins. GCB Bioenergy. 2015,  7 (1), 1-13.
    Open access: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/gcbb.12132/epdf
     
  27. Cornelissen G., Rutherford D.W., Arp H.P.H., Dörsch P., Kelly C.N., Rostad C.E. (2013) Sorption of Pure N2O to Biochars and Other Organic and Inorganic Materials under Anhydrous Conditions. Environmental Science & Technology 47:7704-7712.
    http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/es400676q
     
  28. Sparrevik M., Field J.L., Martinsen V., Breedveld G.D., Cornelissen G. (2013) Life Cycle Assessment to Evaluate the Environmental Impact of Biochar Implementation in Conservation Agriculture in Zambia. Environmental Science & Technology 47:1206-1215.
    http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/es405190q
     
  29. Cornelissen G., Martinsen V., Shitumbanuma V., Alling V., Breedveld G.D., Rutherford D.W., Sparrevik M., Hale S.E., Obia A., Mulder J. (2013) Biochar Effect on Maize Yield and Soil Characteristics in Five Conservation Farming Sites in Zambia. Agronomy 3:256-274.
    Open access: http://www.mdpi.com/2073-4395/3/2/256/htm
     
  30. Hale S.E., Jensen J., Jakob L., Oleszczuk P., Hartnik T., Henriksen T., Okkenhaug G., Martinsen V., Cornelissen G. (2013) Short-Term Effect of the Soil Amendments Activated Carbon, Biochar, and Ferric Oxyhydroxide on Bacteria and Invertebrates. Environmental Science & Technology 47:8674-8683.
    http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/es400917g
     
  31. Hale, S. E.; Alling, V.; Martinsen, V.; Mulder, J.; Breedveld, G. D.; Cornelissen, G. The sorption and desorption of phosphate-P, ammonium-N and nitrate-N in cacao shell and corn cob biochars. Chemosphere. 2013,  91 (11), 1612-1619.
    http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0045653513000052
     
  32. Hale, S. E.; Cornelissen, G.; Werner, D. Strong sorption and remediation of organic compounds in soils and sediments by (activated) biochar. In: Biochar for Environmental Management, 2nd edition, Johannes Lehmann, Ed., 2013.
    https://scholar.google.no/scholar?hl=no&q=Strong+sorption+and+remediation+of+organic+compounds+in+soils+and+sediments+by+(activated)+biochar.+&btnG=
     
  33. Oleszczuk, P.; Hale, S.; Lehmann, J.; Cornelissen, G., Activated Carbon and Biochar Amendments Decrease Porewater Concentrations of Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs) in Sewage Sludge. Bioresour. Technol. 2012,  111, 84-91.
    http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0960852412002593
     
  34. Oleszczuk, P.; Rycaj, M.; Lehmann, J.; Cornelissen, G. Influence of activatedcarbon and biochar on phytotoxicity of air-driedsewage sludges to Lepidium sativum. Ecotoxicology and Environmental Safety, 2012, 80, 321-326.
    http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0147651312001029
     
  35. Nsamba, H.K., Hale, S. , Cornelissen, G. and Bachmann, R. (2014). Sustainable Technologies for Small-Scale Biochar Production—A Review. Journal of Sustainable Bioenergy Systems, 5, 10-31.
    http://dspace3.mak.ac.ug/handle/10570/4370
     
  36. Nsamba, H.K., Hale, S. , Cornelissen, G. and Bachmann, R. (2014) Improved Gasification of Rice Husks for Optimized Biochar Production in a Top Lit Updraft Gasifier. Journal of Sustainable Bioenergy Systems, 4, 225-242.
    http://www.scirp.org/journal/PaperInformation.aspx?paperID=52197
     
  37. Alling, V.; Hale, S. E.; Martinsen, V.; Mulder, J.; Smebye, A.; Breedveld, G. D.; Cornelissen, G. The role of biochar in retaining nutrients in amended tropical soils. Journal of Plant Nutrition and Soil Science. 2014,  177 (5), 671-680.
    http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/jpln.201400109/abstract?deniedAccessCustomisedMessage=&userIsAuthenticated=false
     
  38. Martinsen, V.; Mulder, J.; Shitumbanuma, V.; Sparrevik, M.; Børresen, T.; Cornelissen, G. Farmer‐led maize biochar trials: Effect on crop yield and soil nutrients under conservation farming. Journal of Plant Nutrition and Soil Science. 2014,  177 (5), 681-695.
    http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/jpln.201300590/abstract?deniedAccessCustomisedMessage=&userIsAuthenticated=false
     
  39. Oleszczuk, P.; Anna Zielinska, A.; Cornelissen, G. Stabilization of sewage sludge by different biochars towards reducing freely dissolved polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) content. Bioresource Technology 156 (2014) 139–145.
    http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0960852414000108
     

Reports

Loading...

/ Contacts

Position |

E |

M |