Biochar stability assessment by incubation and modelling

Methods, drawbacks and recommendations

Lijian Leng, Xinwei Xu, Liang Wei, Liangliang Fan, Huajun Huang, Jianan Li, Qian Lu, Jun Li, Joe Zhou

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

    2 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Biochar produced from pyrolysis of biomass is a candidate with great potential for climate change mitigation by carbon sequestration and reduction of greenhouse gases (GHG) emission in soil. Its potential depends considerably on biochar properties. Biochar stability or biochar C recalcitrance is decisive to its carbon storage/sequestration potential in soil. Three groups of methods including: I) biochar C structure or composition analyses, II) biochar oxidation resistance determination, and III) biochar persistence assessment by incubation & modelling, have been developed for evaluation of biochar stability. Amongst, incubation & modelling is the most commonly used one and is the basis of the other two assessment methods. However, the strategies for incubation experiment designing and data modelling significantly influence the biochar stability results. Drastic differences were observed for stability results obtained from different studies partly because of the large flexibility of the incubation & modelling method. Biased biochar stability would be obtained if the method was used improperly. The present review aims to provide comprehensive information on method strategies used for incubation and modelling, followed by discussions on the key issues such as what kind of biochar to use, how the experiment should be designed, how to determine biochar C mineralization, how the mineralization data should be expressed, and what model should be used, for an accurate biochar stability evaluation. In general, incubating biochar at long-term duration, modelling incubation data with double-exponential model, using C isotopic technology for CO 2 evolution determination with C mineralization data express as percentage of total organic carbon mineralized, applying biochar in the field are favorable to biochar stability assessment. Other strategies such as the use of standard (reference) biochar materials may be effective to improve the assessment.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)11-23
    Number of pages13
    JournalScience of the Total Environment
    Volume664
    DOIs
    StatePublished - May 10 2019

    Fingerprint

    incubation
    modeling
    mineralization
    carbon sequestration
    Data structures
    Soils
    assessment method
    Carbon
    Oxidation resistance
    pyrolysis
    total organic carbon
    Organic carbon
    recommendation
    method
    biochar
    Gas emissions
    Greenhouse gases
    Climate change
    greenhouse gas
    persistence

    Keywords

    • Bio-char
    • Carbon dioxide
    • Charcoal
    • Mean residence time
    • Pyrogenic organic carbon
    • Soil organic matter

    PubMed: MeSH publication types

    • Journal Article
    • Review

    Cite this

    Biochar stability assessment by incubation and modelling : Methods, drawbacks and recommendations. / Leng, Lijian; Xu, Xinwei; Wei, Liang; Fan, Liangliang; Huang, Huajun; Li, Jianan; Lu, Qian; Li, Jun; Zhou, Joe.

    In: Science of the Total Environment, Vol. 664, 10.05.2019, p. 11-23.

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

    Leng, Lijian ; Xu, Xinwei ; Wei, Liang ; Fan, Liangliang ; Huang, Huajun ; Li, Jianan ; Lu, Qian ; Li, Jun ; Zhou, Joe. / Biochar stability assessment by incubation and modelling : Methods, drawbacks and recommendations. In: Science of the Total Environment. 2019 ; Vol. 664. pp. 11-23.
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    abstract = "Biochar produced from pyrolysis of biomass is a candidate with great potential for climate change mitigation by carbon sequestration and reduction of greenhouse gases (GHG) emission in soil. Its potential depends considerably on biochar properties. Biochar stability or biochar C recalcitrance is decisive to its carbon storage/sequestration potential in soil. Three groups of methods including: I) biochar C structure or composition analyses, II) biochar oxidation resistance determination, and III) biochar persistence assessment by incubation & modelling, have been developed for evaluation of biochar stability. Amongst, incubation & modelling is the most commonly used one and is the basis of the other two assessment methods. However, the strategies for incubation experiment designing and data modelling significantly influence the biochar stability results. Drastic differences were observed for stability results obtained from different studies partly because of the large flexibility of the incubation & modelling method. Biased biochar stability would be obtained if the method was used improperly. The present review aims to provide comprehensive information on method strategies used for incubation and modelling, followed by discussions on the key issues such as what kind of biochar to use, how the experiment should be designed, how to determine biochar C mineralization, how the mineralization data should be expressed, and what model should be used, for an accurate biochar stability evaluation. In general, incubating biochar at long-term duration, modelling incubation data with double-exponential model, using C isotopic technology for CO 2 evolution determination with C mineralization data express as percentage of total organic carbon mineralized, applying biochar in the field are favorable to biochar stability assessment. Other strategies such as the use of standard (reference) biochar materials may be effective to improve the assessment.",
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    AU - Xu, Xinwei

    AU - Wei, Liang

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    AU - Huang, Huajun

    AU - Li, Jianan

    AU - Lu, Qian

    AU - Li, Jun

    AU - Zhou, Joe

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    AB - Biochar produced from pyrolysis of biomass is a candidate with great potential for climate change mitigation by carbon sequestration and reduction of greenhouse gases (GHG) emission in soil. Its potential depends considerably on biochar properties. Biochar stability or biochar C recalcitrance is decisive to its carbon storage/sequestration potential in soil. Three groups of methods including: I) biochar C structure or composition analyses, II) biochar oxidation resistance determination, and III) biochar persistence assessment by incubation & modelling, have been developed for evaluation of biochar stability. Amongst, incubation & modelling is the most commonly used one and is the basis of the other two assessment methods. However, the strategies for incubation experiment designing and data modelling significantly influence the biochar stability results. Drastic differences were observed for stability results obtained from different studies partly because of the large flexibility of the incubation & modelling method. Biased biochar stability would be obtained if the method was used improperly. The present review aims to provide comprehensive information on method strategies used for incubation and modelling, followed by discussions on the key issues such as what kind of biochar to use, how the experiment should be designed, how to determine biochar C mineralization, how the mineralization data should be expressed, and what model should be used, for an accurate biochar stability evaluation. In general, incubating biochar at long-term duration, modelling incubation data with double-exponential model, using C isotopic technology for CO 2 evolution determination with C mineralization data express as percentage of total organic carbon mineralized, applying biochar in the field are favorable to biochar stability assessment. Other strategies such as the use of standard (reference) biochar materials may be effective to improve the assessment.

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    KW - Mean residence time

    KW - Pyrogenic organic carbon

    KW - Soil organic matter

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