National Projects
Project duration: 
Jan 2013 to Dec 2015

Biochar is a carbon-rich product resulting from thermal decomposition of biomass under a low oxygen atmosphere, a process otherwise termed pyrolysis, whose use is destined as a soil amendment.


 Some studies have shown that biochar improves soil fertility, combining its positive influence on physicochemical properties, not only improving water retention, aggregation and permeability, but also due to its high surface charge density it also permits the retention of many nutrients, thus improving crop productivity. With regards to biological effects, biochar can stimulate soil microbial activity, potentially acting as a refuge for these organisms. Due to the recalcitrance of their carbon, biochar production has been proposed as a technology to include in strategies focused on climate change mitigation.
In this project we hope to study possible effects of biochar on organic matter dynamics and the metabolism of soil food webs, which play a crucial role in soil fertility, while potentially simultaneously contributing to carbon sequestration. Specifically, we propose to study: their effects on biological activity, microbial diversity and on the production of a barley crop: to compare the contribution of two types of biochar in C sequestration and the dynamics of native organic mater in a vineyard soil; and to study the mineralization potential of biochar by soil trophic networks and its possible priming effect on the native organic matter.
Photo top-right corner: (C) Copyright David Andersson, ECOERA AB
  • biochar