National Projects
Project duration: 
Jan 2011 to Dec 2013

Biochar is a carbon-rich product obtained by thermal decomposition of biomass at relatively low temperatures (<700ºC) and low oxygen concentration, in a process known as pyrolysis.


Due to its high cation and water retention properties and its high content in recalcitrant carbon, biochar has proposed to be useful in several current environmental problems such as the low fertility of soils, clean energy production, organic waste managementj and climate change mitigation.
However, there are still concerns about this technology, such as the potential competition for biomass with agriculture, the economic feasibility, and the ecological risks of its application to soils.
In this research proposal, we aim to provide the first data on the effects of biochar amendments on soil biology, using mainly invertebrates as indicators, both in laboratory and field conditions, as well as a glimpse of the mechanisms underlying the observed effects. In addition, we aim to report the range of biochar amendment rates that provide benefits without environmental risks. Furthermore, we will assess the combined influence of microorganisms, soil fauna and biochar on soil aggregation as a mechanism of biochar incorporation into soil structure. Finally, we also aim to validate the usefulness of soil bioassays for biochar quality assessment monitoring and extrapolation to field conditions, which could be useful in future regulations regarding these materials.
  • Ús del biochar en sòl com a estratègia de mitigació del canvi climàtic i el seu potencial impacte ecotoxicològic