Biochar for Environmental Management : Science, Technology and Implementation book cover
2nd Edition

Biochar for Environmental Management
Science, Technology and Implementation

ISBN 9780415704151
Published April 16, 2015 by Routledge
976 Pages 33 Color & 200 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

Biochar is the carbon-rich product which occurs when biomass (such as wood, manure or crop residues) is heated in a closed container with little or no available air. It can be used to improve agriculture and the environment in several ways, and its persistence in soil and nutrient-retention properties make it an ideal soil amendment to increase crop yields. In addition to this, biochar sequestration, in combination with sustainable biomass production, can be carbon-negative and therefore used to actively remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, with potentially major implications for mitigation of climate change. Biochar production can also be combined with bioenergy production through the use of the gases that are given off in the pyrolysis process. 

The first edition of this book, published in 2009, was the definitive work reviewing the expanding research literature on this topic. Since then, the rate of research activity has increased at least ten-fold, and biochar products are now commercially available as soil amendments. This second edition includes not only substantially updated chapters, but also additional chapters: on environmental risk assessment; on new uses of biochar in composting and potting mixes; a new and controversial field of studying the effects of biochar on soil carbon cycles; on traditional use with very recent discoveries that biochar was used not only in the Amazon but also in Africa and Asia; on changes in water availability and soil water dynamics; and on sustainability and certification. The book therefore continues to represent the most comprehensive compilation of current knowledge on all aspects of biochar.

Table of Contents

1. Biochar for Environmental Management: An Introduction 

Johannes Lehmann and Stephen Joseph 

2. Traditional Use of Biochar 

Katja Wiedner and Bruno Glaser 

3. Fundamentals of Biochar Production 

Robert Brown, Bernardo del Campo, Akwasi A. Boateng, Manuel Garcia-Perez and Ondřej Mašek 

4. Biochar Production Technology 

Akwasi A. Boateng, Manuel Garcia-Perez, Ondřej Mašek, Robert Brown and Bernardo del Campo 

5. Characteristics of Biochar: Physical and Structural Properties 

Chee H. Chia, Adriana Downie and Paul Munroe 

6. Characteristics of Biochar: Macro-molecular Properties 

Markus Kleber, William Hockaday and Peter S. Nico 

7. Biochar Elemental Composition and Factors Influencing Nutrient Retention 

James A. Ippolito, Kurt A. Spokas, Jeffrey. M. Novak, Rick. D. Lentz and Keri B. Cantrell 

8. A Biochar Classification System and Associated Test Methods 

Marta Camps-Arbestain, James E. Amonette, Balwant Singh, Tao Wang and Hans Peter Schmidt 

9. Evolution of Biochar Properties in Soil 

Joseph J. Pignatello, Minori Uchimiya, Samuel Abiven and Michael W.I. Schmidt 

10. Persistence of Biochar in Soil 

Johannes Lehmann, Samuel Abiven, Markus Kleber, Genxing Pan, BP Singh, Saran Sohi and Andy Zimmerman 

11. Movement of Biochar in the Environment 

Cornelia Rumpel, Jens Leifeld, Cristina Santin and Stefan Doerr 

12. Biochar Effects on Crop Yield 

Simon Jeffery, Diego Abalos, Kurt Spokas and Frank G.A. Verheijen 

13. Biochar Effects on the Abundance, Activity and Diversity of the Soil Biota 

Janice E. Thies, Matthias C. Rillig and Ellen R. Graber 

14. Biochar Effects on Plant Ecophysiology 

Claudia Kammann and Ellen Graber 

15. Biochar Effects on Soil Nutrient Transformations 

Thomas H. DeLuca, Michael J.Gundale, M. Derek MacKenzie and Davey L. Jones 

16. Priming Effects in Biochar-amended Soils: Implications of Biochar-soil Organic Matter Interactions for Carbon Storage 

Thea Whitman, Bhupinder Pal Singh and Andrew Zimmerman 

17. Biochar Effects on Nitrous Oxide and Methane Emissions from Soil 

Lukas Van Zwieten, Claudia Kammann, MariaLuz Cayuela, Bhupinder Pal Singh, Stephen Joseph, Stephen Kimber, Scott Donne, Tim Clough and Kurt Spokas 

18. Biochar Effects on Nutrient Leaching 

David Laird and Natalia Rogovska 

19. Biochar Effects on Soil Hydrology 

Caroline A. Masiello, Brandon Dugan, Catherine E. Brewer, Kurt Spokas, Jeffrey M. Novak, Zuolin Liu and Giovambattista Sorrenti 

20. Biochar and Heavy Metals 

Luke Beesley, Eduardo Moreno, Guido Fellet, Leonidas Carrijo and Tom Sizmur 

21. Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons and Polychlorinated Aromatic Compounds in Biochar 

Thomas D. Bucheli, Isabel Hilber and Hans-Peter Schmidt 

22. Sorption and Remediation of Organic Compounds in Soils and Sediments by (Activated) Biochar 

Sarah E. Hale, Gerard Cornelissen and David Werner 

23. Biochar and Retention/Efficacy of Pesticides 

Ellen R. Graber and Rai Kookana 

24. Test Procedures for Biochar Analysis in Soils 

Michael Bird 

25. Biochar as an Additive to Compost and Growing Media 

Christoph Steiner, Miguel A. Sánchez-Monedero and Claudia Kammann 

26. Biochar Systems and System Fit 

Saran Sohi, John McDonagh, Jeff Novak, Weixiang Wu and Luciana-Maria Miu 

27. Biochar, Carbon Accounting and Climate Change 

Annette Cowie, Dominic Woolf, John Gaunt, Miguel Brandão and Ruy Anaya de la Rosa 

28. Biochar Sustainability and Certification 

Frank G.A. Verheijen, Ana Catarina Bastos, Hans Peter Schmidt, Miguel Brandão and Simon Jeffery 

29. Economic Evaluation of Biochar Systems: Current Evidence and Challenges 

Simon Shackley, Abbie Clare, Stephen Joseph, Bruce McCarl and Hans-Peter Schmidt 

30. Socio-economic Feasibility, Implementation and Evaluation of Small Scale Biochar Projects 

Stephen Joseph, Mai Lan Anh, Abbie Clare and Simon Shackley 

31. Commercialization of the Biochar Industry 

Michael Sesko, David Shearer and Gregory Stangl

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Johannes Lehmann is professor of soil biogeochemistry and soil fertility management at Cornell University, USA, Co-founder and Chair of the Board of the International Biochar Initiative, member of the U.S. Departments of Agriculture and Energy Biomass R&D committee and editor-in-chief of Nutrient Cycling in Agroecosystems

Stephen Joseph is a visiting professor in the School of Materials Science and Engineering at the University of New South Wales, Australia, and Co-founder of the International Biochar Initiative.


'With its careful evaluation of every aspect of biochar, this book represents a cornerstone of our future global sustainability. I’m convinced that its message is every bit as important as that of Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring, and potentially every bit as politically powerful as Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth. If it finds a wide enough readership, it will change our world forever, and very much for the better.' – Tim Flannery (Melbourne, August 2014).