عنوان مقاله [English]
Introduction: Global warming is strongly linked to the increase in greenhouse gas emissions to the atmosphere. One of the most efficient ways to reduce the amount of atmospheric CO2 is to produce a lot of biomass and convert the biomass into a biochar. Biochar is an organic carbon-rich solid that can be obtained from pyrolysis of various organic materials. In other words, biochar can be produced via thermal degradation of many organic materials such as vegetation biomass, animal waste, sewage sludge, etc. in absence or lack of oxygen. Biochar is more resistant to microbial degradation than its feedstock and has a mean resistance time of several decades. In connection with the use of biochar, the most researches have been done in non-fertile and highly weathered soils. The most significant effects of biochar application, have been also observed in strongly acidic soils. In many arid and semi-arid regions of the world, including Iran, the soil organic matter content is low. The lack of organic resources and their instability in the soil are considered as some of the most important challenges in improving soil fertility and plant growth and yield. To improve soil fertility by using insufficient existing organic resources, stabilizing organic matter by converting it into the biochar can be a fundamental strategy. If this strategy is applied in our country with calcareous soils, it is necessary to study the effects of different biochars on calcareous soils from different aspects .In this regard, in the present study, the effect of three types of biochar in a calcareous soil has been investigated in comparison with their feedstock.
Materials and Methods: The effects of three types of biochar and their feedstock in a calcareous soil were investigated in a 6-months period of incubation. A completely randomized design in the form of split plot experiment, was carried out. The main plots were consisted of Control, Municipal Waste Compost (MWC) and its biochar (BMWC), Sewage Sludge (SS) and its biochar (BSS) and Cow Manure (CM) and its biochar (BCW). The sub plots consisted of five sampling times as 10, 30, 60, 120 and 180 days after the beginning of incubation. Application rate of each treatment per kilogram of soil was calculated based on having the same weight of organic carbon content. So that all treatments contained 2.2 grams of organic carbon. After mixing the treatment with soil and adjusting the humidity to the moisture content of the field capacity (FC), they were transferred to the cans (with 3 holes embedded on their doors) and kept at 25°C in the incubator. During the 6-month incubation period, soil moisture was set at FC levels at intervals of two to three days. Sub samples were taken at five times. After air drying the sub samples, the chemical parameters such as EC of 1:2.5 extract, pH of 1:2.5 suspension, available phosphorus (extracted with sodium bicarbonate 0.5N) and available potassium (extracted with ammonium acetate 1N) were measured. After data collection, statistical analysis was performed using SAS software.
Results and Discussion: The soil texture was sandy loam with 21% of clay, 7% of silt and 72% of sand. Soil CaCO3 content and soil organic carbon content was 16% and 0.23% respectively. Available forms of potassium and phosphorous in soil were 76 and 6.3 mg kg-1, respectively. According to the results, under the influence of each treatment, the variation of soil available P, showed a significant increasing trend with the time. Changes in available potassium and soil pH were not significant over the time. Variation of soil salinity with time although showed an increasing trend but was not significant. Comparison of the effects of treatments showed that both biochars and their feedstock could significantly increase the available phosphorus and potassium in soil. In this regard, the effect of biochars was more pronounced than their feedstock. Among the feedstock, ranking for enhancing effect on available P, was SS > CM > MWC and among the biochars, it was BCM > BSS > BMWC. Ranking for enhancing effect on available K, was CM > MWC > SS and BCM > BMWC > BSS among the feedstock and biochars respectively. The increase in available phosphorus and potassium due to the use of biochars were much higher than that of total phosphorus and total potassium added by biochars. The soil pH decreased as a result of the application of each treatment compared to control. In this regard, the significant difference between biochars and their feedstock were not seen. Probable presence of some amounts of pyrogenic carbon with biochars can be one of the reasons for soil pH reduction. Electrical conductivity of 1:2.5 extract of soil was increased by all treatments compared to the control. Except for BSS, two other biochars significantly increased soil salinity more than their feedstock. This increasing effect on soil salinity can be partially due to the existence of some amount of ash accompanied with biochars.
Conclusions: Application of biochars derived from cow manure, sewage sludge or municipal waste compost in this experimental conditions, led to a significant increase in the amount of available phosphorus and potassium in soil compared to control and their feedstock. Therefore, the use of these biochars can have a high potential for reducing the consumption of some chemical fertilizers. From this point of view, the order of the superiority of the coal was as follows: biochar of cow manure > biochar of municipal waste compost> biochar of sewage sludge. The conversion of any of these feedstock to biochar did not have an effect on their potential for soil pH changes. Except for biochar of sewage sludge, in two other biochar, the potential for increasing soil salinity was higher than the feedstock. Considering that the durability of biochar in soil is much higher than that of its feedstock, it is possible to use suitable biochars such as those examined in this study as a great potential for the sustainable improvement of soil fertility and for reducing the use of chemical fertilizers in our country's agriculture. This requires extensive field researches for other soil properties in different soil and water conditions, with different kinds of biochars and crops.