Production of biochars from agricultural wastes reduces significantly the volume and weight of the wastes, and hence, it can be considered as a promising means for managing the agricultural wastes. Biochar has received great interest during the last few years, due to its beneficial role to mitigate CO2 emission through enhancing the long-term carbon sequestration. The effects of biochar on soil properties vary widely, depending on the characteristics of soil and the biochar. Most types of biochars are of alkaline nature and of high C content. Addition of biochar to the soil can improve the cation exchange capacity enrich soil with the nutrients and enhance the microbial growth, and improve some soil physical properties such as water retention and aggregation. For contamination control, biochars have proven to be a suitable tool for controlling the contaminants in the environment. The high surface area, porous structure, alkaline nature, and the presence of functional groups characterized the biochar as alternative option for the remediation of heavy metal contaminated waters and soils. However, there is a lack of knowledge regarding the effects of biochar in the presence of mineral and/or organic fertilizers on the plant growth and nutrient transformation in soils. In addition, biochar is successfully used for treating the acid soils; therefore, future studies are needed to investigate the neutralization of alkaline performance of biochar to be used safely in alkaline soils.
Part of the book: Engineering Applications of Biochar