Agronomy and Soil Science of Biochar


Studies In Progress Using Akha TLUD Biochar

IMPORTANT:  The abstracts below provide readers with descriptions of research in progress.  The results presented are harbingers of how the research may turn out.  Agronomic field research, in particular, should to be repeated over more than one year, or location, to draw reliable conclusions.  The findings below are tentative, until they are formally published.


“Biochar for Food Security, Livelihood and Combating Climate Change”

A seminar held at the Bangladesh Agricultural Research Council, Dhaka, July 2018.
Abstracts of  Oral Papers

Download Seminar Proceedings (PDF, 1.6 Mb): summaries of the presentations, and a list of participants.

Haque, Md. Mojammel; Morshed, Md. Monjur; Alam, Mohammad Saiful; Kamal, Mohammed Zia Uddin; Rahman, G,K,M, Mustafizur; Rahman, Md. Mizanur. 2018. Impact of Biochar on Soil Fertility and Crop Productivity in Shibalaya Upazila of Manikganj District. Department of Soil Science, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Agricultural University (BSMRAU), Gazipur, Bangladesh. Expand ABSTRACT

    ABSTRACT: An experiment in collaboration with Christian Commission for Development in Bangladesh was conducted at the farmer’s field in Shibalaya Upazila of Manikganj district during June 2017 to June 2018 using four vegetables (brinjal, tomato, cauliflower and chilli) to study the comparative effectiveness of different rates of biochar and recommended inorganic fertilizer on crop yields and soil fertility.  There were five treatments viz. control, recommended fertilizer (RF), biochar 1 t ha-1 + RF, biochar 3 t ha-1 + RF and biochar 5 t ha-1 + RF laid out in a randomized complete block design with three replications. The pH and moisture contents of the study soils were increased and bulk density decreased with the application of higher rate of biochar in all crops. Most incredible changes were observed in the total organic carbon contents in soils where carbon contents were increased by 25 to 33% from the initial levels. The highest yields of brinjal, tomato, cauliflower and chilli were found 67, 74, 42 & 4.5 t ha-1, respectively when biochar was applied @ 5 t ha-1 along with inorganic fertilizers. In terms of soil fertility and crop productivity application of biochar @ 5 t ha-1 was found promising and could be recommended as an effective soil management practice.

Hasnat, Momtahina; Rahman, Md. Mizanur; Rahman, GKM Mustafizur; Haque, Md. Manjurul. 2018. Role of Nitrogen Fertilizer on Mineralization of Organic Materials. Department of Soil Science & Department of Environmental Science Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Agricultural University, Gazipur, Bangladesh. Expand ABSTRACT

    ABSTRACT: Studies on the effect of nitrogen (N) fertilizer in organic materials mineralization and carbon (C) sequestration in soil are scarce. Therefore, this study quantified the release of C and N and determine the C degradation rate constant (k) of crop residues, compost and biochars as influenced by different levels of N fertilizer in a laboratory experiment during 22 November 2016 to 22 May 2017. The experiment comprising two factors viz. six types of organic materials (rice straw, maize leaf, rice husk biochar, eucalyptus biochar, mahogany biochar and vermicompost) and three rates of N fertilizer (0, 0.05 and 0.10 g N kg-1 soil) was laid out in a factorial RCBD with two replications. Rice husk biochar was prepared in BSMRAU, while eucalyptus and mahogany biochars were provided by CCDB, Manikganj produced as by-product from Akha cooking stove in local farm households.Organic materials considering 2.5 g C kg-1 soil and N fertilizer were mixed well and placed in pots for six incubation periods of 30, 60, 90, 120, 150 and 180 days. The trend of organic carbon contents was decreasing order with irregular fashion until 180 days of incubation in all types of treatments and the lowest C content was found at 180 days of incubation. Under different level of N application, OC contents finally reached lowest level at 180 days of incubation. During 180 days of incubation the highest amount of OC was observed in 0 g N kg-1 soil (1.28%) and the lowest in 0.1g N kg-1 soil (1.06%). Carbon degradation rate constants (k) of different organic materials in the present study varied from 0.00502 to 0.00635 day-1. The lowest ‘k’ value was found in the mahogany biochar applied soil, while the highest was under the rice husk biochar used soil. The highest k value was found in the 0.1 g N kg-1 soil (0.00607), while the lowest was in the 0 g N kg-1 soil (0.00549). The relationship between ‘k’ value and mineralization is reciprocal i.e. the higher the k value the slower is the mineralization of organic material. Organic carbon contents in soils decreased with the advancement of incubation periods and higher N rates. Nitrate and ammonium nitrogen contents found higher in soils at 60-90 days of incubation under higher N rates. The lowest ‘k’ value attributed in the mahogany biochar followed by maize leaf, vermicompost, rice straw, eucalyptus biochar and rice husk biochar. Higher N rates resulted lower ‘k’ value and contributed to faster mineralization of organic materials. Rice husk and eucalyptus biochars along with optimum N fertilizer needs to be ensured in crop production which could limit mineralization and supply long lasting and stable carbon in soil.

Murad, K.F.I.; Alam, M.K.; Alam M.J.; Sabuz, A.A. 2018. Potentiality of Biochar to Enhance Productivity of Tomato Cultivated under Deficit Irrigation. Bangladesh Agricultural Research Institute (BARI). Expand ABSTRACT

    ABSTRACT: This study was conducted at the research field of Irrigation and water Management Division (IWM) of Bangladesh Agricultural Research Institute (BARI), Gazipur to understand the potentiality of biochar in improving productivity of drip irrigated tomato cultivated under deficit irrigation condition, and its impacts on some soil properties. BARI Tomato-14 cultivar was used for this experiment. There were five different irrigation treatments; T1: full irrigation (FI) with biochar @10 t/ha; T2: deficit irrigation (75% of FI) with biochar; T3: deficit irrigation (50% of FI) with biochar; T4: FI with no biochar; T5: 75% of FI with no biochar; T6: 50% of FI with no biochar. The experiment is laid out in a Randomized Complete Block Design (RCBD), where each treatment was replicated thrice. Biochar was produced by Akha (krishi bandob chula) using different biomass from working area of Christian Commission for development in Bangladesh (CCDB). Data on different growth and yield attributes of tomato were collected during the crop growing season and after harvesting. Necessary soil data were also collected periodically to determine the soil-moisture content, available nitrogen (N) status as well as the microbial-respiration of soil during the experimental period. The obtained result suggests that deficit irrigation reduced the plant height (highest in full irrigation > 75% irrigation > lowest in 50% irrigation); whereas, biochar application improved the plant heights (T1>T4, T2>T5 and T3>T6). The number of branches per plant did not show statistically significant difference among the irrigation treatments. In contrast to the plant height, root length was found higher in non-biochar treatments (T4, T5, T6) than that of their opposite biochar treatments (T1, T2, T3), where it increased as the water deficiency increased (T1<T2<T3 or T4<T5<T6). Again, both wet biomass and dry biomass weight was found highest in T1, where the lowest values of both attributes were found in T6. On the other hand, the number of fruit per plant, unit fruit weight and marketable yield were found highest in T1 followed by T4, T2, T3, T5 and T6. A significant yield reduction of about 5.6% and 10.5% between T1 and T3, T4 and T6, respectively suggests that irrigation deficiency (by 50%) significantly reduced the production of tomato. Moreover, the marketable yield of T1>T4 (3.7%), T2>T5 (6.0%) and T3>T6 (7.9%) illustrates that biochar potentially increased the crop production, and it showed better performance when the irrigation deficiency increased. In addition, water productivity (WP) was found 5.5% higher in T1 than T4, 10.2% higher in T2 than T5, and 10.6% higher in T3 than T6. Soil moisture content dropped sharply in non-biochar treatments under deficit irrigation; however, biochar improved the moisture content status under the similar circumstances. The hetero-tropic respiration (CO2 emission) were found higher in biochar amended treatment, where it was recorded highest in T2 and lowest in T6. Biochar with FI (T1) had the highest available NH4-N over the season followed by biochar with 75 % FI (T2). But, available NO3-N was highest in T2, while T6 had the lowest value. No significant variation on the fruit quality parameters were found between these two treatments. While carotenoids and total soluble solids (TSS) were also found slightly higher in biochar amended treatment (T1), both Vitamin-C and Tritable acidity contents were marginally higher in treatment without biochar (T4). Overall, biochar found to be promising in improving the growth and yield of tomato grown under deficit irrigation regimes, as well as the health of the soil. However, no discreet conclusion can be drawn unless the research is replicated for few more years.

Sen, Ranjit; Masud, M. M.; Islam, Md. Mahbubul; Ferdous, Janatul. 2018. Biochar Production by Akha and its Impact on Productivity of Tomato, Maize, Okra and Chili Grown in Acid Soil. Bangladesh Agricultural Research Institute & Christian Commission for Development in Bangladesh. Expand ABSTRACT

    ABSTRACT: Pyrolysis is the most common technology employed to produce biochar, and also occurs in the early stages of the combustion and gasification processes. Different types of biochar making device produced under zero-oxygen conditions or oxygen limiting condition but costs associated with logistics and opportunity costs from diversion from energy or an active form in soil demand certainty and predictability of the agronomic return. Practical biochar making effective low-cost technology called AKHA (agriculture friendly cook stove) developed by the Bangladesh Biochar Initiative (BBI) foster by Christian Commission for Development in Bangladesh (CCDB), its ability to make biochar at the same time as cooking. In the present study, a pot experiment was conducted in Manda, Daudpur and Shivalaya CCDB office to study the effect of biochar (produce from AKHA) on the productivity of Tomato and Maize in Rabi season and Chilli and Okra in Kharif season of 2016-2017. There were three biochar levels, viz., 10g/ kg soil, 20g/ kg soil and 10% of pot soil volume. Plant development in the biochar-treated pots was significantly enhanced as compared with the un-amended controls where 100% recommended fertilizer had been used for respective crops. The incorporation of biochars produced from different wood source increased the soil pH, and their ameliorating effects varied due to raw materials of biochars. The results on the growth and yield parameters of the tomato showed that the biochar had the significant effect on plant height, number of fruit, length and breadth of fruit, individual fruit weight and fresh yield. Among the three wood mix biochar levels, biochar @ 20 g/kg soil showed the better performance and increased soil nutrients of Ca, Mg and K, but also enhanced the uptake of Ca, Mg, K and P by plants simultaneously.
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