Biochar for Environmental Management: Science, Technology and Implementation

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Johannes Lehmann, Stephen Joseph
Routledge, Feb 20, 2015 - Business & Economics - 944 pages

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.


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Parboiling of paddy is practised in rice mills, wherein paddy is soaked for varying periods, depending upon the parboiling method. Among the various methods of parboiling in vogue, soak water of the cold-soaking method followed in conventional rice mills showed a relatively higher population of total aerobic bacteria, staphylococci, lactic acid bacteria and yeasts than the other methods. The biochemical oxygen demand (BOD) of this soak water was also high. Although the soak water from the hot-soaking method adopted in modern rice mills exhibited a smaller microbial population, it showed higher concentrations of sugars, amino nitrogen and total phenolic compounds, and hence a higher chemical oxygen demand (COD). The continuous discharge of soak water around rice mills is of environmental concern.
Paddy parboiling methods; soak water characteristics,
The rice caryopsis varies widely among cultivars in shape and size. The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) classifies milled rice by length into sizes of extra long, more than 7 mm; long, 6.0–7.0 mm; medium or middling, 5.0–5.9 mm; and short, less than 5 mm (Chang and Bardenas 1965). The caryopsis of the Indica group is usually long, slender and rather flat. These varieties are used more often for parboiling because the operations of steeping and heating are quicker and easier as water and heat rapidly reach the center of the endosperm. Long-grain rice is quite distinct from medium- and short-grain rice in cooking and processing characteristics. Long-grain varieties usually cook dry and flaky, with a minimum of splitting, and the cooked grains tend to remain separate. Short- and medium-grain varieties, referred to as “soft-rice,” are moister and firmer when cooked, and the grains tend to stick together. The long-grain varieties are characterized by a comparatively high amylose content and a medium-high gelatinizing temperature. Medium- and short-grain varieties have lower amylose content and lower gelatinizing temperature than long-grain varieties. Long-grain rices are used for canned soups and quick-cooking products. Medium- and short-grain varieties generally are used for making dry breakfast cereals and baby foods, and as an adjunct in brewing.
This study reveals the relationship between processing condition and quality of parboiled rice, focusing on the hardening characteristics of rice grains after cooking.
The experimental results showed that not only cooking conditions but also drying conditions greatly affected the hardness of parboiled grains. Especially, the condition of moisture migration during drying process that came from the particular relation between the final moisture content and the drying period played very important role in the hardening characteristics of parboiled grains.


an introduction
2 Traditional use of biochar
3 Fundamentals of biochar production
4 Biochar production technology
physical and structural properties
macromolecular properties
7 Biochar elemental composition and factors influencing nutrient retention
8 A biochar classification system and associated test methods
18 Biochar effects on nutrient leaching
19 Biochar effects on soil hydrology
20 Biochar and heavy metals
21 Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and polychlorinated aromatic compounds in biochar
22 Sorption and remediation of organic compounds in soils and sediments by activated biochar ...
23 Biochar and retentionefficacy of pesticides
24 Test procedures for biochar analysis in soils
25 Biochar as an additive to compost and growing media

9 Evolution of biochar properties in soil
10 Persistence of biochar in soil
11 Movement of biochar in the environment
12 Biochar effects on crop yield
13 Biochar effects on the abundance activity and diversity of the soil biota
14 Biochar effects on plant ecophysiology
15 Biochar effects on soil nutrient transformations
implications of biocharsoil organic matter interactions for carbon storage ...
17 Biochar effects on nitrous oxide and methane emissions from soil
26 Biochar systems and system fit
27 Biochar carbon accounting and climate change
28 Biochar sustainability and certification
current evidence and challenges
30 Socioeconomic feasibility implementation and evaluation of smallscale biochar projects ...
31 Commercialization of the biochar industry

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About the author (2015)

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.

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