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Acta Biológica Colombiana

Print version ISSN 0120-548X


SANCHEZ-REINOSO, Alefsi David; AVILA-PEDRAZA, Edgar Alvaro  and  RESTREPO-DIAZ, Hermann. USE OF BIOCHAR IN AGRICULTURE. Acta biol.Colomb. [online]. 2020, vol.25, n.2, pp.327-338. ISSN 0120-548X.

The objective of this review is to show how biochar (BC) can be obtained and its effects on the physicochemical properties of soils and physiological behavior of cultivated plants. Biochar is a product rich in carbon that comes from the pyrolysis of biomass, generally of vegetable origin. It is obtained by the decomposition of organic matter exposed to temperatures between 200-900 °C in an atmosphere with low oxygen availability (pyrolysis), which can be slow, intermediate or fast. BC can contain varying levels of elements such as: carbon, nitrogen, oxygen, hydrogen, and sulfur. The primary sources to produce biochar are the forest, agroindustrial, and manure residues. BC quality and physical-chemical characteristics will depend on the type of waste or plant material for production. The high carbon contents present in organic matter, which are more resistant to biological and chemical decomposition, are stabilized by pyrolysis. BC remains stable into the soil for more extended periods (this allows BC to be considered as an essential component for the mitigation of the impacts of polluting substances). It has been found that BC application improves the physicochemical characteristics of the soil, including fertility. This improvement generates positive responses in the physiological behavior of plants such as: the increase of germination, accumulation of dry matter, photosynthesis, yield, and quality. Biochar opens essential doors for the sustainable management of agriculture in Colombia. It can be considered in agricultural regions exposed to heavy metals, in order to reduce its impact on human health.

Keywords : Carbon capture; mineralization; plant nutrition; pyrolysis.

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