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Biochar Application in Malaysian Sandy and Acid Sulfate Soils: Soil Amelioration Effects and Improved Crop Production over Two Cropping Seasons

TitleBiochar Application in Malaysian Sandy and Acid Sulfate Soils: Soil Amelioration Effects and Improved Crop Production over Two Cropping Seasons
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2015
AuthorsManickam, Theeba, Cornelissen Gerard, Bachmann Robert, Ibrahim Illani, Mulder Jan, and Hale Sarah
JournalSustainability
Volume7
Pagination16756 - 16770
Date Published12/2015
Abstract

The use of biochar as an agricultural soil improvement was tested in acid sulfate and sandy soils from Malaysia, cropped with rice and corn. Malaysia has an abundance of waste rice husks that could be used to produce biochar. Rice husk biochar was produced in a gasifier at a local mill in Kelantan as well as in the laboratory using a controlled, specially designed, top lift up draft system (Belonio unit). Rice husk biochar was applied once to both soils at two doses (2% and 5%), in a pot set up that was carried out for two cropping seasons. Positive and significant crop yield effects were observed for both soils, biochars and crops. The yield effects varied with biochar type and dosage, with soil type and over the cropping seasons. The yield increases observed for the sandy soil were tentatively attributed to significant increases in plant-available water contents (from 4%–5% to 7%–8%). The yield effects in the acid sulfate soil were likely a consequence of a combination of (i) alleviation of plant root stress by aluminum (Ca/Al molar ratios significantly increased, from around 1 to 3–5) and (ii) increases in CEC. The agricultural benefits of rice husk biochar application to Malaysian soils holds promise for its future use.

URLhttp://www.mdpi.com/2071-1050/7/12/15842/htm
DOI10.3390/su71215842
Short TitleSustainability