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Toward the Standardization of Biochar Analysis: The COST Action TD1107 Interlaboratory Comparison

TitleToward the Standardization of Biochar Analysis: The COST Action TD1107 Interlaboratory Comparison
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2016
AuthorsBachmann, Hans Jörg, Bucheli Thomas D., Dieguez-Alonso Alba, Fabbri Daniele, Knicker Heike, Schmidt Hans-Peter, Ulbricht Axel, Becker Roland, Buscaroli Alessandro, Buerge Diane, Cross Andrew, Dickinson Dane, Enders Akio, Esteves Valdemar I., Evangelou Michael W. H., Fellet Guido, Friedrich Kevin, Gasco Guerrero Gabriel, Glaser Bruno, Hanke Ulrich M., Hanley Kelly, Hilber Isabel, Kalderis Dimitrios, Leifeld Jens, Masek Ondrej, Mumme Jan, Carmona Marina Paneque, Pereira Roberto Calvelo, Rees Frederic, Rombolà Alessandro G., de la Rosa José Maria, Sakrabani Ruben, Sohi Saran, Soja Gerhard, Valagussa Massimo, Verheijen Frank, and Zehetner Franz
JournalJournal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry
Date Published01/2016

Biochar produced by pyrolysis of organic residues is increasingly used for soil amendment and many other applications. However, analytical methods for its physical and chemical characterization are yet far from being specifically adapted, optimized, and standardized. Therefore, COST Action TD1107 conducted an interlaboratory comparison in which 22 laboratories from 12 countries analyzed three different types of biochar for 38 physical–chemical parameters (macro- and microelements, heavy metals, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, pH, electrical conductivity, and specific surface area) with their preferential methods. The data were evaluated in detail using professional interlaboratory testing software. Whereas intralaboratory repeatability was generally good or at least acceptable, interlaboratory reproducibility was mostly not (20% < mean reproducibility standard deviation < 460%). This paper contributes to better comparability of biochar data published already and provides recommendations to improve and harmonize specific methods for biochar analysis in the future.

Short TitleJ. Agric. Food Chem.