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Israel Biochar Researchers Network (iBRN) Institute of Soil, Water and Environmental Sciences Agricultural Research Organization, the Volcani Center


The Israel Biochar Researchers Network (iBRN) consists of a number of Israeli scientists from different disciplines, including soil chemistry, plant physiology, soil microbiology, plant pathology, soil physics, and agricultural engineering. The iBRN is based at the The Volcani Center campus of the Agricultural Research Organization (ARO), which is the research arm of the Israel Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development. iBRN also includes researchers from other academic institutions. Research by members of iBRN is aimed primarily at understanding the mechanisms underlying the functioning of biochar in modern agricultural systems, thus providing much-needed support for the pyrolysis/biochar platform. Important results thus far from the group include the discovery that biochar can improve plant resistance to disease by mediating systemic responses, and that biochar has positive impacts on plant growth quite apart from improved soil nutrient status, water retention, and texture.

Selected publications include:

  • Graber, E.R., Tsechansky, L., Gerstl, Z., Lew, B. (2011) High surface area biochar negatively impacts herbicide efficacy. Plant and Soil, published online 14 Oct 2011.
  • Graber, E.R., Tsechansky, L., Khanukov, J., Oka, Y. (2011) Sorption, volatilization and efficacy of the fumigant 1,3-dichloropropene in a biochar-amended soil. Soil Science Society of America Journal. 75(4) 1365-1373.
  • Kolton, M., Meller Harel, Y., Pasternak, Z., Graber, E.R., Elad, Y. Cytryn, E. (2011) Impact of biochar application to soil on the root-associated bacterial community structure of fully developed greenhouse pepper plants.  Applied and Environmental Microbiology 77: 4924 - 4930.
  • Silber, A., Levkovitch, I., Graber, E. R. (2010) pH-Dependent Mineral Release and Surface Properties of Cornstraw Biochar: Agronomic Implications. Environmental Science & Technology 44: 9318-9323.
  • Graber, E.R., Meller Harel, Y., Kolton, M., Cytryn, E., Silber, A., Rav David, D., Tsechansky, L., Borenshtein, M., Elad, Y. (2010) Biochar impact on development and productivity of pepper and tomato grown in fertigated soilless media. Plant and Soil 337, 481-496.
  • Elad, Y., Rav David, D., Meller Harel, Y., Borenshtein, M. , Kalifa Hananel, B., Silber, A., and Graber, E.R. (2010) Induction of systemic resistance in plants by biochar, a soil-applied carbon sequestering agent. Phytopathology 100, 913-921.
  • Graber, E.R. and Hadas, E. (2009) Potential Energy Generation and Carbon Savings from Waste Biomass Pyrolysis in Israel, Annals of Environmental Science, v. 3: 207-216.

For more information, please see: or contact Ellen Graber