Biochar is a carbon (C) rich
material produced from biomass, is an inexpensive means of removing carbon from
the atmosphere. It is returned to the soil, where carbon sinks are formed for
sequestration. The slow
release of carbon dioxide (CO2) from the soil is related to C
sequestration, which is a long-term storage of CO2 or other forms of
C that help lessen CO2 concentration in the atmosphere. It is known
to have high surface area and porosity. These physical characteristics play an
important role in adsorption and chemical process. Adsorption of organic
pollutants is also related to surface area of biochar in soil remediation. Adsorption
of CO2 in the soil will prevent it from being released to the
atmosphere. Physisorption controlled the adsorption of CO2
onto biochar, which can also be a means for carbon sequestration.

 Production
and Properties of Biochar

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Biochar is produced through Green Inno-technology for
Negative Carbon Production cookstove (GIN-P) designed by Dr. Gina
Villegas-Pangga at Soil Fertility Demonstration Area, Agricultural Science
Institute (ASI), UPLB. Biochar product varies in physical and chemical
characteristics. There are several factors that affect the resultant biochar
from its source biomass such as temperature, heating duration, biomass
properties and the cooktove or kiln used in pyrolysis.

Corn cob with 12% moisture that was pyrolyzed had an
average recovery of 44%.  Carbon is the
most abundant element of corn cob biochar analyzed using energy dispersive
X-ray spectroscopy (EDS) in weight percent (wt%).  EDS also indicates the presence of other
elements such as Si, Cu and K. Nutrient availability is found to be higher in
corn cob biochar compared to its original biomass. The increase in nutrient
status in the product is due to thermal treatment that leads to the loss of
volatile compounds. The abundance of carbon in corn cob biochar up to 88%
indicates that it retains stable C when applied into the soil. Nutrient
Furthermore, the high pH and pore size of corn cob biochar was affected by high
pyrolysis temperature.

Biochar Carbon
Capture

Carbon sequestration is referred to as a long-term
storage of carbon. The high C-retention of biochar is one form carbon capture. Surprisingly,
corn cob biochar shown lesser CO2 evolution when applied to acidic Luisiana
clay soil (Orthoxic Palehumults)
collected from Luisiana, Laguna mixed other organic materials compared to
treatments without biochar through soil incubation. The low evolution of CO2
from biochar-amended soil implies that biochar suppresses the release of
CO2 from organic materials that maybe trapped by pore spaces of corn
cob biochar. Findings such as this can be assumed that incorporated biochar
helps to capture CO2 when added into the soil. Increased in organic
carbon (OC) was also observed with corn cob biochar addition. Increased of OC
in the soil is important because it is the basis of soil fertility because it
releases the nutrients when the plants need it. This finding was supported by
the field experiment where root biomass was observed to be higher when it meets
with biochar particles in the soil. The increased root hair biomass attached to
biochars can be assumed that it retains moisture and adsorb nutrients in the
soil and release these whenever plants require them.

Future
Opportunities of Biochar

Recent researches about biochars are geared towards
soil remediation because of its ability to adsorb contaminants and improve soil
physical, chemical and biological properties. Apart from that, this technology
will be the new found gold in agriculture because of its many uses and it also
helps reduce organic wastes.

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