Nitrate retention and release by biochars produced from fast pyrolysis

Presented by Chintala actually June 2013

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Agricultural activities have been implicated as a major source of nutrient ions such as nitrate to surface and ground water resources. There is a need to control the nitrate movement in soil to sustain soil and water quality. Batch experiments were conducted to evaluate the nitrate sorption potential and release by non-activiated and activated biochars produced from microwave pyrolysis using selected biomass feedstocks of corn stover (Zea mays L.), Ponderosa pine wood residue (Pinus ponderosa Lawson and C. Lawson), and switchgrass (Panicum virgatum L.). Surface characteristics including surface area and net surface charge have shown significant effects on nitrate sorption in biochars. Freundlich isotherms performed well to fit the nitrate sorption data of biochars. The first order model fit the nitrate desorption kinetics of biochars with a high coefficient of determination.