Biochar (or bio coal) is the product of thermal decomposition of organic materials (biomass) with little or limited oxygen supply (reducing environment), at relatively low temperatures (below 700 degrees Celsius), intended for agricultural use, which difference it from coal used as fuel and activated carbon.
In our case, the biological material used is remnants of pruning and biomass of ornamental plant species, from municipalities in our area.
After a long process pyrolysis, it is achieved the maximum carbonization of the plant material, considerably reducing its amount of volatile compounds.
The incorporation of biochar into the soil can alter its physical properties and improve them, such as texture, structure, pore size distribution, total surface area, and apparent density, with an impact on aeration, moisture retention capacity, plant growth and easiness of soil tillage. Biochar usually increases the cation exchange capacity (CEC) of the soil and, therefore, the retention of NH4 +, K +, Ca2 +, Mg2 +, which is attributed to its high specific surface area. In addition, it helps make acidic soils more fertile.
Research show that biochar works as an ideal medium for the colonization of beneficial microorganisms, so its addition to the soil can increase its population. Among them we find nitrogen fixing bacteria and mycorrhizal fungi that increase the phosphorus absorption capacity of plant roots.
Finally, point out another advantage of using this amendment, which is that biochar has a high content of organic carbon, highly resistant to decomposition, so it works as a CO2 store, contributing to the fight against climate change.
In pastures, prairies, and herbaceous annual crops, apply on surface before planting, at a rate of 20-40 m3 per hectare.
In horticultural crops, apply buried at 7-10 cm depth of 20-40 m3 per hectare.
It can be applied with other biofertilizers, especially indicated together with earthworm humus or humic acids.