Characterization of Crop Biomass Bio Char Materials for Their Nutritional Composition
Bio char is the carbon-rich solid product resulting from the heating of biomass in an oxygen-limited environment. Characterization aims to document the basic features of a bio char and to ensure that it is safe to apply as a soil amendment. It is also appropriate to quantify the key properties that may give rise to the beneficial qualities of bio char. The crop wastes like Rice husk, Prosopis wood, Maize straw, Cotton stalk and Red gram stalks were mobilized in huge quantities and their respective bio char were produced by traditional heap method and pyrolysis method. Pyrolysis method of bio char production can yield up to 40-50% of bio char. whereas traditional heap method can yield only 30-33%. The pH of the bio char materials were high ranging from 9.8 to 10.6. Among the five bio char materials produced, cotton stalk bio char registered highest organic carbon content of 7.62% followed by rice husk bio char 34.6 g/kg-1 that serves as better source for carbon sequestration under rain fed cotton cultivation. Maize Stover bio char registered highest CEC of 45 C. mol(+)/kg of soil. The moisture content of the final bio char products are in the range of 4.0-5.2%. Similarly maize stover bio char registered highest available nitrogen, and potassium contents of 0.0089 and 1.2% respectively. The bio char produced from red gram stalk bio char recorded highest available P content of 0.14%.