Application of biochar from biomass pyrolysis to soil is gaining greater interest; this can ameliorate the soil quality, reduce fertilizer consumption, and sequestrate carbon. This study compares the characteristics of biochar produced by slow pyrolysis at 500°C for agricultural residues: sugarcane bagasse, cocopeat, paddy straw, palm kernel shell (PKS) and umbrella tree. In the biochar yield, the influence of the inert and lignin contents was significant. The wood stem, bagasse and paddy straw had biochar yields of 24-28 wt.% from the organic fraction while cocopeat had 46 wt.%. The carbon content of biochar ranged from 84 wt.% to 89 wt.%, which corresponded to 43-63% of carbon in the biomass. The biochar from wood stem and bagasse had well-developed pores of various sizes with large surface areas. Although the surface area was significant, PKS biochar had dense matrix with few large pores. The elemental composition and pH of biochars were also compared.
Keywords: Agricultural residues; Biochar; Biomass; Forestry residues; Slow pyrolysis.
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