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Agronomic benefits of durian shell biochar

TitleAgronomic benefits of durian shell biochar
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2014
AuthorsPrakongkep, N., Gilkes R. J., and Wiriyakitnateekul W.
JournalJournal of Metals, Materials and Minerals

This study investigated the chemical properties of durian shell biochar which is used as a soil amendment.  It can act as a carbon sink and as a means to improve crop yield.  Plant nutrient elements in this biochar are in crystalline minerals located within the complex pore structure therefore biochar production from wastes could be a very good way to reduce demand for fertilizers.  XRD and SEM-EDS results demonstrate that the numerous minerals in biochar are highly soluble, such as archerite (KH<sub>2</sub>PO<sub>4</sub>), chlorocalcite (KCaCl<sub>3</sub>), kalicinite (KHCO<sub>3</sub>), and sylvite (KCl) with small amounts of poorly soluble minerals (calcite CaCO<sub>3</sub> and struvite KMgPO<sub>4</sub>.6H<sub>2</sub>O).  When biochar is applied to soils at the recommended rates of tonnes/ hectare, it will be a significant source of potassium, phosphorus and other nutrient elements.  The availability of nutrients to plants will depend on properties of the biochar and the adjacent soil.