Friday, 22 March 2019

Bamboo biochar research - regional cooperation

"Faculty of Agriculture UGM established a consortium with Universitas Syiah Kuala, Universitas Andalas, Universitas Udayana Ghent University, Belgium, to do research in using bamboo as biochar. Biochar is active charcoal use to improve soil and reduce agricultural environmental pollution. It is also potential to maintain soil fertility.
The cooperation that lasts for three years started this year with the Flemish Interuniversity Council Belgium and promoter Prof. Stefaan De Neve from Ghent University and Dr. Benito Heru Purwanto from UGM.
Heru Purwanto said the research had started since November 2018 by inviting representatives from five universities. In March a discussion, workshop and field visit were made at Sidorejo village in Ngablak, Magelang. “Alongside the event we held a discussion that was attended by an internal tim project and doctoral students conducting biochar research at UGM,” said Heru in a release sent on Wednesday (20/3).
Heru explained although still preliminary, the biochar research cooperated with researchers from research agencies in the country as well as biochar experts from Balai Penelitian Tanah Bogor and Balai Penelitian Tanaman Rawa South Kalimantan.
“We also invited farmer groups to do biochar making practices,” he said."

Sunday, 10 March 2019

Rice husk biochar and urea - 2yr study

Effects of biochar and nitrogen fertilizer on soil physicochemical properties, nitrogen use efficiency and upland rice (Oryza sativa) yield grown on an Alfisol in Southwestern Nigeria

Received: 24 March 2018 / Accepted: 12 February 2019 © The Author(s) 2019



Biochar and inorganic fertilizer when co-applied have been reported to increase crop yield and enhance soil fertility. However, studies on this complementary effect on soil properties and rain-fed upland rice performance in Sub-Saharan Africa are still scanty.


Field factorial studies conducted over 2 years was set up to investigate the interactions between rice husk biochar and inorganic nitrogen (N) fertilizer on a sandy clay loam Alfisol. A two-factor (4 × 4) in RCBD where rice husk biochar was incorporated at four doses, 0, 3, 6, and 12 t/ha−1, inorganic N fertilizer (urea) at four rates, 0, 30, 60 and 90 N kg/ha−1, and their combinations was adopted.


Results showed that combination of biochar and N fertilizer exerted significant (P > 0.05) interactive effect on rice harvest index, grain and straw yield and N-use efficiency. Interaction between biochar and N fertilizer increased agronomic efficiency by 140% and grain nutrient recovery by 191% over 2 years. Combination of biochar and N fertilizer reduced soil bulk density, increased water holding capacity and soil chemical status such as pH, N, P, K, Corg, Ca, ECEC and base saturation, all within the top 10 cm depth of the soil.


Overall, the results established that rice husk biochar can be used as a soil conditioner to enhance upland rice yield on an Alfisol. The combined dose of 3–6 t/ha−1 biochar and 30 kg/ha−1 of N fertilizer is thus recommended for upland rice farmers in the study area.

Sunday, 3 March 2019

Three year study on biochar & bamboo in Indonesia

The following news was posted to the IBI February newsletter:
"A good deal of research on biochar comes from Indonesia, but much of it misses mainstream academic publications. A new three-year project is underway led by Ghent University, Belgium to help the Indonesian scientific community obtain better worldwide standing using their bamboo biochar industry as a sample case."
From the website:
"This networking project in essence addresses the problem of low soil fertility and related food security issues in Indonesia by harnessing the potential of bamboo derived biochar for soil improvement. Given the high scientific and societal impact of biochar research, notably in soil science, the production and use of bamboo biochar (in a limited number of field experiments) will allow us to address probably the main challenge in academic research in Indonesia, namely the limited international impact. Within this project, biochar will be used as a case study to very significantly increase the international impact of the participating universities, through the organisation of workshops on hypothesis testing, on experimental set-up and on scientific writing with impact, through bringing the Indonesian partners into contact with non-Indonesian research institutes with internationally successful biochar research, and through the sharing of experiences and the learning process over the entire project duration. The inclusion of diverse universities from Java, Bali, West Sumatra and Aceh will maximize the overall project impact.ic community obtain better worldwide standing using their bamboo biochar industry as a sample case."