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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

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Research Project: Evaluating Different Biochars and Their Impact on Soil C, Trace Gas Exchange, Soil Fertility, Water Holding Capacity and Agrochemical Fate

Location: Soil and Water Management Research

Project Number: 3640-12000-008-08
Project Type: Nonfunded Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Jan 11, 2011
End Date: Dec 31, 2015

Objective:
Evaluating different biochars and their impact on the soil system.

Approach:
This agreement is for establishing the collaboration between Avello Bioenergy, Inc. and USDA-ARS to allow different feedstock and operating conditions on a pyrolysis plant to be evaluated on the impacts of the resulting biochar for soil amendments. This will entail a combination of field and laboratory research on the impact of various biochars on soil microbial processes, agrochemical transport and trace gas exchange, conducted at St. Paul, MN as well as other ARS locations. Avello Bioenergy will provide the production data on the biochar along with the biochar itself for the research. Laboratory incubations will assess the immediate impacts and field scale plot research would be conducted to evaluate the long-term (>3 years) effects in a continuous corn rotation in Minnesota and other ARS locations. The main goal of the research is to examine if the combination of altering feed stocks or production parameters can result in a biochar that is more beneficial from a C sequestration perspective as well as an agent for reducing greenhouse gas emissions and agrochemical losses from the agricultural soil system.

Last Modified: 7/30/2014
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