Surface Characterization of Aged Biochar Incubated in Different Types of Soil

Ting Cao, Wenfu Chen, Tiexin Yang, Tianyi He, Zunqi Liu, Jun Meng


The aim of this study was to investigate the changes that occur in the molecular form and surface morphology of aged biochar and to explore the dynamics of aging in various types of soil. For this purpose, the biochar was rice hull heated to 500 °C for 30 min. Approximately 15% of fresh biochar was incubated in either acidic red soil, weak alkaline sandy soil, or alkaline coastal solonchak for 1 and 13 months. Aged biochars incubated without soil were also prepared. The characteristics of fresh biochar and aged biochar were analyzed in terms of elemental composition, specific surface area, and pore size, together with scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR). The results for aged biochar relative to fresh biochar included: (1) decreased carbon and nitrogen contents; (2) reduced pH values which tended to be neutral; (3) reduced porosity and specific surface area (Brunauer-Emmett-Teller, BET), depending on incubation environment; and (4) increased oxygen-containing functional groups on the surface. In general, the surface characteristics of the aged biochar were changed and varied with soil type.


Biochar; Aging; Structure; Surface character; Soil types

Full Text:


Welcome to BioResources! This online, peer-reviewed journal is devoted to the science and engineering of biomaterials and chemicals from lignocellulosic sources for new end uses and new capabilities. The editors of BioResources would be very happy to assist you during the process of submitting or reviewing articles. Please note that logging in is required in order to submit or review articles. Martin A. Hubbe, (919) 513-3022,; Lucian A. Lucia, (919) 515-7707, URLs:; ISSN: 1930-2126