chapter  13
27 Pages

Biochar Effects on Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Similar to any natural phenomena, biochar application also has its own set of pros and cons (Mukherjee and Lal 2014; Saggar et al. 2014). The environmental benefits of biochar application to soils include reduced nutrient leaching, improved soil characteristics and crop productivity, reduced greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, enhanced bioavailability of plant nutrients, and remediation of contaminated soils. However, the potential risks of biochar application can be (1)  unbalanced addition of nutrients, heavy metals, or both and of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and dioxins to soil; (2) negative impact on soil biota; (3) sorption of residual pesticides and subsequent decrease in the efficiency of these products; (4) environmental pollution from dust, erosion, and leaching of biochar particles; (5) effect on soil surface albedo; and (6) soil compaction during application.