HNSE-P5-4. Chemically Exhausted Biochar as a Sustainable Replacement for Chemical Fertilizers

Alexa Smolinski1
Ahdee Zeidman2, 3
Faculty Mentor: Erick R. Bandala, Ph.D.2
1Nevada State College
2Division of Hydrologic Sciences, Desert Research Institute
3Department of Water Resource Management, University of Nevada, Las Vegas

Biochar is a carbon rich solid created from agricultural wastes via oxygen-less heat treatment (i.e., pyrolysis). It is used as a soil amendment for its potential to mitigate soil degradation and as an alternative for water treatment because of its ability to absorb nutrients. Recently, biochar has been successfully used by our research group in the removal of nutrients from contaminated water. After exhaustion, biochar has been found to retain significant amounts of nutrients that can be used to improve soil quality, plant growth, and viability. In this research, chemically exhausted biochar used for the removal of nitrate ions in water was incorporated into soil at different ratios and used to grow cherry tomato plants over the course of four weeks and compared against the use of chemical fertilizer. Results suggest chemically exhausted biochar aided in increased plant growth and biomass production of cherry tomato plants because of the increased nutrients supplied by the chemically exhausted biochar compared to the use of chemical fertilizer which created inhabitable conditions for the plants. These methods and results provide a foundation for future experiments exploring the use of water treatment chemically exhausted biochar as a soil amendment.


Nov 15 - 19 2021


All Day


HNSE: Poster Session 5
The Office of Undergraduate Research


The Office of Undergraduate Research


2 Replies to “HNSE-P5-4. Chemically Exhausted Biochar as a Sustainable Replacement for Chemical Fertilizers”

  1. Welcome and thank you for attending my presentation. I would be happy to answer any questions or receive feedback.

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