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The development of a sustainable agricultural industry through the application of biochar and pyroligneous acid

: Mmojieje, J.; Homung, A.

Hoffmann, C. ; ETA-Renewable Energies, Florence:
22nd European Biomass Conference and Exhibition, EU BC&E 2014. Online proceedings : Hamburg, Germany, 23 - 26 June 2014, Setting of course for a biobased economy
Florence: ETA, 2014
ISBN: 978-88-89407-52-3
European Biomass Conference and Exhibition (EU BC&E) <22, 2014, Hamburg>
Conference Paper
Fraunhofer UMSICHT Oberhausen ()

This paper marks the first in a series of studies into the potential use of pyrolysis products in the development of more sustainable practices within the agricultural industry. In this study, the immediate benefits of the application of biochar to crop yields of Raphanus sativus (radishes) are assessed. Furthermore, the study reports on the preliminary findings into the potential application of pyroligneous acid (wood vinegar) as a biocidal agent against crop disease. Although germination tests undertaken on biochar/compost blends of up to 1: 2, by weight, showed no significant adverse effect from the addition of the nutrient rich carbonaceous solid, evidence of substantial increases in crop yield through the addition of biochar were not observed. In sharp contrast, zones of inhibition were observed at 3-10 vol. % upon application of pyroligneous acid to two causal agents responsible for certain diseases in vegetable and fruit crops, i.e. Rhizobium radiobacter (agrobacterium tumefaciens) and Xanthomonas campestris, highlighting the versatility in the application of pyrolysis products and avenues for exploration in the development of this biomass conversion technology.