UK Biochar Research Centre
Charchive Standard Biochars

Use of biochar in management of organic amendments in grassland agriculture

Key Staff:
Dr. Saran P. Sohi
Sept 2009 to August 2012


The surfaces of biochar particles have some – apparently variable and increasing – capacity to bind nutrient cations including ammonium. This and the affect of some types of biochar on the dynamics of water in soil may affect and possibly benefit the timing and extent of nutrient provision from the soil to the crop.

If managed correctly the application of slurry and manure from livestock to the soil can offer an important contribution to growth of grazed grass. However, weather and growth patterns can make managing this precisely quite difficult.

Teri's project investigated whether the combination of biochar and slurry in dairy systems could offer a practical means to transfer stabilised carbon to the soil, at the same time as moderating the release of nutrients /  emission of greenhouse gases. This involved a series of controlled environments in Edinburgh (two published, two submitted) - and a field-based on-farm experiments in California.

In follow-on work in conjunction with SRUC (Carbon Management Centre), a plot-scale experiment is underway as part of Nicola Winning's PhD project.


Relevant Research Areas: