Screening and Ranking Methodology Applied to Biochars Aimed at Acidic and Calcareous Sandy Soil Improvement

Authors

  • Eva Farkas
    Affiliation

    Department of Applied Biotechnology and Food Science, Faculty of Chemical Technology and Biotechnology, Budapest University of Technology and Economics, H-1111 Budapest, Műegyetem rkp. 3., Hungary

  • Viktória Feigl
    Affiliation

    Department of Applied Biotechnology and Food Science, Faculty of Chemical Technology and Biotechnology, Budapest University of Technology and Economics, H-1111 Budapest, Műegyetem rkp. 3., Hungary

  • Emese Vaszita
    Affiliation

    Department of Applied Biotechnology and Food Science, Faculty of Chemical Technology and Biotechnology, Budapest University of Technology and Economics, H-1111 Budapest, Műegyetem rkp. 3., Hungary

  • Nikolett Uzinger
    Affiliation

    Institute for Soil Sciences and Agricultural Chemistry, Centre for Agricultural Research, Hungarian Academy of Sciences, H-1022 Budapest, Herman Ottó street 15., Hungary

  • Márk Rékási
    Affiliation

    Institute for Soil Sciences and Agricultural Chemistry, Centre for Agricultural Research, Hungarian Academy of Sciences, H-1022 Budapest, Herman Ottó street 15., Hungary

  • Katalin Gruiz
    Affiliation

    Department of Applied Biotechnology and Food Science, Faculty of Chemical Technology and Biotechnology, Budapest University of Technology and Economics, H-1111 Budapest, Műegyetem rkp. 3., Hungary

  • Mónika Molnár
    Affiliation

    Department of Applied Biotechnology and Food Science, Faculty of Chemical Technology and Biotechnology, Budapest University of Technology and Economics, H-1111 Budapest, Műegyetem rkp. 3., Hungary

https://doi.org/10.3311/PPch.17163

Abstract

The application of biochar (the by-product of biomass pyrolysis), as a soil amendment has been accepted as a sustainable solution to improve soil quality. The current study aims to establish a decision support tool for characterizing, ranking, and selecting biochars of different origins for soil improvement, thereby contributing to the development of a systematic approach, which lacks in the existing literature.
The development of a Multi-Criteria Decision Support Approach applying a banded and weighted rating and scoring system allowed the selection and ranking of various biochars suitable for improving sandy soils before application. First, 14 selected, different biochar products (produced from industrial by-products, herbaceous, wood-based and manure-based feedstocks) were characterized with several physicochemical, biological and ecotoxicological methods taking into account both the technological and the environmental efficiency aspects of biochar utilization. Then, a system for the assessment and ranking of biochars for acidic, and calcareous neutral sandy soil improvement was developed, which could be flexibly adapted to different soil problems as well. Based on their performance in the tests, scores from (−5) to (+5) were assigned to each biochar. As a result, the grain husks and paper fiber sludge biochar was ranked as the most suitable for both acidic and neutral calcareous sandy soil improvement, with 55 and 43 scores, respectively (from the maximum 100). The applicability of this innovative multicriteria scoring-ranking system, as a tool for potential biochar users, was verified in microcosms and field-scale experiments, demonstrating the positive influence of this biochar on the acidic sandy soil.

Keywords:

biochar, soil amelioration, multi-criteria analysis, decision support tool, acidic sandy soil, calcareous sandy soil

Published Online

2021-05-31

How to Cite

Farkas, E., Feigl, V., Vaszita, E., Uzinger, N., Rékási, M., Gruiz, K., Molnár, M. “Screening and Ranking Methodology Applied to Biochars Aimed at Acidic and Calcareous Sandy Soil Improvement”, Periodica Polytechnica Chemical Engineering, 65(3), pp. 361–377, 2021. https://doi.org/10.3311/PPch.17163

Issue

Section

Articles