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Title: Leaching of mixtures of biochar and fly ash

Abstract

Increasing atmospheric levels of greenhouse gases, especially CO2, and their effects on global temperature have led to interest in the possibility of carbon storage in terrestrial environments. Both the residual char from biomass pyrolysis (biochar) and fly ash from coal combustion have the potential to significantly expand terrestrial sequestration options. Both biochar and fly ash also have potentially beneficial effects on soil properties. Fly ash has been shown to increase porosity, water-holding capacity, pH, conductivity, and dissolved SO42-, CO32-, Cl- and basic cations. Adding biochar to soil generally raises pH, increases total nitrogen and total phosphorous, encourages greater root development, improves cation exchange capacity and decreases available aluminum. A combination of these benefits likely is responsible for observed increases in yields for crops such as corn and sugarcane. In addition, it has been found that soils with added biochar emit lower amounts of other greenhouse gases (methane and nitrous oxide) than do unamended soils. Biochar and fly ash amendments may be useful in promoting terrestrial carbon sequestration on currently underutilized and degraded lands. For example, about 1% of the US surface lands consist of previously mined lands or highway rights-of-way. Poorly managed lands could count for another 15% of USmore » area. Biochar and fly ash amendments could increase productivity of these lands and increase carbon storage in the soil. Previous results showed minimal leaching of organic carbon and metals from a variety of fly ashes. In the present study, we examined the properties of mixtures of biochar, fly ash, and soil and evaluated the leaching of organic carbon and metals from these mixtures. The carbon sorption experiments showed release of carbon from biochar, rather than sorption, except at the highest concentrations in the Biochar HW sample. Similar results were obtained by others for oxidative leaching of bituminous coal, in which more C was released as dissolved C than was oxidized to CO2 by the oxygen in water. We confirmed that both fly ash and two types of biochar (oak char [OKEB], and hardwood [HW] char) exhibited minimal leaching of heavy metals including Cr, Ni, Zn, Ga, and Ag, and no detectable leaching of Pb or Cd (data not shown) under the conditions tested. The Biochar HW had a slightly higher C/N ratio (334) and pH (7.7) than did the Biochar OKEB (284 and 6.5). There was no toxicity exhibited by the fly ash (not shown) or biochar leachates as measured by the Microtox© assay under the conditions tested. In previous results no toxicity was reported in testing the fly ash samples except for one high-pH sample. The most notable leachate component from both types of biochar, but not the fly ash, was organic carbon with the HW biochar leaching less organic carbon than the OKEB biochar (5.71 ppm vs. 59.3 ppm). Alone (in batch sorption experiments), or in mixtures of 90% soil and 10% biochar (column studies), we noted significant loss of carbon from the biochar into soluble components. However, when we added fly ash to the column experiments (80% soil, 10% fly ash, and 10% biochar) we observed significant decreases in the amounts of C leached (20% for HW, and 47% for OKEB). The results indicate that applying a combination of fly ash and biochar may result in maximizing the amount of carbon sequestration in soil while also increasing beneficial soil properties and fertility. The lower amount of carbon leached from the HW biochar compared to the OKEB biochar is likely due to the more recalcitrant form of the carbon in the HW char, due to its preparation at a higher temperature (600 ºC) than the OKEB biochar (450 ºC). High heat treatment temperatures during biochar preparation increase both the total carbon content of the biochar and the proportion of the carbon that is present in fused aromatic rings resistant to chemical and physical degradation.« less

Authors:
; ; ; ; ; ;
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), Richland, WA (US), Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory (EMSL)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE
OSTI Identifier:
1000827
Report Number(s):
PNNL-SA-65644
25706; AA3010000
DOE Contract Number:  
AC05-76RL01830
Resource Type:
Conference
Resource Relation:
Conference: World of Coal Ash - Science, Applications and Sustainability: Proceedings of the 3rd World of Coal Ash Conference (WOCA 2009), May 4-7, 2009, Lexington, Kentucky, 128-134
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
biochar; fly ash; carbon sequestration; metal leaching; toxicity test; dissolved organic carbon; Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory

Citation Formats

Palumbo, Anthony V, Porat, Iris, Phillips, Jana R, Amonette, James E, Drake, Meghan M, Brown, Steven D, and Schadt, Christopher W. Leaching of mixtures of biochar and fly ash. United States: N. p., 2009. Web.
Palumbo, Anthony V, Porat, Iris, Phillips, Jana R, Amonette, James E, Drake, Meghan M, Brown, Steven D, & Schadt, Christopher W. Leaching of mixtures of biochar and fly ash. United States.
Palumbo, Anthony V, Porat, Iris, Phillips, Jana R, Amonette, James E, Drake, Meghan M, Brown, Steven D, and Schadt, Christopher W. Mon . "Leaching of mixtures of biochar and fly ash". United States.
@article{osti_1000827,
title = {Leaching of mixtures of biochar and fly ash},
author = {Palumbo, Anthony V and Porat, Iris and Phillips, Jana R and Amonette, James E and Drake, Meghan M and Brown, Steven D and Schadt, Christopher W},
abstractNote = {Increasing atmospheric levels of greenhouse gases, especially CO2, and their effects on global temperature have led to interest in the possibility of carbon storage in terrestrial environments. Both the residual char from biomass pyrolysis (biochar) and fly ash from coal combustion have the potential to significantly expand terrestrial sequestration options. Both biochar and fly ash also have potentially beneficial effects on soil properties. Fly ash has been shown to increase porosity, water-holding capacity, pH, conductivity, and dissolved SO42-, CO32-, Cl- and basic cations. Adding biochar to soil generally raises pH, increases total nitrogen and total phosphorous, encourages greater root development, improves cation exchange capacity and decreases available aluminum. A combination of these benefits likely is responsible for observed increases in yields for crops such as corn and sugarcane. In addition, it has been found that soils with added biochar emit lower amounts of other greenhouse gases (methane and nitrous oxide) than do unamended soils. Biochar and fly ash amendments may be useful in promoting terrestrial carbon sequestration on currently underutilized and degraded lands. For example, about 1% of the US surface lands consist of previously mined lands or highway rights-of-way. Poorly managed lands could count for another 15% of US area. Biochar and fly ash amendments could increase productivity of these lands and increase carbon storage in the soil. Previous results showed minimal leaching of organic carbon and metals from a variety of fly ashes. In the present study, we examined the properties of mixtures of biochar, fly ash, and soil and evaluated the leaching of organic carbon and metals from these mixtures. The carbon sorption experiments showed release of carbon from biochar, rather than sorption, except at the highest concentrations in the Biochar HW sample. Similar results were obtained by others for oxidative leaching of bituminous coal, in which more C was released as dissolved C than was oxidized to CO2 by the oxygen in water. We confirmed that both fly ash and two types of biochar (oak char [OKEB], and hardwood [HW] char) exhibited minimal leaching of heavy metals including Cr, Ni, Zn, Ga, and Ag, and no detectable leaching of Pb or Cd (data not shown) under the conditions tested. The Biochar HW had a slightly higher C/N ratio (334) and pH (7.7) than did the Biochar OKEB (284 and 6.5). There was no toxicity exhibited by the fly ash (not shown) or biochar leachates as measured by the Microtox© assay under the conditions tested. In previous results no toxicity was reported in testing the fly ash samples except for one high-pH sample. The most notable leachate component from both types of biochar, but not the fly ash, was organic carbon with the HW biochar leaching less organic carbon than the OKEB biochar (5.71 ppm vs. 59.3 ppm). Alone (in batch sorption experiments), or in mixtures of 90% soil and 10% biochar (column studies), we noted significant loss of carbon from the biochar into soluble components. However, when we added fly ash to the column experiments (80% soil, 10% fly ash, and 10% biochar) we observed significant decreases in the amounts of C leached (20% for HW, and 47% for OKEB). The results indicate that applying a combination of fly ash and biochar may result in maximizing the amount of carbon sequestration in soil while also increasing beneficial soil properties and fertility. The lower amount of carbon leached from the HW biochar compared to the OKEB biochar is likely due to the more recalcitrant form of the carbon in the HW char, due to its preparation at a higher temperature (600 ºC) than the OKEB biochar (450 ºC). High heat treatment temperatures during biochar preparation increase both the total carbon content of the biochar and the proportion of the carbon that is present in fused aromatic rings resistant to chemical and physical degradation.},
doi = {},
url = {https://www.osti.gov/biblio/1000827}, journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {2009},
month = {6}
}

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