BIOCHAR APPLICATION RESEARCH
BIOCHAR TRIALS IN PROGRESS 2009
Fertilizing efficiency of carbonized chicken litter
There is growing concern about the large amounts of manure nutrients being generated by large animal feeding operations and the potential hazard for water recourses and air quality. In many cases there is insufficient land available for spreading the manure at agronomic rates and the growing concentration and size of animal feeding operations increased the accumulation of excess nutrients. Thermochemical conversion (pyrolysis) might be one option to process poultry litter to renewable energy (synthesis gas and hydrocarbon fuels) and biochar. In comparison to common biological treatments pyrolysis of poultry litter is faster, more compact, destroy potential pathogens and most pharmaceutically active compounds and reduce gaseous emissions. During the pyrolysis process important plant nutrients (P, K, Ca, and Mg) concentrate in biochar. This might facilitate a more efficient nutrient recovery by reducing the costs associated with land application and transportation. The extent to which the retained or concentrated elements in biochar are available for plants is unclear. For biochar to be used in agriculture a better understanding of its properties and how it affects soil fertility is needed. Therefore your objectives are to compare the fertilization efficiency of carbonized chicken litter with that of un-carbonized chicken litter and mineral fertilizer.