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dc.contributor.authorFields-Johnson, Christopher Warrenen_US
dc.date.accessioned2018-05-26T06:00:35Z
dc.date.available2018-05-26T06:00:35Z
dc.date.issued2016-12-01
dc.identifier.othervt_gsexam:9168en_US
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10919/83401
dc.description.abstractBiochar is a form of stable organic carbon whose application to soils has the potential to sequester large amounts of atmospheric CO2 while improving the physical, chemical and biological properties of soil. However, the optimal rates and methods of biochar application are unknown for many situations. Three experiments were performed to test methods of biochar application to soils as a stand-alone amendment, in combination with biosolids as a complementary amendment and in-situ through controlled landscape burning. The first was a greenhouse pot study, which involved combining biochar with spoil from an Appalachian surface coal mine to grow trees. Biochar combined with mine soil produced a much higher growth rate for trees, and pure biochar helped tree root growth, suggesting that it might be useful as a broadcasted amendment, as a nursery growing medium or as a backfill in tree planting holes. The second experiment explored methods to combine biochar and biosolids materials to form a granular product. Combining biochar and biosolids before applications reduced windborne losses of biochar as well as the nutrient leachate produced by the biosolids. Drum rolling was found to work best for producing aggregate granules. Wetting pure biochar to 100% gravimetric water content before applications reduced windborne losses from over 50% to under 5% as compared to when it was applied as a dry product. A series of controlled burns were conducted in the third experiment to determine the ideal range of meteorological conditions to produce the highest possible biochar yields in-situ. Relative humidity, forest litter moisture and ambient temperature were found to be the governing factors over the tonnage of biochar produced. Up to 3.0 Mg Ha-1 of biochar were produced under ideal conditions by controlled burning. Repeated high-yielding burns have the potential accumulate large amounts of biochar in the soil to improve soil properties.en_US
dc.format.mediumETDen_US
dc.publisherVirginia Techen_US
dc.rightsThis Item is protected by copyright and/or related rights. Some uses of this Item may be deemed fair and permitted by law even without permission from the rights holder(s), or the rights holder(s) may have licensed the work for use under certain conditions. For other uses you need to obtain permission from the rights holder(s).en_US
dc.subjectReforestationen_US
dc.subjectWildfireen_US
dc.subjectCharcoalen_US
dc.subjectPelletizationen_US
dc.subjectSilvopastureen_US
dc.titleBiochar in Land Reclamation, Biosolids Applications and Prescribed Firesen_US
dc.typeDissertationen_US
dc.contributor.departmentCrop and Soil Environmental Sciencesen_US
dc.description.degreePh. D.en_US
thesis.degree.namePh. D.en_US
thesis.degree.leveldoctoralen_US
thesis.degree.grantorVirginia Polytechnic Institute and State Universityen_US
thesis.degree.disciplineCrop and Soil Environmental Sciencesen_US
dc.contributor.committeechairFike, John Herschelen_US
dc.contributor.committeememberGalbraith, John M.en_US
dc.contributor.committeememberDay, Susan D.en_US
dc.contributor.committeememberZedaker, Shepard M.en_US
dc.contributor.committeememberMaguire, Rory Owenen_US


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