Biochar : Ameliorant Material That Environmentally Friendly for Swampland

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Biochar : Ameliorant Material That Environmentally Friendly for Swampland

Eni Maftuah* and Hendri Sosiawan
Indonesian Swampland Agriculture Research Institute (ISARI)
Jl. Kebun Karet, Loktabat, Banjarbaru, South Kalimatan, Indonesia
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Swampland has the potential to be developed as a productive agricultural area.  However swampland has several problems, including: low soil fertility caused by acid soil pH, low availability of macro and micro nutrients, poisoning of organic acids on peat soil, iron on submerged acid sulphate soils and Al on oxidized acid sulphate soils. Environmental problems often accompanying swampland use for agriculture are GHG emissions, pesticide residues and reduced soil organism biodiversity. Biochar is a charcoal that contains high carbon, as a result of pyrolysis and is an environmentally friendly ameliorant material. The role of biochar in swampland includes: increasing
carbon stocks in the soil and reducing CO2 release, reducing nutrient leaching through increased buffering capacity, reducing soil acidity, being able to reduce pesticide residues and organic pollutants, reducing the formation of GHG emissions, especially N2O and methane (CH4) and improve growth performance and crop yields. This paper reviews the role of biochar in improving the fertility of swamplands and reducing GHG emissions The ability of biochar to improve soil properties is determined by the type and size of biochar. The finer the size of the biochar, the faster the reaction in the soil, so that it is faster in improving soil properties. The application of biochar in swampland in addition to considering the quality of the material, but also the availability of biochar raw materials. Some types of biochar that can be used include: biochar of rice husk, galam, coconut shell and palm midrib.  All types of that biochar are able to reduce GHG emissions, however the effectiveness in improving soil fertility of rice husk biochar is better on acidic sulfate soil and alluvial soil, while for peat soil using coconut shell biochar.

Keywords: biochar, ameliorant, environmentally friendly, swamplands



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Indonesian Agricultural Environment Research Institute (IAERI)



A. Wihardjaka (1) and L.J. Wade (2)
(1)Research Station of Agricultural Environment Preservation

(2)International Rice Research Institute

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