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Terra Latinoamericana

versión On-line ISSN 2395-8030versión impresa ISSN 0187-5779


ESCALANTE REBOLLEDO, Ariadna et al. Biocarbon (biochar) I: Nature, history, manufacture and use in soil. Terra Latinoam [online]. 2016, vol.34, n.3, pp.367-382. ISSN 2395-8030.

There are recent technologies that can help counter soil degradation and sequester carbon. One is the application of biochar (biochar) to the soils. Biochar is a material produced by pyrolysis of waste biomass or organic waste from urban life. Mexico soils exhibit a strong physical, chemical and biological degradation, which has not been assessed in its proper dimension. Recent literature indicates positive experiences resulting from the application of biochar to the soil, generating an improvement of the physical, chemical and biological properties, which result in increased crop productivity. The biochar, a recalcitrant form of carbon incorporated into the soil, acts as a reservoir of long life of carbon, delaying its return to the atmosphere as CO2, a situation that would help to mitigate climate change. An additional benefit of this product is that the raw material for its production comes from a renewable source and municipal organic waste, which often constitute environmental pollution problems. The generation and soil application is a relatively recent technology or alternative, which has been little or not used in Mexico. Therefore, it is advisable to know more about it and its benefits. Little is known about the effect of the type of raw material used for the generation of biochar, the effect of the pyrolysis is used for production or the effect it has on plants, as well as the presence of substances that could be toxic to soil microorganisms or plants. To avoid unnecessary risks or adverse effects on its use, it is necessary to characterize the chemical and physical properties of different types of biochar and elucidating the effect of its application on soil properties and crops. The answers to the above questions and the effect of the application of biochar to soils of Mexico will serve to generate solid foundation and propose their use as practice for improvement and as a mechanism for carbon sequestration in the soil. The development of technological processes for making biochar, feasible to be implemented in Mexico, is a challenge for local technologists and a potential source of non-standard work, apart from the possibility of generating additional income to producers of agricultural and forestry sector and municipal entities that could transform organic waste into a product with commercial value. This paper is a review of the literature and some personal experiences of the authors.

Palabras llave : pyrolysis; soil carbon sequestration; biofuels.

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