Restoration of soil quality using biochar and brown coal waste: A review

Collins Amoah-Antwi , Jolanta Kwiatkowska-Malina , Steven F. Thornton , Owen Fenton , Grzegorz Malina , Ewa Szara


Soils in intensively farmed areas of the world are prone to degradation. Amendment of such soils with organic waste materials attempts to restore soil quality. Organic amendments are heterogeneous media, which are a source of soil organic matter (SOM) and maintain or restore chemical, physical, biological and ecological functionality. More specifically, an increase in SOM can influence the soil microclimate, microbial community structure, biomass turnover and mineralisation of nutrients. The search is on-going for locally sourced alternatives as many forms may be costly or geographically limiting. The present review focuses on a heterogeneous group of amendments i.e. biochar and brown coal waste (BCW). Both biochar (made from a variety of feedstocks at various temperatures) and BCW (mined extensively) are options that have worldwide applicability. These materials have very high C contents and soil stability, therefore can be used for long-term C sequestration to abate greenhouse gas emissions and as conditioners to improve soil quality. However, biochar is costly for large-scale applications and BCW may have inherently high moisture and pollutant contents. Future studies should focus on the long-term application of these amendments and determine the physicochemical properties of the soil, bioavailability of soil contaminants, diversity of soil communities and productivity of selected crops. Furthermore, the development of in situ technologies to lower production and processing costs of biochar and BCW would improve their economic feasibility for large-scale application.
Author Collins Amoah-Antwi (FGC / CSMES)
Collins Amoah-Antwi,,
- Chair of Spatial Management and Environmental Science
, Jolanta Kwiatkowska-Malina (FGC / CSMES)
Jolanta Kwiatkowska-Malina,,
- Chair of Spatial Management and Environmental Science
, Steven F. Thornton
Steven F. Thornton,,
, Owen Fenton
Owen Fenton,,
, Grzegorz Malina
Grzegorz Malina,,
, Ewa Szara
Ewa Szara,,
Journal seriesScience of the Total Environment, ISSN 0048-9697, e-ISSN 1879-1026
Issue year2020
Publication size in sheets1
Keywords in EnglishSoil organic matterBiocharBrown coal wasteSoil qualityQuality indicators
ASJC Classification2304 Environmental Chemistry; 2305 Environmental Engineering; 2310 Pollution; 2311 Waste Management and Disposal
Internal identifier9/2020
Languageen angielski
Score (nominal)200
Score sourcejournalList
ScoreMinisterial score = 200.0, 16-07-2020, ArticleFromJournal
Publication indicators Scopus Citations = 2; WoS Citations = 1; Scopus SNIP (Source Normalised Impact per Paper): 2016 = 1.849; WoS Impact Factor: 2018 = 5.589 (2) - 2018=5.727 (5)
Citation count*5 (2020-09-08)
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* presented citation count is obtained through Internet information analysis and it is close to the number calculated by the Publish or Perish system.
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