Revamping highly weathered soils in the tropics with biochar application : What we know and what is needed

Basak, B B and Sarkar, Binoy and Saha, Ajoy and Sarkar, Abhijit and Mandal, Sanchita and Biswas, Jayanta Kumar and Wang, Hailong and Bolan, Nanthi S (2022) Revamping highly weathered soils in the tropics with biochar application : What we know and what is needed. Science of the Total Environment, 822: 153461. ISSN 0048-9697

[thumbnail of Basak_STOTEN_Biochar_Preprint]
Text (Basak_STOTEN_Biochar_Preprint)
Basak_STOTEN_Biochar_Preprint.pdf - Accepted Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs.

Download (1MB)


Fast weathering of parent materials and rapid mineralization of organic matter because of prevalent climatic conditions, and subsequent development of acidity and loss/exhaustion of nutrient elements due to intensive agricultural practices have resulted in the degradation of soil fertility and productivity in the vast tropical areas of the world. There is an urgent need for rejuvenation of weathered tropical soils to improve crop productivity and sustainability. For this purpose, biochar has been found to be more effective than other organic soil amendments due to biochar's stability in soil, and thus can extend the benefits over long duration. This review synthesizes information concerning the present status of biochar application in highly weathered tropical soils highlighting promising application strategies for improving resource use efficiency in terms of economic feasibility. In this respect, biochar has been found to improve crop productivity and soil quality consistently through liming and fertilization effects in low pH and infertile soils under low-input conditions typical of weathered tropical soils. This paper identifies several advance strategies that can maximize the effectiveness of biochar application in weathered tropical soils. However, strategies for the reduction of costs of biochar production and application to increase the material's use efficiency need future development. At the same time, policy decision by linking economic benefits with social and environmental issues is necessary for successful implementation of biochar technology in weathered tropical soils. This review recommends that advanced biochar strategies hold potential for sustaining soil quality and agricultural productivity in tropical soils.

Item Type:
Journal Article
Journal or Publication Title:
Science of the Total Environment
Additional Information:
This is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Science of the Total Environment. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in Science of the Total Environment, 822, 2022 DOI: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2022.153461
Uncontrolled Keywords:
?? agronomic benefitssoil amendmentssoil qualityadvanced biochartropical soilssoil sciencewaste management and disposalenvironmental chemistrypollutionenvironmental engineering ??
ID Code:
Deposited By:
Deposited On:
18 Feb 2022 10:30
Last Modified:
15 Jul 2024 22:21