Tiziana Pirelli: Interactions between liquid N compounds and Biochar

STSM at Volcani Center, ARO, Israel

The STSM allowed for the establishment of a new research collaboration between the Department of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences of the University of Udine (Italy) and the Institute of Soil, Water and Environmental Sciences of the Volcani Center, ARO, in Israel.

The purpose of this Short Term Scientific Mission was to learn techniques for studying interactions between compounds in a liquid phase and a solid adsorbent, and to learn to interpret the results. The specific goal was to concentrate on Biochar and nitrogen (N) forms, in particular investigating the phenomena of adsorption of various N species on Biochar and the availability of the adsorbed forms.

Ultimately, the work begun during the STSM will help to clarify if Biochar could contribute to reducing N fertilizer losses in agricultural soil, defining some of the mechanisms involved in the capability of Biochar to retain N fertilizer, and developing Biochar-based fertilizers. Nitrogen is a very important part of agriculture, as is the issue of nitrogen retention in soils. If Biochar could aid in reducing Nitrogen fertilizer depletion in soils then research would be compelling