Title

The Effect of Biochar Feedstock on the Remediation of Acidic Soils and Improvement of Pisum sativum v. saccharatum Growth

Author(s)

Ridha Fatima

School Name

Spring Valley High School

Grade Level

11th Grade

Presentation Topic

Botany

Presentation Type

Non-Mentored

Abstract

Intensive agriculture has led to depletion of nutrients in soils and increasing soil acidity. Biochar has often been considered an effective soil amendment; however, its characteristics can change depending on feedstock. Therefore, the purpose of this experiment was to observe whether biochar made from different feedstocks could remediate acidic soil and improve Pisum sativum v. saccharatum growth. The hypothesis was that a combination of arugula and pine bark biochar would lead to the greatest remediation of acidic soil and Pisum sativum v. saccharatum growth. This experiment was done by creating arugula and pine bark biochar using the retort method. Then, biochars were added to soil at total 5% concentrations: 5% pine bark, 5% arugula, or 2.5% pine bark and 2.5% arugula. A control group with no biochar addition was also created. Afterward, one P. sativum seed was planted into each cell, and a water and vinegar solution at pH 5.5 was used to water plants over 41 days. Soil NPK and pH, stem lengths, and number of plants alive were recorded throughout experimentation. Results found that there was no statistical significance between trial groups on soil NPK and pH levels (p>0.05, a=0.05). However, a One-Way ANOVA of P. sativum stem lengths indicated statistical significance among trial groups (ANOVA[F(3, 413)=29.69, p<0.001]). Survivorship curves indicated that addition of biochars increased Pisum sativum yield. This experiment found that both Arugula and Combined groups were more effective in increasing P. sativum growth than Pine Bark, due to increased nutrient capacity of arugula biochar. The experiment also showed that feedstock is essential in determining overall characteristics of biochar.

Location

Furman Hall 106

Start Date

3-28-2020 8:30 AM

Presentation Format

Oral and Written

Group Project

No

COinS
 
Mar 28th, 8:30 AM

The Effect of Biochar Feedstock on the Remediation of Acidic Soils and Improvement of Pisum sativum v. saccharatum Growth

Furman Hall 106

Intensive agriculture has led to depletion of nutrients in soils and increasing soil acidity. Biochar has often been considered an effective soil amendment; however, its characteristics can change depending on feedstock. Therefore, the purpose of this experiment was to observe whether biochar made from different feedstocks could remediate acidic soil and improve Pisum sativum v. saccharatum growth. The hypothesis was that a combination of arugula and pine bark biochar would lead to the greatest remediation of acidic soil and Pisum sativum v. saccharatum growth. This experiment was done by creating arugula and pine bark biochar using the retort method. Then, biochars were added to soil at total 5% concentrations: 5% pine bark, 5% arugula, or 2.5% pine bark and 2.5% arugula. A control group with no biochar addition was also created. Afterward, one P. sativum seed was planted into each cell, and a water and vinegar solution at pH 5.5 was used to water plants over 41 days. Soil NPK and pH, stem lengths, and number of plants alive were recorded throughout experimentation. Results found that there was no statistical significance between trial groups on soil NPK and pH levels (p>0.05, a=0.05). However, a One-Way ANOVA of P. sativum stem lengths indicated statistical significance among trial groups (ANOVA[F(3, 413)=29.69, p<0.001]). Survivorship curves indicated that addition of biochars increased Pisum sativum yield. This experiment found that both Arugula and Combined groups were more effective in increasing P. sativum growth than Pine Bark, due to increased nutrient capacity of arugula biochar. The experiment also showed that feedstock is essential in determining overall characteristics of biochar.