Can Biochar Couple with Algae to Deal with Desertification?


In order to improve man-made biological soil crusts (BSCs) for desertification control and develop value-added utilization of bioenergy byproducts, preliminary experiments were carried out to understand the effect of biochar addition on algae growth in sand. Microcoleus vaginatus was chosen as the model algae and cultivated in sand with various contents of biochar (0%, 2%, 5%, 8%, and 10% weight of sand) that were made by rice hull gasification. Results showed that when the content of biochar in sand was 2%, both algal biomass (indicated by chlorophyll-a content) and the fixed sand weight in the BSC were significantly higher than that of the control (without biochar addition) and other treatments (with >2% biochar additions). Results from this pioneering research indicate that appropriate amount of biochar addition could increase BSC formation in sand under dry conditions and can potentially enhance sand fixation in deserts for desertification control.

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Meng, X. and Yuan, W. (2014) Can Biochar Couple with Algae to Deal with Desertification?. Journal of Sustainable Bioenergy Systems, 4, 194-198. doi: 10.4236/jsbs.2014.43018.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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