The efficiency of a low dose of biochar in enhancing the aromaticity of humic-like substance extracted from poultry manure compost

Jindo, Keiji; Sánchez-Monedero, Miguel A.; Matsumoto, Kazuhiro; Sonoki, Tomonori


Using biochar as a bulking agent in composting is gradually becoming popular for the minimization of nitrogen losses during the process and the improvement in compost quality. While a wide range of different biochar doses is applied, not much clear information was available about the optimum ratio. This study presents the impact of adding a low dose (2% v/v) of slow-pyrolysis oak biochar (Quercus serrate Murray), into poultry manure on the recalcitrant characteristic of humified organic matter. The influence in the chemical composition of humic-like substance was evaluated in poultry manure compost prepared with (PM+B) and without biochar (PM). The shift to slightly more stable chemical composition was shown in humic acid-like (HA) and fulvic acid-like (FA) extracted from PM+B compost, by increasing the proportion of aromatic carbon groups and thermal stability measured by thermogravimetry. We conclude that the addition of 2% biochar moderately enhances the recalcitrance of humified organic carbon and this could be feasible for the implementation of the biochar use in composting since only a small amount is required.