2022 journal article
Can Biochar Improve the Sustainability of Animal Production?
Animal production is a significant contributor of organic and inorganic contaminants in air, soil, and water systems. These pollutants are present beginning in animal houses and impacts continue through manure storage, treatment, and land application. As the industry is expected to expand, there is still a lack of affordable, sustainable solutions to many environmental concerns in animal production. Biochar is a low-cost, sustainable biomaterial with many environmental remediation applications. Its physicochemical properties have been proven to provide environmental benefits via the adsorption of organic and inorganic contaminants, promote plant growth, improve soil quality, and provide a form of carbon sequestration. For these reasons, biochar has been researched regarding biochar production, and application methods to biological systems have a significant influence on the moisture content, pH, microbial communities, and carbon and nitrogen retention. There remain unanswered questions about how we can manipulate biochar via physical and chemical activation methods to enhance the performance for specific applications. This review article addresses the positive and negative impacts of biochar addition at various stages in animal production from feed intake to manure land application.