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Université de Liège (2018)

Nutrient recycling using biochar on plinthosol of Burkina Faso : a soil-plant column experiment

Blondiau, Lucie

Titre : Nutrient recycling using biochar on plinthosol of Burkina Faso : a soil-plant column experiment

Auteur : Blondiau, Lucie

Université de soutenance : Université de Liège

Grade : Master en bioingénieur : sciences et technologies de l’environnement, à finalité spécialisée 2018

Résumé
Most soils in Burkina Faso are highly weathered and have low nutrients and organic matter contents. Hence, organic and mineral fertilisers are necessary to maintain the nutrients balance and crops productivity. However, because of high leaching rates during wet seasons, plants do not efficiently uptake these fertilisers. Biochar has been heralded as a solution for nutrients retention and soil quality improvement. Despite low initial nutrients concentrations, woody biochar nutrients properties can be boosted by combination with nutrients-rich compounds that entails nutrients releasing for longer time period in the soil. Therefore, nutrients loaded biochar could serve as a new slow release fertiliser in West Africa. This work studied two enhanced biochar : compost activated (CBC) and NPK loaded (MBC) biochar and focused on their effects on nutrients recycling in a plinthosol from Burkina Faso in a soil column experiment. Five treatments have been studied : co-composted biochar (CBC), compost (C), pristine biochar (BC), NPK loaded biochar (MBC) and reference columns (T). The cycling of nutrients under these different treatments has been analysed through the study of soil columns leachates and plants minerals uptakes. The results showed no significant differences between the shoot yields and the plants nutrients uptake. In terms of initial stock, CBC and BC treatments allowed better cations retention and yet, did not reduce phosphorus (P) leaching. On the contrary, MBC decreased P leaching but not cations losses. This study set the first explanatory steps to understand the effects of nutrients loaded cotton biochar in plinthosols and how this new technology could be used effectively to solve soils fertility problems encountered in West Africa.

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