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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2021

Physio-Chemical Characterization of Biochar, Compost and Co-Composted Biochar Derived from Green Waste

Mujtaba, Ghulam; Hayat, Rifat; Hussain, Qaiser; Ahmed, Mukhtar


Organic wastes are naturally biodegradable, but they contribute to environmental pollution and management issues. Composting and pyrolysis are widely used technologies for recycling these wastes into valuable organic products for soil health and crop production. In the current study, fruits vegetables waste (FVW) was converted to biochar, compost, and co-composted biochar. The microcrystal structure, functional groups, surface morphology, and nutrient contents of organic materials were investigated by XRD, FTIR, SEM-EDS, AAS, multi C-N analyzer, and ICP-OES techniques. Heavy metals contamination was not detected in the biomass used for pyrolysis and compost preparation. FVW had an acidic pH (5.92), while biochar, compost, and co-composted biochar had an alkaline pH. Total macronutrient (K, Na, S) and micronutrient (Cu, Fe) concentrations were higher in compost and co-composted biochar, with the exception of K, which was higher in biochar. Biochar had the highest surface area (4.99 m(2)g), followed by FVW, compost, and co-composted biochar. Co-composted biochar had a porous structure. Si, Ca, and Al contents were common in all organic materials, while P, K, Mg, and S were found with lower concentrations in both biochar and compost. Iron was only found in compost and co-composted biochar. Quartz, sylvite, and calcite were common minerals found in all organic treatments. Biochar contained more aromatic carbon ring structure C=C/C=O and aromatic C-H bending as compared to FVW and compost, thus, making biochar a stable carbon rich material suitable for soil carbon sequestration.


fruits vegetables waste (FVW); biochar; compost; co-composted biochar

Published in

2021, volume: 13, number: 9, article number: 4628
Publisher: MDPI

Authors' information

Mujtaba, Ghulam
Arid Agriculture University
Hayat, Rifat
Arid Agriculture University
Hussain, Qaiser
Arid Agriculture University
Pir Mehr Ali Shah Arid Agriculture University
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Agricultural Research for Northern Sweden

Sustainable Development Goals

SDG12 Responsible consumption and production

UKÄ Subject classification

Environmental Sciences
Agricultural Science

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