RESEARCH PAPER
Water hydraulics, retention and repellency; response to soil texture, biochar pyrolysis conditions and wetting/drying
 
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1
Department of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering, LandMark University, PMB 1001, Omu Aran, Kwara State, Nigeria
2
Department of Water Resources Management and Agrometeorology, Federal University, PMB 373, Oye-Ekiti, Ekiti State, Nigeria
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Institute for Plant Nutrition and Soil Science, Christian Albrechts University zu Kiel, Hermann Rodewaldstr. 2, 24118 Kiel, Germany
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Department of Agricultural and Environmental Engineering, Federal University of Technology, PMB 704, Akure, Nigeria
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Department of Food and Biosystems Engineering, Afe Babalola University, PMB 5454, Ado Ekiti, Nigeria
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Department of Soil Science and Land Resources Management, Federal University, PMB 373, Oye Ekiti, Nigeria
CORRESPONDING AUTHOR
Oluwaseun Temitope Faloye   

Water Resources Management and Agrometeorology, Federal University Oye-Ekiti, Ekiti State, Nigeria
Final revision date: 2022-05-30
Acceptance date: 2022-06-14
Publication date: 2022-08-16
 
Int. Agrophys. 2022, 36(3): 213–221
 
HIGHLIGHTS
  • Saturated hydraulic conductivity was determined under wetting and drying scenario to evaluate aggregation effects
  • Higher water retention and contact angle in soil amended with biochar is explained by aggregation effects
  • Biochar amendments reduced the saturated hydraulic conductivity under wetting and drying scenario, with the magnitude of reduction depending on biochar type
KEYWORDS
TOPICS
ABSTRACT
Studies which evaluated the aggregation effects in biochar-amended soils by determining the saturated hydraulic conductivity and water repellency, in combination with wetting/drying scenarios are rare. Therefore, the objective of this study is to link water repellency and water retention in biochar-amended soils to the aggregation effect under different pyrolysis conditions and soil textures. Two feedstock sizes; twig and branch-based mango were pyrolysed at 550°, and were then mixed with sandy loam and silt loam at application rates of; 0, 30, 45 and 60 g kg–1 respectively. Sequentially, the soil-biochar mixtures were subjected to five wetting and drying cycles. In each of the cycles, the saturated hydraulic conductivity, and thereafter the contact angles of the soil-biochar mixtures were measured using the sessile drop approach. The results showed that biochar addition decreased the saturated hydraulic conductivity in all cycles. The rigidity effect was more pronounced in soil amended with biochar and produced using twig mango as opposed to the biochar produced using mango branch. A higher rigidity value was measured in the silt loam and sandy loam amended with twig as compared to the branch-based mango which may be attributed to aggregation processes. This also coincides with higher contact angle values and water retention values that were measured using twig as opposed to branch-based mango.
CONFLICT OF INTEREST
The authors declare no conflict of interest
 
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