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Integrating Plant and Fish Culture - Canadian Biochar Initiative

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Integrating Plant and Fish Culture - Canadian Biochar Initiative Powered By Docstoc
					Use of carbonized organic material
for production of greenhouse crops

                                                                           Nick Savidov
          Crop Diversification Centre South, Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development


                                            For Canadian Biochar Initiative
                                                Friday, December 12, 2008
                                                         Montreal, Quebec
         TOPICS
   Introduction
   Objectives of Biochar study at
    CDCS, Brooks
   Results of preliminary studies
   Long English cucumber production
    on Biochar-based media
   Use of Biochar as a transplant
    media for basil production
   Conclusions
 Substrates have a major
 impact on growth of
 greenhouse and nursery
 plants and often
 determine profitability of
 the operations
Substrates are divided into three
groups:

mineral

organic

synthetic
Examples of mineral substrates:

rockwool

pumice       stone
perlite

expanded         clay
Most common examples of
organic substrates:

peat

coconut   coir
sawdust

ricehusk
bark
Most common synthetic
substrate:


Polyurethane   foam
Biochar is an example of a new
kind of greenhouse substrate
Existing greenhouse substrates
widely differ in their properties
Properties of greenhouse
substrates

Physical

Chemical

Physico-chemical

Biological
Physical properties of
greenhouse substrates
   Water retention capacity
   Total porosity
   Air space
   Stability
   Bulk density
   Saturation and de-saturation
    characteristics
   Particle size distribution
Chemical properties of
greenhouse substrates

   Water soluble elements
   Buffered elements
   Nitrogen fixation
Physico-chemical properties of
greenhouse substrates

   Exchange
Ion
Capacity
Biological properties of
greenhouse substrates

Plant reaction
Microorganisms
 reaction
Pest reaction
 Physical properties of some
   greenhouse substrates
Substrate      Air content,   Available
               % volume       water, %
Peat                 28            18

Rockwool            25             71

Polyurethane        84             6
foam
Why Biochar?
Advantages of greenhouse media based on
carbonized organic material


   Higher stability
   Less bulk density
   Better physical characteristics, such as
    porosity and water retention capacity
Advantages of greenhouse media based on
carbonized organic material

   Ability to absorb phytotoxic compounds such
    as phenols.
   Buffering capacity
   Potential algicidal properties
   Not easily available for bacteria as a carbon
    source, which decreases potential nitrogen
    fixation
   Can be produced from cheap, locally available
    sources, agricultural waste, such as straw
Key objectives of Biochar study at
CDCS, Brooks
Evaluate the performance of Biochar
produced from various materials as
a hydroponic growth media for
greenhouse crops including:
      basil,
      long English cucumbers,
      tomatoes
      bell peppers
Key objectives of Biochar study at
CDCS, Brooks

   Measure the physical, chemical, and
    biological properties of carbonized
    growth media as a hydroponic growth
    media and compare these properties to
    those of commercial alternatives
    including sawdust and coconut coir
    Key objectives of Biochar study at
    CDCS, Brooks

   Characterize the “stability” (number of
    successive crops capable of being
    grown on the same media) of Biochar-
    based media as compared to
    commercial growth media.
Key objectives of Biochar study at
CDCS, Brooks

   Conduct a ‘techno-economic’ and an
    ‘environmental’ assessment of
    carbonized growth media in the
    greenhouse industry in Alberta.
   Conduct a food safety study on
    greenhouse produce grown on media
    produced from carbonized organic
    material
 Effect of substrate on respiration
 rate after 4 days of incubation

1000.0


 800.0


 600.0


 400.0                                                                                          mgO2/kg VS/hr
                                                                                                mgCO2/kg VS/hr
 200.0


   0.0


-200.0
         Carbonized.     Raw     Spent Saw   Carbonized   Raw Straw   Carbonized   Spent Coir
          Sawdust      Sawdust                 Straw                     Coir
Preliminary experiments with
  long English cucumbers
Absence of phytotoxic effect of
     carbonized media
Carbonized   Raw sawdust
 sawdust
Effect of carbonized medium on algae
                growth




 Carbonized           Raw sawdust
  sawdust
Effect of carbonized substrate on
cucumber yield in comparison with
sawdust and coir



 3.5

  3

 2.5

  2

 1.5

  1

 0.5

  0
       Sawdust   Coir   CS 1   CS 2   CS 3   CS 4   CS 5   CS 6   CS 7   CS 8   CS 9
2nd   experiment with long English
            cucumbers
        Randomized block design of cucumber trial
Row 1        1       9       6      3         2      5    8   4    7   10

Row 2        8       2       4      10        7      9    3   6    5   1

Row 3        5       7       9      1         3      2    6   8    4   10

Row 4        3      10       4      8         5      1    6   7    2   9

Row 5        1       6       2      7         9      8    3   5    4   10

Row 6        4       5       9      3         6      2    7   10   1   8

Row 7        8       2       7      1         5      4    3   9    6   10

Row 8        4       9       5      3         6      10   8   1    2   7

Row 9        10      1       8      7         2      9    4   5    3   6




         1    SAWDUST standard irrigation
         2    SAWDUST less frequent irrigation
         3    COIR standard irrigation
         4    COIR less frequent irrigation
         5    Carbonized SAWDUST standard irrigation
         6    Carbonized SAWDUST less frequent irrigation
         7    Carbonized COIR standard irrigation
         8    Carbonized COIR less frequent irrigation
         9    Carbonized straw standard irrigation
        10    Carbonized straw less frequent irrigation
  Effect of carbonized substrates on
productivity of greenhouse cucumbers

#    Treatment                                          KG.     SE     WORTH   SE
1    sawdust standard irrigation                        9.95    0.66    14.4   1.1
2    sawdust less frequent irrigation                   8.16    0.77    11.8   0.9
3    coconut coir standard irrigation                   9.95    0.59    14.4   0.8
4    coconut coir less frequent irrigation              10.66   1.01    15.3   1.4
5    carbonized sawdust standard irrigation             9.62    0.74    13.8   1.0
6    carbonized sawdust less frequent irrigation        9.11    0.83    13.1   1.1
7    carbonized coconut coir standard irrigation        8.64    0.31    12.4   0.5
8    carbonized coconut coir less frequent irrigation   10.67   0.81    15.1   1.0
9    carbonized straw standard irrigation               10.84   1.08    15.6   1.5
10   carbonized straw less frequent irrigation          10.82   0.97    15.2   1.4
Effect of carbonized substrates on yield of
     greenhouse cucumbers, kg/plant

12.00



10.00



 8.00



 6.00                                                                   standard
                                                                        less frequent

 4.00



 2.00



 0.00
        sawdust   coconut coir   carbonized   carbonized   carbonized
                                  sawdust      coconut        straw
Effect of carbonized substrates on yield of
     greenhouse cucumbers, $/plant
 16.0


 14.0


 12.0


 10.0


  8.0                                                                   standard
                                                                        less frequent
  6.0


  4.0


  2.0


  0.0
        sawdust   coconut coir   carbonized   carbonized   carbonized
                                  sawdust      coconut        straw
   Effect of carbonized
transplant media on basil
production in aquaponics
          system
Aquaponics facility at CDCS, Brooks
               2nd generation aquaponics facility
                      with Biofloc system
GeoTube Sump




    P1



                                                       P3
                           P2




                                                            AB1
                                  Clarifier
                        Swirl
                                                            AB2
                      Separator
                                              Filter
                          s
                                              tanks

         Fish tanks                Filters                         Plant Tray

               Clean water                             Cleaning Circuit
               Nutrient Rich Water                      Aeration
               Solids Removal
 Effect of carbonized media on
basil productivity in aquaponics
                                     Kg/sheet



 4

3.5

 3

2.5

 2
                                                                   Kg/sheet
1.5
 1

0.5

 0
      Coir - control   Carbonized   Carbonized coir   Carbonized
                         straw                         sawdust
Conclusions
   Preliminary data suggest no phytotoxic effect of
    carbonization on greenhouse crops
   The same or higher yields can be achieved
    using biochar-based media in greenhouse crops
    production
   Carbonization dramatically improve stability of
    organic substrate
   Biochar-based media have a high potential
    when used in highly biologically active
    environment, such as aquaponics

				
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