ABC4Soil - Sustainable fertilization with plant residues

  ABC4Soil graphic Copyright: © FRE

The ABC4Soil project is funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research, in which the teaching and research area Technology of Energy Resources (TEER) works together with research partners from Germany, Norway and Switzerland.

The project aims to produce an organic-rich fertilizer based on agricultural and forestry residues. Excess raw materials such as residual wood, straw or fermentation residues are converted into porous biochar with a high carbon content by pyrolysis, a thermochemical process in the absence of oxygen. This is enriched with nutrients, which accumulate in the pores. For this purpose, the biochar is soaked in a liquid, organic residue (e.g. liquid manure, other nutrient-rich biological residues). The resulting fertilizer can be used as a soil conditioner for crops and trees, as well as for inner-city greening.

Larger-scale field trials were carried out on agricultural land in Germany and Norway last year. The ABC fertilizer (Advanced BioChar-based fertilizer) was applied to various test fields to determine the effects on plant growth. In addition, several urban trees have been planted in Norway with the addition of biochar. The results so far show that under certain conditions, the ABC fertilizer can be more efficient than conventional fertilizers. Furthermore, the introduction of biochar into the soil is a form of carbon storage.

As part of the project, TEER intensively examined various processes for producing biochar. The effects of process parameters such as temperature and residence time on the biochar quality were analyzed in more detail.

The results are presented to the scientific public in relevant journals and at conferences. In addition, workshops for interested end users and policy makers will be offered, giving practical guidance on the production and use of biochar-based fertilizers.

More detailed information can be found here.