The Cell Viability on Kelp and Fir Biochar and the Effect on the Field Cultivation of Corn

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    Field cultivation of corn and microbial cell viability tests using Pseudomonas putida K-5 were performed to assess the toxic effect of kelp seaweed biochar (KBC) and fir wood biochar (FBC) produced by pyrolysis. After 63 days growth, FBC increased corn growth by 4.9% without fertilizer and by 7.6% with fertilizer, while KBC decreased it by 20.2% without fertilizer and by 27.9% with fertilizer. Physico-chemical characterization of the biochars such as ICP, CHON, and proximate analyses showed that KBC contained large amount of metals and ashes which could be responsible for its inhibition to corn growth. Upon exposure of K-5 cells for 1 h to biochar extracts, the cell viability in KBC extracts was 48.2% and quite lower than that (78.6%) in FBC. Washed KBC biochar with water at 1:10 w/v % increased the cell viability to 54.0%. The results indicated that seaweed biochar may be careful to be used for plant growing additives due to its high concentrations of metals and ashes. This toxic effect could be reduced by proper washing method with water.


    Biochar , Corn , Fertilizer , Pyrolysis , Toxicity