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Mechanisms of Organic Coating on the Surface of a Poplar Biochar

  • Authors: Conte, P.; Laudicina, V.
  • Publication year: 2017
  • Type: Articolo in rivista (Articolo in rivista)
  • Key words: Biochar, fast field cycling, fluorine NMR, fluorinated compounds, organic coating, pyrolysis biochar, relaxometry
  • OA Link:


Background: Recent studies highlighted that biochar efficiency to improve soil fertility is enhanced after it is blended with fresh organic materials. It was suggested that organic coating of inner-porous biochar surfaces acts as a kind of “glue” for plant-nutrients, thereby allowing their slow release towards plant-roots and/or microorganisms. Objective: The aim of the present study is to improve the understanding of the nature of the interactions between fresh organic matter and a poplar biochar. Method: Two fluorinated organic models were used as target molecules in order to apply heteronuclear (i.e. 19F) fast field cycling (FFC) NMR relaxometry. Results: The results suggest that organic coating can be stabilized by charge transfer interactions (involving electron- rich systems of fresh organic matter and electron-poor sites provided by biochar), water bridging (between biochar surface and fluorinated compounds) and van der Waals interactions (occurring between the biochar aromatic system and the carbon chain of the fluorinated compound). Conclusions: The weak interactions outlined above may be responsible for an induced dipole on the biochar organic- cover. The induced dipole, in turn, can be involved in the adsorption of plant nutrients (which adsorb only marginally on the un-coated biochar), while maintaining their availability for plants.