Background Study 2.0 - Coconut Shell Biochar (CSB)
Figure 2.0: Biochar a charcoal-like structure
Coconut is a popular plantation and it is grown in more than 90 countries – including Malaysia. Global production of coconuts sums up to approximately 55 million tonnes per year (Rout, 2014). Coconut shells generated from waste product of oil industry and other uses should be utilised properly – by utilising pyrolysis processes to produce coconut shells biochar (CSB). Lehmann and Joseph (2010) have described biochar as the thermal degradation of plant biomass in the absence of oxygen or low content of oxygen which resulting in production of porous low density carbon rich material and it could be differentiated from charcoal based on its use as a soil amendment. Biochar possesses abilities to enhance soil fertility in conjunction with other ecosystem services and sequester carbon (C) to mitigate global warming effects (Sohi et al., 2010). Based on current knowledge, the effects on soil fertility are mainly due to pH increase in acidic soils and enhancement of nutrient retention through cation adsorption (Liang et al., 2006). However, biochar have also been reported to change soil biological community composition abundance which includes rhizosphere bacteria and fungi – promoting plant growth directly (Warnock et al., 2007). In conclusion, CSB possesses vast potential in agricultural industries in order to improve soil fertility level and resulted in enhancement of yield in crop.