The Effect of Biochar on Root Growth in Sustainable Agriculture


Sustainable agriculture can be used to achieve food security by continuously producing agriculture while taking safety, soil health, and environmental and economic considerations into account. Reduced agricultural land for agricultural production could stifle the growth of sustainable agriculture. This study made use of biochar, which is made from organic waste and serves to temporarily hold soil nutrients in the root zone of plants. The focus of this research was to find new ways to expand coastal land use by using biochar made from organic waste as a soil amendment for agriculture, particularly vegetable production. The study employed a two-factor design: the first was the size of the biochar material, which was coarse and fine, and the second was the biochar dosage, which included 10, 15 and 20 tons per hectare. Coconut shell waste was used to make the biochar. According to the results, the application of course-sized biochar at a dose of 15 tons per hectare resulted in lateral root distribution. Vegetable root development tended to be reduced when fine biochar was used. We can conclude that one of the solutions for sustainable agricultural production is to use biochar ameliorant materials made from environmentally friendly organic waste.

Keywords: Biochar, Coastal land, Organic matter, Roots Areas, Soil Carbon, and Sustainaibility Agriculture.

[1] Ding Y, Liu Y-X, Wu W-X, Shi D-Z, Yang M, Zhong ZK. Evaluation of biochar effects on nitrogen retention and leaching in multi-layered soil columns. Water, Air & Soil Pollution. An International Journal of Environmental Pollution. 2010;213(1):47–55.

[2] Herlambang S, Purwono BS, Sutiono HT, Rina SN. Application of coconut biochar and organic materials to improve soil environmental. IOP Conf. Ser.: Earth Environ. Sci. 2019;347: 353.

[3] Herlambang S, Purwono BS, Muamar G, Astrid WA. Biochar making machines design for increasing food security. Proceeding on Engineering and Science Series (ESS).Vol 1 No 1 (2020): 1-10. LPPM UPN ‘Veteran’ Yogyakarta Conference Series 2020. DOI:

[4] Oliveira LS, Oliveira DS, Bezerra BS, Pereira BS, Battistelle RAG. Environmental analysis of organic waste treatment focusing on composting scenarios. Journal of Cleaner Production. 2017;155:229–237.

[5] Finney DM, White CM, Kaye FP. Biomass production and carbon/nitrogen ratio influence ecosystem services from cover crop mixtures. Agronomy Journal. 2016;108(1):39-52.

[6] Chen Z, Huoyan W, Xiaowei L, Xinlin Z, Dianjun L, Jianmin Z, Chang ZL. Changes in soil microbial community and organic carbon fractions under short-term straw return in a rice–wheat cropping system. Soil and Tillage Research. 2017;165:121–127.

[7] Muhammad S, Yakov K, Muhammad S, Felix H, Vladimir Z, Amit Kr & Evgenia B. Microbial decomposition of soil organic matter is mediated by quality and quantity of crop residues: Mechanisms and thresholds. Biology and Fertility of Soils Journal. 2017;53(3):287–301.

[8] Binh QA, Kajitvichyanukul P. Adsorption mechanism of dichlorvos onto coconut fibre biochar: The significant dependence of H-bonding and the porefilling mechanism. Water Science and Technology Journal. 2019;79(5):866–876.

[9] Hua YJ, Ren KXU, Ning W, Jiu YLI. Amendment of acid soils with crop residues and biochars. Pedosphere Journal. Pedosphere. Vol 21, Issue 3, June 2011, Pages 302-308.

[10] Smith P. Soil carbon sequestration and biochar as negative emission technologies. Global Change Biology. 2016;22(3):1315–1324.

[11] Xia L, Lam SK, Chen D, Wang J, Tang Q, Yan X. Can knowledge-based N management produce more staple grain with lower greenhouse gas emission and reactive nitrogen pollution? A meta-analysis. Global Change Biology. 2017;23(5):1917–1925.

[12] Haipeng W, Cui L, Guangming Z, Jie L, Jin C, Jijun X, Juan D, Xiaodong L, Junfeng L,Ming C, Lunhui L, Liang H & Jia W. The interactions of composting and biochar and their implications for soil amendment and pollution remediation: A review. Critical Reviews in Biotechnology. 2017;37(6):754–764.

[13] Pengfei L, Jianwei L, Yang Wang, Sen W, Saddam HTR, Rihuan C, Xiaokun L. Nitrogen losses, use efficiency, and productivity of early rice under controlled-release urea. Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment. 2018;251:78–87.

[14] Herlambang S, Maas A, Utami SNH, Widada J. The dynamics of C and N by combination of composted fresh organic waste as soil amendment in the soil thickness at pineapple plantation, Lampung Indonesia. International Journal on Advanced Science, Engineering and Information Technology. 2019;9(4):1352–1356.

[15] Hagemann N, Kammann CI, Schmidt H-P, Kappler A, Behrens S. Nitrate capture and slow release in biochar amended compost and soil. PLOS ONE. 2017;12(2):78-87.

[16] Jing W, Chen T, Guodong Y, Dongxue B, Hailong W, Lijuan Z & Benny KGT. Pyrolysis temperature-dependent changes in the characteristics of biochar-borne dissolved organic matter and its copper binding properties. Bulletin of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology. 2019;103(1):169–174. 018-2392-7

[17] Herlambang S, Santoso PB, Sutiono HT, Susanti RN. The application of biochar and organic matter for proper cultivation on paddy soil. Journal of Degrade and Mining Lands Management. 2020;7(3):2133–2137. [18] Yuan J-H, Xu R-K, Wang N, Li J-Y. Amendment of acid soils with crop residues and biochars. Pedosphere. 2011;21(3):302–308. 0160(11)60130-6

[19] Singh BP, Cowie AL, Smernik RJ. Biochar carbon stability in a clayey soil as a function of feedstock and pyrolysis temperature. Journal Enviromental Science and Technology. 2012;46(21):11770–11778.

[20] Nithyapriya S, 1 , Sundaram L, Sayyed, RZ , Reddy M S , Daniel JD, Hesham AE , Ni Luh Suriani NL and Herlambang S. Production, purification, and characterization of bacillibactin siderophore of Bacillus subtilis and its application for improvement in plant growth and oil content in sesame. Sustainability. 2021;13(10): 2-18 .

[21] Jonathan SJ, Mark A. Bradford. Pathways of mineralassociated soil organic matter formation: Integrating the role of plant carbon source, chemistry, and point of entry. Journal Global Change Biology. 2019; 25 (1); 12-24.

[22] Yehong X, Zengming C, Sébastien FWW, Jiafa L, Jianling F, Weixin D. Dominant effects of organic carbon chemistry on decomposition dynamics of crop residues in a mollisol. Soil Biology and Biochemistry. 2017;115:221–232.

[23] Tesfaye MA, Bravo F, Ruiz-Peinado R, Pando V, Bravo-Oviedo A. Impact of changes in land use, species and elevation on soil organic carbon and total nitrogen in Ethiopian Central Highlands. Geoderma. 2016;261:70–79.

[24] Chenghao L, Fan L, Liming S, Pinjing H. Application of eco-compatible biochar in anaerobic digestion to relieve acid stress and promote the selective colonization of functional microbes. Journal Water Research (2015) 68(1):710-718. https://doi: 10.1016/j.watres.2014.10.052.

[25] JingjingD, Yuyan Z, MingxiangQ, YutingY, Kang F, Bin HHZ, Mingbao Wei, Chuang M. Effects of biochar on the microbial activity and community structure during sewage sludge composting. Bioresource Technology. 2019;272:171–179.

[26] Frouz J. Effects of soil macro- and mesofauna on litter decomposition and soil organic matter stabilization. Geoderma. 2018;332:161–172.