EGU General Assembly 2020
© Author(s) 2021. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

The Potential for Biochar to Mitigate the Impact of Climate Change

Naeema Al Nofeli and Fred Worrall
Naeema Al Nofeli and Fred Worrall
  • Durham University, Department of Earth Sciences , United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (

The date palm tree has been mainly used as a source of food in the MENA (Middle East North Africa) region. Specifically, in the United Arab Emirates produces over 44 million date palm trees yearly, each tree generates approximately 20 Kilograms of palm frond waste per year and this waste is currently sent to landfills. In this study, we proposed that in the arid soil conditions found in the UAE, this date palm waste could be converted to biochar and used to improve the water holding capacity of UAE soils. Therefore, the aim of this study was to test whether amendments of date palm frond (DPF) and its biochar could improve the water holding capacity of soils. A mesocosm design and a plant growth experiment were used to assess the treatments at summer temperature conditions. For the mesocosm, there were 6 different biochar and DPF treatments (1%, 3%, 6%, 12%, 15% and 18% biochar or DPF in soil) along with the controls (sharp sand, DPF biochar and DPF). The experiment was divided into 3 cycles (wet, dry, and dry with a water bowl (waw)). The impact of the experimental treatments was assessed using ANOVA. Both Biochar and DPF had no significant effect during the first two cycles (wet and dry) but during the third cycle, the DPF appeared to have better water holding capacity than Biochar. A plant growth experiment was conducted with 6 different treatment (controls - sand, DPF and Biochar; and Biochar at 1%, 6%,15% and 18%). Cat grass was used for measuring its temperature, height, moisture and pH. Water was irrigated during the first 3 weeks then the soil treatments left to dry. The results of the greatest growth for 1% Biochar. Further investigations are being processed using thermal gravimetric analysis (TGA), Carbon, Nitrogen, Hydrogen & Oxygen (CHNO), Brunauer-Emmett-Teller (BET), Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) & Computerized tomography (CT) scan. This is to assess water binding capacity and physiochemical properties of the Biochar, DPF and soil.  

How to cite: Al Nofeli, N. and Worrall, F.: The Potential for Biochar to Mitigate the Impact of Climate Change, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-21238,, 2020


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