Within WP5 the following activities will be carried out:
- Chemical, physical and thermal characterization of char sampled from the reference commercial plants selected in WP3;
- Analysis of the effect of the selected biochars on seedling growth of model plants and selected agricultural crops to assess their suitability as soil amendments;
- Heavy metals and Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbon (PAH) characterization in the char fraction, supplemented by specific eco-toxicity tests through “high content screening”, which allow obtaining a direct toxicological response.
The activities will be performed by FUB exploiting the experience of Industrial Technical Physics group in biomass analytics and analysis of by-products formed during biomass pyrolysis, gasification and torrefaction and the experience of Agricultural Chemistry group in processes involved in nutrient uptake and nutrient cycling in soil, especially rhizosphere soil. The bioassay test using the vineyard soil will be fundamental for the outcome of the field experiment of WP7 as for instance the determination of the biochar application rate. Furthermore, the collaboration with Eco-Research will be fundamental for the assessment of char ecotoxicity, another key aspect for the assessment of applicability of biochar to soil. The activities will be structured into 3 tasks.