N. Tan, R.C. So
Ateneo de Manila University,
Keywords: biochar, banana peel char, growth promoter
Summary:Biochars are porous materials prepared by combustion of biomass under the presence of low oxygen levels. Its application as soil fertilizer has been shown to have positive effects on the plants by increasing the fertility and raising the soil pH, increasing nutrient cycling and moisture holding capacity, improving cation exchange capacity, and reducing the amount of pesticides and nutrients leaching to the surface and ground water (Laird 2008, Speratti 2017). In this study, waste banana peels of the Lakatan variety (Musa x paradisiaca) were pyrolized at temperatures 300, 400, 500 and 700 °C, the resulting basic char were obtained at 4-9% yield. The char from the different pyrolysis conditions were characterized and evaluated as growth promoter for holy basil (Ocimum tenuiflorum) and chili pepper (Capsicum annuum). The results show that the ability of the char to promote growth were found to be beneficial when the pyrolysis temperature of the char is lower (300 - 500 °C) for both plants. Conversely, the soil containing 1 wt% of char was found to be beneficial to the growth of chili compared to the control.