Simon Shackley, Hans Peter Schmidt, Bruno Glaser

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Abstract / Description of output

This chapter covers two main topics. First, it explains the currently known potential risks or undesirable outcomes from biochar production and use. Second, it outlines the regulations and legislation applicable to biochar in some European countries. Contaminants in biochar are either in the form of heavy metals or in the form of organic compounds which can cause toxic effect. The impact can be assessed using the well-developed methodology of ecotoxicological risk assessment, which assesses the quantity of contaminants, the relative toxicity and the exposure pathways to plants, animals and humans. Airborne contaminants can also be released through the production of biochar. In order to trade biochar and use it as a fertiliser or soil-improving product, an exemption should be applied for at the Federal Public Service for Health, Security of the Food Chain and Environment. However, the variety in final application of European legislation is not only due to the transposition of the Directives.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationBiochar in European Soils and Agriculture
Subtitle of host publicationScience and Practice
PublisherTaylor and Francis AS
Number of pages16
ISBN (Electronic)9781134654871
ISBN (Print)9780415711661
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2016


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