The Improvement of Hydroponics Growth Media by Using the Corncob Biochar


  • Pannipha Dokmaingam School of Health Science, Mae Fah Luang University
  • Sitang Kongkratoke School of Health Science, Mae Fah Luang University
  • Amornrat Anuwatnonthakate School of Health Science, Mae Fah Luang University
  • Sarayut Yongprapat Venus supply Co., Ltd.


Corncob, Biochar, Hydroponic growth media, Crop production


Corncob is one of the main agricultural wastes in the northern part of Thailand. It is utilized in many proposes such as wood pellet, activated carbon or biochar. Biochar has several excellent properties that could provide benefits for agriculture applications such as water absorption, ionic exchange, water holding capacity, and conductivity. These properties could also offer an advantage for the hydroponics system. This study selected corncob biochar for improving the growth of hydroponic plants. Firstly, the commercial biochar will be characterized it’s chemical and physical properties and then hydroponic plants, namely Red Oak lettuces, Green Oak lettuces, and Cos lettuces, were grown in the growth medium with and without biochar in order to compare the growth of plants. It was found that corncob biochar has high aliphatic carbon content with 99.27 % fixed carbon. As the morphology properties, it’s surface area, total pore volume and mean pore diameter are 40.4695 m2/g, 0.0385 cm3/g, 3.85875 nm., respectively. These advantage for promote nutrients utilization in the hydroponics system. These are also affected to different number of leaves of Cos lettuce and dry weight of Green Oak lettuce from growth media with and without biochar which is reached a significant difference level (p<0.05). It was suggested that adding a small amount of corncob biochar could endorse nutrients used in a hydroponics system. This would advantage for put forth shoots of hydroponic plants. However, the biochar would benefit for microbial activity that is important to water and nutrient uptake. This would more advantage if biochar is applied to the soil.


Download data is not yet available.


Angmanee, R., Chuangcham, K., & Homchan, U. (2017). Properties of corn waste biochar and potential for soil improvement. VRU Research and Development Journal Science and Technology. 11(1), 11.

Atkinson, C.J., Fitzgerald, J.D., & Hipps, N.A. (2010). Potential mechanisms for achieving agricultural benefits from biochar application to temperate soils: A review. Plant and soil, 337(1-2), 1-18.

Awad, Y.M., Lee, S.-E., Ahmed, M.B.M., Vu, N.T., Farooq, M., Kim, I.S., Al-Wabel, M. (2017). Biochar, a potential hydroponic growth substrate, enhances the nutritional status and growth of leafy vegetables. Journal of Cleaner Production, 156, 581-588.

Batista, E.M., Shultz, J., Matos, T.T., Fornari, M.R., Ferreira, T.M., Szpoganicz, B., ... & Mangrich, A.S. (2018). Effect of surface and porosity of biochar on water holding capacity aiming indirectly at preservation of the Amazon biome. Scientific Reports, 8(1), 1-9.

Blagodatskaya, E., Blagodatsky, S., Anderson, T. H., & Kuzyakov, Y. (2014). Microbial growth and carbon use efficiency in the rhizosphere and root-free soil. PloS one, 9(4), e93282.

Blok, C., Van der Salm, C., Hofland-Zijlstra, J., Streminska, M., Eveleens, B., Regelink, I., . . . Visser, R. (2017). Biochar for horticultural rooting media improvement: Evaluation of biochar from gasification and slow pyrolysis. Agronomy, 7(1), 6.

Centre for Agricultural Information. (2017). Total maize: Cultivated area, area of harvest, yield and yield per area: Year 2555 - 2557. Retrieved March 3, 2018, from

Ding, Y., Liu, Y., Liu, S., Li, Z., Tan, X., Huang, X., . . . Zheng, B. (2016). Biochar to improve soil fertility. A review. Agronomy for sustainable development, 36(2), 36.

Fryda, L., & Visser, R. (2015). Biochar for soil improvement: Evaluation of biochar from gasification and slow pyrolysis. Agriculture, 5(4), 1076-1115.

Jahromi, N.B., Walker, F., Fulcher, A., Altland, J., & Wright, W.C. (2018). Growth response, mineral nutrition, and water utilization of container-grown woody ornamentals grown in biochar-amended pine bark. HortScience, 53(3), 347.

Kasikorn research center. (2020). How much does the economy affect? Retrieved January 20, 2020, from

Khoomsab, R., Pongpian, W., Winyakul, C., & Chomchalao, P. (2015). Preparation and analysis on adsorption of activated carbon from waste corncob by chemical activation method. In the National Conference on Research for Sustainable Development (pp. 1393-1400). Retrieved June 14, 2019, from

Mukherjee, A., & Zimmerman, A.R. (2013). Organic carbon and nutrient release from a range of laboratoryproduced biochars and biochar–soil mixtures. Geoderma, 193-194, 122-130.

Novak, J.M., Lima, I., Xing, B., Gaskin, J.W., Steiner, C., Das, K., . . . Busscher, W. J. (2009). Characterization of designer biochar produced at different temperatures and their effects on a loamy sand. Annals of Environmental Science, 3, 195-206.

Nurhidayati, N., & Mariati, M. (2014). Utilization of maize cob biochar and rice husk charcoal as soil amendment for improving acid soil fertility and productivity. Journal of Degraded and Mining Lands Management, 2(1), 223.

Rizwan, M., Ali, S., Qayyum, M.F., Ibrahim, M., Zia-ur-Rehman, M., Abbas, T., & Ok, Y.S. (2016). Mechanisms of biochar-mediated alleviation of toxicity of trace elements in plants: A critical review. Environmental Science and Pollution Research, 23(3), 2230-2248.

Ronsse, F., Van Hecke, S., Dickinson, D., & Prins, W. (2013). Production and characterization of slow pyrolysis biochar: Influence of feedstock type and pyrolysis conditions. Gcb Bioenergy, 5(2), 104-115.

Singh, B., Dolk, M.M., Shen, Q., & Camps-Arbestain, M. (2017). Biochar pH, electrical conductivity and liming potential. In Biochar: A Guide to Analytical Methods, (pp.23-38). Clayton, Australia: Csiro Publishing.

Smith, P. (2016). Soil carbon sequestration and biochar as negative emission technologies. Global change biology, 22(3), 1315-1324.

Tangtaweewipat, S., Pongpiachan, P., Yammuenart, S., Tapingkae, W., Banziger, S., & Kornkal, C. (2012). Smong reduction corn village “reduction of the smog problem and the environment conservation through science and integrated agricultural technology on highland” case study Baanbonna Mae Chaem, Chiang Mai, Thailand (Research report). Chiang Mai: Chiang Mai University.

Tansathit, T., Rotchanamekha, S., & Thepwong, R. (2016). Biochar production from stubble and rice straw for water holding in soil. In the 1st National RMUTR Conferenc 2559 (Building Innovation 2016 : B-inno 2016) (pp.401-410). Retrieved June 14, 2019, from

Vaughn, S.F., Eller, F.J., Evangelista, R.L., Moser, B.R., Lee, E., Wagner, R.E., & Peterson, S.C. (2015). Evaluation of biochar-anaerobic potato digestate mixtures as renewable components of horticultural potting media. Industrial Crops and Products, 65, 467-471.

Zheng, H., Wang, Z., Deng, X., Herbert, S., & Xing, B. (2013). Impacts of adding biochar on nitrogen retention and bioavailability in agricultural soil. Geoderma, 206, 32-39.

Zhu, X., Chen, B., Zhu, L., & Xing, B. (2017). Effects and mechanisms of biochar-microbe interactions in soil improvement and pollution remediation: A review. Environmental Pollution, 227, 98-115.




How to Cite

Dokmaingam, P., Kongkratoke, S., Anuwatnonthakate, A., & Yongprapat, S. (2023). The Improvement of Hydroponics Growth Media by Using the Corncob Biochar. Journal of Food Health and Bioenvironmental Science, 13(3), 26–31. Retrieved from



Original Articles