Biochar as a sorbent for contaminant management in soil and water: A review

Mahtab Ahmad, Anushka Upamali Rajapaksha, Jung Eun Lim, Ming Zhang, Nanthi Bolan, Dinesh Mohan, Meththika Vithanage, Sang Soo Lee, Yong Sik Ok

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

1435 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Biochar is a stable carbon-rich by-product synthesized through pyrolysis/carbonization of plant- and animal-based biomass. An increasing interest in the beneficial application of biochar has opened up multidisciplinary areas for science and engineering. The potential biochar applications include carbon sequestration, soil fertility improvement, pollution remediation, and agricultural by-product/waste recycling. The key parameters controlling its properties include pyrolysis temperature, residence time, heat transfer rate, and feedstock type. The efficacy of biochar in contaminant management depends on its surface area, pore size distribution and ion-exchange capacity. Physical architecture and molecular composition of biochar could be critical for practical application to soil and water. Relatively high pyrolysis temperatures generally produce biochars that are effective in the sorption of organic contaminants by increasing surface area, microporosity, and hydrophobicity; whereas the biochars obtained at low temperatures are more suitable for removing inorganic/polar organic contaminants by oxygen-containing functional groups, electrostatic attraction, and precipitation. However, due to complexity of soil-water system in nature, the effectiveness of biochars on remediation of various organic/inorganic contaminants is still uncertain. In this review, a succinct overview of current biochar use as a sorbent for contaminant management in soil and water is summarized and discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)19-23
Number of pages5
JournalChemosphere
Volume99
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2014 Mar 1
Externally publishedYes

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Keywords

  • Activated carbon
  • Amendment
  • Bioavailability
  • Black carbon
  • Charcoal
  • Slow pyrolysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Chemistry(all)

Cite this

Ahmad, M., Rajapaksha, A. U., Lim, J. E., Zhang, M., Bolan, N., Mohan, D., Vithanage, M., Lee, S. S., & Ok, Y. S. (2014). Biochar as a sorbent for contaminant management in soil and water: A review. Chemosphere, 99, 19-23. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.chemosphere.2013.10.071