Biochar industry to circular economy

Qiang Hu, Janelle Jung, Dexiang Chen, Ken Leong, Shuang Song, Fanghua Li, Babu Cadiam Mohan, Zhiyi Yao, Arun Kumar Prabhakar, Xuan Hao Lin, Ee Yang Lim, Le Zhang, Gupta Souradeep, Yong Sik Ok, Harn Wei Kua, Sam F.Y. Li, Hugh T.W. Tan, Yanjun Dai, Yen Wah Tong, Yinghong PengStephen Joseph, Chi Hwa Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

64 Citations (Scopus)


Biochar, produced as a by-product of pyrolysis/gasification of waste biomass, shows great potential to reduce the environment impact, address the climate change issue, and establish a circular economy model. Despite the promising outlook, the research on the benefits of biochar remains highly debated. This has been attributed to the heterogeneity of biochar itself, with its inherent physical, chemical and biological properties highly influenced by production variables such as feedstock types and treating conditions. Hence, to enable meaningful comparison of results, establishment of an agreed international standard to govern the production of biochar for specific uses is necessary. In this study, we analyzed four key uses of biochar: 1) in agriculture and horticulture, 2) as construction material, 3) as activated carbon, and 4) in anaerobic digestion. Then the guidelines for the properties of biochar, especially for the concentrations of toxic heavy metals, for its environmental friendly application were proposed in the context of Singapore. The international status of the biochar industry code of practice, feedback from Singapore local industry and government agencies, as well as future perspectives for the biochar industry were explained.

Original languageEnglish
Article number143820
JournalScience of the Total Environment
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Feb 25


  • Activated carbon
  • Agriculture and horticulture
  • Anaerobic digestion
  • Biochar
  • Construction material

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Pollution


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