Organic and inorganic contaminants removal from water with biochar, a renewable, low cost and sustainable adsorbent - A critical review

Dinesh Mohan, Ankur Sarswat, Yong Sik Ok, Charles U. Pittman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

913 Citations (Scopus)


Biochar is used for soil conditioning, remediation, carbon sequestration and water remediation. Biochar application to water and wastewater has never been reviewed previously. This review focuses on recent applications of biochars, produced from biomass pyrolysis (slow and fast), in water and wastewater treatment. Slow and fast pyrolysis biochar production is briefly discussed. The literature on sorption of organic and inorganic contaminants by biochars is surveyed and reviewed. Adsorption capacities for organic and inorganic contaminants by different biochars under different operating conditions are summarized and, where possible, compared. Mechanisms responsible for contaminant remediation are briefly discussed. Finally, a few recommendations for further research have been made in the area of biochar development for application to water filtration.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)191-202
Number of pages12
JournalBioresource Technology
Publication statusPublished - 2014 Jan 1
Externally publishedYes



  • Adsorption
  • Biochar
  • Contaminants removal
  • Fast pyrolysis
  • Slow pyrolysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • Environmental Engineering
  • Waste Management and Disposal

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