Advances and future directions of biochar characterization methods and applications

Avanthi Deshani Igalavithana, Sanchita Mandal, Nabeel Khan Niazi, Meththika Vithanage, Sanjai J. Parikh, Fungai N.D. Mukome, Muhammad Rizwan, Patryk Oleszczuk, Mohammad Al-Wabel, Nanthi Bolan, Daniel C.W. Tsang, Ki Hyun Kim, Yong Sik Ok

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

193 Citations (Scopus)


Biochar is a carbon-rich by-product of the thermal conversion of organic feedstocks and is primarily used as a soil amendment. Identification and quantification of biochar properties are important to ensure optimal outcomes for agricultural or environmental applications. Advanced spectroscopic techniques have recently been adopted in biochar characterization. However, biochar characterization approaches rely entirely on the user's choice and accessibility to the new technology. The selection of proper methods is vital to accurately and consistently assess biochar properties. This review critically evaluates current biochar characterization methods of proximate, ultimate, physicochemical, surface and structural analyses, and important biochar properties for various applications.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2275-2330
Number of pages56
JournalCritical Reviews in Environmental Science and Technology
Issue number23
Publication statusPublished - 2017 Dec 2

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study was supported by the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) (NRF-2015R1A2A2A11001432).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017, © 2018 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.


  • Advanced spectroscopic analysis
  • black carbon
  • characterization
  • pyrolysis
  • surface functional group

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Pollution


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