Animal carcass burial management: implications for sustainable biochar use

Meththika Vithanage, S. S. Mayakaduwage, Viraj Gunarathne, Anushka Upamali Rajapaksha, Mahtab Ahmad, Adel Abduljabbar, Adel Usman, Mohammad I. Al-Wabel, James A. Ippolito, Yong Sik Ok

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


This review focuses on existing technologies for carcass and corpse disposal and potential alternative treatment strategies. Furthermore, key issues related to these treatments (e.g., carcass and corpse disposal events, available methods, performances, and limitations) are addressed in conjunction with associated environmental impacts. Simultaneously, various treatment technologies have been evaluated to provide insights into the adsorptive removal of specific pollutants derived from carcass disposal and management. In this regard, it has been proposed that a low-cost pollutant sorbent may be utilized, namely, biochar. Biochar has demonstrated the ability to remove (in)organic pollutants and excess nutrients from soils and waters; thus, we identify possible biochar uses for soil and water remediation at carcass and corpse disposal sites. To date, however, little emphasis has been placed on potential biochar use to manage such disposal sites. We highlight the need for strategic efforts to accurately assess biochar effectiveness when applied towards the remediation of complex pollutants produced and circulated within carcass and corpse burial systems. Graphical Abstract: [Figure not available: see fulltext.]

Original languageEnglish
Article number91
JournalApplied Biological Chemistry
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Dec

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021, The Author(s).


  • Biochar
  • Carcass burial
  • Human corpses
  • Pandemic
  • Soil amendment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Biochemistry,Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • Organic Chemistry


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