Engineered biochar – A sustainable solution for the removal of antibiotics from water

Patrycja Krasucka, Bo Pan, Yong Sik Ok, Dinesh Mohan, Binoy Sarkar, Patryk Oleszczuk

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

239 Citations (Scopus)


Antibiotic contamination and the spread of antimicrobial resistant bacteria are global environmental issues. Given the growing consumption of antibiotics, it is crucial to reduce their presence in the environment. Adsorption is one of the most efficient methods for removing contaminants from water and wastewater. For this process to be effective, it is of key importance to identify adsorption mechanisms that allow an efficient and selective adsorbent to be chosen. Carbon-based materials (including activated carbon, biochar and black carbon) are typically used for the adsorptive removal of antibiotics. To enhance the efficiency of adsorption of pharmaceuticals, engineered biochars (physically, chemically and biologically modified biochar) and their composites have attracted increasing interests. Biochar-based sorbents can be produced from various feedstocks, including waste products. The use of “green”, low cost or sustainable biochar for contaminant sorption yields economic and environmental benefits. Moreover, this is in line with global trends in creating a circular economy and sustainable development. This paper collates the most recent data on the consumption of antibiotics, their related environmental contamination, and their removal using biochar-based materials. Special attention is paid to the newly emerging approaches of biochar modification and biochar composites in relation to the antibiotic removal from water.

Original languageEnglish
Article number126926
JournalChemical Engineering Journal
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Feb 1

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 Elsevier B.V.


  • Circular economy
  • Clean water
  • Composite materials
  • Designer biochar
  • Sustainable development

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • General Chemical Engineering
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


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