Multifunctional applications of biochar beyond carbon storage

Nanthi Bolan, Son A. Hoang, Jingzi Beiyuan, Souradeep Gupta, Deyi Hou, Ajay Karakoti, Stephen Joseph, Sungyup Jung, Ki Hyun Kim, M. B. Kirkham, Harn Wei Kua, Manish Kumar, Eilhann E. Kwon, Yong Sik Ok, Vishma Perera, Jörg Rinklebe, Sabry M. Shaheen, Binoy Sarkar, Ajit K. Sarmah, Bhupinder Pal SinghGurwinder Singh, Daniel C.W. Tsang, Kumar Vikrant, Meththika Vithanage, Ajayan Vinu, Hailong Wang, Hasintha Wijesekara, Yubo Yan, Sherif A. Younis, Lukas Van Zwieten

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

248 Citations (Scopus)


Biochar is produced as a charred material with high surface area and abundant functional groups by pyrolysis, which refers to the process of thermochemical decomposition of organic material at elevated temperatures in the absence of oxygen. The carbon component in biochar is relatively stable, and, hence, biochar was originally proposed as a soil amendment to store carbon in the soil. Biochar has multifunctional values that include the use of it for the following purposes: soil amendment to improve soil health, nutrient and microbial carrier, immobilising agent for remediation of toxic metals and organic contaminants in soil and water, catalyst for industrial applications, porous material for mitigating greenhouse gas emissions and odorous compounds, and feed supplement to improve animal health and nutrient intake efficiency and, thus, productivity. This article provides for the first time an overview of the multifunctional values and unintended consequences of biochar applications.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)150-200
Number of pages51
JournalInternational Materials Reviews
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining and ASM International Published by Taylor & Francis on behalf of the Institute and ASM International.


  • Multifunctional values of biochar
  • animal feed
  • biochar for carbon storage and capturing greenhouse gases
  • biochar-derived catalysts
  • composite manufacturing
  • construction
  • life-cycle analysis of biochar
  • remediation of contaminated soil, water, and air
  • soil health

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Metals and Alloys
  • Materials Chemistry


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