Review on upgrading organic waste to value-added carbon materials for energy and environmental applications

Xiangzhou Yuan, Pavani Dulanja Dissanayake, Bin Gao, Wu Jun Liu, Ki Bong Lee, Yong Sik Ok

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

45 Citations (Scopus)


Value-added materials such as biochar and activated carbon that are produced using thermo-chemical conversion of organic waste have gained an emerging interest for the application in the fields of energy and environment because of their low cost and unique physico-chemical properties. Organic waste-derived materials have multifunctional abilities in the field of environment for capturing greenhouse gases and remediation of contaminated soil and water as well as in the field of energy storage and conversion. This review critically evaluates and discusses the current thermo-chemical approaches for upgrading organic waste to value-added carbon materials, performance enhancement of these materials via activation and/or surface modification, and recent research findings related to energy and environmental applications. Moreover, this review provides detailed guidelines for preparing high-performance organic waste-derived materials and insights for their potential applications. Key challenges associated with the sustainable management of organic waste for ecological and socio-economic benefits and potential solutions are also discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Article number113128
JournalJournal of Environmental Management
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Oct 15

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study was supported by the Hydrogen Energy Innovation Technology Development Program ( NRF-2019M3E6A1064197 ), the Basic Science Research Program ( NRF-2020R1A2C2010815 ) of the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) funded by the Korean government's Ministry of Science and ICT , the Cooperative Research Program for Agriculture Science and Technology Development, Rural Development Administration, Republic of Korea (Project No. PJ01475801 ) and the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) grant funded by the Korea government (MSIT) (No. 2021R1A2C2011734 ).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Elsevier Ltd


  • Carbon material
  • Energy
  • Engineered biochar
  • Environment
  • Organic waste
  • Valorization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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