A comprehensive review of engineered biochar: production, characteristics, and environmental applications

Hamed Kazemi Shariat Panahi, Mona Dehhaghi, Yong Sik Ok, Abdul Sattar Nizami, Benyamin Khoshnevisan, Solange I. Mussatto, Mortaza Aghbashlo, Meisam Tabatabaei*, Su Shiung Lam

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

238 Citations (Scopus)


A sustainable management of environment and agriculture is crucial to protect soil, water, and air during intensified agriculture practices as well as huge industrial and transportation activities. A promising tool to address these challenges could be the application of biochar, a carbonaceous product of biomass pyrolysis. The efficiency of biochar could be improved through physical, chemical and microbial procedures. Engineered biochar could then be applied for various applications ranging from sustainable agriculture to pollution remediation and catalytic reactions. Biochar engineering allows achieving biochar properties which are optimum for specific applications and/or under specific conditions. This would lead to harnessing the favorable features of biochar and to enhance its efficiency while simultaneously minimizing the existing tradeoffs. This review covers the production and applications of engineered biochar by summarizing great deals of research and knowledge on the field. Unlike previous reviews, herein biochar physical and chemical properties and the factors affecting them (i.e., biomass nature and pyrolysis conditions) have been discussed in detail. Moreover, the contributions of each physical and chemical activation/modification method to improving biochar characteristics with respect to environmental applications have been specifically scrutinized. By providing the state-of-the-art knowledge about engineered biochar production, properties, and applications, this review aims to help research in this field for identification of the culprits that must be addressed in future experiments.

Original languageEnglish
Article number122462
Pages (from-to)1-29
Number of pages29
JournalJournal of Cleaner Production
Publication statusPublished - 10 Oct 2020


  • Charcoal
  • Designer biochar
  • Environmental management
  • Functional group
  • Green and sustainable remediation
  • Physical and chemical characteristics


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