Impact of Biochar on Organic Contaminants in Soil: A Tool for Mitigating Risk?

Uchenna Ogbonnaya, Kirk T. Semple*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

90 Citations (Scopus)


The presence of biochar in soils through natural processes (forest fires, bush burning) or through application to soil (agriculture, carbon storage, remediation, waste management) has received a significant amount of scientific and regulatory attention. Biochar alters soil properties, encourages microbial activity and enhances sorption of inorganic and organic compounds, but this strongly depends on the feedstock and production process of biochar. This review considers biochar sources, the production process and result of pyrolysis, interactions of biochar with soil, and associated biota. Furthermore, the paper focuses on the interactions between biochar and common anthropogenic organic contaminants, such as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), pesticides, and dioxins, which are often deposited in the soil environment. It then considers the feasibility of applying biochar in remediation technologies in addition to other perspective areas yet to be explored.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)349-375
Number of pages27
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2013

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Agronomy and Crop Science

User-Defined Keywords

  • Bioaccessibility
  • Bioavailability
  • Biochar
  • Desorption
  • Sorption


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