Biochar application for remediation of organic toxic pollutants in contaminated soils; An update

Fasih Ullah Haider, Xiukang Wang*, Usman Zulfiqar, Muhammad Farooq, Saddam Hussain, Tariq Mehmood, Muhammad Naveed, Yuelin Li, Cai Liqun, Qudsia Saeed, Ishtiaq Ahmad, Adnan Mustafa

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

22 Citations (Scopus)


Bioremediation of organic contaminants has become a major environmental concern in the last few years, due to its bio-resistance and potential to accumulate in the environment. The use of diverse technologies, involving chemical and physical principles, and passive uptake utilizing sorption using ecofriendly substrates have drawn a lot of interest. Biochar has got attention mainly due to its simplicity of manufacturing, treatment, and disposal, as it is a less expensive and more efficient material, and has a lot of potential for the remediation of organic contaminants. This review highlighted the adverse impact of persistent organic pollutants on the environment and soil biota. The utilization of biochar to remediate soil and contaminated compounds i.e., pesticides, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, antibiotics, and organic dyes has also been discussed. The soil application of biochar has a significant impact on the biodegradation, leaching, and sorption/desorption of organic contaminants. The sorption/desorption of organic contaminants is influenced by chemical composition and structure, porosity, surface area, pH, and elemental ratios, and surface functional groups of biochar. All the above biochar characteristics depend on the type of feedstock and pyrolysis conditions. However, the concentration and nature of organic pollutants significantly alters the sorption capability of biochar. Therefore, the physicochemical properties of biochar and soils/wastewater, and the nature of organic contaminants, should be evaluated before biochar application to soil and wastewater. Future initiatives, however, are needed to develop biochars with better adsorption capacity, and long-term sustainability for use in the xenobiotic/organic contaminant remediation strategy.

Original languageEnglish
Article number114322
JournalEcotoxicology and Environmental Safety
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1 2022


  • Antibiotics
  • Biochar
  • Dyes
  • Pesticides
  • Polycylic-aromatic hydrocarbon
  • Remediation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pollution
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis

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