Hydrochars production, characterization and application for wastewater treatment: A review

Ahmed Amine Azzaz, Besma Khiari, Salah Jellali, Camélia Matei Ghimbeu, Mejdi Jeguirim*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

104 Citations (Scopus)


Hydrothermal carbonization (HTC) of wet solid wastes has been pointed out as an eco-friendly, flexible and highly efficient technology for the sustainable valorization of multiple sourced wastes. In this review paper, most recent studies on hydrochars (solid residue of the HTC process) production, characterization and application for wastewaters treatment was summarized and deeply discussed. The role of initial feedstock source nature and characteristics as well as the HTC experimental conditions including the temperature, the residence time and the pH media was assessed. Physical and chemical activation methods including the use of oxygen, steam, microwave, acids, alkaline, organics and salty solutions for the improvement of the physicochemical properties of the produced hydrochars are compared. The efficiency of these raw/modified hydrochars along with the involved mechanisms during organic (dyes) and mineral pollutants (heavy metals and nutrients) removal from aqueous solutions is also reviewed. Finally, this paper addresses the main challenges and also demonstrates insights on new directions for hydrochars research and development in the future.

Original languageEnglish
Article number109882
JournalRenewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2020


  • Activation
  • Adsorption mechanisms
  • Hydrochar
  • Hydrothermal carbonization
  • Water treatment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment

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