Advances and future directions of biochar characterization methods and applications

Avanthi Deshani Igalavithana, Sanchita Mandal, Nabeel Khan Niazi, Meththika Vithanage, Sanjai J. Parikh, Fungai N.D. Mukome, Muhammad Rizwan, Patryk Oleszczuk, Mohammad Al-Wabel, Nanthi Bolan, Daniel C.W. Tsang, Ki Hyun Kim, Yong Sik Ok

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

183 Citations (Scopus)


Biochar is a carbon-rich by-product of the thermal conversion of organic feedstocks and is primarily used as a soil amendment. Identification and quantification of biochar properties are important to ensure optimal outcomes for agricultural or environmental applications. Advanced spectroscopic techniques have recently been adopted in biochar characterization. However, biochar characterization approaches rely entirely on the user's choice and accessibility to the new technology. The selection of proper methods is vital to accurately and consistently assess biochar properties. This review critically evaluates current biochar characterization methods of proximate, ultimate, physicochemical, surface and structural analyses, and important biochar properties for various applications.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2275-2330
Number of pages56
JournalCritical Reviews in Environmental Science and Technology
Issue number23
Publication statusPublished - 2 Dec 2017


  • Advanced spectroscopic analysis
  • black carbon
  • characterization
  • pyrolysis
  • surface functional group

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Pollution


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