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Advances in Materials Science and Engineering
Volume 2014, Article ID 715398, 12 pages
Review Article

Biochar Preparation, Characterization, and Adsorptive Capacity and Its Effect on Bioavailability of Contaminants: An Overview

School of Environmental and Municipal Engineering, Lanzhou Jiaotong University, Lanzhou 730070, China

Received 15 April 2014; Revised 22 July 2014; Accepted 24 July 2014; Published 27 October 2014

Academic Editor: Wei Zhou

Copyright © 2014 Obemah D. Nartey and Baowei Zhao. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


This paper provides an updated review on the subjects, the available alternative to produce biochar from biomass, quantification and characterization of biochar, the adsorptive capacity for the adsorption of contaminants, and the effect of biochar addition to agricultural soils on contaminant bioavailability. The property of biochar produced is much dependent upon the composition and type of biomass and the conditions at which biomass is carbonized. The physical and chemical characterizations are necessary to identify the basic structure and property of biochar and to predict its potential in various environmental application. Biochar is a promising alternative to remedy the soils contaminated with heavy metals and organic compounds through adsorption and immobilization due to its large surface area, charged surface, and functional groups. Overall, the bioavailability of heavy metals and organic compounds decreases when biochar is amended into soils.