Biochar for agronomy, animal farming, anaerobic digestion, composting, water treatment, soil remediation, construction, energy storage, and carbon sequestration: a review

Ahmed I. Osman Ahmed*, Samer Fawzy, Mohamed Farghali, Marwa El-Azazy, Ahmed M. Elgarahy, Ramy Amer Fahim, M. I. A. Abdel Maksoud, Abbas Abdullah Ajlan, Mahmoud Yousry, Yasmeen Saleem, David W. Rooney

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

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Abstract

In the context of climate change and the circular economy, biochar has recently found many applications in various sectors as a versatile and recycled material. Here, we review application of biochar-based for carbon sink, covering agronomy, animal farming, anaerobic digestion, composting, environmental remediation, construction, and energy storage. The ultimate storage reservoirs for biochar are soils, civil infrastructure, and landfills. Biochar-based fertilisers, which combine traditional fertilisers with biochar as a nutrient carrier, are promising in agronomy. The use of biochar as a feed additive for animals shows benefits in terms of animal growth, gut microbiota, reduced enteric methane production, egg yield, and endo-toxicant mitigation. Biochar enhances anaerobic digestion operations, primarily for biogas generation and upgrading, performance and sustainability, and the mitigation of inhibitory impurities. In composts, biochar controls the release of greenhouse gases and enhances microbial activity. Co-composted biochar improves soil properties and enhances crop productivity. Pristine and engineered biochar can also be employed for water and soil remediation to remove pollutants. In construction, biochar can be added to cement or asphalt, thus conferring structural and functional advantages. Incorporating biochar in biocomposites improves insulation, electromagnetic radiation protection and moisture control. Finally, synthesising biochar-based materials for energy storage applications requires additional functionalisation.
Original languageEnglish
JournalEnvironmental Chemistry Letters
Early online date07 May 2022
DOIs
Publication statusEarly online date - 07 May 2022

Keywords

  • climate change
  • Net-zero
  • Biochar
  • Climate emergency
  • Carbon Sequestration
  • Circular bioeconomy
  • Recycling
  • Material Development

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