Systemic review for the use of biochar to mitigate soil degradation

Shuai Qi, Allan Degen, Wenyin Wang, Mei Huang, Dongmei Li, Binyu Luo, Jianhui Xu, Zhiqiang Dang, Ruiying Guo, Zhanhuan Shang

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Biochar, a black carbon material produced by high-temperature, low-oxygen pyrolysis of organic solids, can improve soil properties and realize carbon neutrality. However, how to effectively produce and apply biochar in the face of the complex soil environment and intractable widespread land degradation is still uncertain. This review is based on 1073 sets of data in 316 publications to address this issue. Firstly, the impact of different process parameters, namely feedstocks, pyrolysis temperature and activation on physicochemical properties of biochar are systematically summarized. Secondly, the effect of biochar on different soil degradation problems are reviewed from the perspective of the interaction between the physicochemical properties of biochar and soil characteristics. The “matching” of biochar properties, level of degradation and environmental factors can be used to design the desired biochar. Finally, future research should focus on biochar aging and costs and benefits of using biochar. The concept of “artificial intelligence designed biochar” is discussed to improve the degree of automation in biochar production and the predictability and suitability of its application for specific cases.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere13147
JournalGCB Bioenergy
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1 Jun 2024


  • activation
  • designed biochar
  • economic balance
  • functional materials
  • machine learning
  • precision improvement
  • soil degradation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Forestry
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Waste Management and Disposal


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