Biochar for sustainable soil and environment: a comprehensive review

  • Niaz Muhammad
  • Mubashir Hussain
  • Waheed Ullah
  • Taj Ali Khan
  • Shafaqat Ali
  • Ali Akbar
  • Rukhsanda Aziz
  • Muhammad Khalid Rafiq
  • Robert Thomas Bachmann
  • Mohammad I. Al-Wabel
  • Muhammad RizwanEmail author
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Implications of Biochar Application to Soil Environment under Arid Conditions


Biochar prepared from organic waste through pyrolysis, thermal combustion in an inert environment, generates a stable form of carbon. The review of established literature reveals that conversion of organic matter into biochar and its addition to soil also reduces the negative effects of carbon aerosols on human health and greenhouse gas effects on environment through carbon sequestration. Physicochemical properties of biochar such as nutrient sorption capacity, pH, pore structure, particle size, surface area, and mineral content play a vital role in determining the soil structure and function. Biochar addition to soil exerts measurable changes in physicochemical soil properties such as bulk density, water-holding capacity, pH and cation exchange capacity, microbial community structure, and their interrelated functions in soil. However, addition of biochar to specific soil improves the soil fertility, and consequently improves the crop yield. It is concluded that optimized pyrolysis of organic waste for biochar production and its use for soils need diversified investigation in diverse environmental conditions.


Agriculture climate change Biochar Soil fertility Soil microbial community 



Authors want to say thanks to Higher Education Commission (HEC) of Pakistan.


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Copyright information

© Saudi Society for Geosciences 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Niaz Muhammad
    • 1
  • Mubashir Hussain
    • 1
  • Waheed Ullah
    • 1
  • Taj Ali Khan
    • 1
  • Shafaqat Ali
    • 2
  • Ali Akbar
    • 3
  • Rukhsanda Aziz
    • 4
  • Muhammad Khalid Rafiq
    • 5
    • 6
  • Robert Thomas Bachmann
    • 7
  • Mohammad I. Al-Wabel
    • 8
  • Muhammad Rizwan
    • 2
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of MicrobiologyKohat University of Science and TechnologyKohatPakistan
  2. 2.Department of Environmental Sciences and EngineeringGovernment College UniversityFaisalabadPakistan
  3. 3.Department of Microbiology, Faculty of Life ScienceUniversity of BalochistanQuettaPakistan
  4. 4.Department of Environmental SciencesInternational Islamic UniversityIslamabadPakistan
  5. 5.Rangeland Research InstituteNational Agricultural Research CenterIslamabadPakistan
  6. 6.UK Biochar Research Center, School of GeosciencesThe University of EdinburghEdinburghUK
  7. 7.Malaysian Institute for Chemical and Bioengineering Technology (MICET)Universiti Kuala Lumpur (UniKL)Alor GajahMalaysia
  8. 8.Soil Sciences Department, College of Food and Agricultural SciencesKing Saud UniversityRiyadhSaudi Arabia

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