Municipal Waste Biochar for Energy and Pollution Remediation

Part of the Environmental Chemistry for a Sustainable World book series (ECSW, volume 19)


Municipal solid waste has become a hassle in many developing countries due to haphazard disposing to open dumpsites, which has zero management. This way of disposing the waste has negative impacts in the environment that can directly contribute to the climate changes and atmospheric pollution through greenhouse gas and volatile organic compound emission and water and soil pollution via landfill leachate as well. Biochar, a carbonaceous material produced by limited or no oxygen pyrolysis of biomass is an emerging efficient substitute for activated carbon. Its production utilizes different feedstock including municipal solid wastes, which is the “greener” approach of transforming the existing municipal waste into a value added product that can be used in contaminant mitigation and resource recovery by using it as an adsorbent and as a hybrid with soil for better plant growth. The long term benefits of these biochar additions to soil and water can be manifold and potential as an improved nutrient retention and availability to plant growth; this gives the impetus of having the “greener transformation” from municipal wastes to biochar. This chapter outlines the ways of production of biochar derived from municipal solid waste, its significance as an adsorbents and its promising potential in landfill cover, leachate treatment and for permeable reactive barriers.


Waste biomass Composting Waste to energy Environmental remediation Climate change 



Funding from the National Research Council NRC Grant 15-024 is acknowledged.


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Environmental Chemodynamics ProjectNational Institute of Fundamental StudiesKandySri Lanka
  2. 2.Centre for Environment and Life SciencesCSIRO Land and WaterFloreatAustralia
  3. 3.Department of Chemical and Process EngineeringUniversity of MoratuwaKatubeddaSri Lanka
  4. 4.Department of Civil EngineeringThe Open University of Sri LankaNawala, NugegodaSri Lanka
  5. 5.Faculty of Applied Sciences, Ecosphere Resilience Research CenterUniversity of Sri JayewardenepuraNugegodaSri Lanka

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