Environmental Science and Pollution Research

, Volume 20, Issue 12, pp 8472–8483 | Cite as

Using biochar for remediation of soils contaminated with heavy metals and organic pollutants

  • Xiaokai Zhang
  • Hailong WangEmail author
  • Lizhi He
  • Kouping Lu
  • Ajit Sarmah
  • Jianwu Li
  • Nanthi S. Bolan
  • Jianchuan Pei
  • Huagang HuangEmail author
Contaminated Land, Ecological Assessment and Remediation Conference Series (CLEAR 2012) : Environmental Pollution and Risk Assessments


Soil contamination with heavy metals and organic pollutants has increasingly become a serious global environmental issue in recent years. Considerable efforts have been made to remediate contaminated soils. Biochar has a large surface area, and high capacity to adsorb heavy metals and organic pollutants. Biochar can potentially be used to reduce the bioavailability and leachability of heavy metals and organic pollutants in soils through adsorption and other physicochemical reactions. Biochar is typically an alkaline material which can increase soil pH and contribute to stabilization of heavy metals. Application of biochar for remediation of contaminated soils may provide a new solution to the soil pollution problem. This paper provides an overview on the impact of biochar on the environmental fate and mobility of heavy metals and organic pollutants in contaminated soils and its implication for remediation of contaminated soils. Further research directions are identified to ensure a safe and sustainable use of biochar as a soil amendment for remediation of contaminated soils.


Biochar Black carbon Heavy metals Organic pollutants Remediation Soil contamination 



This study was funded by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (41271337), Research Funds of the Department of Education of Zhejiang Province (Y201225755) and Zhejiang A & F University Research and Development Fund (2010FR097, 2012FR063).


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Xiaokai Zhang
    • 1
    • 2
  • Hailong Wang
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Lizhi He
    • 1
    • 2
  • Kouping Lu
    • 1
    • 2
  • Ajit Sarmah
    • 3
  • Jianwu Li
    • 1
    • 2
  • Nanthi S. Bolan
    • 4
  • Jianchuan Pei
    • 2
  • Huagang Huang
    • 2
    • 5
    Email author
  1. 1.Zhejiang Provincial Key Laboratory of Carbon Cycling in Forest Ecosystems and Carbon SequestrationZhejiang A & F UniversityHangzhouChina
  2. 2.School of Environmental and Resource SciencesZhejiang A & F UniversityHangzhouChina
  3. 3.Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering, Faculty of EngineeringUniversity of AucklandAucklandNew Zealand
  4. 4.Centre for Environmental Risk Assessment and RemediationUniversity of South AustraliaMawson LakesAustralia
  5. 5.Yancao Production Technology CenterBijie Yancao Company of Guizhou ProvinceBijieChina

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