Applications of agricultural residue biochars to removal of toxic gases emitted from chemical plants: A review

Seong Heon Cho, Sangyoon Lee, Youkwan Kim, Hocheol Song, Jechan Lee, Yiu Fai Tsang, Wei Hsin Chen, Young Kwon Park, Dong Jun Lee, Sungyup Jung, Eilhann E. Kwon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


Crop residues are representative agricultural waste materials, massively generated in the world. However, a large fraction of them is currently being wasted, though they have a high potential to be used as a value-added carbon-rich material. Also, the applications of carbon-rich materials from agricultural waste to industries can have economic benefit because waste-derived carbon materials are considered inexpensive waste materials. In this review, valorization methods for crop residues as carbon-rich materials (i.e., biochars) and their applications to industrial toxic gas removals are discussed. Applications of crop residue biochars to toxic gas removal can have significant environmental benefits and economic feasibility. As such, this review discussed the technical advantages of the use of crop residue biochars as adsorbents for hazardous gaseous pollutants and greenhouse gases (GHGs) stemmed from combustion of fossil fuels and the different refinery processes. Also, the practical benefits from the activation methods in line with the biochar properties were comprehensively discussed. The relationships between the physico-chemical properties of biochars and the removal mechanisms of gaseous pollutants (H2S, SO2, Hg0, and CO2) on biochars were also highlighted in this review study. Porosity controls using physical and chemical activations along with the addition of specific functional groups and metals on biochars have significantly contributed to the enhancement of flue gas adsorption. The adsorption capacity of biochar for each toxic chemical was in the range of 46–76 mg g−1 for H2S, 40–182 mg g−1 for SO2, 80–952 μg g−1 for Hg0, and 82–308 mg g−1 CO2, respectively. This helps to find suitable activation methods for adsorption of the target pollutants. In the last part, the benefits from the use of biochars and the research directions were prospectively provided to make crop residue biochars more practical materials in adsorption of pollutant gases.

Original languageEnglish
Article number161655
JournalScience of the Total Environment
StatePublished - 10 Apr 2023


  • Activated carbon
  • Agricultural waste
  • Biochar
  • Circular bioeconomy
  • Harmful chemical mitigation
  • Waste-to-resource


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