Feasibility of Biochar Derived from Sewage Sludge to Promote Sustainable Agriculture and Mitigate GHG Emissions—A Review

Mohammad Ghorbani, Petr Konvalina, Anna Walkiewicz, Reinhard W. Neugschwandtner, Marek Kopecký, Kazem Zamanian, Wei Hsin Chen, Daniel Bucur

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Sewage sludge (SS) has been connected to a variety of global environmental problems. Assessing the risk of various disposal techniques can be quite useful in recommending appropriate management. The preparation of sewage sludge biochar (SSB) and its impacts on soil characteristics, plant health, nutrient leaching, and greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs) are critically reviewed in this study. Comparing the features of SSB obtained at various pyrolysis temperatures revealed changes in its elemental content. Lower hydrogen/carbon ratios in SSB generated at higher pyrolysis temperatures point to the existence of more aromatic carbon molecules. Additionally, the preparation of SSB has an increased ash content, a lower yield, and a higher surface area as a result of the rise in pyrolysis temperature. The worldwide potential of SS output and CO2-equivalent emissions in 2050 were predicted as factors of global population and common disposal management in order to create a futuristic strategy and cope with the quantity of abundant global SS. According to estimations, the worldwide SS output and associated CO2-eq emissions were around 115 million tons dry solid (Mt DS) and 14,139 teragrams (Tg), respectively, in 2020. This quantity will rise to about 138 Mt DS sewage sludge and 16985 Tg CO2-eq emissions in 2050, a 20% increase. In this regard, developing and populous countries may support economic growth by utilizing low-cost methods for producing biochar and employing it in local agriculture. To completely comprehend the benefits and drawbacks of SSB as a soil supplement, further study on long-term field applications of SSB is required.

Original languageEnglish
Article number12983
JournalInternational journal of environmental research and public health
Issue number19
Publication statusPublished - 2022 Oct

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pollution
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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