Phosphorus adsorption by functionalized biochar: a review

Dan Luo, Luyao Wang, Hongyan Nan, Yijun Cao, Hui Wang, Thakur Vijay Kumar, Chongqing Wang*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

99 Citations (Scopus)
1134 Downloads (Pure)


Phosphorus is essential element for agricultural production, yet phosphorus ore resources are non-renewable and become depleted. Moreover, phosphate release from wastewater treatment plants and from inefficient crop fertilization induces pollution such as water eutrophication. Therefore, phosphorus recovery from wastewater is promising alternative source of agricultural phosphorus. Biochar can be used to adsorb phosphorus due to their porous structure, large surface area, abundant surface groups, and high mineral content of biochars. Biochar can be functionalized to improve their adsorption performance. Here, we review phosphorus recovery by functionalized biochar, with focus on biochar preparation and modification, factors influencing the efficiency of adsorption, adsorption mechanisms, and biochars as slow-release fertilizers. We discuss mechanisms for Mg-, Ca- and Fe-rich biochars.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)497-524
Number of pages28
JournalEnvironmental Chemistry Letters
Issue number1
Early online date1 Oct 2022
Publication statusPrint publication - Feb 2023

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the National Key Research and Development Project (2020YFC1908802).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022, The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Nature Switzerland AG.


  • Adsorption mechanism
  • Biochar
  • Phosphorus recovery
  • Slow-release fertilizer


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