Occurrence, formation, environmental fate and risks of environmentally persistent free radicals in biochars
Biochars are used globally in agricultural crop production and environmental remediation. However, environmentally persistent free radicals (EPFRs), which are stable emerging pollutants, are generated as a characteristic feature during biomass pyrolysis. EPFRs can induce the formation of reactive oxygen species, which poses huge agro-environmental and human health risks. Their half-lives and persistence in both biochar residues and in the atmosphere may lead to potentially adverse risks in the
... verse risks in the environment. This review highlights the comprehensive research into these bioreactive radicals, as well as the bottlenecks of biochar production leading up to the formation and persistence of EPFRs. Additionally, a way forward has been proposed, based on two main recommendations. A global joint initiative to create an all-encompassing regulations policy document that will improve both the technological and the quality control aspects of biochars to reduce EPFR generation at the production level. Furthermore, environmental impact and risk assessment studies should be conducted in the extensive applications of biochars in order to protect the environmental and human health. The highlighted key research directions proposed herein will shape the production, research, and adoption aspects of biochars, which will mitigate the considerable concerns raised on EPFRs.