Environmental Biotechnology Network

EBNet Working Group: Biochars for Pollution Prevention


The Biochars for Pollution Prevention Working Group aims to foster knowledge exchange and pathways to impact for academics working on state-of-the-art technologies related to the use of biochar for pollution prevention and environmental remediation – particularly as applied to microorganisms. This can be either in terms of removing, killing or preventing release of harmful microorganisms, or in terms of seeding bioremediative microorganisms for the purpose of pollutant degradation.


Use the QR code or contact the Working Group co-ordinator to get involved (meredith.barr@lsbu.ac.uk).

Working Group Co-ordinator

Dr Meredith Barr is a lecturer in Chemical & Energy Engineering at London South Bank University, having previously worked at Imperial College London. She obtained her PhD in Biomass Pyrolysis from Queen Mary University of London following her first degree in Chemical-Biological Engineering from MIT. Her research focuses on converting waste biomass to sustainable materials using ‘waste-negative parallel manufacturing’: the co-production of diverse materials from complementary fractions of biomass, with an emphasis on using more waste than is produced. Her current work related to biochars for pollution prevention includes developing biochar wastewater filters to combat the spread of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) in the environment, tuning biochar morphology for improved nutrient regulation, and refreshing spent biochar sorbents.

WG Activities

Lab Visit – Biochar research
The EBNet Working Group led by Dr Meredith Barr, will be holding lab visit to Herriot-Watt University on 24 May 2024. If you are interested to join the group for an interesting tour of the facilities and want to meet others working with biochars do get in touch with Meredith now to secure a place. 

Take a look at our inaugural webinar which explores potential working group activities and has excellent talks from Prof Fred Coulon, Cranfield University and Dist. Prof, Andy Ball, RMIT.

Interesting Publications

New directions and challenges in engineering biologically-enhanced biochar for biological water treatment. Anjali Jayakumar et al., Science of the Total Environment, Volume 796, July 2021, 148977.

Biochar-based wastewater treatment to combat antimicrobial resistance. Paul-Enguerrand Fady et al. (2022), XII Iberoamerican Congress on Pulp and Paper Research. Girona, Spain 28 Jun – 01 Jul 2022 https://doi.org/10256/21215

Biochar-microorganism interactions for organic pollutant remediation: Challenges and perspectives. Santanu Mukherjee et al., Environmental Pollution. Volume 308, 1 September 2022, 119609

Bioengineering remediation of former industrial sites contaminated with chemical mixtures. Emmanuel Atai et al., Journal of Hazardous Materials Advances. Volume 10, May 2023, 100319

Recent advances in biochar engineering for soil contaminated with complex chemical mixtures: Remediation strategies and future perspectives. Jerry Anae et al., Science of The Total Environment. Volume 767, May 2021, 144351

Biochar application in biofiltration systems to remove nutrients, pathogens, and pharmaceutical and personal care products from wastewater. Zahra Maleki Shahraki and Xinwei Mao, Journal of Environmental Quality. Volume 51, March/April 2022, 129-151

Biosolids-derived biochar enhances the bioremediation of diesel-contaminated soil. Charled Chinyere Dike et al., Journal of Environmental Chemical Engineering. Volume 10, December 2022, 108633

Biochar filters as an on-farm treatment to reduce pathogens when irrigating with wastewater-polluted sources. Luis Fernando Perez-Mercado et al., Journal of Environmental Management. Volume 248, October 2019, 109295