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Black carbon's properties and role in the environment: a comprehensive review

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Shrestha, Gyami; Traina, Samuel J.; Swanston, Christopher W.

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Sustainability. 2: 294-320.


Produced from incomplete combustion of biomass and fossil fuel in the absence of oxygen, black carbon (BC) is the collective term for a range of carbonaceous substances encompassing partly charred plant residues to highly graphitized soot. Depending on its form, condition of origin and storage (from the atmosphere to the geosphere), and surrounding environmental conditions, BC can influence the environment at local, regional and global scales in different ways. In this paper, we review and synthesize recent findings and discussions on the nature of these different forms of BC and their impacts, particularly in relation to pollution and climate change.


soil carbon sequestration; carbon budget; atmospheric pollution; polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons; climate; biochar


Shrestha, Gyami; Traina, Samuel J.; Swanson, Christopher W. 2010. Black carbons properties and role in the environment: a comprehensive review. Sustainability. 2(1): 294-320.

Last updated on: November 30, 2010