AbstractBiochar, a black carbon material produced by high‐temperature, low‐oxygen pyrolysis of organic solids, can improve soil properties and realize carbon neutrality. However, how to effectively produce and apply biochar in the face of the complex soil environment and intractable widespread land degradation is still uncertain. This review is based on 1073 sets of data in 316 publications to address this issue. Firstly, the impact of different process parameters, namely feedstocks, pyrolysis temperature and activation on physicochemical properties of biochar are systematically summarized. Secondly, the effect of biochar on different soil degradation problems are reviewed from the perspective of the interaction between the physicochemical properties of biochar and soil characteristics. The “matching” of biochar properties, level of degradation and environmental factors can be used to design the desired biochar. Finally, future research should focus on biochar aging and costs and benefits of using biochar. The concept of “artificial intelligence designed biochar” is discussed to improve the degree of automation in biochar production and the predictability and suitability of its application for specific cases.

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