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Biochar promotes methane production during anaerobic digestion of organic waste

Abstract : Climate change and energy demand are calling for more sustainable fuels such as biomethane produced by anaerobic digestion of organic waste. Biochar addition to waste is presumed to enhance the efficiency of methane production, yet individual reports disclose contradictory results. Therefore, we performed a meta-analysis of 27 selected publications containing 156 paired measurements of control and biochar-amended treatments to assess the impact of biochar on the methanogenic performance. Results show that biochar promotes biomethane production substantially with a high Hedge's d value of 5.7 +/- 1.04, yet sporadic publications report a methane decline. Methanogenic performance is statistically controlled by feedstock type, pyrolysis temperature and biochar concentration, but not controlled by pH, size, surface area and methanogen species. These findings should help to tune the parameters of anaerobic digestion with biochar to optimize biomethane productions. Moreover, our results cast some doubt on the efficiency of adding biochar to soil to sequester carbon in soils because biochar promotes methane generation and, in turn, emissions of methane, a greenhouse gas, to the atmosphere.
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https://hal.inrae.fr/hal-03324513
Contributor : Camille Serva <>
Submitted on : Tuesday, September 7, 2021 - 8:20:58 AM
Last modification on : Wednesday, September 8, 2021 - 3:31:11 AM

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Leilei Xiao, Eric Lichtfouse, P. Senthil Kumar, Quan Wang, Fanghua Liu. Biochar promotes methane production during anaerobic digestion of organic waste. Environmental Chemistry Letters, Springer Verlag, 2021, pp.1-8. ⟨10.1007/s10311-021-01251-6⟩. ⟨hal-03324513⟩

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