Impact of total solids content on biochar amended co-digestion of food waste and sludge: Microbial community dynamics, methane production and digestate quality assessment

Davidraj Johnravindar, Guneet Kaur, Jialin Liang, Liwen Lou, Jun Zhao, M. K. Manu, Rajat Kumar, Sunita Varjani, Jonathan W.C. Wong*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

This study evaluates the impact of biochar addition on the performance of anaerobic co-digestion of food waste (FW) and sewage sludge at different total solids (TS) contents (2.5 %, 5.0 %, and 7.5 %). Biochar co-digestion improved hydrolysis and acidogenesis by neutralizing volatile fatty acids (VFAs) reducing its inhibitions (2.6-fold removal), which elevated the soluble chemical oxygen demand (sCOD) degradation by 2.5 folds leading to a higher cumulative methane production compared to the control. This increase corresponded to an improvement of methane yields by ∼21 %−33 % (242–340 mL/gVSadd) at different TS contents. The biochar surface area offered substantial support for direct interspecies electron transfer (DIET) activity, and biofilm-mediated growth of methanogens i.e., Methanosarcina, Methanosata, and Methanobrevibacter. The biochar-enriched digestate improved the seed germination index, and bioavailability of plant nutrients such as N, P, K, and NH4+-N. This study reports an improved biochar-mediated anaerobic co-digestion for efficient and sustainable FW valorization.

Original languageEnglish
Article number127682
Number of pages12
JournalBioresource Technology
Volume361
Early online date23 Jul 2022
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 23 Jul 2022

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Bioengineering
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Environmental Engineering
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment

User-Defined Keywords

  • Anaerobic co-digestion
  • Biochar
  • DIET
  • Food waste
  • Total solids content

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