Linville, Jessica L 1;Shen, Yanwen 1;Ignacio-de Leon, Patricia A 1;Schoene, Robin P 1;Urgun-Demirtas, Meltem 1 1 Argonne National Laboratory, Energy Systems Division, Lemont, IL, USA;
A modified version of an in-situ CO2 removal process was applied during anaerobic digestion of food waste with two types of walnut shell biochar at bench scale under batch operating mode. Compared with the coarse walnut shell biochar, the fine walnut shell biochar has a higher ash content (43 vs. 36 wt%) and higher concentrations of calcium (31 vs. 19 wt% of ash), magnesium (8.4 vs. 5.6 wt% of ash) and sodium (23.4 vs. 0.3 wt% of ash), but a lower potassium concentration (0.2 vs. 40% wt% of ash). The 0.96-3.83 g biochar (g VSadded )-1 fine walnut shell biochar amended digesters produced biogas with 77.5%-98.1% CH4 content by removing 40%-96% of the CO2 compared with the control digesters at mesophilic and thermophilic temperature conditions. In a direct comparison at 1.83 g biochar (g VSadded )-1 , the fine walnut shell biochar amended digesters (85.7% CH4 content and 61% CO2 removal) outperformed the coarse walnut shell biochar amended digesters (78.9% CH4 content and 51% CO2 removal). Biochar addition also increased alkalinity as CaCO3 from 2800 mg L-1 in the control digesters to 4800-6800 mg L-1 , providing process stability for food waste anaerobic digestion.