Development of a novel biochar-made porous monolith for enhanced C1 and H2 fermentation

MethodsX. 2023 Jul 23;11:102296. doi: 10.1016/j.mex.2023.102296. eCollection 2023 Dec.


Biochar is a carbonaceous porous material that is produced through the thermal processing of biomass under oxygen-limited environment. Nevertheless, biochar is known to be an inexpensive and sustainable raw material with a wide range of possible applications. Recently, biochar has been discovered as an efficient biological catalyst for anaerobic conversion, mainly due to its highly porous structure with micro and macro channels, which procures a viable living area for attached-grown microorganisms. Whereas it is never applied to improve the biological conversion of gas substances such as C1 (e.g., CO, CO2) and H2, which is a promising research area with increasing commercial interest. However, considering that biological reaction is limited by the target water solubility of gas substrates, special attention is required when combining biochar for gas fermentation. The goal was to create a novel gas sparger where the biofilm grows on biochar, thus improving the interaction with the gaseous substrate. For this purpose, polystyrene foam and powdered biochar were compounded to form a mouldable composite, which was then cast as a porous monolith.•Biochar-made sparger (BS) was investigated for the homoacetogenic conversion of H2 gas via microbial mixed cultures as opposed to a control test equipped with a stone sparger.•BS showed a significantly better performance in terms of biological gas fixation rate (36% more than control) and productivity (8.5 gCOD L-1 d-1).

PMID:37577168 | PMC:PMC10416014 | DOI:10.1016/j.mex.2023.102296


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