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    Rights statement: This is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Waste Management. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in Waste Management, ??, ?, 2017 DOI: 10.1016/j.wasman.2016.11.028

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The challenges of anaerobic digestion and the role of biochar in optimizing anaerobic digestion

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

E-pub ahead of print
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>5/12/2016
<mark>Journal</mark>Waste Management
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print
Early online date5/12/16
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

Biochar, like most other adsorbents, is a carbonaceous material, which is formed from the combustion of plant materials, in low-zero oxygen conditions and results in a material, which has the capacity to sorb chemicals onto its surfaces. Currently, research is being carried out to investigate the relevance of biochar in improving the soil ecosystem, digestate quality and most recently the anaerobic digestion process. Anaerobic digestion (AD) of organic substrates provides both a sustainable source of energy and a digestate with the potential to enhance plant growth and soil health. In order to ensure that these benefits are realised, the anaerobic digestion system must be optimized for process stability and high nutrient retention capacity in the digestate produced. Substrate-induced inhibition is a major issue, which can disrupt the stable functioning of the AD system reducing microbial breakdown of the organic waste and formation of methane, which in turn reduces energy output. Likewise, the spreading of digestate on land can often result in nutrient loss, surface runoff and leaching. This review will examine substrate inhibition and their impact on anaerobic digestion, nutrient leaching and their environmental implications, the properties and functionality of biochar material in counteracting these challenges.

Bibliographic note

This is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Waste Management. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in Waste Management, ??, ?, 2017 DOI: 10.1016/j.wasman.2016.11.028