Biochar has functional groups, pH buffering capacity and cation exchange capacity (CEC) that can be beneficial in syngas fermentation. This study examined the properties of biochar made from switchgrass (SGBC), forage sorghum (FSBC), red cedar (RCBC) and poultry litter (PLBC), and their effects on ethanol and butanol production from syngas using Clostridium carboxidivorans. Experiments were performed in 250 mL bottle reactors with a 50 mL working volume at 37 °C fed syngas containing CO:H2:CO2 (40:30:30 by volume). Results showed that PLBC and SGBC enhanced ethanol production by 90% and 73%, respectively, and butanol production by fourfold compared to standard yeast extract medium without biochar (control). CO and H2 utilization in PLBC and SGBC media increased compared to control. PLBC had the highest pH buffering capacity, CEC and total amount of cations compared with SGBC, FSBC and RCBC, which could have contributed to its highest enhancement of ethanol and butanol production.
Sun, X., Atiyeh, H. K., Kumar, A., Zhang, H., & Tanner, R. S. (2018). Biochar enhanced ethanol and butanol production by Clostridium carboxidivorans from syngas. Bioresource Technology, 265, 128–138. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.biortech.2018.05.106