Petroleum Coke Supplementation Improves Biogas Production from Food Waste at a Level Comparable to Commercial Carbon-based Conductive Materials

A. Sinan Akturk, Goksel N. Demirer

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Abstract

This study investigated the effects of carbon-based conductive material (granular activated carbon (GAC), graphene, and petroleum coke) supplementation on anaerobic digestion (AD) of food waste (FW). GAC and graphene have been used in anaerobic digestion applications previously. Even though petroleum coke has a very similar elemental characterization with biochar, to the best of our knowledge, it was never investigated as a supplement to improve AD. All of the materials were found to improve the biogas production and methane yields in AD of FW. Supplementation of GAC (1 g/L), petroleum coke (0.25 g/L), and graphene (0.05 g/L) enhanced biogas production by 31.3 ± 4.4%, 51.7 ± 1.2%, and 41.9 ± 3.8%, and methane yields by 26.3 ± 1.1%, 31.2 ± 0.6%, and 26.1 ± 1.6% on average, respectively. The highest methane yield was determined as 484.9 ± 38.5 mL CH4/g VS in reactors supplemented with petroleum coke (0.25 g/L), which is higher than reported in relevant studies. This unique finding suggests that petroleum coke, which is a waste by-product from oil refineries, can be used to enhance AD similar to other commercial carbon-based additives. After confirming with further research, this observation may open a new avenue for oil refineries in terms of managing petroleum coke as one of the important by-products of this sector.

Original languageEnglish
JournalBioenergy Research
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2022

Keywords

  • Anaerobic digestion
  • GAC
  • Graphene
  • Methane yield
  • Petroleum coke

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