Enhanced microbial methane oxidation in biochar-amended landfill cover soils

Presented by Yargicoglu actually June 2013

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Landfill gas is the third largest worldwide source of anthropogenic methane, an important greenhouse gas. Biochar amendments to landfill cover soils are proposed as an economic solution to reduce methane emissions from landfills without gas recovery systems, or in conjunction with gas recovery for near-complete methane removal in new landfills. Biochar’s high porosity, surface area, and organic content allow it to readily adsorb methane, while providing pore spaces and nutrients for microorganisms, promoting methanotrophic growth. Column and batch incubation experiments were used to simulate the effects of biochar amendments to landfill cover soils and determine kinetic parameters of methane oxidation, respectively. The qPCR of DNA extracted from the column soil targeting the pmoA (particulate methane monooxygenase) gene indicates higher abundance of methanotrophs in the biochar-amended column, supporting the observed higher rates of methane oxidation compared to soil alone. Initial results indicate that biochar is effective in increasing methanotroph populations and promoting methane oxidation.