COLLEGE PARK -- Environmental scientists at the University of Maryland have used iron-impregnated charred plant matter to produce methane cleaned of a corrosive compound, potentially paving the way to larger scale production of this renewable resource.
Bacteria digest cow manure to produce methane gas, a powerful renewable energy source that some say is underused in the US. The process isn’t perfect and produces hydrogen sulfate, which corrodes the pipes that conduct natural gas to kitchens and heating systems all over the US. Adding a small amount of charred wood impregnated with iron to the manure-bacteria mixture traps the sulfur and cleans the methane for use at larger scales.
The team used the University of Maryland’s NanoCenter Fab Lab cleanroom’s Micromeritics 2020 porisometry and surface analysis system to characterize the biochar material, examining how well the iron seeped into the wood and the size of the charred wood particles.
Biochar addition with Fe impregnation to reduce H2S production from anaerobic digestion
Abhinav Choudhury, Stephanie Lansing
Bioresource Technology, 2020
May 1, 2020