Promoting interspecies electron transfer with biochar.

TitlePromoting interspecies electron transfer with biochar.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2014
AuthorsChen S, Rotaru A-E, Shrestha PMalla, Malvankar NS, Liu F, Fan W, Nevin KP, Lovley DR
JournalSci Rep
Date Published2014 May 21
KeywordsCharcoal, Coculture Techniques, Electron Transport, Electrons, Ethanol, Geobacter, Methanosarcina barkeri, Soil

Biochar, a charcoal-like product of the incomplete combustion of organic materials, is an increasingly popular soil amendment designed to improve soil fertility. We investigated the possibility that biochar could promote direct interspecies electron transfer (DIET) in a manner similar to that previously reported for granular activated carbon (GAC). Although the biochars investigated were 1000 times less conductive than GAC, they stimulated DIET in co-cultures of Geobacter metallireducens with Geobacter sulfurreducens or Methanosarcina barkeri in which ethanol was the electron donor. Cells were attached to the biochar, yet not in close contact, suggesting that electrons were likely conducted through the biochar, rather than biological electrical connections. The finding that biochar can stimulate DIET may be an important consideration when amending soils with biochar and can help explain why biochar may enhance methane production from organic wastes under anaerobic conditions.

Alternate JournalSci Rep
PubMed ID24846283
PubMed Central IDPMC4028902