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Environ Sci Technol. 2019 Oct 1;53(19):11569-11579. doi: 10.1021/acs.est.9b03003. Epub 2019 Sep 18.

Composition and Toxicity of Biogas Produced from Different Feedstocks in California.

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Singapore Center for Environmental Life Sciences Engineering , Nanyang Technical University , Singapore 637551.


Biogas is a renewable energy source composed of methane, carbon dioxide, and other trace compounds produced from anaerobic digestion of organic matter. A variety of feedstocks can be combined with different digestion techniques that each yields biogas with different trace compositions. California is expanding biogas production systems to help meet greenhouse gas reduction goals. Here, we report the composition of six California biogas streams from three different feedstocks (dairy manure, food waste, and municipal solid waste). The chemical and biological composition of raw biogas is reported, and the toxicity of combusted biogas is tested under fresh and photochemically aged conditions. Results show that municipal waste biogas contained elevated levels of chemicals associated with volatile chemical products such as aromatic hydrocarbons, siloxanes, and certain halogenated hydrocarbons. Food waste biogas contained elevated levels of sulfur-containing compounds including hydrogen sulfide, mercaptans, and sulfur dioxide. Biogas produced from dairy manure generally had lower concentrations of trace chemicals, but the combustion products had slightly higher toxicity response compared to the other feedstocks. Atmospheric aging performed in a photochemical smog chamber did not strongly change the toxicity (oxidative capacity or mutagenicity) of biogas combustion exhaust.


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