This study assessed the effects of the addition of biochar prepared at 700 °C with different dosages on the anaerobic digestion of food waste. The biochar addition at a concentration of 10.0 g/L increased the cumulative methane yield by 128%, and daily methane production was also significantly promoted. The addition of biochar derived from poplar sawdust significantly increased the relative abundance of dominant bacteria for anaerobic digestion by 85.54–2530% and promoted the degradation of refractory organic matter and the transfer of materials between the hydrolysis and acid production stages. Further analysis has demonstrated that Bathyarchaeia and hydrogenotrophic methanogens were enriched by the biochar addition. Meanwhile, the relative abundances of functional genes, including C5-branched dibasic acid metabolism, and pyruvate metabolism, were increased by 11.38–26.27%. The relative abundances of genes related to major amino acid metabolism, including histidine metabolism, lysine biosynthesis, and phenylalanine, tyrosine, and tryptophan biosynthesis, were increased by 11.96–15.71%. Furthermore, the relative abundances of genes involved in major replication and repair were increased by 14.76–22.76%, and the major folding, sorting, degradation, and translation were increased by 14.47–19.95%, respectively. The relative abundances of genes related to major membrane transport and cell motility were increased by 10.02 and 83.09%, respectively.

  • Different dosages of biochar in the anaerobic digestion process of food waste were studied.

  • 16S rRNA gene sequencing and PCR were used to analyze bacterial and archaeal domains.

  • The addition of biochar has promoted the improvement of anaerobic digestion performance, e.g. the improvement of methane production capacity, the increase of anaerobic digestion-dominant bacterial communities, and the abundance of functional genes.

This content is only available as a PDF.
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Licence (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0), which permits copying and redistribution for non-commercial purposes with no derivatives, provided the original work is properly cited (

Supplementary data