The Effect of Magnetite Particle Size on Methane Production by Fresh and Degassed Anaerobic Sludge

Anaerobic batch experiments were conducted to investigate the effect of magnetite-supplementation (7 mM) on methane production from digested sludge undergoing two different microbial growth phases, namely fresh sludge (exponential growth phase) and degassed sludge (endogenous decay phase). Three different particle sizes were assessed: small (50 - 150 nm), medium (168 – 490 nm) and large (800 nm - 4.5 µm) particles. Results show that, in the case of the fresh sludge, magnetite significantly enhanced the methane production rate (up to 32%) and reduced the lag phase (by 15% - 41%) as compared to the control, regardless of the particle size used. However, the cumulative methane produced at the end of the incubation was comparable in all treatment and control bottles. In the case of the degassed sludge, only the medium-sized magnetite particles increased significantly the methane production rate (12% higher) as compared to the control. Small and large particles had little effect on the methane production rate but did result in an extended lag phase which led to significantly lower cumulative methane production at the end of the incubation period. These results suggest that magnetite produces a clear and positive effect on methane production only when an active and balanced microbial community is present in the anaerobic digester. It is concluded that, (i) the effect of magnetite particle size on increasing the methane production rate and reducing lag phase duration is strongly influenced by the initial metabolic state of the microbial consortium, and (ii) the particle size would positively affect the methane production if it is provided within the nanometer size range.

Quantification of Biomethane Potential from Anaerobic Digestion of Food Waste at Vaal University of Technology

The global urbanisation and worldwide economic growth have caused a high rate of food waste generation, resulting in environmental pollution. Food waste disposed on landfills decomposes to produce methane (CH4), a greenhouse gas. Inadequate waste management practices contribute to food waste polluting the environment. Thus effective organic fraction of municipal solid waste (OFMSW) management and treatment are attracting widespread attention in many countries. This problem can be minimised by the employment of anaerobic digestion process, since food waste is rich in organic matter and highly biodegradable, resulting in energy generation and waste volume reduction. The current study investigated the Biomethane Potential (BMP) of the Vaal University of Technology canteen food waste using anaerobic digestion. Tests were performed on canteen food waste, as a substrate, with total solids (TS) of 22%, volatile solids (VS) of 21% and moisture content of 78%. The tests were performed in batch reactors, at a mesophilic temperature of 37 °C, with two different types of inoculum, primary and digested sludge. The resulting CH4 yields for both food waste with digested sludge and primary sludge were equal, being 357 Nml/g VS. This indicated that food waste form this canteen is rich in organic and highly biodegradable. Hence it can be used as a substrate for the anaerobic digestion process. The food waste with digested sludge and primary sludge both fitted the first order kinetic model with k for primary sludge inoculated food waste being 0.278 day-1 with R2 of 0.98, whereas k for digested sludge inoculated food waste being 0.034 day-1, with R2 of 0.847.

Analyzing Irbid’s Food Waste as Feedstock for Anaerobic Digestion

Food waste samples from Irbid were collected from 5 different sources for 12 weeks to characterize their composition in terms of four food categories; rice, meat, fruits and vegetables, and bread. Average food type compositions were 39% rice, 6% meat, 34% fruits and vegetables, and 23% bread. Methane yield was also measured for all food types and was found to be 362, 499, 352, and 375 mL/g VS for rice, meat, fruits and vegetables, and bread, respectively. A representative food waste sample was created to test the actual methane yield and compare it to calculated one. Actual methane yield (414 mL/g VS) was greater than the calculated value (377 mL/g VS) based on food type proportions and their specific methane yield. This study emphasizes the effect of the types of food and their proportions in food waste on the final biogas production. Findings in this study provide representative methane emission factors for Irbid’s food waste, which represent as high as 68% of total Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) in Irbid, and also indicate the energy and economic value within the solid waste stream in Irbid.

Methane Production from Biomedical Waste (Blood)

This study investigates the production of renewable energy (biogas) from biomedical hazard waste (blood) and eco-friendly disposal. Biogas is produced by the bacterial anaerobic digestion of biomaterial (blood). During digestion process bacterial feeding result in breaking down chemical bonds of the biomaterial and changing its features, by the end of the digestion (biogas production) the remains become manure as known. That has led to the economic and eco-friendly disposal of hazard biomedical waste (blood). The samples (Whole blood, Red blood cells 'RBCs', Blood platelet and Fresh Frozen Plasma ‘FFP’) are collected and measured in terms of carbon to nitrogen C/N ratio and total solid, then filled in connected flasks (three flasks) using water displacement method. The results of trails showed that the platelet and FFP failed to produce flammable gas, but via a gas analyzer, it showed the presence of the following gases: CO, HC, CO₂, and NOX. Otherwise, the blood and RBCs produced flammable gases: Methane-nitrous CH₃NO (99.45%), which has a blue color flame and carbon dioxide CO₂ (0.55%), which has red/yellow color flame. Methane-nitrous is sometimes used as fuel for rockets, some aircraft and racing cars.

Case Study on Innovative Aquatic-Based Bioeconomy for Chlorella sorokiniana

Over the last decade due to climate change and a strategy of natural resources preservation, the interest for the aquatic biomass has dramatically increased. Along with mitigation of the environmental pressure and connection of waste streams (including CO2 and heat emissions), microalgae bioeconomy can supply food, feed, as well as the pharmaceutical and power industry with number of value-added products. Furthermore, in comparison to conventional biomass, microalgae can be cultivated in wide range of conditions without compromising food and feed production, thus addressing issues associated with negative social and the environmental impacts. This paper presents the state-of-the art technology for microalgae bioeconomy from cultivation process to production of valuable components and by-streams. Microalgae Chlorella sorokiniana were cultivated in the pilot-scale innovation concept in Hamburg (Germany) using different systems such as race way pond (5000 L) and flat panel reactors (8 x 180 L). In order to achieve the optimum growth conditions along with suitable cellular composition for the further extraction of the value-added components, process parameters such as light intensity, temperature and pH are continuously being monitored. On the other hand, metabolic needs in nutrients were provided by addition of micro- and macro-nutrients into a medium to ensure autotrophic growth conditions of microalgae. The cultivation was further followed by downstream process and extraction of lipids, proteins and saccharides. Lipids extraction is conducted in repeated-batch semi-automatic mode using hot extraction method according to Randall. As solvents hexane and ethanol are used at different ratio of 9:1 and 1:9, respectively. Depending on cell disruption method along with solvents ratio, the total lipids content showed significant variations between 8.1% and 13.9 %. The highest percentage of extracted biomass was reached with a sample pretreated with microwave digestion using 90% of hexane and 10% of ethanol as solvents. Proteins content in microalgae was determined by two different methods, namely: Total Kejadahl Nitrogen (TKN), which further was converted to protein content, as well as Bradford method using Brilliant Blue G-250 dye. Obtained results, showed a good correlation between both methods with protein content being in the range of 39.8–47.1%. Characterization of neutral and acid saccharides from microalgae was conducted by phenol-sulfuric acid method at two wavelengths of 480 nm and 490 nm. The average concentration of neutral and acid saccharides under the optimal cultivation conditions was 19.5% and 26.1%, respectively. Subsequently, biomass residues are used as substrate for anaerobic digestion on the laboratory-scale. The methane concentration, which was measured on the daily bases, showed some variations for different samples after extraction steps but was in the range between 48% and 55%. CO2 which is formed during the fermentation process and after the combustion in the Combined Heat and Power unit can potentially be used within the cultivation process as a carbon source for the photoautotrophic synthesis of biomass.

Identification of Microbial Community in an Anaerobic Reactor Treating Brewery Wastewater

The study of microbial ecology and their function in anaerobic digestion processes are essential to control the biological processes. This is to know the symbiotic relationship between the microorganisms that are involved in the conversion of complex organic matter in the industrial wastewater to simple molecules. In this study, diversity and quantity of bacterial community in the granular sludge taken from the different compartments of a full-scale upflow anaerobic sludge blanket (UASB) reactor treating brewery wastewater was investigated using polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and real-time quantitative PCR (qPCR). The phylogenetic analysis showed three major eubacteria phyla that belong to Proteobacteria, Firmicutes and Chloroflexi in the full-scale UASB reactor, with different groups populating different compartment. The result of qPCR assay showed high amount of eubacteria with increase in concentration along the reactor’s compartment. This study extends our understanding on the diverse, topological distribution and shifts in concentration of microbial communities in the different compartments of a full-scale UASB reactor treating brewery wastewater. The colonization and the trophic interactions among these microbial populations in reducing and transforming complex organic matter within the UASB reactors were established.

Anaerobic Digestion of Coffee Wastewater from a Fast Inoculum Adaptation Stage: Replacement of Complex Substrate

In this study, raw coffee wastewater (CWW) was used as a complex substrate for anaerobic digestion. The inoculum adaptation stage, microbial diversity analysis and biomethane potential (BMP) tests were performed. A fast inoculum adaptation stage was used by the replacement of vinasse to CWW in an anaerobic sequential batch reactor (AnSBR) operated at mesophilic conditions. Illumina MiSeq sequencing was used to analyze the microbial diversity. While, BMP tests using inoculum adapted to CWW were carried out at different inoculum to substrate (I/S) ratios (2:1, 3:1 and 4:1, on a VS basis). Results show that the adaptability percentage was increased gradually until it reaches the highest theoretical value in a short time of 10 d; with a methane yield of 359.10 NmL CH4/g COD-removed; Methanobacterium beijingense was the most abundant microbial (75%) and the greatest specific methane production was achieved at I/S ratio 4:1, whereas the lowest was obtained at 2:1, with BMP values of 320 NmL CH4/g VS and 151 NmL CH4/g VS, respectively. In conclusion, gradual replacement of substrate was a feasible method to adapt the inoculum in a short time even using complex raw substrates, whereas in the BMP tests, the specific methane production was proportional to the initial amount of inoculum.

Biogas Enhancement Using Iron Oxide Nanoparticles and Multi-Wall Carbon Nanotubes

Quick development and usage of nanotechnology have resulted to massive use of various nanoparticles, such as iron oxide nanoparticles (IONPs) and multi-wall carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs). Thus, this study investigated the role of IONPs and MWCNTs in enhancing bioenergy recovery. Results show that IONPs at a concentration of 750 mg/L and MWCNTs at a concentration of 1500 mg/L induced faster substrate utilization and biogas production rates than the control. IONPs exhibited higher carbon oxygen demand (COD) removal efficiency than MWCNTs while on the contrary, MWCNT performance on biogas generation was remarkable than IONPs. Furthermore, scanning electron microscopy (SEM) investigation revealed extracellular polymeric substances (EPS) excretion from AGS had an interaction with nanoparticles. This interaction created a protective barrier to microbial consortia hence reducing their cytotoxicity. Microbial community analyses revealed genus predominance of bacteria of Anaerolineaceae and Longilinea. Their role in biodegradation of the substrate could have highly been boosted by nanoparticles. The archaea predominance of the genus level of Methanosaeta and Methanobacterium enhanced methanation process. The presence of bacteria of genus Geobacter was also reported. Their presence might have significantly contributed to direct interspecies electron transfer in the system. Exposure of AGS to nanoparticles promoted direct interspecies electron transfer among the anaerobic fermenting bacteria and their counterpart methanogens during the anaerobic digestion process. This results provide useful insightful information in understanding the response of microorganisms to IONPs and MWCNTs in the complex natural environment.

Renewable Energy Potential of Diluted Poultry Manure during Ambient Anaerobic Stabilisation

In this study, the anaerobic treatability of chicken manure diluted with tap water (with an influent feed ratio of 1 kg of fresh chicken manure to 6 liter of tap water) was investigated in a lab-scale anaerobic sludge bed (ASB) reactor inoculated with the granular sludge already adapted to chicken manure. The raw waste digested in this study was the manure from laying-hens having average total solids (TS) of about 30% with ca. 60% volatile content. The ASB reactor was fed semi-continuously at ambient operating temperature range (17-23◦C) at a HRT of 13 and 26 days for about 6 months, respectively. The respective average total and soluble chemical oxygen demand (COD) removals were ca. 90% and 75%, whereas average biomethane production rate was calculated ca. 180 lt per kg of CODremoved from the ASB reactor at an average HRT of 13 days. Moreover, total suspended solids (TSS) and volatile suspended solids (VSS) in the influent were reduced more than 97%. Hence, high removals of the organic compounds with respective biogas production made anaerobic stabilization of the diluted chicken manure by ASB reactor at ambient operating temperatures viable. By this way, external heating up to 35◦C (i.e. anaerobic processes have been traditionally operated at mesophilic conditions) could be avoided in the scope of this study.

Optimization of NaOH Thermo-Chemical Pretreatment to Enhance Solubilisation of Organic Food Waste by Response Surface Methodology

This study investigates the influence of low temperature thermo-chemical pretreatment of organic food waste on performance of COD solubilisation. Both temperature and alkaline agent were reported to have effect on solubilizing any possible biomass including organic food waste. The three independent variables considered in this pretreatment were temperature (50-90oC), pretreatment time (30-120 minutes) and alkaline concentration, sodium hydroxide, NaOH (0.7-15 g/L). The maximal condition obtained were 90oC, 15 g/L NaOH for 2 hours. Solubilisation has potential in enhancing methane production by providing high amount of soluble components at early stage during anaerobic digestion.

Comparison of the Effects of Continuous Flow Microwave Pre-treatment with Different Intensities on the Anaerobic Digestion of Sewage Sludge for Sustainable Energy Recovery from Sewage Treatment Plant

Anaerobic digestion is a well-known technique for sustainable energy recovery from sewage sludge. However, sewage sludge digestion is restricted due to certain factors. Pre-treatment methods have been established in various publications as a promising technique to improve the digestibility of the sewage sludge and to enhance the biogas generated which can be used for energy recovery. In this study, continuous flow microwave (MW) pre-treatment with different intensities were compared by using 5 L semi-continuous digesters at a hydraulic retention time of 27 days. We focused on the effects of MW at different intensities on the sludge solubilization, sludge digestibility, and biogas production of the untreated and MW pre-treated sludge. The MW pre-treatment demonstrated an increase in the ratio of soluble chemical oxygen demand to total chemical oxygen demand (sCOD/tCOD) and volatile fatty acid (VFA) concentration. Besides that, the total volatile solid (TVS) removal efficiency and tCOD removal efficiency also increased during the digestion of the MW pre-treated sewage sludge compared to the untreated sewage sludge. Furthermore, the biogas yield also subsequently increases due to the pre-treatment effect. A higher MW power level and irradiation time generally enhanced the biogas generation which has potential for sustainable energy recovery from sewage treatment plant. However, the net energy balance tabulation shows that the MW pre-treatment leads to negative net energy production.

Analysis of a Lignocellulose Degrading Microbial Consortium to Enhance the Anaerobic Digestion of Rice Straws

Rice straw is lignocellulosic biomass which can be utilized as substrate for the biogas production. However, due to the property and composition of rice straw, it is difficult to be degraded by hydrolysis enzymes. One of the pretreatment methods that modify such properties of lignocellulosic biomass is the application of lignocellulose-degrading microbial consortia. The aim of this study is to investigate the effect of microbial consortia to enhance biogas production. To select the high efficient consortium, cellulase enzymes were extracted and their activities were analyzed. The results suggested that microbial consortium culture obtained from cattle manure is the best candidate compared to decomposed wood and horse manure. A microbial consortium isolated from cattle manure was then mixed with anaerobic sludge and used as inoculum for biogas production. The optimal conditions for biogas production were investigated using response surface methodology (RSM). The tested parameters were the ratio of amount of microbial consortium isolated and amount of anaerobic sludge (MI:AS), substrate to inoculum ratio (S:I) and temperature. Here, the value of the regression coefficient R2 = 0.7661 could be explained by the model which is high to advocate the significance of the model. The highest cumulative biogas yield was 104.6 ml/g-rice straw at optimum ratio of MI:AS, ratio of S:I, and temperature of 2.5:1, 15:1 and 44°C respectively.

The Effect of Porous Alkali Activated Material Composition on Buffer Capacity in Bioreactors

With demand for primary energy continuously growing, search for renewable and efficient energy sources has been high on agenda of our society. One of the most promising energy sources is biogas technology. Residues coming from dairy industry and milk processing could be used in biogas production; however, low efficiency and high cost impede wide application of such technology. One of the main problems is management and conversion of organic residues through the anaerobic digestion process which is characterized by acidic environment due to the low whey pH (

Conditions of the Anaerobic Digestion of Biomass

Biological conversion of biomass to methane has received increasing attention in recent years. Grasses have been explored for their potential anaerobic digestion to methane. In this review, extensive literature data have been tabulated and classified. The influences of several parameters on the potential of these feedstocks to produce methane are presented. Lignocellulosic biomass represents a mostly unused source for biogas and ethanol production. Many factors, including lignin content, crystallinity of cellulose, and particle size, limit the digestibility of the hemicellulose and cellulose present in the lignocellulosic biomass. Pretreatments have used to improve the digestibility of the lignocellulosic biomass. Each pretreatment has its own effects on cellulose, hemicellulose and lignin, the three main components of lignocellulosic biomass. Solidstate anaerobic digestion (SS-AD) generally occurs at solid concentrations higher than 15%. In contrast, liquid anaerobic digestion (AD) handles feedstocks with solid concentrations between 0.5% and 15%. Animal manure, sewage sludge, and food waste are generally treated by liquid AD, while organic fractions of municipal solid waste (OFMSW) and lignocellulosic biomass such as crop residues and energy crops can be processed through SS-AD. An increase in operating temperature can improve both the biogas yield and the production efficiency, other practices such as using AD digestate or leachate as an inoculant or decreasing the solid content may increase biogas yield but have negative impact on production efficiency. Focus is placed on substrate pretreatment in anaerobic digestion (AD) as a means of increasing biogas yields using today’s diversified substrate sources.

Moving towards Zero Waste in a UK Local Authority Area: Challenges to the Introduction of Separate Food Waste Collections

EU and UK Government targets for minimising and recycling household waste has led the responsible authorities to research the alternatives to landfill. In the work reported here the local waste collection authority (Charnwood Borough Council) has adopted the aspirational strategy of becoming a “Zero Waste Borough” to lead the drive for public participation. The work concludes that the separate collection of food waste would be needed to meet the two regulatory standards on recycling and biologically active wastes. An analysis of a neighbouring Authority (Newcastle-Under-Lyne Borough Council (NBC), a similar sized local authority that has a successful weekly food waste collection service was undertaken. Results indicate that the main challenges for Charnwood Borough Council would be gaining householder co-operation, the extra costs of collection and organising alternative treatment. The analysis also demonstrated that there was potential offset value via anaerobic digestion for CBC to overcome these difficulties and improve its recycling performance.

Optimization of Process Parameters Affecting Biogas Production from Organic Fraction of Municipal Solid Waste via Anaerobic Digestion

The aim of this study was to obtain the optimal conditions for biogas production from anaerobic digestion of organic fraction of municipal solid waste (OFMSW) using response surface methodology (RSM). The parameters studied were initial pH, substrate concentration and total organic carbon (TOC). The experimental results showed that the linear model terms of initial pH and substrate concentration and the quadratic model terms of the substrate concentration and TOC had significant individual effect (p < 0.05) on biogas yield. However, there was no interactive effect between these variables (p > 0.05). The highest level of biogas produced was 53.4 L/Kg VS at optimum pH, substrate concentration and total organic carbon of 6.5, 99gTS/L and 20.32 g/L respectively.

The Necessity of Biomass Application for Developing Combined Heat and Power (CHP)with Biogas Fuel: Case Study

The daily increase of organic waste materials resulting from different activities in the country is one of the main factors for the pollution of environment. Today, with regard to the low level of the output of using traditional methods, the high cost of disposal waste materials and environmental pollutions, the use of modern methods such as anaerobic digestion for the production of biogas has been prevailing. The collected biogas from the process of anaerobic digestion, as a renewable energy source similar to natural gas but with a less methane and heating value is usable. Today, with the help of technologies of filtration and proper preparation, access to biogas with features fully similar to natural gas has become possible. At present biogas is one of the main sources of supplying electrical and thermal energy and also an appropriate option to be used in four stroke engine, diesel engine, sterling engine, gas turbine, gas micro turbine and fuel cell to produce electricity. The use of biogas for different reasons which returns to socio-economic and environmental advantages has been noticed in CHP for the production of energy in the world. The production of biogas from the technology of anaerobic digestion and its application in CHP power plants in Iran can not only supply part of the energy demands in the country, but it can materialize moving in line with the sustainable development. In this article, the necessity of the development of CHP plants with biogas fuels in the country will be dealt based on studies performed from the economic, environmental and social aspects. Also to prove the importance of the establishment of these kinds of power plants from the economic point of view, necessary calculations has been done as a case study for a CHP power plant with a biogas fuel.

Identification of Anaerobic Microorganisms for Converting Kitchen Waste to Biogas

Anaerobic digestion process is one of the alternative methods to convert organic waste into methane gas which is a fuel and energy source. Activities of various kinds of microorganisms are the main factor for anaerobic digestion which produces methane gas. Therefore, in this study a modified Anaerobic Baffled Reactor (ABR) with working volume of 50 liters was designed to identify the microorganisms through biogas production. The mixture of 75% kitchen waste and 25% sewage sludge was used as substrate. Observations on microorganisms in the ABR showed that there exists a small amount of protozoa (5%) and fungi (2%) in the system, but almost 93% of the microorganism population consists of bacteria. It is definitely clear that bacteria are responsible for anaerobic biodegradation of kitchen waste. Results show that in the acidification zone of the ABR (front compartments of reactor) fast growing bacteria capable of growth at high substrate levels and reduced pH was dominant. A shift to slower growing scavenging bacteria that grow better at higher pH was occurring towards the end of the reactor. Due to the ability of activity in acetate environment the percentages of Methanococcus, Methanosarcina and Methanotrix were higher than other kinds of methane former in the system.

Biogas Potentiality of Agro-wastes Jatropha Fruit Coat

The present investigation was undertaken to explore the biogas potentiality of Jatropha (Jatropha curcas, Euphorbiaceae) Fruit Coat (JFC) alone and in combination with cattle dung (CD) in various proportions at 15 per cent total solids by batch phase anaerobic digestion for a period of ten weeks HRT (Hydraulic Retention Time) under a temperature of 35°C+1°C. The maximum biogas production was noticed in Cattle dung and Jatropha Fruit Coat in 2:1 ratio with 403.84 L/kg dry matter followed by 3:1,1:2, 1:1 and 1:3 having 329.66, 219.77, 217.79, 203.64 L /kg dm respectively as compared to 178.49 L/kg dm in CD alone. The JFC alone found to produce 91 per cent of total biogas that obtained from Cattle dung. The per cent methane content of the biogas in all the treatments was found on par with Cattle dung.

The Kinetic of Biogas Production Rate from Cattle Manure in Batch Mode

In this study, the kinetic of biogas production was studied by performing a series laboratory experiment using rumen fluid of animal ruminant as inoculums. Cattle manure as substrate was inoculated by rumen fluid to the anaerobic biodigester. Laboratory experiments using 400 ml biodigester were performed in batch operation mode. Given 100 grams of fresh cattle manure was fed to each biodigester and mixed with rumen fluid by manure : rumen weight ratio of 1:1 (MR11). The operating temperatures were varied at room temperature and 38.5 oC. The cumulative volume of biogas produced was used to measure the biodigester performance. The research showed that the rumen fluid inoculated to biodigester gave significant effect to biogas production (P