Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 30067
Effects of Microwave Heating on Biogas Production, Chemical Oxygen Demand and Volatile Solids Solubilization of Food Residues

Authors: Ackmez Mudhoo, Pravish Rye Moorateeah, Romeela Mohee


This paper presents the results of the preliminary investigation of microwave (MW) irradiation pretreatments on the anaerobic digestion of food residues using biochemical methane potential (BMP) assays. Low solids systems with a total solids (TS) content ranging from 5.0-10.0% were analyzed. The inoculum to bulk mass of substrates to water ratio was 1:2:2 (mass basis). The experimental conditions for pretreatments were as follows: a control (no MW irradiation), two runs with MW irradiation for 15 and 30 minutes at 320 W, and another two runs with MW irradiation at 528 W for 30 and 60 minutes. The cumulative biogas production were 6.3 L and 8.7 L for 15min/320 W and 30min/320 W MW irradiation conditions, respectively, and 10.5 L and 11.4 L biogas for 30min/528 W and 60min/528 W, respectively, as compared to the control giving 5.8 L biogas. Both an increase in exposure time of irradiation and power of MW had increased the rate and yield of biogas. Singlefactor ANOVA tests (p<0.05) indicated that the variations in VS, TS, COD and cumulative biogas generation were significantly different for the pretreatment conditions. Results from this study indicated that MW irradiation had enhanced the biogas production and degradation of total solids with a significant improvement in VS and COD solubilization.

Keywords: microwave irradiation, pretreatment, anaerobic digestion, food residues.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI):

Procedia APA BibTeX Chicago EndNote Harvard JSON MLA RIS XML ISO 690 PDF


[1] M.B. Sadugh, M. Jalili Ghazizadeh, H. Pezeshk V. Jalili Ghazizadeh, “Evaluating the recovery potential of solid wastes”, Int. J. Environ. Res., vol. 3, no. 4, pp. 681–690, 2009.
[2] D.–Y. Lee, Y. Ebie, K.–Q. Xu, Y.–Y. Li and Y. Inamori, “Continuous H2 and CH4 production from high–solid food waste in the two–stage thermophilic fermentation process with the recirculation of digester sludge”, Bioresour. Technol., vol. 101, no. 1, pp. 42–47, Jan. 2010.
[3] P. Buffiere, S. Frederic, B. Marty and J.P. Delgenes, “A comprehensive method for organic matter characterisation in solid wastes in view of assessing their anaerobic biodegradability context sensitive links”, Wat. Sci. Technol., vol.58, pp. 1783–1788, 2008.
[4] I. Angelidaki, M. Alves, D. Bolzonella, L. Borzacconi, J.L. Campos, A.J. Guwy, S. Kalyuzhnyi, P. Jenicek and J.B. van Lier, “Defining the biomethane potential (BMP) of solid organic wastes and energy crops: a proposed protocol for batch assays”, Wat. Sci. Technol., vol. 59, no. 5, pp. 927–934, 2009.
[5] M. Kubaská, S. Sedláček, I. Bodík, and B. Kissová, “Food waste as biodegradable substrates for biogas production”, Editor: J. Markoš, in Proc. 37th Int. Conf. Slovak Soc. Chem. Eng., Tatranské Matliare, Slovakia, 2010, pp. 1413–1418.
[6] S.X. Zhou, Y.P. Dong and Y.L. Zhang, “Solid–state anaerobic digestion for methane production from corn stalks with stack–pretreated”, Mater. Sci. Forum, vol. 697–698, pp. 326–330, 2011.
[7] A. Demirbas, “Biofuels sources, biofuel policy, biofuel economy and global biofuel projections”, Energy Conversion Management, vol. 49, pp. 2106–2116, 2008.
[8] A. Lehtomäki and L. Björnsson, “Two–stage anaerobic digestion of energy crops; methane production, nitrogen mineralisation and heavy metal mobilisation”, Environ. Technol., vol. 27, pp. 209–218, May 2006.
[9] M.J. Taherzadeh and K. Karimi, “Enzyme–based hydrolysis processes for ethanol from lignocellulosic materials: A review”, Bioresources, vol. 2, pp. 707–738, 2007.
[10] Y. Zheng, Z. Pan and R. Zhang, “Overview of biomass pretreatment for cellulosic ethanol production”, Int. J. Agric. Biol. Eng., vol. 2, pp. 51–68, 2009.
[11] A.T.W.M. Hendriks and G. Zeeman, “Pretreatments to enhance the digestibility of lignocellulosic biomass”, Bioresour. Technol., vol. 100, pp. 10–18, Jan. 2009.
[12] C. Eskicioglu, R.L. Droste and K.J. Kennedy” Performance of continuous flow anaerobic sludge digesters after microwave pre treatment”, Proc. Wat. Environ. Fed., WEFTEC 2006, Session 1 through Session 10, pp. 526–540, 2006.
[13] D. Martin, G. Craciun, E. Manaila, D. Ighigeanu, I. Togoe, C. Oproiu, I. Margaritescu and N. Iacob, “ Waste treatment by microwave and electron beam irradiation”, Proc. 2nd Environ. Phy. Conf., Alexandria, Egypt, 91–100, 2006.
[14] K.J. Kennedy, G. Thibault and R.L. Droste, “Microwave enhanced digestion of aerobic SBR sludge”, Water SA, vol. 33, no. 2, pp. 261-270, 2007.
[15] D. Deublein and A. Steinhauser, “Biogas from Waste and Renewable Resources”, Wiley–VCH, Weinheim, 2008.
[16] D.K. Johnson, C.M. Carliell-Marquet and C.F. Forster, “An examination of the treatment of iron‐dosed waste activated sludge by anaerobic digestion”, Environ. Technol., vol. 24, no. 8, pp. 937–945, 2003.
[17] American Public Health Association (APHA), “Standard Methods for the Examination of Water and Wastewater”, 21st Ed., 2005.
[18] P.J. Meynell, Methane: Planning a Digester. Prism Press: Dorset, UK, pp. 23–25, 1982.
[19] E.O. Uzodinma and A.U. Ofoefule, “Biogas production from blends of cassava peels with some animal wastes”, Int. J. Phys. Sci., vol. 4, no. 7, pp. 392–402, 2004.
[20] S. Verma, “Anaerobic digestion of biodegradable organics in municipa solid wastes”, Master Thesis, Department of Earth & Environmental Engineering (Henry Krumb School of Mines), Fu Foundation School of Engineering & Applied Science, Columbia University, 2002. Available at
[21] X.–Y. Cheng and C.–Z. Liu, “Enhanced biogas production from herbal extraction process residues by microwave–assisted alkaline pre-treatment”, J. Chem. Technol. Biotechnol., vol. 85, no. 1, pp. 127-131, Jan. 2010.
[22] C. Eskicioglu, R.L. Droste and K.J. Kennedy, "Performance of anaerobic waste activated sludge digesters after microwave pre-treatment", Wat. Environ. Res., vol. 79, no. 11, pp. 2265–2273, Oct. 2007.
[23] C. Eskicioglu, R.L. Droste, and K.J. Kennedy, “Performance of continuous flow anaerobic sludge digesters after microwave pre-treatment”, Wat. Environ. Found., pp. 526–540, 2009.
[24] S. Beszédes, Z. László, Z.H. Horváth, G. Szabó and C. Hodúr, “Comparison of the effects of microwave irradiation with different intensities on the biodegradability of sludge from the dairy– and meat–industry”, Bioresour. Technol., vol .102, no. 2, pp. 814–821, Jan. 2011.
[25] A. Mshandete, L. Björnsson, A.K. Kivaisi, S.T. Rubindamayugi and B. Mattiasson, "Enhancement of anaerobic batch digestion of sisal pulp waste by mesophilic aerobic pre–treatment", Wat. Res., vol. 39, no. 8, pp. 1569–1575, Apr. 2005.
[26] J.H. Ahn, S.G. Shin and S. Hwang, “Effect of microwave irradiation on the disintegration and acidogenesis of municipal secondary sludge”, Chem. Eng. J., vol. 153, pp. 145–150, Nov. 2009.
[27] J.–J. Lay, “Biohydrogen generation by mesophilic anaerobic fermentation of microcrystalline cellulose”, Biotechnol. Bioeng., vol. 74, pp. 280−287, Aug. 2001.
[28] Y. Mu, G. Wang and H.–Q.Yu, “Response surface methodological analysis on biohydrogen production by enriched anaerobic cultures”, Enzym. Microb. Technol., vol. 38, pp. 905–913, May 2006.
[29] V. Gadhamshetty, Y. Arudchelvam, N. Nirmalakhandan and D. Johnson, “Modeling dark fermentation for biohydrogen production: ADM1-based model vs. Gompertz model”, Int. J. Hydrogen Energy, vol. 35, pp. 479–790, Jan. 2010.