Commenced in January 2007
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Search results for: D. G. Wareham

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

Authors: E. Al-Essa, R. Bello-Mendoza, D. G. Wareham

Abstract:

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.

Keywords: anaerobic digestion, iron oxide, methanogenesis, nanoparticle

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1 Anaerobic Digestion of Green Wastes at Different Solids Concentrations and Temperatures to Enhance Methane Generation

Authors: A. Bayat, R. Bello-Mendoza, D. G. Wareham

Abstract:

Two major categories of green waste are fruit and vegetable (FV) waste and garden and yard (GY) waste. Although, anaerobic digestions (AD) is able to manage FV waste; there is less confidence in the conditions for AD to handle GY wastes (grass, leaves, trees and bush trimmings); mainly because GY contains lignin and other recalcitrant organics. GY in the dry state (TS ≥ 15 %) can be digested at mesophilic temperatures; however, little methane data has been reported under thermophilic conditions, where conceivably better methane yields could be achieved. In addition, it is suspected that at lower solids concentrations, the methane yield could be increased. As such, the aim of this research is to find the temperature and solids concentration conditions that produce the most methane; under two different temperature regimes (mesophilic, thermophilic) and three solids states (i.e. 'dry', 'semi-dry' and 'wet'). Twenty liters of GY waste was collected from a public park located in the northern district in Tehran. The clippings consisted of freshly cut grass as well as dry branches and leaves. The GY waste was chopped before being fed into a mechanical blender that reduced it to a paste-like consistency. An initial TS concentration of approximately 38 % was achieved. Four hundred mL of anaerobic inoculum (average total solids (TS) concentration of 2.03 ± 0.131 % of which 73.4% were volatile solid (VS), soluble chemical oxygen demand (sCOD) of 4.59 ± 0.3 g/L) was mixed with the GY waste substrate paste (along with distilled water) to achieve a TS content of approximately 20 %. For comparative purposes, approximately 20 liters of FV waste was ground in the same manner as the GY waste. Since FV waste has a much higher natural water content than GY, it was dewatered to obtain a starting TS concentration in the dry solid-state range (TS ≥ 15 %). Three samples were dewatered to an average starting TS concentration of 32.71 %. The inoculum was added (along with distilled water) to dilute the initial FV TS concentrations down to semi-dry conditions (10-15 %) and wet conditions (below 10 %). Twelve 1-L batch bioreactors were loaded simultaneously with either GY or FV waste at TS solid concentrations ranging from 3.85 ± 1.22 % to 20.11 ± 1.23 %. The reactors were sealed and were operated for 30 days while being immersed in water baths to maintain a constant temperature of 37 ± 0.5 °C (mesophilic) or 55 ± 0.5 °C (thermophilic). A maximum methane yield of 115.42 (L methane/ kg VS added) was obtained for the GY thermophilic-wet AD combination. Methane yield was enhanced by 240 % compared to the GY waste mesophilic-dry condition. The results confirm that high temperature regimes and small solids concentrations are conditions that enhance methane yield from GY waste. A similar trend was observed for the anaerobic digestion of FV waste. Furthermore, a maximum value of VS (53 %) and sCOD (84 %) reduction was achieved during the AD of GY waste under the thermophilic-wet condition.

Keywords: anaerobic digestion, thermophilic, mesophilic, total solids concentration

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