Commenced in January 2007
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Edition: International
Paper Count: 15

Search results for: digestate

15 Investigation of the Effect of Anaerobic Digestate on Antifungal Activity and in Different Parameters of Maize

Authors: Nazia Zaffar, Alam Khan, Abdul Haq, Malik Badshah


Pakistan is an agricultural country. The increasing population leads to an increase in demand for food. A large number of crops are infected by different microbes, and nutrient deficiency of soil adversely affects the yield of crops. Furthermore, the use of chemical fertilizers like Nitrogen, Phosphorus, Potassium (NPK) Urea, and Diammonium phosphate (DAP) and pesticides have environmental consequences. Therefore, there is an urgent need to explore alternative renewable and sustainable biofertilizers. Maize is one of the top growing crops in Pakistan, but it has low yield compared to other countries due to deficiency of organic matter, widespread nutrients deficiency (phosphorus and nitrogen), unbalanced use of fertilizers and various fungal diseases. In order to get rid of all these disadvantages, Digestate emerged as a win-win opportunity for the control of a few plant diseases and a replacement for the chemical fertilizers. The present study was designed to investigate the effect of Anerobic digestate on Antifungal Activity and in different parameters of Maize. The antifungal activity, minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC), and minimum fungicidal concentration (MFC) against selected phytopathogens (Colletotrichum coccodis, Pythium ultimum, Phytophthora capsci, Rhizoctonia solani, Bipolaris oryzae and Fusarium Fujikuroi) were determined by microtiter plate method. The effect of various fertilizers in different growth parameters height, diameter, chlorophyll, leaf area, biomass, and yield were studied in field experiments. The extracts from anaerobic digestate have shown antifungal activity against selected phytopathogens, the highest activity was noted against P. ultimum, the MIC activity was high in case of P. ultimum and B. oryzae. The present study concludes that anaerobic digestate have a positive effect on maize growth and yield as well as an antifungal activity which can be potentially a good biofertilizer.

Keywords: anaerobic digestate, antifungal activity, MIC, phytopathogens

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14 Influence of Digestate Fertilization on Soil Microbial Activity, Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Yield

Authors: M. Doyeni, S. Suproniene, V. Tilvikiene


Agricultural wastes contribute significantly to global climate change through greenhouse gas emissions if not adequately recycled and sustainably managed. A recurring agricultural waste is livestock wastes that have consistently served as feedstock for biogas systems. The objective of this study was to access the influence of digestate fertilization on soil microbial activity and greenhouse gas emissions in agricultural fields. Wheat (Triticum spp. L.) was fertilized with different types of animal wastes digestates (organic fertilizers) and mineral nitrogen (inorganic fertilizer) for three years. The 170 kg N ha⁻¹ presented in digestates were split fertilized at an application rate of 90 and 80 kg N ha⁻¹. The soil microorganism activity could be predicted significantly using the dehydrogenase activity and soil microbial biomass carbon. By combining the two different monitoring approaches, the different methods applied in this study were sensitive to enzymatic activities and organic carbon in the living component of the soil organic matter. The emissions of greenhouse gasses (carbon dioxide (CO₂), methane (CH₄), and nitrous oxide (N₂O) were monitored directly by a static chamber system. The soil and environmental variables were measured to determine their influence on greenhouse gas emissions. Emission peaks was observed in N₂O and CO₂ after the first application of fertilizers with the emissions flattening out over the cultivating season while CH₄ emission was negligible with no apparent patterns observed. Microbial biomass carbon and dehydrogenase activity were affected by the fertilized organic digestates. A significant difference was recorded between the control and the digestate treated soils for the microbial biomass carbon and dehydrogenase. Results also showed individual and cumulative emissions of CO₂, CH₄ and N₂O from the digestates were relatively low suggesting the digestate fertilization can be an efficient method for improving soil quality and reducing greenhouse gases from agricultural sources in temperate climate conditions.

Keywords: greenhouse gas emission, manure digestate, soil microbial activity, yield

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13 Co-Smoldered Digestate Ash as Additive for Anaerobic Digestion of Berry Fruit Waste: Stability and Enhanced Production Rate

Authors: Arinze Ezieke, Antonio Serrano, William Clarke, Denys Villa-Gomez


Berry cultivation results in discharge of high organic strength putrescible solid waste which potentially contributes to environmental degradation, making it imperative to assess options for its complete management. Anaerobic digestion (AD) could be an ideal option when the target is energy generation; however, due to berry fruit characteristics high carbohydrate composition, the technology could be limited by its high alkalinity requirement which suggests dosing of additives such as buffers and trace elements supplement. Overcoming this limitation in an economically viable way could entail replacement of synthetic additives with recycled by-product waste. Consequently, ash from co-smouldering of high COD characteristic AD digestate and coco-coir could be a promising material to be used to enhance the AD of berry fruit waste, given its characteristic high pH, alkalinity and metal concentrations which is typical of synthetic additives. Therefore, the aim of the research was to evaluate the stability and process performance from the AD of BFW when ash from co-smoldered digestate and coir are supplemented as alkalinity and trace elements (TEs) source. Series of batch experiments were performed to ascertain the necessity for alkalinity addition and to see whether the alkalinity and metals in the co-smouldered digestate ash can provide the necessary buffer and TEs for AD of berry fruit waste. Triplicate assays were performed in batch systems following I/S of 2 (in VS), using serum bottles (160 mL) sealed and placed in a heated room (35±0.5 °C), after creating anaerobic conditions. Control experiment contained inoculum and substrates only, and inoculum, substrate and NaHCO3 for optimal total alkalinity concentration and TEs assays, respectively. Total alkalinity concentration refers to alkalinity of inoculum and the additives. The alkalinity and TE potential of the ash were evaluated by supplementing ash (22.574 g/kg) of equivalent total alkalinity concentration to that of the pre-determined optimal from NaHCO3, and by dosing ash (0.012 – 7.574 g/kg) of varying concentrations of specific essential TEs (Co, Fe, Ni, Se), respectively. The result showed a stable process at all examined conditions. Supplementation of 745 mg/L CaCO3 NaHCO3 resulted to an optimum TAC of 2000 mg/L CaCO3. Equivalent ash supplementation of 22.574 g/kg allowed the achievement of this pre-determined optimum total alkalinity concentration, resulting to a stable process with a 92% increase in the methane production rate (323 versus 168 mL CH4/ (gVS.d)), but a 36% reduction in the cumulative methane production (103 versus 161 mL CH4/gVS). Addition of ashes at incremental dosage as TEs source resulted to a reduction in the Cumulative methane production, with the highest dosage of 7.574 g/kg having the highest effect of -23.5%; however, the seemingly immediate bioavailability of TE at this high dosage allowed for a +15% increase in the methane production rate. With an increased methane production rate, the results demonstrated that the ash at high dosages could be an effective supplementary material for either a buffered or none buffered berry fruit waste AD system.

Keywords: anaerobic digestion, alkalinity, co-smoldered digestate ash, trace elements

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12 Industrial Wastewater from Paper Mills Used for Biofuel Production and Soil Improvement

Authors: Karin M. Granstrom


Paper mills produce wastewater with a high content of organic substances. Treatment usually consists of sedimentation, biological treatment of activated sludge basins, and chemical precipitation. The resulting sludges are currently a waste problem, deposited in landfills or used as low-grade fuels for incineration. There is a growing awareness of the need for energy efficiency and environmentally sound management of sludge. A resource-efficient method would be to digest the wastewater sludges anaerobically to produce biogas, refine the biogas to biomethane for use in the transportation sector, and utilize the resulting digestate for soil improvement. The biomethane yield of pulp and paper wastewater sludge is comparable to that of straw or manure. As a bonus, the digestate has an improved dewaterability compared to the feedstock biosludge. Limitations of this process are predominantly a weak economic viability - necessitating both sufficiently large-scale paper production for the necessary large amounts of produced wastewater sludge, and the resolving of remaining questions on the certifiability of the digestate and thus its sales price. A way to improve the practical and economical feasibility of using paper mill wastewater for biomethane production and soil improvement is to co-digest it with other feedstocks. In this study, pulp and paper sludge were co-digested with (1) silage and manure, (2) municipal sewage sludge, (3) food waste, or (4) microalgae. Biomethane yield analysis was performed in 500 ml batch reactors, using an Automatic Methane Potential Test System at thermophilic temperature, with a 20 days test duration. The results show that (1) the harvesting season of grass silage and manure collection was an important factor for methane production, with spring feedstocks producing much more than autumn feedstock, and pulp mill sludge benefitting the most from co-digestion; (2) pulp and paper mill sludge is a suitable co-substrate to add when a high nitrogen content cause impaired biogas production due to ammonia inhibition; (3) the combination of food waste and paper sludge gave higher methane yield than either of the substrates digested separately; (4) pure microalgae gave the highest methane yield. In conclusion, although pulp and paper mills are an almost untapped resource for biomethane production, their wastewater is a suitable feedstock for such a process. Furthermore, through co-digestion, the pulp and paper mill wastewater and mill sludges can aid biogas production from more nutrient-rich waste streams from other industries. Such co-digestion also enhances the soil improvement properties of the residue digestate.

Keywords: anaerobic, biogas, biomethane, paper, sludge, soil

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11 Possibility of Membrane Filtration to Treatment of Effluent from Digestate

Authors: Marcin Debowski, Marcin Zielinski, Magdalena Zielinska, Paulina Rusanowska


The problem with digestate management is one of the most important factors influencing on the development and operation of biogas plant. Turbidity and bacterial contamination negatively affect the growth of algae, which can limit the use of the effluent in the production of algae biomass on a large scale. These problems can be overcome by cultivating of algae species resistant to environmental factors, such as Chlorella sp., Scenedesmus sp., or reducing load of organic compounds to prevent bacterial contamination. The effluent requires dilution and/or purification. One of the methods of effluent treatment is the use of a membrane technology such as microfiltration (MF), ultrafiltration (UF), nanofiltration (NF) and reverse osmosis (RO), depending on the membrane pore size and the cut off point. Membranes are a physical barrier to solids and particles larger than the size of the pores. MF membranes have the largest pores and are used to remove turbidity, suspensions, bacteria and some viruses. UF membranes remove also color, odor and organic compounds with high molecular weight. In treatment of wastewater or other waste streams, MF and UF can provide a sufficient degree of purification. NF membranes are used to remove natural organic matter from waters, water disinfection products and sulfates. RO membranes are applied to remove monovalent ions such as Na⁺ or K⁺. The effluent was used in UF for medium to cultivation of two microalgae: Chlorella sp. and Phaeodactylum tricornutum. Growth rates of Chlorella sp. and P. tricornutum were similar: 0.216 d⁻¹ and 0.200 d⁻¹ (Chlorella sp.); 0.128 d⁻¹ and 0.126 d⁻¹ (P. tricornutum), on synthetic medium and permeate from UF, respectively. The final biomass composition was also similar, regardless of the medium. Removal of nitrogen was 92% and 71% by Chlorella sp. and P. tricornutum, respectively. The fermentation effluents after UF and dilution were also used for cultivation of algae Scenedesmus sp. that is resistant to environmental conditions. The authors recommended the development of biorafinery based on the production of algae for the biogas production. There are examples of using a multi-stage membrane system to purify the liquid fraction from digestate. After the initial UF, RO is used to remove ammonium nitrogen and COD. To obtain a permeate with a concentration of ammonium nitrogen allowing to discharge it into the environment, it was necessary to apply three-stage RO. The composition of the permeate after two-stage RO was: COD 50–60 mg/dm³, dry solids 0 mg/dm³, ammonium nitrogen 300–320 mg/dm³, total nitrogen 320–340 mg/dm³, total phosphorus 53 mg/dm³. However compostion of permeate after three-stage RO was: COD < 5 mg/dm³, dry solids 0 mg/dm³, ammonium nitrogen 0 mg/dm³, total nitrogen 3.5 mg/dm³, total phosphorus < 0,05 mg/dm³. Last stage of RO might be replaced by ion exchange process. The negative aspect of membrane filtration systems is the fact that the permeate is about 50% of the introduced volume, the remainder is the retentate. The management of a retentate might involve recirculation to a biogas plant.

Keywords: digestate, membrane filtration, microalgae cultivation, Chlorella sp.

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10 Comparative Study on Hydrothermal Carbonization as Pre- and Post-treatment of Anaerobic Digestion of Dairy Sludge: Focus on Energy Recovery, Resources Transformation and Hydrochar Utilization

Authors: Mahmood Al Ramahi, G. Keszthelyi-Szabo, S. Beszedes


Hydrothermal carbonization (HTC) is a thermochemical reaction that utilizes saturated water and vapor pressure to convert waste biomass to C-rich products This work evaluated the effect of HTC as a pre- and post-treatment technique to anaerobic digestion (AD) of dairy sludge, as information in this field is still in its infancy, with many research and methodological gaps. HTC effect was evaluated based on energy recovery, nutrients transformation, and sludge biodegradability. The first treatment approach was executed by applying hydrothermal carbonization (HTC) under a range of temperatures, prior to mesophilic anaerobic digestion (AD) of dairy sludge. Results suggested an optimal pretreatment temperature at 210 °C for 30 min. HTC pretreatment increased methane yield and chemical oxygen demand removal. The theoretical model based on Boyle’s equation had a very close match with the experimental results. On the other hand, applying HTC subsequent to AD increased total energy production, as additional energy yield was obtained by the solid fuel (hydrochar) beside the produced biogas. Furthermore, hydrothermal carbonization of AD digestate generated liquid products (HTC digestate) with improved chemical characteristics suggesting their use as liquid fertilizers.

Keywords: hydrothermal carbonization, anaerobic digestion, energy balance, sludge biodegradability, biogas

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9 Biogas from Cover Crops and Field Residues: Effects on Soil, Water, Climate and Ecological Footprint

Authors: Manfred Szerencsits, Christine Weinberger, Maximilian Kuderna, Franz Feichtinger, Eva Erhart, Stephan Maier


Cover or catch crops have beneficial effects for soil, water, erosion, etc. If harvested, they also provide feedstock for biogas without competition for arable land in regions, where only one main crop can be produced per year. On average gross energy yields of approx. 1300 m³ methane (CH4) ha-1 can be expected from 4.5 tonnes (t) of cover crop dry matter (DM) in Austria. Considering the total energy invested from cultivation to compression for biofuel use a net energy yield of about 1000 m³ CH4 ha-1 is remaining. With the straw of grain maize or Corn Cob Mix (CCM) similar energy yields can be achieved. In comparison to catch crops remaining on the field as green manure or to complete fallow between main crops the effects on soil, water and climate can be improved if cover crops are harvested without soil compaction and digestate is returned to the field in an amount equivalent to cover crop removal. In this way, the risk of nitrate leaching can be reduced approx. by 25% in comparison to full fallow. The risk of nitrous oxide emissions may be reduced up to 50% by contrast with cover crops serving as green manure. The effects on humus content and erosion are similar or better than those of cover crops used as green manure when the same amount of biomass was produced. With higher biomass production the positive effects increase even if cover crops are harvested and the only digestate is brought back to the fields. The ecological footprint of arable farming can be reduced by approx. 50% considering the substitution of natural gas with CH4 produced from cover crops.

Keywords: biogas, cover crops, catch crops, land use competition, sustainable agriculture

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8 Reactors with Effective Mixing as a Solutions for Micro-Biogas Plant

Authors: M. Zielinski, M. Debowski, P. Rusanowska, A. Glowacka-Gil, M. Zielinska, A. Cydzik-Kwiatkowska, J. Kazimierowicz


Technologies for the micro-biogas plant with heating and mixing systems are presented as a part of the Research Coordination for a Low-Cost Biomethane Production at Small and Medium Scale Applications (Record Biomap). The main objective of the Record Biomap project is to build a network of operators and scientific institutions interested in cooperation and the development of promising technologies in the sector of small and medium-sized biogas plants. The activities carried out in the project will bridge the gap between research and market and reduce the time of implementation of new, efficient technological and technical solutions. Reactor with simultaneously mixing and heating system is a concrete tank with a rectangular cross-section. In the reactor, heating is integrated with the mixing of substrate and anaerobic sludge. This reactor is solution dedicated for substrates with high solids content, which cannot be introduced to the reactor with pumps, even with positive displacement pumps. Substrates are poured to the reactor and then with a screw pump, they are mixed with anaerobic sludge. The pumped sludge, flowing through the screw pump, is simultaneously heated by a heat exchanger. The level of the fermentation sludge inside the reactor chamber is above the bottom edge of the cover. Cover of the reactor is equipped with the screw pump driver. Inside the reactor, an electric motor is installed that is driving a screw pump. The heated sludge circulates in the digester. The post-fermented sludge is collected using a drain well. The inlet to the drain well is below the level of the sludge in the digester. The biogas is discharged from the reactor by the biogas intake valve located on the cover. The technology is very useful for fermentation of lignocellulosic biomass and substrates with high content of dry mass (organic wastes). The other technology is a reactor for micro-biogas plant with a pressure mixing system. The reactor has a form of plastic or concrete tank with a circular cross-section. The effective mixing of sludge is ensured by profiled at 90° bottom of the tank. Substrates for fermentation are supplied by an inlet well. The inlet well is equipped with a cover that eliminates odour release. The introduction of a new portion of substrates is preceded by pumping of digestate to the disposal well. Optionally, digestate can gravitationally flow to digestate storage tank. The obtained biogas is discharged into the separator. The valve supplies biogas to the blower. The blower presses the biogas from the fermentation chamber in such a way as to facilitate the introduction of a new portion of substrates. Biogas is discharged from the reactor by valve that enables biogas removal but prevents suction from outside the reactor.

Keywords: biogas, digestion, heating system, mixing system

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7 Experimental Studies on the Effect of Premixing Methods in Anaerobic Digestor with Corn Stover

Authors: M. Sagarika, M. Chandra Sekhar


Agricultural residues are producing in large quantities in India and account for abundant but underutilized source of renewable biomass in agriculture. In India, the amount of crop residues available is estimated to be approximately 686 million tons. Anaerobic digestion is a promising option to utilize the surplus agricultural residues and can produce biogas and digestate. Biogas is mainly methane (CH4), which can be utilized as an energy source in replacement for fossil fuels such as natural gas, oil, in other hand, digestate contains high amounts of nutrients, can be employed as fertilizer. Solid state anaerobic digestion (total solids ≥ 15%) is suitable for agricultural residues, as it reduces the problems like stratification and floating issues that occur in liquid anaerobic digestion (total solids < 15%). The major concern in solid-state anaerobic digestion is the low mass transfer of feedstock and inoculum that resulting in low performance. To resolve this low mass transfer issue, effective mixing of feedstock and inoculum is required. Mechanical mixing using stirrer at the time of digestion process can be done, but it is difficult to operate the stirring of feedstock with high solids percentage and high viscosity. Complete premixing of feedstock and inoculum is an alternative method, which is usual in lab scale studies but may not be affordable due to high energy demand in large-scale digesters. Developing partial premixing methods may reduce this problem. Current study is to improve the performance of solid-state anaerobic digestion of corn stover at feedstock to inoculum ratios 3 and 5, by applying partial premixing methods and to compare the complete premixing method with two partial premixing methods which are two alternative layers of feedstock and inoculum and three alternative layers of feedstock and inoculum where higher inoculum ratios in the top layers. From experimental studies it is observed that, partial premixing method with three alternative layers of feedstock and inoculum yielded good methane.

Keywords: anaerobic digestion, premixing methods, methane yield, corn stover, volatile solids

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6 Fishing Waste: A Source of Valuable Products through Anaerobic Treatments

Authors: Luisa Maria Arrechea Fajardo, Luz Stella Cadavid Rodriguez


Fish is one of the most commercialized foods worldwide. However, this industry only takes advantage of about 55% of the product's weight, the rest is converted into waste, which is mainly composed of viscera, gills, scales and spines. Consequently, if these wastes are not used or disposed of properly, they cause serious environmental impacts. This is the case of Tumaco (Colombia), the second largest producer of marine fisheries on the Colombian Pacific coast, where artisanal fishermen process more than 50% of the commercialized volume. There, fishing waste is disposed primarily in the ocean, causing negative impacts on the environment and society. Therefore, in the present research, a proposal was made to take advantage of fishing waste through anaerobic treatments, through which it is possible to obtain products with high added value from organic waste. The research was carried out in four stages. First, the production of volatile fatty acids (VFA) in semi-continuous 4L reactors was studied, evaluating three hydraulic retention times (HRT) (10, 7 and 5 days) with four organic loading rates (OLR) (16, 14, 12 and 10 gVS/L/day), the experiment was carried out for 150 days. Subsequently, biogas production was evaluated from the solid digestate generated in the VFA production reactors, initially evaluating the biochemical methane potential (BMP) of 4 total solid concentrations (1, 2, 4 and 6% TS), for 40 days and then, with the optimum TS concentration (2 gVS/L/day), 2 HRT (15 and 20 days) in semi-continuous reactors, were evaluated for 100 days. Finally, the integration of the processes was carried out with the best conditions found, a first phase of VFA production from fishing waste and a second phase of biogas production from unrecovered VFAs and unprocessed material Additionally, an VFA membrane extraction system was included. In the first phase, a liquid digestate with a concentration and VFA production yield of 59.04 gVFA/L and 0.527 gVFA/gVS, respectively, was obtained, with the best condition found (HRT:7 days and OLR: 16 gVS/L/día), where acetic acid and isobutyric acid were the predominant acids. In the second phase of biogas production, a BMP of 0.349 Nm3CH4/KgVS was reached, and it was found as best HRT 20 days. In the integration, the isovaleric, butyric and isobutyric acid were the VFA with the highest percentage of extraction, additionally a 106.67% increase in biogas production was achieved. This research shows that anaerobic treatments are a promising technology for an environmentally safe management of fishing waste and presents the basis of a possible biorefinery.

Keywords: biogas production, fishing waste, VFA membrane extraction, VFA production

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5 Small Scale Batch Anaerobic Digestion of Rice Straw

Authors: V. H. Nguyen, A. Castalone, C. Jamieson, M. Gummert


Rice straw is an abundant biomass resource in Asian countries that can be used for bioenergy. In continuously flooded rice fields, it can be removed without reducing the levels of soil organic matter. One suitable bioenergy technology is anaerobic digestion (AD), but it needs to be further verified using rice straw as a feedstock. For this study, a batch AD system was developed using rice straw and cow dung. It is low cost, farm scale, with the batch capacity ranging from 5 kg to 200 kg of straw mixed with 10% of cow dung. The net energy balance obtained was from 3000 to 4000 MJ per ton of straw input at 15-18% moisture content. Net output energy obtained from biogas and digestate ranged from 4000 to 5000 MJ per ton of straw. This indicates AD as a potential solution for converting rice straw from a waste to a clean fuel, reducing the environmental footprint caused by current disposal practices.

Keywords: rice straw, anaerobic digestion, biogas, bioenergy

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4 Conditions of the Anaerobic Digestion of Biomass

Authors: N. Boontian


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. Solid-state 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.

Keywords: anaerobic digestion, lignocellulosic biomass, methane production, optimization, pretreatment

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3 Biogas Production from Zebra Manure and Winery Waste Co-Digestion

Authors: Wicleffe Musingarimi


Currently, the rising energy demand as a result of an increase in the world’s population and the sustainable use of abundant natural resources are key issues facing many developed and developing countries including South Africa. Most of the energy to meet this growing demand comes from fossil fuel. Use of fossil fuels has led to environmental problems such air pollution, climate change, and acid rain. In addition, fossil fuels are facing continual depletion, which has led to the rise in oil prices, leading to the global economies melt down. Hence development of alternative clean and renewable energy source is a global priority. Renewable biomass from forest products, agricultural crops, and residues, as well as animal and municipal waste are promising alternatives. South Africa is one of the leading wine producers in the world; leading to a lot of winery waste (ww) being produced which can be used in anaerobic digestion (AD) to produce biogas. Biogas was produced from batch anaerobic digestion of zebra manure (zm) and batch anaerobic co-digestion of winery waste (ww) and zebra manure through water displacement. The batch digester with slurry of winery waste and zebra manure in the weight ratio of 1:2 was operated in a 1L container at 37°C for 30days. Co-digestion of winery waste and zebra manure produced higher amount of biogas as compared to zebra manure alone and winery waste alone. No biogas was produced by batch anaerobic digestion of winery waste alone. Chemical analysis of C/N ratio and total solids (TS) of zebra manure was 21.89 and 25.2 respectively. These values of C/N ratio and TS were quite high compared to values of other studied manures. Zebra manure also revealed unusually high concentration of Fe reaching 3600pm compared to other studies of manure. PCR with communal DNA of the digestate gave a positive hit for the presence of archaea species using standard archea primers; suggesting the presence of methanogens. Methanogens are key microbes in the production of biogas. Therefore, this study demonstrated the potential of zebra manure as an inoculum in the production of biogas.

Keywords: anaerobic digestion, biogas, co-digestion, methanogens

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2 Technology Assessment of the Collection of Cast Seaweed and Use as Feedstock for Biogas Production- The Case of SolrøD, Denmark

Authors: Rikke Lybæk, Tyge Kjær


The Baltic Sea is suffering from nitrogen and phosphorus pollution, which causes eutrophication of the maritime environment and hence threatens the biodiversity of the Baltic Sea area. The intensified quantity of nutrients in the water has created challenges with the growth of seaweed being discarded on beaches around the sea. The cast seaweed has led to odor problems hampering the use of beach areas around the Bay of Køge in Denmark. This is the case in, e.g., Solrød Municipality, where recreational activities have been disrupted when cast seaweed pile up on the beach. Initiatives have, however, been introduced within the municipality to remove the cast seaweed from the beach and utilize it for renewable energy production at the nearby Solrød Biogas Plant, thus being co-digested with animal manure for power and heat production. This paper investigates which type of technology application’s have been applied in the effort to optimize the collection of cast seaweed, and will further reveal, how the seaweed has been pre-treated at the biogas plant to be utilized for energy production the most efficient, hereunder the challenges connected with the content of sand. Heavy metal contents in the seaweed and how it is managed will also be addressed, which is vital as the digestate is utilized as soil fertilizer on nearby farms. Finally, the paper will outline the energy production scheme connected to the use of seaweed as feedstock for biogas production, as well as the amount of nitrogen-rich fertilizer produced. The theoretical approach adopted in the paper relies on the thinking of Circular Bio-Economy, where biological materials are cascaded and re-circulated etc., to increase and extend their value and usability. The data for this research is collected as part of the EU Interreg project “Cluster On Anaerobic digestion, environmental Services, and nuTrients removAL” (COASTAL Biogas), 2014-2020. Data gathering consists of, e.g., interviews with relevant stakeholders connected to seaweed collection and operation of the biogas plant in Solrød Municipality. It further entails studies of progress and evaluation reports from the municipality, analysis of seaweed digestion results from scholars connected to the research, as well as studies of scientific literature to supplement the above. Besides this, observations and photo documentation have been applied in the field. This paper concludes, among others, that the seaweed harvester technology currently adopted is functional in the maritime environment close to the beachfront but inadequate in collecting seaweed directly on the beach. New technology hence needs to be developed to increase the efficiency of seaweed collection. It is further concluded that the amount of sand transported to Solrød Biogas Plant with the seaweed continues to pose challenges. The seaweed is pre-treated for sand in a receiving tank with a strong stirrer, washing off the sand, which ends at the bottom of the tank where collected. The seaweed is then chopped by a macerator and mixed with the other feedstock. The wear down of the receiving tank stirrer and the chopper are, however, significant, and new methods should be adopted.

Keywords: biogas, circular bio-economy, Denmark, maritime technology, cast seaweed, solrød municipality

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1 The Effects of in vitro Digestion on Cheese Bioactivity; Comparing Adult and Elderly Simulated in vitro Gastrointestinal Digestion Models

Authors: A. M. Plante, F. O’Halloran, A. L. McCarthy


By 2050 it is projected that 2 billion of the global population will be more than 60 years old. Older adults have unique dietary requirements and aging is associated with physiological changes that affect appetite, sensory perception, metabolism, and digestion. Therefore, it is essential that foods recommended and designed for older adults promote healthy aging. To assess cheese as a functional food for the elderly, a range of commercial cheese products were selected and compared for their antioxidant properties. Cheese from various milk sources (bovine, goats, sheep) with different textures and fat content, including cheddar, feta, goats, brie, roquefort, halloumi, wensleydale and gouda, were initially digested with two different simulated in vitro gastrointestinal digestion (SGID) models. One SGID model represented a validated in vitro adult digestion system and the second model, an elderly SGID, was designed to consider the physiological changes associated with aging. The antioxidant potential of all cheese digestates was investigated using in vitro chemical-based antioxidant assays, (2,2-Diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) radical scavenging, ferric reducing antioxidant power (FRAP) and total phenolic content (TPC)). All adult model digestates had high antioxidant activity across both DPPH ( > 70%) and FRAP ( > 700 µM Fe²⁺/kg.fw) assays. Following in vitro digestion using the elderly SGID model, full-fat red cheddar, low-fat white cheddar, roquefort, halloumi, wensleydale, and gouda digestates had significantly lower (p ≤ 0.05) DPPH radical scavenging properties compared to the adult model digestates. Full-fat white cheddar had higher DPPH radical scavenging activity following elderly SGID digestion compared to the adult model digestate, but the difference was not significant. All other cheese digestates from the elderly model were comparable to the digestates from the adult model in terms of radical scavenging activity. The FRAP of all elderly digestates were significantly lower (p ≤ 0.05) compared to the adult digestates. Goats cheese was significantly higher (p ≤ 0.05) in FRAP (718 µM Fe²/kg.fw) compared to all other digestates in the elderly model. TPC levels in the soft cheeses (feta, goats) and low-fat cheeses (red cheddar, white cheddar) were significantly lower (p ≤ 0.05) in the elderly digestates compared to the adult digestates. There was no significant difference in TPC levels, between the elderly and adult model for full-fat cheddar (red, white), roquefort, wensleydale, gouda, and brie digestates. Halloumi cheese was the only cheese that was significantly higher in TPC levels following elderly digestion compared to adult digestates. Low fat red cheddar had significantly higher (p ≤ 0.05) TPC levels compared to all other digestates for both adult and elderly digestive systems. Findings from this study demonstrate that aging has an impact on the bioactivity of cheese, as antioxidant activity and TPC levels were lower, following in vitro elderly digestion compared to the adult model. For older adults, soft cheese, particularly goats cheese, was associated with high radical scavenging and reducing power, while roquefort cheese had low antioxidant activity. Also, elderly digestates of halloumi and low-fat red cheddar were associated with high TPC levels. Cheese has potential as a functional food for the elderly, however, bioactivity can vary depending on the cheese matrix. Funding for this research was provided by the RISAM Scholarship Scheme, Cork Institute of Technology, Ireland.

Keywords: antioxidants, cheese, in-vitro digestion, older adults

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