Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 6

Publications

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

Authors: Kgomotso Matobole, Pascal Mwenge, Tumisang Seodigeng

Abstract:

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.

Keywords: Anaerobic digestion, biogas, biomethane potential, food waste.

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5 Greywater Treatment Using Activated Biochar Produced from Agricultural Waste

Authors: Pascal Mwenge, Tumisang Seodigeng

Abstract:

The increase in urbanisation in South Africa has led to an increase in water demand and a decline in freshwater supply. Despite this, poor water usage is still a major challenge in South Africa, for instance, freshwater is still used for non-drinking applications. The freshwater shortage can be alleviated by using other sources of water for non-portable purposes such as greywater treated with activated biochar produced from agricultural waste. The success of activated biochar produced from agricultural waste to treat greywater can be both economically and environmentally beneficial. Greywater treated with activated biochar produced from agricultural waste is considered a cost-effective wastewater treatment.  This work was aimed at determining the ability of activated biochar to remove Total Suspended Solids (TSS), Ammonium (NH4-N), Nitrate (NO3-N), and Chemical Oxygen Demand (COD) from greywater. The experiments were carried out in 800 ml laboratory plastic cylinders used as filter columns. 2.5 cm layer of gravel was used at the bottom and top of the column to sandwich the activated biochar material. Activated biochar (200 g and 400 g) was loaded in a column and used as a filter medium for greywater. Samples were collected after a week and sent for analysis. Four types of greywater were treated: Kitchen, floor cleaning water, shower and laundry water. The findings showed: 95% removal of TSS, 76% of NO3-N and 63% of COD on kitchen greywater and 85% removal of NH4-N on bathroom greywater, as highest removal of efficiency of the studied pollutants. The results showed that activated biochar produced from agricultural waste reduces a certain amount of pollutants from greywater. The results also indicated the ability of activated biochar to treat greywater for onsite non-potable reuse purposes.

Keywords: Activated biochar produced from agriculture waste, ammonium (NH4-N), chemical oxygen demand (COD), greywater, nitrate (NO3-N), total suspended solids (TSS).

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4 Optimization of Biodiesel Production from Sunflower Oil Using Central Composite Design

Authors: Pascal Mwenge, Jefrey Pilusa, Tumisang Seodigeng

Abstract:

The current study investigated the effect of catalyst ratio and methanol to oil ratio on biodiesel production by using central composite design. Biodiesel was produced by transesterification using sodium hydroxide as a homogeneous catalyst, a laboratory scale reactor consisting of flat bottom flask mounts with a reflux condenser and a heating plate was used to produce biodiesel. Key parameters, including, time, temperature and mixing rate were kept constant at 60 minutes, 60 oC and 600 RPM, respectively. From the results obtained, it was observed that the biodiesel yield depends on catalyst ratio and methanol to oil ratio. The highest yield of 50.65% was obtained at catalyst ratio of 0.5 wt.% and methanol to oil mole ratio 10.5. The analysis of variances of biodiesel yield showed the R Squared value of 0.8387. A quadratic mathematical model was developed to predict the biodiesel yield in the specified parameters ranges.

Keywords: ANOVA, biodiesel, catalyst, CCD, transesterification.

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3 Non-Burn Treatment of Health Care Risk Waste

Authors: Jefrey Pilusa, Tumisang Seodigeng

Abstract:

This research discusses a South African case study for the potential of utilizing refuse-derived fuel (RDF) obtained from non-burn treatment of health care risk waste (HCRW) as potential feedstock for green energy production. This specific waste stream can be destroyed via non-burn treatment technology involving high-speed mechanical shredding followed by steam or chemical injection to disinfect the final product. The RDF obtained from this process is characterised by a low moisture, low ash, and high calorific value which means it can be potentially used as high-value solid fuel. Due to the raw feed of this RDF being classified as hazardous, the final RDF has been reported to be non-infectious and can blend with other combustible wastes such as rubber and plastic for waste to energy applications. This study evaluated non-burn treatment technology as a possible solution for on-site destruction of HCRW in South African private and public health care centres. Waste generation quantities were estimated based on the number of registered patient beds, theoretical bed occupancy. Time and motion study was conducted to evaluate the logistics viability of on-site treatment. Non-burn treatment technology for HCRW is a promising option for South Africa, and successful implementation of this method depends upon the initial capital investment, operational cost and environmental permitting of such technology; there are other influencing factors such as the size of the waste stream, product off-take price as well as product demand.

Keywords: Autoclave, disposal, fuel, incineration, medical waste.

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2 Passive Neutralization of Acid Mine Drainage Using Locally Produced Limestone

Authors: Reneiloe Seodigeng, Malwandla Hanabe, Haleden Chiririwa, Hilary Rutto, Tumisang Seodigeng

Abstract:

Neutralisation of acid-mine drainage (AMD) using limestone is cost effective, and good results can be obtained. However, this process has its limitations; it cannot be used for highly acidic water which consists of Fe(III). When Fe(III) reacts with CaCO3, it results in armoring. Armoring slows the reaction, and additional alkalinity can no longer be generated. Limestone is easily accessible, so this problem can be easily dealt with. Experiments were carried out to evaluate the effect of PVC pipe length on ferric and ferrous ions. It was found that the shorter the pipe length the more these dissolved metals precipitate. The effect of the pipe length on the hydrogen ions was also studied, and it was found that these two have an inverse relationship. Experimental data were further compared with the model prediction data to see if they behave in a similar fashion. The model was able to predict the behaviour of 1.5m and 2 m pipes in ferric and ferrous ion precipitation.

Keywords: Acid mine drainage, neutralization, limestone, modeling.

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1 Thermodynamic Attainable Region for Direct Synthesis of Dimethyl Ether from Synthesis Gas

Authors: Thulane Paepae, Tumisang Seodigeng

Abstract:

This paper demonstrates the use of a method of synthesizing process flowsheets using a graphical tool called the GH-plot and in particular, to look at how it can be used to compare the reactions of a combined simultaneous process with regard to their thermodynamics. The technique uses fundamental thermodynamic principles to allow the mass, energy and work balances locate the attainable region for chemical processes in a reactor. This provides guidance on what design decisions would be best suited to developing new processes that are more effective and make lower demands on raw material and energy usage.

Keywords: Attainable region, dimethyl ether synthesis, mass balance, optimal reaction networks.

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