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Effects of volumetric dilution on anaerobic digestion of food waste

Lou, X.F., Nair, J. and Ho, G. (2012) Effects of volumetric dilution on anaerobic digestion of food waste. Journal of Renewable and Sustainable Energy, 4 (6).

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Despite the increasing number of small scale digesters operating, there remains a lack of information with regards to performance optimization from an everyday user's standpoint. The objective of this study was to determine the effects of volumetric dilution and food waste composition on digester performance. Batch experiments utilizing food waste majoring in carbohydrate, protein, lipid, and cellulose, subjected to five concentrations of volumetric dilution (3.7%–17.1% total solids (TS)), were conducted. Irregardless of volumetric dilution, all assays achieved substrate degradation higher than 82.5% and did not suffer methanogenic inhibition, when provided with retention times comparable to those used in small scale digesters. Protein rich and cellulose rich waste achieved the highest methane potential varying between 0.410–0.539 m3/kg volatile solids (VS) and 0.450–0.535 m3/kg VS, respectively. Protein rich assays were also observed to be the first to achieve 50% of its Bo irregardless of concentrations, followed by carbohydrates and cellulose, and lipids having a considerably longer methanation time. Results saw an increase in total methane generated but a decrease in specific yield as % total solid increased. To successfully digest lipid rich waste a dilution no lesser than 1:4 was required.

Publication Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation: School of Environmental Science
Copyright: © 2012 American Institute of Physics
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