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Performance of a residential scale plug flow anaerobic reactor for domestic organic waste treatment and biogas generation

Kurup, R. (2003) Performance of a residential scale plug flow anaerobic reactor for domestic organic waste treatment and biogas generation. In: ORBIT 2003 Organic Recovery and BIological Treatment Proceedings of the Fourth International Conference of ORBIT Association on Biological Processing of Organics: Advances for a Sustainable Society, 30 April - 2 May 2003, Perth, Western Australia

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In developing countries clean fuel for cooking and waste treatment are unreachable to many. In contrast to biogas plants treating animal wastes in India and China, there are no residential level anaerobic systems that use domestic organic wastes (DOW) to provide energy for cooking and solutions for waste treatment, nutrient recycling and compost.

This paper discusses the salient features and performance of an anaerobic reactor developed at Integrated Rural Technology Centre (IRTC), Kerala, India for treatment of DOW for biogas and compost. The reactor consists of a garbage digestion chamber, inlet and outlet chutes, gas holder, scum submersion system and a pre-treatment compartment for wastewater.

The reactor having a volume of 1.5 m3 was filled with 29 kg (dry matter) of DOW and 5% of inoculum at the start. Gas production started on the 220d day and then weekly feeding of the plant commenced. The reactor performance monitored for 210 days observed that the average, minimum and maximum volumetric gas production rates were 0.16, 0.014 and 0.56 m3 of biogas/m3 reactor volume/day. It is concluded that cooking energy requirements for households in developing countries could be met with such a system even with intermittent feeding of DOW.

Item Type: Conference Paper
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Environmental Science
Notes: In: Pullammanappallil, P., McComb, A., Diaz, L.F. and Bidlingmaier, W. (eds), ORBIT 2003 : organic recovery and biological treatment : proceedings of the fourth International Conference of ORBIT Association on biological processing of organics : advances for a sustainable society : 30 April-2 May 2003, Perth, Australia, pp 351-359.
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