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The effect of direct transfer of anaerobic inoculum on the performance of a laboratory-scale DiCOM® reactor

Walker, L., Charles, W. and Cord-Ruwisch, R. (2006) The effect of direct transfer of anaerobic inoculum on the performance of a laboratory-scale DiCOM® reactor. In: Biomass & Waste to Energy Symposium, 29 November - 1 December, Cini Foundation, Venice.


The DiCOM® process, developed by Organic Resource Technologies Ltd, is a novel, rapid (19 day), biological, municipal solid waste (MSW) treatment process which produces biogas and a stable compost as final end-products.
The process combines aerobic composting with anaerobic digestion in a sequencing batch reactor. Two sister laboratory-scale DiCOM® reactors, fed with the organic fraction of mechanically sorted municipal solid waste (C:N 18:1; TVS 56%) were operated to enable the transfer of anaerobic inoculum from one reactor to the other (direct transfer). The direct transfer of anaerobic inoculum provided a reduction in overall acidification, improved bio-methanation, with a more rapid onset of prolonged methane production, increased the mean biogas production rate by 58% (28.7 L/day/kg of TVS) and increased total solid degraded (from 41 to 45% of TVS) during the anaerobic phase. An electron balance showed that the direct liquor transfer provided a 50% increase in electron flow during the digestion phase which provides a significant energetic advantage to the process. The compost was found to be more stable (self-heating test) than the control, which is consistent with greater destruction of organics. It is anticipated that enhanced solid degradation from the direct transfer of anaerobic inoculum is due to the transfer of active microbial communities and/or biologically active species.

Item Type: Conference Item
Copyright: © IWWG International Waste Working Group
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