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An integrated approach for efficient biomethane production from solid bio-wastes in a compact system

Wang, Haoyu, Tao, Yu, Temudo, Margarida, Schooneveld, Margot, Bijl, Henk, Ren, Nanqi, Wolf, Monika, Heine, Cornelia, Foerster, Anne, Pelenc, Vincent, Kloek, Joris, van Lier, Jules B, de Kreuk, Merle
Biotechnology for biofuels 2015 v.8 no.1 pp. 62
anaerobic digestion, biogas, bioprocessing, bioreactors, cellulose, containers, digestion, hemicellulose, hydrolysates, hydrolysis, lipids, methane, pig manure, proteins, raw materials, sludge, solid wastes, solubilization, spent grains
BACKGROUND: Solid bio-wastes (or organic residues) are worldwide produced in high amount and increasingly considered bioenergy containers rather than waste products. A complete bioprocess from recalcitrant solid wastes to methane (SW2M) via anaerobic digestion (AD) is believed to be a sustainable way to utilize solid bio-wastes. However, the complex and recalcitrance of these organic solids make the hydrolysis process inefficient and thus a rate-limiting step to many AD technologies. Effort has been made to enhance the hydrolysis efficiency, but a comprehensive assessment over a complete flow scheme of SW2M is rare. RESULTS: In this study, it comes to reality of a complete scheme for SW2M. A novel process to efficiently convert organic residues into methane is proposed, which proved to be more favorable compared to conventional methods. Brewers’ spent grain (BSG) and pig manure (PM) were used to test the feasibility and efficiency. BSG and PM were enzymatically pre-hydrolyzed and solubilized, after which the hydrolysates were anaerobically digested using different bioreactor designs, including expanded granular sludge bed (EGSB), continuously stirred tank reactor (CSTR), and sequencing batch reactor (SBR). High organic loading rates (OLRs), reaching 19 and 21 kgCOD · m⁻³ · day⁻¹ were achieved for the EGSBs, fed with BSG and PM, respectively, which were five to seven times higher than those obtained with direct digestion of the raw materials via CSTR or SBR. About 56% and 45% organic proportion of the BSG and PM can be eventually converted to methane. CONCLUSIONS: This study proves that complex organic solids, such as cellulose, hemicellulose, proteins, and lipids can be efficiently hydrolyzed, yielding easy biodegradable/bio-convertible influents for the subsequent anaerobic digestion step. Although the economical advantage might not be clear, the current approach represents an efficient way for industrial-scale treatment of organic residues with a small footprint and fast conversion of AD.