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Effects of pre-treatment on Biochemical Methane Potential (BMP) testing using Baltic Sea Fucus vesiculosus feedstock

Romagnoli, Francesco, Pastare, Laura, Sabūnas, Audrius, Bāliņa, Karīna, Blumberga, Dagnija
Biomass and bioenergy 2017 v.105 pp. 23-31
European Union, Fucus vesiculosus, anaerobic digestion, biogas, blades, cutting, energy, feedstocks, macroalgae, methane, methane production, microwave treatment, Baltic Sea
Seaweeds are considered a viable feedstock for producing energy through the anaerobic digestion conversion process. Its exploitation and use as an alternative renewable energy source; however, remains marginal in the EU. This study aims to evaluate BMP in batch tests of the brown algae Fucus vesiculosus from the Baltic Sea and collected from the Latvian coast.The lab scale BMP tests were oriented towards the evaluation of the effects of mechanical and microwave pre-treatment methods, as well as the impact of a different algae-to-inoculum (A/I) ratio using: i) cutting blades together with mortar and pestle (C&PM) in combination with the use of a 700 W capacity microwave, ii) 1:3 and 1:5 A/I ratios. The cumulative CH4 yields show a value in the range of 68 ± 21 mL CH4/gVS – a trial with no microwave treatment and A/I of 1:3) and 144 ± 28 mL CH4/gVS – a trial including a microwave treatment for 3 min, and A/I ratio of 1:3.The results show effectiveness in the range of 7.8%–43.7%, when the microwave pre-treatment is applied for 1.5 min, and a range of 37.2%–45.2% when the pre-treatment is applied for 3.0 min. The results of this study suggest promising potential for F. vesiculosus for biogas production, especially in the Baltic region.