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Technology validation of photosynthetic biogas upgrading in a semi-industrial scale algal-bacterial photobioreactor

Rodero, María del Rosario, Lebrero, Raquel, Serrano, Esteban, Lara, Enrique, Arbib, Zouhayr, García-Encina, Pedro A., Muñoz, Raúl
Bioresource technology 2019 v.279 pp. 43-49
absorption, algae, biogas, carbon dioxide, desorption, hydrogen sulfide, liquids, mass transfer, methane, oxygen, photobioreactors, photosynthesis, wastewater, wastewater treatment
The performance of photosynthetic biogas upgrading coupled to wastewater treatment was evaluated in an outdoors high rate algal pond (HRAP) interconnected to an absorption column at semi-industrial scale. The influence of biogas flowrate (274, 370 and 459 L h−1), liquid to biogas ratio (L/G = 1.2, 2.1 and 3.5), type of wastewater (domestic versus centrate) and hydraulic retention time in the HRAP (HRT) on the quality of the biomethane produced was assessed. The highest CO2 and H2S removal efficiencies (REs) were recorded at the largest L/G due to the higher biogas-liquid mass transfer at increasing liquid flowrates. No significant influence of the biogas flowrate on process performance was observed, while the type of wastewater was identified as a key operational parameter. CO2 and H2S-REs of 99% and 100% at a L/Gmax = 3.5 were recorded using centrate. The maximum CH4 content in the biomethane (90%) was limited by N2 and O2 desorption.