Author(s): Wang G, Gavala HN, Skiadas IV, Ahring BK
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Abstract The continuously increasing demand for renewable energy sources renders anaerobic digestion to one of the most promising technologies for renewable energy production. Twenty-two (22) large-scale biogas plants are currently under operation in Denmark. Most of these plants use manure as the primary feedstock but their economical profitable operation relies on the addition of other biomass products with a high biogas yield. Wheat straw is the major crop residue in Europe and the second largest agricultural residue in the world. So far it has been used in several applications, i.e. pulp and paper making, production of regenerated cellulose fibers as an alternative to wood for cellulose-based materials and ethanol production. The advantage of exploiting wheat straw for various applications is that it is available in considerable quantity and at low-cost. In the present study, the codigestion of swine manure with wheat straw in a continuous operated system was investigated, as a method to increase the efficiency of biogas plants that are based on anaerobic digestion of swine manure. Also, the pretreatment of wheat straw with the wet explosion method was studied and the efficiency of the wet explosion process was evaluated based on (a) the sugars release and (b) the methane potential of the pretreated wheat straw compared to that of the raw biomass. It was found that, although a high release of soluble sugars was observed after wet explosion, the methane obtained from the wet-exploded wheat straw was slightly lower compared to that from the raw biomas s. On the other hand, the results from the codigestion of raw (non-pretreated) wheat straw with swine manure were very promising, suggesting that 4.6 kg of straw added to 1t of manure increase the methane production by 10\%. Thus, wheat straw can be considered as a promising, low-cost biomass for increasing the methane productivity of biogas plants that are based mainly on swine manure.
This article was published in Waste Manag
and referenced in Single Cell Biology