Biogas production fromJatropha curcas press-cake

  • Ruth Staubmann
  • Gabriele Foidl
  • Nikolaus Foidl
  • Georg M. Gübitz
  • Robert M. Lafferty
  • Victoria M. Valencia Arbizu
  • Walter Steiner
Session 3 Bioprocessing Research


Seeds of the tropical plantJatropha curcas (purge nut, physic nut) are used for the production of oil. Several methods for oil extraction have been developed. In all processes, about 50% of the weight of the seeds remain as a press cake containing mainly protein and carbohydrates. Investigations have shown that this residue contains toxic compounds and cannot be used as animal feed without further processing. Preliminary experiments have shown that the residue is a good substrate for biogas production. Biogas formation was studied using a semicontinous upflow anaerobic sludge blanket (UASB) reactor; a contact-process and an anaerobic filter each reactor having a total volume of 110 L. A maximum production rate of 3.5 m3 m"3 d"1 was obtained in the anaerobic filter with a loading rate of 13 kg COD m~3 d"1. However, the UASB reactor and the contact-process were not suitable for using this substrate. When using an anaerobic filterwith Jatropha curcas seed cake as a substrate, 76% of the COD was degraded and 1 kg degraded COD yielded 355 L of biogas containing 70% methane.

Index Entries

Biogas anaerobic filter press cake Jatropha curcas methane production renewable energy 


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Copyright information

© Humana Press Inc. 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ruth Staubmann
    • 1
  • Gabriele Foidl
    • 2
  • Nikolaus Foidl
    • 2
  • Georg M. Gübitz
    • 1
  • Robert M. Lafferty
    • 1
  • Victoria M. Valencia Arbizu
    • 2
  • Walter Steiner
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of BiotechnologyGraz Technical UniversityGrazAustria
  2. 2.Proyecto BiomasaUniversidad Nacional de IngenienaManaguaNicaragua

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