Anaerobic digestion of tobacco stalk: biomethane production performance and kinetic analysis

  • Lyu Li
  • Ruolin Wang
  • Zhenlai Jiang
  • Wanwu Li
  • Guangqing Liu
  • Chang ChenEmail author
Research Article


Tobacco stalk, a common agricultural waste derived from the harvest of tobacco, caused serious environmental pollution in China. In this study, the performance of biomethane production and characteristics of four varieties of tobacco stalk were investigated for the first time. The results showed that the highest cumulative methane yield of 130.2 mL/g-VS was obtained from Nicotiana tabacum L., Yunyan114, which had lower lignin content than other varieties of tobacco stalk. Moreover, different kinetic models were used to describe the biomethane production process, and it was found that the modified Gompertz model was more suitable to simulate the anaerobic digestion (AD) of tobacco stalk. The findings of this study not only showed a feasible method for minimizing the pollution issues of tobacco stalk waste but also gave fundamental information for future AD application.


Tobacco stalk Anaerobic digestion Methane production Organic loading Kinetic analysis 



Anaerobic digestion




Carbon to nitrogen ratio


Cumulative methane yield


Experimental methane yield


Feedstock to inoculum radio


Organic loading


Total alkalinity


Total ammonia nitrogen


Total solid


Theoretical methane yield


Volatile fatty acids


Volatile solid


Simulated cumulative methane yield (mL/g-VS)


Simulated maximum cumulative methane yield (mL/g-VS)


Molar gas volume under standard temperature and pressure (22.4 L/mol)


Ideal gas constant (8.314 J/K/mol)


Absolute temperature (K)


Biogas volume (L)


Headspace volume (L)




Hydrolysis rate constant (day−1)


Dimensionless shape factor


Digestion time (day)


Absolute pressure difference (kPa)


Lag phase time (day)


Maximum methane production rate (mL/g-VS/day)



Students would like to thank the support given by Talent Training and Teaching Reform Project from Beijing Municipal Education Commission, “One Belt, One Road” National Talent Training Project of Beijing, China, Teaching Reform Program for “New Engineering” Research and Practice (xgk2017040117), and Foreign Cooperation Education Teaching Reform Project, Beijing University of Chemical Technology.


This research was funded by the National Key Research and Development Program of China (2017YFD0800801).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

11356_2019_4677_MOESM1_ESM.docx (704 kb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 704 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lyu Li
    • 1
  • Ruolin Wang
    • 2
  • Zhenlai Jiang
    • 2
  • Wanwu Li
    • 1
  • Guangqing Liu
    • 1
  • Chang Chen
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.College of Chemical EngineeringBeijing University of Chemical TechnologyBeijingChina
  2. 2.School of International EducationBeijing University of Chemical TechnologyBeijingChina

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