Viability of Using Glycerin as a Co-substrate in Anaerobic Digestion of Sugarcane Stillage (Vinasse): Effect of Diversified Operational Strategies

  • Giovanna Lovato
  • Lia P. P. Batista
  • Marina B. Preite
  • Jessica N. Yamashiro
  • Ana L. S. Becker
  • Maria F. G. Vidal
  • Nathalia Pezini
  • Roberta Albanez
  • Suzana M. Ratusznei
  • José A. D. RodriguesEmail author


Vinasse, from sugar and ethanol production, stands out as one of the most problematic agroindustry wastes due to its high chemical oxygen demand, large production volume, and recalcitrant compounds. Therefore, the viability of using glycerin as a co-substrate in vinasse anaerobic digestion was tested, to increase process efficiency and biogas productivity. The effect of feeding strategy, influent concentration, cycle length, and temperature were assessed to optimize methane production. Glycerin (1.53% v/v) proved to be a good co-substrate since it increased the overall methane production in co-digestion assays. CH4 productivity enhanced exponentially as influent concentration increased, but when temperature was increased to 35 °C, biogas production was impaired. The highest methane productivity and yield were achieved using fed-batch mode, at 30 °C and at an organic loading rate of 10.1 kg COD m−3 day−1: 139.32 mol CH4 m−3 day−1, 13.86 mol CH4 kg CODapplied, and 15.30 mol CH4 kg CODremoved. Methane was predominantly produced through the hydrogenotrophic route. In order to treat all the vinasse produced by a mid-size sugar and ethanol plant, nine reactors with 7263.4 m3 each would be needed. The energy generated by burning the biogas in boilers would reach approximately 92,000 MW h per season and could save up to US$ 240,000.00 per month in diesel oil demand.


Biomethane Energy Glycerin Kinetic model SBR Scale-up Stillage Vinasse 


Funding Information

This study was supported by the São Paulo Research Foundation (FAPESP #14/07692-8; #15/06.246-7; #17/09.722-0), the National Council for Scientific and Technological Development (CNPq #443181/2016-0; #800060/2018-0), and the Coordination for the Improvement of Higher Education Personnel (CAPES).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Giovanna Lovato
    • 1
  • Lia P. P. Batista
    • 1
  • Marina B. Preite
    • 1
  • Jessica N. Yamashiro
    • 1
  • Ana L. S. Becker
    • 1
  • Maria F. G. Vidal
    • 1
  • Nathalia Pezini
    • 1
  • Roberta Albanez
    • 1
  • Suzana M. Ratusznei
    • 1
  • José A. D. Rodrigues
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Mauá School of EngineeringMauá Institute of Technology (EEM/IMT)São Caetano do SulBrazil

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