Anaerobic co-digestion of swine manure with energy crop residues
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- Cuetos, M.J., Fernández, C., Gómez, X. et al. Biotechnol Bioproc E (2011) 16: 1044. doi:10.1007/s12257-011-0117-4
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Anaerobic co-digestion involves the treatment of different substrates with the aim of improving the production of biogas and the stability of the process. In this research, co-digestion of swine manure (SM) and energy crop residues (ECRs) was studied. The mixtures evaluated contained SM combined with maize (Mz), rapeseed (Rs) or sunflower (Sf) residues. Batch and semi-continuous experiments were performed to determine methane (CH4) yields and the behavior of reactors while co-digesting agricultural wastes. Three different proportions of ECRs were tested in batch experiments for co-digestion with SM: 25, 50, and 75% volatile solids (VS). On the basis of the results obtained from batch tests, a mixture with a 50% ECR content was selected for the second stage of the study. Mesophilic reactors with a 3 L working volume were used for semi-continuous experiments. The hydraulic retention time (HRT) was set at 30 days and the reactors were kept under these operational conditions over four HRTs. The addition of ECR to the co-digestion system resulted in a major increase in the amount of biogas produced daily. The highest biogas yield was obtained when co-digesting Rs (3.5 L/day), although no improvement was observed in specific gas production from the addition of the co-substrate.