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Effect of thermal and NaOH pretreatment on water hyacinth to enhance the biogas production

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Water hyacinth (WH) is used as the substrate for biogas production due to its high lignocellulosic composition and natural abundance. The present study used thermal and chemical (alkali) pretreatment techniques to enhance biogas production from water hyacinth used as a substrate by anaerobic digestion. Thermal pretreatment was done using an autoclave at 121 °C and 15 lb (2 bar) pressure and alkali pretreatment by NaOH at two concentrations (2% and 5% w/v). The inoculum:substrate ratio for biogas production was 2:1, where cow dung was used as inoculum. Results indicated that the pretreatments increased biomass degradability and improved biogas production. Water hyacinth pretreated with 5% NaOH produced the highest amount of biogas (142.61 L/Kg VS) with a maximum methane content of 64.59%. The present study found that alkali pretreatment can modify the chemical structure and enhance WH hydrolysis, leading to enhanced energy production.

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Author contribution

All authors contributed to the study conception and design. Material preparation, data collection, and analysis were performed by Binoy Kumar Show, Gaayathri Shivakumaran, Apurba Koley, and Anudeb Ghosh. The first draft of the manuscript was written by Binoy Kumar Show and Gaayathri Shivakumaran, and conceptualisation, methodology, validation, project administration, supervision, and writing—review and editing were performed by Shibani Chaudhury, Amit Kumar Hazra, and Srinivasan Balachandran. All authors commented on previous versions of the manuscript. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.


The datasets used and/or analyzed during the current study are available from the corresponding author on reasonable request.

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The authors thank BBSRC, United Kingdom [Grant Ref: BB/S011439/1] for financial support and research fellowship.

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Correspondence to Shibani Chaudhury.

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Responsible Editor: Ta Yeong Wu

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Show, B.K., Shivakumaran, G., Koley, A. et al. Effect of thermal and NaOH pretreatment on water hyacinth to enhance the biogas production. Environ Sci Pollut Res 30, 120984–120993 (2023).

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