Experimental evaluation of anaerobic digestion for coffee wastewater treatment and its biomethane recovery potential

  • A. BeyeneEmail author
  • D. Yemane
  • T. Addis
  • A. A. Assayie
  • L. Triest
Original Paper


The objective of this study was to evaluate the performance of anaerobic digestion (AD) as an eco-friendly technology for coffee wastewater (CWW) management. First, we have characterized the CWW and found that it is suitable for microbial degradation with pH adjustment. Then, we designed a simple anaerobic batch reactor (ABR) and evaluated its potential for energy yield and efficiency to remove pollutants. The experiment was carried out by operating the anaerobic digestion (AD) for 70 days. The ABR was found to be efficient for the removal of organic load (90 %), nutrients (82 %) and suspended solids (95 %) from coffee processing waste. The increased removal efficiency of pollutants was dependent on the hydraulic retention time of the system. We also estimated that the coffee waste has a potential to produce a theoretical energy yield of 4–10 million KJ/day and an organic fertilizer (digestate) of 18.8–25.2 kg VSS/day. As a result, the AD would be a more sensible consideration as an eco-friendly treatment option for the coffee waste. The use of AD for CWW treatment not only reduces emission of greenhouse gases to the environment but also circumvents the rising demand for fuel wood and charcoal that causes a severe deforestation in the coffee growing regions of the world.


Anaerobic digestion Biogas potential Coffee wastewater Organic fertilizer 



The authors would like to thank Jimma Zone traditional coffee processing cooperatives for their collaboration during coffee wastewater sampling. We are also grateful to Jimma University, Ethiopia, for financial and logistic support and VLIR-UOS, Belgium, for sponsoring short-term PhD plus research stay of Beyene A.


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Copyright information

© Islamic Azad University (IAU) 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. Beyene
    • 1
    Email author
  • D. Yemane
    • 1
  • T. Addis
    • 1
  • A. A. Assayie
    • 1
    • 2
  • L. Triest
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Environmental Health Science and TechnologyJimma UniversityJimmaEthiopia
  2. 2.Biology DepartmentVrije Universiteit BrusselBrusselsBelgium

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