Dry thermophilic semi-continuous anaerobic digestion of food waste: Performance evaluation, modified Gompertz model analysis, and energy balance

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Citation:
Energy Conversion and Management, 2016, 128 pp. 203 - 210
Issue Date:
2016-11-15
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© 2016 Elsevier Ltd A thermophilic, dry semi-continuous anaerobic digestion (DScAD) method was used to effectively transform food waste (FW) into renewable energy. This study aims to thoroughly evaluate the system performance and model simulation to predict biogas production, intermediate products and their outcomes, energy recovery potential, and energy balance, while operating with organic loading rates ranging from 2.3 to 9.21 kg-TS/m 3  day. The results indicate that volatile solids (VS) reduction and biogas production both improved as the organic loading rates (OLR) increased, and the cost of FW valorization remained low. The greatest VS reduction achieved was 87.01%, associated with 170 m 3 of biogas yield per ton of sludge (69% methane) at an ORL of 9.21 ± 0.89 kg-TS/m 3  day (8.62 ± 0.34 kg-VS/m 3  day) although the amounts of ammonia (3700 mg/L), hydrogen sulfide (420 ppm), and total volatile fatty acids (7101 mg/L) during fermentation were relatively high. Furthermore, 75% of total energy requirement for the system could be recovered via biomethane production, resulting in a considerably reduced specific energy supply (kW h/ton of treating FW). The results suggest that a modified Gompertz model is suitable for estimating the biogas and methane production potential and rate. The results also reveal that the DScAD of FW at 55 °C is a reliable, stable, and robust option for both solids reduction and energy recovery via biogas generation.
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