Calculation of the potential production of methane and chemicals using anaerobic digestion

Davide Dionisi (Corresponding Author), Ifeoluwa Bolaji, Diana Nabbanda, Igor M O Silva

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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Abstract

The aim of this paper is to calculate how much energy or chemicals can be potentially produced using anaerobic digestion (AD). Five feedstocks were considered: the organic fraction of municipal solid waste (OFMSW), cattle, pig and poultry manure, energy crops, agricultural residues and sewage sludge. Carbohydrates, proteins and lipids were assumed to be the biodegradable components of the feedstocks. COD (Chemical Oxygen Demand) was assumed as a basis for the calculations of methane and chemicals production. Methane production was calculated assuming that AD converts the biodegradable COD to methane with a yield of 80 % COD/COD. The potential production of chemicals, i.e. acetic, propionic, butyric and lactic acids, ethanol and hydrogen, was calculated assuming conversion yields of carbohydrates, proteins and lipids from the literature. Globally, with the assumptions done in this study, AD of the considered feedstocks can potentially satisfy 17–20 % of the total energy consumption and 33-39 % of the electrical energy requirements. Potentially, AD can generate organic acids at rates which are hundreds or thousands of times their current production rates. Ethanol and hydrogen can be produced by AD at rates which are up to 2-3 times their current production rate. The paper also discusses the main challenges to overcome in order to achieve the large potential of AD.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)788-801
Number of pages13
JournalBiofuels, Bioproducts and Biorefining
Volume12
Issue number5
Early online date7 May 2018
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2018

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Anaerobic digestion
Methane
Chemical oxygen demand
Feedstocks
Carbohydrates
Lipids
Hydrogen
Ethanol
Proteins
Propionic acid
Poultry
Agricultural wastes
Butyric acid
Manures
Municipal solid waste
Organic acids
Sewage sludge
Lactic acid
Acetic acid
Crops

Keywords

  • biomass
  • anaerobic digestion
  • organic waste
  • methane
  • volatile fatty acids (VFAs)

Cite this

Calculation of the potential production of methane and chemicals using anaerobic digestion. / Dionisi, Davide (Corresponding Author); Bolaji, Ifeoluwa; Nabbanda, Diana ; Silva, Igor M O.

In: Biofuels, Bioproducts and Biorefining, Vol. 12, No. 5, 09.2018, p. 788-801.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Dionisi, Davide ; Bolaji, Ifeoluwa ; Nabbanda, Diana ; Silva, Igor M O. / Calculation of the potential production of methane and chemicals using anaerobic digestion. In: Biofuels, Bioproducts and Biorefining. 2018 ; Vol. 12, No. 5. pp. 788-801.
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AB - The aim of this paper is to calculate how much energy or chemicals can be potentially produced using anaerobic digestion (AD). Five feedstocks were considered: the organic fraction of municipal solid waste (OFMSW), cattle, pig and poultry manure, energy crops, agricultural residues and sewage sludge. Carbohydrates, proteins and lipids were assumed to be the biodegradable components of the feedstocks. COD (Chemical Oxygen Demand) was assumed as a basis for the calculations of methane and chemicals production. Methane production was calculated assuming that AD converts the biodegradable COD to methane with a yield of 80 % COD/COD. The potential production of chemicals, i.e. acetic, propionic, butyric and lactic acids, ethanol and hydrogen, was calculated assuming conversion yields of carbohydrates, proteins and lipids from the literature. Globally, with the assumptions done in this study, AD of the considered feedstocks can potentially satisfy 17–20 % of the total energy consumption and 33-39 % of the electrical energy requirements. Potentially, AD can generate organic acids at rates which are hundreds or thousands of times their current production rates. Ethanol and hydrogen can be produced by AD at rates which are up to 2-3 times their current production rate. The paper also discusses the main challenges to overcome in order to achieve the large potential of AD.

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