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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Methane Production in a 100-L Upflow Bioreactor by Anaerobic Digestion of Farm Waste

Authors
item Borole, Abhijeet - OAK RIDGE NATL. LAB.
item Klasson, K Thomas
item Ridenour, Whitney - OAK RIDGE INST. SCI. EDU.
item Holland, Justin - OAK RIDGE INST. SCI EDU.
item Karim, Khurseed - WASHINGTON UNIV.
item Al-Dahhan, Muthanna - WASHINGTON UNIV.

Submitted to: Applied Biochemistry and Biotechnology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: November 1, 2005
Publication Date: April 30, 2006
Citation: Borole, A.P., Klasson, K.T., Ridenour, W., Holland, J., Karim, K., Al-Dahhan, M.H. Methane production in a 100-l upflow bioreactor by anaerobic digestion of farm waste. Applied Biochemistry and Biotechnology. 129-132:887-896.

Interpretive Summary: Manure waste from milking cow farms has been used for methane production for a long time; however, problems such as equpment failure are routine. The problem has been investigated with small equipment in the laboratory; however, very little information about scale-up to bigger sizes are available. We report production of methane in big equipment with and without mixing. The results show a clear effect of mixing on equipment operation. Without any mixing, the equipment performance goes bad within 30 to 50 days, while with mixing production of methane is observed.

Technical Abstract: Manure waste from dairy farms has been used for methane production for decades; however, problems such as digester failure are routine. The problem has been investigated in small scale (1-2 L) digesters in the laboratory; however, very little scale-up to intermediate scales are available. We report production of methane in a 100-L digester and the results of an investigation into the effect of partial mixing induced by gas upflow/recirculation in the digester. The digester was operated for a period of about 70 days (with 16-day hydraulic retention time) with and without the mixing induced by gas recirculation through an internal draft tube. The results show a clear effect of mixing on digester operation. Without any mixing, the digester performance deteriorates within 30 to 50 days, while with mixing continuous production of methane is observed. This study demonstrates the importance of mixing and its critical role in design of large scale anaerobic digesters.

Last Modified: 8/21/2014
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