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Boosting biogas yield of anaerobic digesters by utilizing concentrated molasses from 2nd generation bioethanol plant

Keywords: Molasses, 2nd generation bio-ethanol plant, Anaerobic digesters, Biogas yield

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Abstract:

Concentrated molasses (C5 molasses) from 2nd generation bioethanol plant has been investigated for enhancing productivity of manure based digesters. A batch study at mesophilic condition (35±1C) showed the maximum methane yield from molasses as 286 LCH4/kgVS which was approximately 63% of the calculated theoretical yield. In addition to the batch study, co-digestion of molasses with cattle manure in a semi-continuously stirred reactor at thermophilic temperature (50±1°C) was also performed with a stepwise increase in molasses concentration. The results from this experiment revealed the maximum average biogas yield of 1.89 L/L/day when 23% VSmolasses was co-digested with cattle manure. However, digesters fed with more than 32% VSmolasses and with short adaptation period resulted in VFA accumulation and reduced methane productivity indicating that when using molasses as biogas booster this level should not be exceeded.

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