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Effect of the addition of fatty by-products from the refining of vegetable oil on methane production in co-digestion.

Research paper by M M Torrijos, P P Sousbie, L L Badey, F F Bosque, J P JP Steyer

Indexed on: 06 Sep '12Published on: 06 Sep '12Published in: Water science and technology : a journal of the International Association on Water Pollution Research



Abstract

The purpose of this work was to investigate the effects of the addition of by-products from the refining of vegetable oil on the behavior of co-digestion reactors treating a mixture of grass, cow dung and fruit and vegetable waste. Three by-products were used: one soapstock, one used winterization earth and one skimming of aeroflotation of the effluents. Three 15 l reactors were run in parallel and fed five times a week. In a first phase of 4 weeks, the three reactors were fed with the co-digestion substrates alone (grass, cow dung and fruit and vegetable waste) at an organic loading rate (OLR) of 1.5 g VS/kg d (VS: volatile solids). Then, a different by-product from the refining of oil was added to the feed of each reactor at an OLR of 0.5 g VS/kg d, generating a 33% increase in the OLR. The results show that the addition of by-products from the refining of oil is an efficient way of increasing the methane production of co-digestion reactors thanks to high methane yield of such by-products (0.69-0.77 l CH(4)/g VS loaded). In fact, in this work, it was possible to raise the methane production of the reactors by about 60% through a 33% increase in the OLR thanks to the addition of the by-products from the refining of vegetable oil.