Alternative co-digestion scenarios for efficient fixed-dome reactor biomethanation processes

Ioannis Fotidis, Tiago Laranjeiro, Irini Angelidaki

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Many of the existing low-tech biogas reactors in the remote rural areas of developing countries have been abandoned due to the lack of substrates. This study investigated if unutilized biomasses are able to support an efficient biomethanation process with low carbon footprint, in these rural areas where low-tech reactors have been abandoned. Thus, the aims of this study were: a) to identify and evaluate alternative biomasses as anaerobic digestion substrates at a remote rural area site in India; b) to propose an efficient continuous biomethanation scenario for low-tech reactors; c) to assess the influence of the operational parameters on the stability of the anaerobic digestion process. The highest methane yield (137–159 NmL CH4 L−1) and co-digestion synergy (>20% more CH4 than expected) were achieved by co-digestion of wastewater, cow manure, banana and rice by-products at 79.3/4.2/16.3/0.2 ww−1 VS ratio, respectively. Three fixed-dome reactors, R30, R45 and R60, fed with all substrates, operated with hydraulic retention times of 30, 45, and 60 days and organic loading rates of 2.18, 1.46, and 1.09 g VS L−1 d−1, respectively (different co-digestion scenarios). R60 was the best continuous co-digestion scenario with 45% and 13% higher energy recovery from biomasses' utilization and 69% and 25% less greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, compared to R30 and R45, respectively. These results indicate that it is possible to operate efficiently low-tech biogas reactors with utilized biomasses as anaerobic digestion substrates.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Cleaner Production
Pages (from-to)610-617
Publication statusPublished - 2016


  • Anaerobic digestion
  • Banana plant
  • BMP
  • Low-tech reactor
  • Rice husk
  • Rice straw


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