Thermal wet oxidation improves anaerobic biodegradability of raw and digested biowaste

G. Lissens, Anne Belinda Thomsen, L. De Baere, W. Verstraete, Birgitte Kiær Ahring

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

    Abstract

    Anaerobic digestion of solid biowaste generally results in relatively low methane yields of 50-60% of the theoretical maximum. Increased methane recovery from organic waste would lead to reduced handling of digested solilds, lower methane emissions to the environment, and higher green energy profits. The objective of this research was to enhance the anaerobic biodegradability and methane yields from different biowastes (food waste, yard waste, and digested biowaste already treated in a full-scale biogas plant (DRANCO, Belgium)) by assessing thermal wet oxidation. The biodegradability of the waste was evaluated by using biochemical methane potential assays and continuous 3-L methane reactors. Wet oxidation temperature and oxygen pressure (T, 185-220 degreesC; O-2 pressure, 0-12 bar; t, 15 min) were varied for their effect on total methane yield and digestion kinetics of digested biowaste. Measured methane yields for raw yard waste, wet oxidized yard waste, raw food waste, and wet oxidized food waste were 345, 685, 536, and 571 mL of CH4/g of volatile suspended solids, respectively. Higher oxygen pressure during wet oxidation of digested biowaste considerably increased the total methane yield and digestion kinetics and permitted lignin utilization during a subsequent second digestion. The increase of the specific methane yield for the full-scale biogas plant by applying thermal wet oxidation was 35-40%, showing that there is still a considerable amount of methane that can be harvested from anaerobic digested biowaste.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalEnvironmental Science & Technology
    Volume38
    Issue number12
    Pages (from-to)3418-3424
    ISSN0013-936X
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2004

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