Insights into Anaerobic Co-Digestion of Lignocellulosic Biomass (Sugar Beet By-Products) and Animal Manure in Long-Term Semi-Continuous Assays
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Author/sAboudi, Kaoutar; Gómez-Quiroga, Xiomara; Álvarez Gallego, Carlos José; Romero García, Luis Isidoro
DepartmentIngeniería Química y Tecnología de Alimentos
SourceAppl. Sci. 2020, 10(15), 5126
Biogas production through anaerobic digestion has proven to be one of the most important pillars of the transition into the circular economy concept, a sustainable approach for biorefinery. This work aims to extend and improve knowledge in the anaerobic co-digestion of complementary substrates, given insights into wastes biodegradability and the influence of manure composition on the anaerobic process stability. Anaerobic co-digestion of sugar beet by-products with two kinds of animal manure (pig and cow) was investigated in semi-continuous assays, analyzing both common and non-classical parameters. Co-digestion with manure clearly mitigated the inhibitory effect of volatile fatty acids at high organic loading rates, leading to increases in methane production by 70% and 31% in comparison with individual digestion of sugar beet by-products, for co-digestion with pig and cow manure, respectively. Non-classical parameters could give more insight into the coupling/uncoupling of the anaerobic digestion phases and the involved microorganisms. Indirect parameters indicated that the process failure at the critical organic loading rates was mainly due to methanogenesis inhibition in the co-digestion with pig manure, while in co-digestion with cow manure or in individual digestion of sugar beet by-products, both hydrolysis-acidogenesis and methanogenesis phases were affected. Biomethanation degree refers to the maximum methane potential of organic wastes. Sugar beet by-products required a long digestion-time to reach high biodegradability. However, short digestion-times for co-digestion assays led to a high biomethanation degree.