Improved Anaerobic Digestion by the Addition of Paper Tube Residuals: Pretreatment, Stabilizing, and Synergetic Effects
Journal article, 2013
This study deals with the addition of paper tube residuals to a nitrogen-rich mixture of organic waste obtained from industrial and municipal activities. This nitrogen-rich mixture, called buffer tank substrate (BTS) in the following text, is used in a large-scale biogas plant. The effects were investigated in semi-continuous co-digestion processes, and variations in operational conditions were studied. The addition of paper tubes had stabilizing effects, prevented the failure of the process, and made it possible to decrease the hydraulic retention time from 25 to 20 days. Furthermore, synergetic effects were found, with 15-34% higher methane yields, when paper tubes were co-digested with BTS. Moreover, steam explosion pretreatment of the paper tube waste with the addition of 0-2% NaOH was evaluated by batch digestion experiments. Increasing the NaOH concentrations used in the pretreatment resulted in increasing methane yields, with the highest of 403 N mL of CH4 g(-1) of volatile solids (VS) corresponding to an increase by 50% compared to that when untreated paper was digested (268 N mL of CH4 g(-1) of VS). The long-term effects of this best pretreatment were further investigated by continuous co-digestion experiments, leading to a higher methane yield when pretreated paper tubes were used in the co-digestion process compared to untreated.