Evaluation of Laminaria digitata and Phragmites australis for biogas production and nutrient recycling
Journal article, 2020

Eutrophication and climate change are major global problems. The sea weed Laminaria digitata and the reed Phragmites australis have the potential to absorb nutrients and CO2 during growth, as well as being a source of renewable energy in the form of biogas. The aim of this study was to evaluate Laminaria digitata and Phragmites australis concerning biogas production and nutrient recycling using a two-stage pilot scale process. The plant has a total volume of 430 L and consists of a hydrolysis bed and an up-flow anaerobic sludge blanket reactor (UASB). Two experiments were performed; one with Laminaria digitata as the sole substrate and one with a mixture of Laminaria digitata and Phragmites australis. Frozen substrates were placed in the hydrolysis bed and digestion was performed at 305 K during 70 days for Laminaria digitata and 100 days for the mixture of Laminaria digitata and Phragmites australis. The methane yield achieved was approximately 170 L kg−1 volatile substances (273.15 K, 101.3 kPa) in both experiments. These results suggest that Laminaria digitata can be efficiently digested in larger scale and has the potential to contribute to a future sustainable energy mix, considering its relatively high methane yield when anaerobically digested as the sole substrate. Digestion of Phragmites australis needs further development to make use of its full potential.



Common reed

Aqua culture

Sea-based substrates

Renewable energy


Lars Ola Ohlsson

Linnaeus University

Sebastian Karlsson

Linnaeus University

Katarina Rupar-Gadd

Linnaeus University

Eva Albers

Chalmers, Biology and Biological Engineering, Industrial Biotechnology

Ulrika Welander

Linnaeus University

Biomass and Bioenergy

0961-9534 (ISSN)

Vol. 140 105670

Seaweeds for a Biobased Society - farming, biorefining and energy production (SEAFARM)

Formas (213-2013-92), 2013-01-01 -- 2017-12-31.

Subject Categories

Renewable Bioenergy Research


Energy Systems



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