Mesophilic and thermophilic anaerobic biodegradability of water hyacinth pre-treated at 80 °C
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Water hyacinth (Eichornia crassipes) is a fast growing aquatic plant which causes environmental problems in continental water bodies. Harvesting and handling this plant becomes an issue, and focus has been put on the research of treatment alternatives. Amongst others, energy production through biomethanation has been proposed. The aim of this study was to assess the anaerobic biodegradability of water hyacinth under mesophilic and thermophilic conditions. The effect of a thermal sludge pre-treatment at 80 C was also evaluated. To this end, anaerobic biodegradability tests were carried out at 35 C and 55 C, with raw and pre-treated water hyacinth. According to the results, the thermal pre-treatment enhanced the solubilisation of water hyacinth (i.e. increase in the soluble to total chemical oxygen demand (COD)) from 4% to 12% after 30 min. However, no significant effect was observed on the methane yields (150–190 L CH4/kg volatile solids). Initial methane production rates for thermophilic treatments were two fold those of mesophilic ones (6–6.5 L vs. 3–3.5 L CH4/kg COD day). Thus, higher methane production rates might be expected from thermophilic reactors working at short retention times. The study of longer low temperature pre-treatments or pre-treatments at elevated temperatures coupled to thermophilic reactors should be considered in the future.
CitationFerrer, I. [et al.]. Mesophilic and thermophilic anaerobic biodegradability of water hyacinth pre-treated at 80 °C. "Waste management", Octubre 2010, vol. 30, núm. 10, p. 1763-1767.
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